The Five Tattwas


The Five Tattwas – Yoga explains the universe is composition of the five tattwas or elements:

  1. Prithvi (earth)
  2. Apas (water)
  3. Agni (fire)
  4. Vayu (air)
  5. Akasha (ether)

Tattwas collage


Tattva means thatness, principle, reality or truth. The Samkhya school of philosophy is an empirical system that requires evidence and proof, as opposed to a belief system. Samkhya describes the universe in a logical way, divided into 25 tattwas, beginning with purusha and prakriti from which the universe as we know it is formed.

The Five Tattwas

So, as humans are composed of the same stuff as the rest of the universe, it follows that these elements are embedded in every bodily cell. It is said that by meditating on the five tattwas the elements that form objects can be realised.   


The Mandukyopanishad, Prashnopanishad and Shiva Swarodaya explain that the five tattwas evolved from mind, mind from prana, and prana from supreme consciousness. The purpose of knowing and recognizing the tattwas is to enable you to expand your awareness from its present limited state and so experience the ultimate source.


Make the usual preparations for a meditation practice.

  • Now begin to gaze at each yantra individually for around five minutes
  • After gazing at one yantra, close the eyes and visualize the symbol of the tattwa
  • Keep the focus soft
  • Practice as far as is possible without blinking
  • Do not strain the eyes
  • To begin with the eyes may water, but with practice this will stop
  • The recommended space for the visualisation is chidakasha  


Chidakasha is composed of two words, chit, which means consciousness, and akasha, meaning space. Chidakasha means inner space and is related to the third eye at ajna chakra behind the eyebrow centre   


Chidaksha Dharana is the practice of taking the focus to a space behind the eyebrow centre. Simply sit and observe the space behind the eyebrow centre, which is the space of inner vision and psychic power. Simply witness any experience that may occur, while keeping the awareness at the space between the eyes.  

Martin Thompson

Pocket Yoga Teacher
Pocket Yoga Teacher