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Five elements (Conversations)

Expressions researched:
"five basic elements" |"five different elements" |"five element" |"five elements" |"five great elements" |"five gross elements" |"five material elements" |"five physical elements" |"five primary elements" |"five principal elements" |"five subtle elements" |"five tattvas, elements"

Conversations and Morning Walks

1968 Conversations and Morning Walks

Prabhupada Comments on Prahlada Maharaja Slides - August 25, 1968, Montreal:

Prabhupāda: This is called avyakta, nonmanifested. Just like in the sky there are nonmanifested and manifested things. If you go high, some 25,000, fifty thousand miles up, you'll simply find in the sky nothing manifested. But if you go still higher, higher, higher, you will find some other planets existing. So the part which is nonmanifested is called avyakta, and the part which is manifested, that is called vyakta. So these two souls from Vaikuṇṭha, they are coming into this material world. So they're penetrating the nonmanifested matter. As the matter... Five elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether. And then... These are gross elements. And there are subtle elements: mind, intelligence, ego. And then spiritual. Our body is composed of three things—the spirit soul, and it is covered by subtle body: mind, intelligence ego; and there is gross body: fire, water... earth, water, fire, air, ether.

Interview with LA Times Reporter About Moon Trip -- December 26, 1968, Los Angeles:

Hayagrīva: Their bodies are subtle bodies. They're not like gross bodies.

Prabhupāda: Just like... You try to understand me, that this matter, consisting of five elements, earth, air; earth, water, air...earth, water, fire, air, ether. And then, still subtler than ether is the mind, and then, subtler than the mind is intelligence, and subtler than intelligence is the spirit soul. So before we reach our spiritual platform, there are so many elementary material platforms. So in different planets one of the element is prominent. Just like we can experience in the ocean and sea the water is prominent. In the land earth is prominent. Similarly, in different, just like in the sun planet fire is prominent. So in each and every planet there are particular type of body, particular type of residents. You cannot expect that the same type of body and same type of residents are there.

1971 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- July 18, 1971, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: We require help from personalities like you, because it is very important movement, checking a great mistake in the modern world. Modern civilization is very risky. Risky in this sense: that the human form of life is an opportunity for self-realization, but our leaders, they are miseducating that "You are this body." A basic mistake. But I am not this body, but just like you are sitting there, if I take account of your shirt and coat only, not you as a person, then there is a great mistake. Similarly, the modern civilization, education, everything is based on this bodily concept of life. But actually we are not body. Body is my shirt and coat. Mind, intelligence and ego, that is the shirt, finer dress. And this five element body—earth, water, fire, air, ether—this is gross. Just like shirt and coat. Similarly, we are dressed, the spirit soul.

1972 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Kenneth Keating, U.S. Ambassador to India -- October 14, 1972, New Delhi:

Prabhupāda: Therefore anything produced out of the land, that is also property of God. Just like if you have got a gold mine in your country. So I am not.... India will not go to claim that "It is my property." It is your property, because it is produced with your land. So if the whole land, whole sky, whole air, whole light, everything belongs to God, then where is your proprietorship? It is stated, bhūmir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ khaṁ buddhiḥ mano eva (BG 7.4). Now, nobody can say "The sky is my property," but there must be some proprietor of the sky. What do you think? If everything has got a proprietor, everything is made of these five elements—sky, water, air, earth....

1973 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation with Lord Brockway -- July 23, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: So if people take to it, if people are educated, then things will change in a different way. They'll be happy and they will be peaceful, nice. And above, over and above them, they will have next life very blissful, full of knowledge, and eternal. Yad gatvā na nivarta... These things are all very nicely explained. There is eternal life. There is another nature. Paras tasmāt tu bhāvo 'nyo 'vyakto 'vyaktāt sanātanaḥ (BG 8.20). This is material nature, but there is another, spiritual nature. There everything is permanent. Here everything is non-permanent. Just like my body, your body. It is now getting older. And it will vanquish. This body will be finished. It will never come again back. Never come. This exactly type of this body you'll never get. So we have to accept another body. Tathā dehāntara-prāptir dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13). Dehāntara-prāptiḥ. It is exemplified just like we change our shirt and coat and take another set, similarly, this gross body, material gross body, five elements, earth, water, air, fire, sky, and then mind, intelligence, ego, subtle body, within that subtle body the soul is there, and after annihilation of this gross body, the subtle body takes to another gross body. The nature is going on like that.

Room Conversation -- September 1, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Oh yes. There are varieties. Ānanda, ānanda, pleasure means varieties. Variety is the mother of enjoyment. Without varieties, just like we prepare from grains, sugar, ghee, hundreds of varieties. If you simply give grain, ghee and sugar, it will not be enjoyable. But the same thing, you prepare in varieties and give you a plate, oh, you'll say, "Oh, so nice thing." The ingredients are the same. Grains, ghee and sugar, that's all. Similarly, this material world, the ingredients are the same. Namely five gross elements and three subtle elements, finer. Earth, water, air, fire, sky. These are gross elements. And mind, intelligence, ego these are finer elements. Combined together this material world has come. The brain behind is a living entity. Just like we are using these ingredients, these five elements: earth, water, air, fire, sky, making this building, making this table, making this chair, vase, so many things, harmonium, pictures, book.

Room Conversation -- September 1, 1973, London:

Prabhupāda: Everything is growing on account of Kṛṣṇa. Your body, inside or outside, it is made of these five elements: earth, water, air, fire, like that. It is nothing but combination of these five elements.

Guest: Is the water inside the same as the water in the ocean?

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Guest: It's the same water.

Prabhupāda: Yes. You... Have you tasted ever perspiration?

Guest: Hmm?

Morning Walk -- December 4, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Hm?

Devotee (2): When the material world is annihilated, it still is there, is it not?

Hṛdayānanda: That's in the Bhagavad-gītā, the five elements are all eternal...

Yaśomatīnandana: I understand that the process is eternal, Prabhupāda said.

Devotee (2): No, no, no, the five elements are eternal.

Yaśomatīnandana: ...each universe...

Prabhupāda: What is that?

Devotee (2): The five elements are eternal.

Morning Walk -- December 17, 1973, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: No, how you can say so? The condition is the same. Every planet is made of earth, water, air, fire, the five elements. So if under these condition there are living entities in this planet, why not in that condition living entities in other planets? That is their ignorance. That is their bluff. The different condition of the planets is that some planet is fiery, some planet is gaseous, some planet is watery. That may be, but after all, they are made of these five elements. And each element, we find there is living entity. So it may be mixture or pure, there must be living entities. And in Bhagavad-gītā it is said sarva-ga. Even in the fire there is living entities. And why not? If living entities can stay in water, why not in fire?

1974 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- January 18, 1974, Hawaii:

Prabhupāda: Then so much control, that is another thing. But not control. "So much control" means no control. (japa) (break) ...admitted that we are controlled by nature. That you cannot refuse. That is foolishness. Now, next, how nature is working? That is also replied in the Bhagavad-gītā, mayādhyakṣeṇa prakṛtiḥ sūyate sa-carācaram: (BG 9.10) "The material nature is working..." Just like we are also taking the advantage of material nature, kṣity-ap-tejaḥ. Here is earth, but we can take this earth and make into brick and make a skyscraper building. So it is not that the earth itself is going to become a skyscraper building. I am living entity; I am utilizing. So nature means these five elements, eight elements. So that has been manipulated by another living entity.

Morning Walk -- February 17, 1974, Bombay:

Dr. Patel: Yes, yes.

Prabhupāda: But that sound is existing in all other five elements, four elements.

Dr. Patel: Right.

Prabhupāda: The sound is not only in the ether, but sound is on the air. The sound is in the fire, the sound is also in the water, and sound is also on the land. So the basic principle of śānta-rasa is there.

Dr. Patel: In all of them.

Prabhupāda: All of them. But according to the position, it is more developed.

Dr. Patel: Yes.

Morning Walk -- April 11, 1974, Bombay:

Yaśomatīnandana: Raso 'ham apsu kaunteya prabhāsmi śaśi... (BG 7.8). (break)

Prabhupāda: Bhūmir āpo analo vāyuḥ (BG 7.4). Because this material world means these elements, this earth, this water, then fire, then air, then sky—five elements. So what are these elements? These elements are Kṛṣṇa's energy. Bhūmir āpo analo vāyuḥ.

Italian Man (1): Material energy.

Prabhupāda: Material energy, yes. And the living entities, they are also energy, spiritual energy. Two energies. Two energies means just like fire. Fire has got two energies, heat and light. Similarly, the whole creation is combination of Kṛṣṇa's energy. Therefore everything is Kṛṣṇa. Is it not? Yes. Just like you take milk. From milk you prepare so many milk preparations. You prepare yogurt, you prepare ghee, you prepare rasagullā, you prepare burfi and so many others. But therefore, actually, all of them are milk. This is... Under different combination only. In the milk, if you put some sour thing, it becomes yogurt. But it is milk. And that sour thing also, which is put into the milk, that is also Kṛṣṇa. (break) Why He is originally person, try to understand.

1975 Conversations and Morning Walks

Room Conversation -- February 15, 1975, Mexico:

Prabhupāda: If you have studied about the subtle body of living entity?

Psychologist: No.

Prabhupāda: First of all, this, this gross body made of five material elements—earth, water, air, fire, like that. This we can see with our eyes, but we cannot see the mind, intelligence and ego. Although everyone knows there is mind, there is intelligence. So when this body is annihilated, the subtle body—mind, intelligence, ego-carries the soul to another gross body. This is the process of transmigration of the soul. Now, what do you think of this process?

Psychologist: (Spanish)

Room Conversation with Yoga Student -- March 14, 1975, Iran:

Prabhupāda: Eh, these are example.

Yoga student: He can't touch the globe because he would be consumed.

Prabhupāda: That is another thing, the qualitative change. But it is... There are five elements, so it is made of fire, that's all. As your body is made of earth, that sun globe or the sun-god, the body is made of fire, that's all. There are other planets also; the body is made of air because you do not find more than these five elements, earth, water, air, fire, sky-gross; and subtle—mind, intelligence and ego. So subtle, the same, but gross—somewhere the fire is prominent; somewhere water is prominent, air is prominent; somewhere earth is prominent. So here in this world, in this planet, the earth is prominent.

Room Conversation with Yoga Student -- March 14, 1975, Iran:

Yoga student: Oh, prominent.

Atreya Ṛṣi: Earth is prominent.

Yoga student: It's the prominent form in this material world.

Atreya Ṛṣi: In this earth, in this planet, earth is the prominent of the five elements.

Prabhupāda: Whole world, whole universe, they are made of these five elements.

Atreya Ṛṣi: All the creation, the material creation, is made of five elements.

Yoga student: What is the fifth besides earth, air, fire and water?

Prabhupāda: Ether.

Yoga student: Ether. How does ether distinguish...

Prabhupāda: The sky. Ether is... Presence of ether by sound.

Morning Walk -- March 15, 1975, Tehran:

Prabhupāda: No, these are examples.

Guest: He can't really touch the globe because he would be consumed.

Prabhupāda: That is another thing, qualitative change. But if, there are five elements. It is made of fire, that's all. As your body is made of earth, that sun globe or sun god's body is made of fire. There are other planets also, the body is made of air. Because you do not find more than these five elements—earth, water, air, fire, sky-gross and subtle—mind, intelligence. So, subtle, the same gross, somewhere fire is prominent, somewhere water is prominent, air is prominent, somewhere earth is prominent. So here in this world, in this planet, the earth is prominent.

Guest: So, there is a distinction between permanent and the eternal?

Morning Walk -- March 15, 1975, Tehran:

Devotee: On this earth, on this planet...

Guest: On this planet.

Devotee: ...earth is prominent amongst the five elements.

Prabhupāda: Whole world, whole universe, they are made of these five elements.

Devotee: (indistinct) of the five elements.

Guest: What is the fifth besides earth, air, fire and water?

Prabhupāda: Huh?

Guest: What is the fifth element after earth, air, fire and water?

Prabhupāda: Ether.

Room Conversation with Kim Cornish -- May 8, 1975, Perth:

Prabhupāda: I have given the example. Just like this sunshine is coming from the sun globe. Within the sun globe there is the president of the planet. Just like here on this planet you have got some president. Here there are many presidents, because it is hodgepodge, chaotic. But there everything is systematic. There is one person, his name is Vivasvān. He's the predominating deity. Kṛṣṇa went to see him and talked with him about Bhagavad-gītā. He's a person, and there the people, they are also persons. Just like in this planet. But here the body is predominantly made of earth, and there the body is predominantly of fire. Therefore it is so glowing. The glowing temperature, heat and light, is coming from the person, their body is made of glowing heat or fire. There are five material elements: earth, water, fire, air, and ether. In some planet the earth is prominent, in some planet the water is prominent, in some planets the fire is prominent.

Room Conversation with Two Lawyers and Guest -- May 22, 1975, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: That is called māyā. This is māyā. The philosophy of māyā, māyā means what is not. Mā-yā. Mā means not, yā means this. So māyā means the conclusion, as you have made, that is not. That is not the fact. So we are claiming, "America is our", "Australia is our", "India is our". Nothing our. Everything God's. The best conclusion is, "It is God's property. God has given us to live. Let us thank God, feel obliged to Him, and glorify Him." That is our vision. That is Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. You accept the real position, that nothing belongs to you, everything belongs to God. You also belong to God. Your body, yourself, everything belongs to God. This body is material body. That material energy, earth, water, air, fire—everything belongs to God. This sea belongs to God, water, vast water. You have not created, neither your forefather has created. So this body is made of earth, water, air, fire, five elements. So your, the body is also God's.

Morning Walk -- June 2, 1975, Honolulu:

Prabhupāda: And Moscow Sea. They pitched one flag in the moon planet and named Moscow Sea. Yes.

Indian man: Just like you said that this moon and other planets are also made of these five elements—earth, water, fire, ether—they brought a rock from there. So they are accepting that the moon is made of those elements also. But they are not accepting that life is there.

Prabhupāda: No, they'll not accept. Therefore... therefore fools. Why? The circumstance is the same. Why there should be no life? That is foolishness. We have got experience. As soon as there is water, there is life. As soon as there is land, there is life. As soon as there is air, there is life. So where is life? No life.

Room Conversation with Dr. John Mize -- June 23, 1975, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. Mind is there also. That is spiritual mind. Everything is spiritual. There is nothing material. Body spiritual, mind spiritual, intelligence spiritual, he is spiritual, the land spiritual, water spiritual—everything is spiritual. That is spiritual world. Here in the material world, except the spirit soul, everything is material. And he is encumbered with this material atmosphere by twenty-seven stratas, layers. The five elements, gross elements, then ten senses, and then three guṇas... In this way there are twenty-seven layers. He is within, and he has to be taken out. That is called liberation. Just like if you are covered with twenty-seven layers of dirty things, so it is very difficult position. But there is process to clear the garbage and take him out. That is Kṛṣṇa conscious movement, to take the soul out of the covering of twenty-seven layers of material atmosphere.

Room Conversation with Dr. John Mize -- June 23, 1975, Los Angeles:

Bahulāśva: Prabhupāda, in the Thirteenth Chapter of Bhagavad-gītā, "Nature, Enjoyer, and Consciousness," in verse number six and seven you mention those twenty-seven coverings: "The five great elements, false ego, intelligence, the unmanifest, the ten senses, the mind, the five sense objects, desire, hate, happiness, and distress, the aggregate, the life symptoms and convictions—all these are considered, in summary, to be the field of activities and their interaction." And...

Prabhupāda: By the material life, these are our field of activities. The body is a combination of all these things. Just like a huge computer machine. It is made of these material things, but the mechanical parts are very minute, different. All these are matter. But within this matter, because the soul is there, therefore the finest machine is working. Just like your composition machine, (imitates machine:) "Kut, kut, kut, kut, kut, kut." But one has to push the button; otherwise useless. However very nicely made the machine, without a living being's touch, it is useless. So all this big machine, body, is wonderful so long the soul is there. And as soon as the soul is out it is lump of matter, useless, not worth a penny.

Morning Walk -- July 21, 1975, San Francisco:

Prabhupāda: Why not? Fire is also one of the elements like water and earth. So if there is life in the water, life on the earth, why not in the fire? What is this logic?

Bahulāśva: Actually, everything is burning. Even this body is also on fire.

Prabhupāda: No, the material ingredients, five elements... Out of the five elements, fire is one of them. So if in the four elements there are life, why not in the fifth? How do you say? That is their ignorance.

Devotee (3): You say even in the śāstra, Prabhupāda, that there's so many living entities in this body. It's evident.

1976 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- March 16, 1976, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: Then what is the use of that machine? What is the use of that machine? Everyone knows that it is air. Now air is stopped. That is my reject(?). Bring that air again. There is ample air. Bring that machine. Simply... Similarly, if you analyze the whole body, it is confirmed, you will find these five elements, that 's all, earth, water, air, fire, sky. That's all.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: That's scientific. No one denies that.

Prabhupāda: Yes. They why don't you create a body? What is your science?

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: You've just pointed out: the body may already be there, but they cannot replace the life. Even a body is already created, like a dead body, but they can't bring life back into it.

Morning Walk -- March 26, 1976, Delhi:

Prabhupāda: No, no. We do not find in the water, in the air, in the fire the five elements, you do not find there is life. So what is this, that life force? They are trying to prove that combination of this, there is life, but actually by analytical study we don't find life. The first example is this breathing. Everyone is under the impression that breathing is life. So when the breathing is stopped, the air is stopped. Just make some artificial way of breathing, bring life.

Yadubara: They may say that that is only one aspect.

Prabhupāda: Every aspect you say, rascal. You take water, take fire. Where is life? Just like heat, heat in the body. Heat is fire. So everything you take which constitutes this body, analyze separately and find out life, where is life.

Yadubara: But they may say that a combination produces.

Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: Nothing. Artificial blood.... Superficially it is red water. So if red water is the life, then why you are spoiling so much blood? Keep it scientifically and push it into the dead body. I say it is, that way, it is the red water, nothing but red water. Urine is white water. I am coming to the five elements, air, water.... Then what is this bone? Earth. You can manufacture bone, hard bone, with earth or wood or something plastic. So we are analyzing the combination of the body, so everything you can manufacture. But where is the life you can manufacture? Why do you say? That is our challenge. All the ingredients of the body you can manufacture exactly like that. Ultimately you can give the beauty also of the woman or the man. But where is life? Bring life by all these things. Then I will say that you are scientist. Otherwise cheater, simply bluffing people. This thing should be stopped. Where you get the information that this, from matter life is possible.

Room Conversation -- April 20, 1976, Melbourne:

Prabhupāda: Yes, this is the message, that people are under the impression that one is this body, but that is not the fact. The soul, or the man, he is within the body. Just like you are not your, this shirt and coat. You are within the shirt and coat. Similarly, the living entity, the living being, is within this body, the gross body and the subtle body. The subtle body is composed of mind, intelligence and ego, and the gross body is a composition of these material things, earth, water, air, fire, like that, five elements. Altogether, eight elements. This is inferior energy. And the superior energy is within these eight elements, five gross and three subtle. So we have to study about that thing. Just like I asked that boy that "You can manufacture a huge machine, flying in the sky, 747, but why don't you manufacture the pilot?"

Morning Walk -- May 3, 1976, Fiji:

Prabhupāda: Laṅgoṭā means the loincloth. So what is it you have given up? And you cannot give up your body. This is made, this kṣitir ap-tejo-marud-vyoma, (indistinct) these five elements, they're also Kṛṣṇa's. You have got mind. Oh, that belongs to Kṛṣṇa. What you have got that you'll give up? You have stolen everything. You don't accept the real proprietor, and you are thinking, "I am the proprietor." That is your fault. That is miscreant. Stena eva sa ucyate (BG 3.12). It is said there. Read Bhagavad-gītā carefully, that everyone is a thief. Stena eva sa ucyate. All thiefs, rogues, rascals. That is the substance. If one does not accept God, the Supreme, and does not surrender, he is miscreant, mūḍha. Mūḍha. He does not know what does he possess, and he's thinking, "I am giving up." What you are giving up? You do not possess anything. A mūḍha, falsely thinking that "I am giving up."

Morning Walk -- June 8, 1976, Los Angeles:

Prabhupāda: So how the fishes are born in the water? How the other living entities, they remain in the air? Or without air? There are five elements: earth, water, fire, air.... Anywhere, the living entities can take birth. Sarva-ga. Sthāṇur sarva-gataḥ acalo 'yam. You read all these words of Bhagavad-gītā. Sarva-ga. From anywhere, he can take birth.

Devotee: Do the living entities who are born from perspiration require a mother and father?

Prabhupāda: No. No. There is mother. That perspiration is mother.

Rādhāvallabha: So the reason why they get a particular body...

Room Conversation with Mother and Sons -- June 13, 1976, Detroit:

Prabhupāda: To understand God, a simple method. Simple method to.... Just like the earth is there, everybody knows. And from the earth different varieties of living entities are coming. The grass is coming, the plant is coming, then insects are coming, flies are coming, then by eating the grass or flies, the bigger animals are coming or they're existing. Take for four-legged animals, they are eating the grass, the plants. So they are living, their generation is going on. Then the human being is coming by evolution. So anyway, ultimately, they are coming from the earth. Is it not? Is there any difficulty? So we are coming from the earth or water or air, fire, there are five elements. Therefore on the total material elements is our mother. The mother means wherefrom one comes. He's your child because his body has come from your body. Everyone knows it. So every living being is coming out of this earth in different forms. Now if it is established, the mother is the earth and everything that is coming out of mother, they are children, then where is father? Is it not the next inquiry?

Room Conversation With Scientists -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Rūpānuga: Maybe a hundred seventy-five. We can check reference book easily. You'll find out today.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Śrīla Prabhupāda, we want to make a chart. Now from these gross elements, the five gross elements, we want to extend to...

Prabhupāda: Earth, water, air, fire.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: From there we want to include the, let's say this table, ninety-two..., what scientists call elements, this gold, silver, copper, all these elements.

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is within earth.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: But we are thinking that not only earth, but the water, air.

Room Conversation With Scientists -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: Earth is the reservoir of all elements. As you go from earth to water, one is minus. From water, you go to fire, one is again minus. In this way, when you go up, ether, there is only one. And earth contains all the five.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: All the five gross elements.

Prabhupāda: Yes.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: So actually we can use just from earth all these ninety-two elements, like silver, gold...

Prabhupāda: Yes, that is in the earth. So many varieties of mixture.

Rūpānuga: Now is there an atom for each? Is there a copper atom?

Room Conversation With Scientists -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Actually, in water also, all these, most of these earth materials are there, because it dissolves in water. Water is so many salts and elements, in a dissolved form.

Prabhupāda: That I told you, that in the earth all other five elements are there.

Rūpānuga: So water precedes earth in the creation. Water comes first.

Prabhupāda: No, ether.

Rūpānuga: I mean water comes before earth. Earth is last, and water is just before. So that we find earth in water.

Prabhupāda: Water it dries up.

Puṣṭa Kṛṣṇa: He's saying you can find earth in water.

Room Conversation With Scientists -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: Because I am not scientist. (laughter) Just like I captured immediately, common sense.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: In one of the articles in Back to Godhead, I think Dharmādhyakṣa, he uses different words for these five elements. So we are going to use these elements in our book also, so we wonder, he says for fire "radiant energy" instead of fire. I think it may sound little more...

Rūpānuga: They think this is so simplistic, you know, mythological-type breakdown, oversimplification. So he used different words, fire he said "radiant energy," water he said "liquidity." What did he say for earth? "Solid matter" he said for earth, and air, "gas." And what did he say for ether? "Space." So we thought, we were wondering if these were acceptable terms to use.

Room Conversation -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: Mahat-tattva is differentiated.

Rūpānuga: Different categories?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The time element is there in mahat-tattva, so it is already twenty-five elements there including time. At this stage also, the impregnation of the Lord's internal potency means that the jīvas are already impregnated here from pradhāna. So here the living entities are in pure goodness.

Prabhupāda: The living entities are always in pure goodness. This material covering is separated. The living entities can be freed from material covering at any moment. Just like water and oil, it is always separated, it does not mix. The Vedic mantra also says asaṅgo 'yaṁ puruṣaḥ. Actually, it is not mixed, but it is covered. That covering can be taken away at any moment simply by Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Sa guṇān samatītyaitān brahma-bhūyāya kalpate (BG 14.26). I think in First Canto, that description you try to understand, you'll get.

Room Conversation -- July 6, 1976, Washington, D.C.:

Prabhupāda: No, no. All the living conditions are there in the matter, provided there is the living being, that's all. Just like a dead body, it is not that the living condition is finished, no. The living conditions are there. That particular soul has left that body. But the dead body is also full of ingredients of living condition. So many germs are coming out when the body is decomposed. You say decomposition, but even in that decomposed condition there is living condition. So the living conditions are already there, matter in any form. So how these rascals say there is no life in the moon planet? That is not possible. The living conditions are always there in the matter. This is the example. Now, a decomposed body, the living being has left, now it is dead matter, but still, the living beings are coming out. How it is? That means matter has always the potency to give shelter to the living entity. So it is impossible that there is no living being in the moon planet. It is bogus. We cannot accept it. Any condition there is provision for the living beings. We see actually, in the earth, in the air, in the water, in the fire, these five elements. Whatever you take, these five elements in different proportions. So the living..., just like from perspiration living entities come out. It is impossible there is no living entities. That is bogus complete. You can challenge like that.

1977 Conversations and Morning Walks

Morning Walk -- February 1, 1977, Bhuvanesvara:

Prabhupāda: Kṛṣṇa says, "nonphysical." Nainaṁ chindanti śastrāṇi nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ, nainaṁ śoṣayati āpaḥ (BG 2.23). Everything, five elements, material... It has nothing to do with these five elements, clearly said in the Bhagavad-gītā. It is beyond this. Here whatever you find is kṣitir āpaḥ tejaḥ marud vyomā: earth, water, air, fire. That's all. But beyond that, it is not physical. And at last, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). Everything is there. So I was confident in the statement of Bhagavad-gītā. Therefore I strongly stressed, "This is all wrong." I believed completely in the words of Kṛṣṇa. That's all. I never experimented. But I know what Kṛṣṇa says is completely right.

Room Conversation about BTG the Moon -- February 18, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: What is your, your practical ex...? You are rascal. You have no practical experience. If there is life in the water, if there is life in the air, if there is life within the earth, why not in the fire? It is also one of the elements. Why you discard only fire? There are five elements: earth, water, air, fire, ether. So if there is life in the earth, in the water, in the air, in the ether, what fire has done there should be no life?

Hari-śauri: But we see. The water's here. The earth's here. We see the life in there. We agree.

Prabhupāda: Your seeing is imperfect.

Hari-śauri: But the fire is here, and there's no life in the fire.

Room Conversation with Adi-kesava Swami -- February 19, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: It is condemned. My position is different. Why shall I die? The rascals, they agree to die. We do not agree to die. We want to come to our original position, no more death. This is our motto, because we get information from the Bhagavad-gītā, na hanyate hanyamāne śarīre (BG 2.20). I do not die on account of my material body mixed up... "Dust thou art; dust thou beist." This body is made of five elements: earth, water, air, fire, ether. And this is my gross body. The gross body is finished, but my mental, subtle body—mind, intelligence—that is not yet finished. That is carrying me to another body. Just like we have got practical experience. I am sitting here, you are sitting here. Mind carries me to New York, and I am now dreaming or thinking I am sitting in that room and talking with somebody. I have forgotten this, but... It is practical. Although I am sitting here, I have forgotten it, and I am working, thinking myself that I am in New York. Similarly, in dream my body is on the bed. I am thinking I am on the Himalayan top.

Evening Darsana -- February 26, 1977, Mayapura:

Prabhupāda: Akledyaḥ, that... The wood, if you put into the water, it will be moist. But it is not... Soul never becomes moist. That means the five elements—earth, water, air, fire, ether—all these five elements can be cut, can be moistened, can be burned, can be dried up. But he is giving negative definition that "Soul cannot be done like that." So therefore it is not fallible, material.

Indian (3): Will you preach to your Gītā... (break)

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) The people cannot accept... (laughs) Therefore I said, dhīras tatra na muhyati (BG 2.13).

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: They're too restless.

Room Conversation -- March 26, 1977, Bombay:

Prabhupāda: So you cannot deny, "There is no God." That is not possible. The earth is the mother. They say "mother country," "mother earth." And everything is coming out from the earth. Beginning from the aquatic animals, grass, they are coming from material elements, either from water or from earth. That we can see. And they are coming from fire also, but we cannot see. But they are. It is common sense. If life can come from water, fire... Fire is also one of the elements, five elements. So from fire also... Therefore it is said, nainaṁ dahati pāvakaḥ. Because it is coming from fire, therefore fire cannot harm the living entity. So mother is there, children are there. Where is the father? This is the logic. And the father is coming personally, "Yes, I am father." Ahaṁ bīja-pradaḥ pitā (BG 14.4). Then where is the chance for denying the existence of father? No.

Evening Darsana -- May 9, 1977, Hrishikesh:

Prabhupāda: (Hindi) (laughter) And we want to be happy. Tri-tāpa-yantana,(?) three types of miseries, are always there. So Kṛṣṇa, when took charge of teaching him, the first lesson was that "Arjuna, you have talked like a very learned man, but you are not learned."

aśocyān anvaśocas tvaṁ
prajñā-vādāṁś ca bhāṣase
gatāsūn agatāsūṁś ca
nānuśocanti paṇḍitāḥ
(BG 2.11)

"You are taking care of the body, which is a lump of matter, combination of five elements—earth, water, air, fire—and you are concerned with this nonsense matter. You have no information of the real thing. And you are talking as a learned...?" This is the first. And then He said that "Actual person is within the body." Dehino 'smin yathā dehe kaumāraṁ yauvanam... (BG 2.13). So as we are changing body in this status, from childhood to boyhood, boyhood to youthhood, similarly, when you give up this body, you get another body.

Conversations with Kirtana Groups -- May 29, 1977, Vrndavana:

Prabhupāda: Everywhere there are these... These rascals, they do not know. Everything is there, every planet.

Svarūpa Dāmodara: The five gross elements is present all the...

Prabhupāda: Kṣitir āpo 'nalo vāyuḥ. Must... (aside:) Give me. Give me that.

Indian devotee (4): Still down?

Prabhupāda: Hm. (break) Everywhere there is life, there is everything, varieties. Here you see in the water there is life, in the land there is life, in the air there is life, within the silicate there is life. So many, many millions. These crabs... What is called?

Svarūpa Dāmodara: Crab.

Prabhupāda: How they are living? As soon as you walk, they go within the sand.

Page Title:Five elements (Conversations)
Compiler:Visnu Murti, RupaManjari
Created:13 of Jun, 2012
Totals by Section:BG=0, SB=0, CC=0, OB=0, Lec=0, Con=43, Let=0
No. of Quotes:43