The Panchatatvas of a Social Change

Five eternal elements of a cosmic universe and a cosmic change

We have all learnt from the Vedas and the Upanishads that the whole existence is made up of five basic elements called the Panchabhootas or Panchatatvas. These five basic elements are: Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. These are the basic building blocks of the entire creation. The whole existence is nothing but the balance of these five elements or Panchatatvas. It has also been said that there is a continuous struggle and fight between these five elements and sometimes one tries to take hold over the other. This results into an imbalance. And this imbalance eventually manifests into natural disasters. We call them acts of God. And somehow we say without any thought that we have no control on these disasters and we are in no way responsible for these events. But in reality this is not true. Somewhere deep down we too are also responsible for these events. In management there is a concept called a 'Butterfly Effect'. In simple terms it says that a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in a large difference to a later state. In other words the flapping of a butterfly may have its cause in the effect of a Tsunami or Hurricane. This can also be true in a positive sense. A little empathy towards the entire existence or ecosystem by all of us can also have a very positive effect on the behavior of the nature. A little love towards everything around us at this very moment can have a magnifying and amplifying effect later on. We should keep in mind the fact that out of a chaos the cosmos is born. In spite of all this fight between the Panchabhootas their individual proportion remains the same eventually. It is said that some unseen force balances all this. There is a continuous churning going on in these five basic elements of the creation. The balance between these five basic elements of the cosmic creation determines the health of the existence. The balance between these five basic elements determines the harmony of the existence. This is the story of our physical existence.

Five eternal elements of an individual universe and an individual change:

The same is the story of our individual universe. Our individual body is also made up of these Panchatatvas. Our ill-health is nothing but the imbalance of these five elements. Any kind of health system whether it is Allopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda or any other system tries to bring in balance in the body by bringing in balance in these five basic elements. In the human being these five Panchatatvas manifest in five senses or Panchendriyas. These five senses are: Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste. And out of these five senses the sixth sense is born. The sixth sense is our mind. The sixth sense is our thinking. What we think and how we think is the most important thing. What we think and what we feel determines our health and harmony. This is exactly where Buddha says: As we think, so we become. These five senses culminate in this sixth sense. This sixth sense is the summation of these five senses. The sixth sense is the synthesis of these five senses. Therefore, our true health is the determinant of: What we see?, What we hear?, What we smell?, What we sense? and What we taste? This results into creation of our mind. What we think and how we think determines our health or ill-health. If you ask the psychologists they say that all the sex is in the mind and not in the body. The new research indicates that 95% of our diseases are psychological and psychosomatic. The balance of our mind determines our health and harmony. That is why Yoga, Mediation and Zen is spreading like a wild fire throughout the world. This is an ancient Indian system for our individual health and harmony. This is the story of our individual existence.

Five eternal elements of a social universe and a social change:

Similar is the story of our social universe. We all individuals are interconnected and interdependent, and form a social universe. This is our interdependence. The health and harmony of our social universe determines how we interact and live together. That is why our ancient scriptures call this interdependence as Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. In order to have a peaceful coexistence, we have created a system to take care of our social universe. The five eternal elements or Panchatatvas of this social universe are: (1) Legislature, (2) Executive, (3) Judiciary, (4) Press (Fourth Estate), and (5) People (Fifth Estate). We have all created a framework called the Constitution to ensure this peaceful coexistence. These five are the basic pillars of our constitution. These five are the foundations of our constitution. These five are the eternal elements of our social universe. These five are also the fundamental elements of a social change. There is a continuous fight and churning going on in these five elements. These are the five power centers. The perfect balance of these five elements determines the health of our social universe. The perfect balance is the key. The perfect balance is health and harmony. This balance is the barometer of the health and harmony of the social universe. 

Today lot of questions are being raised on the governance aspect. It is the people who have created the above system. The above system has evolved out of the wish and will of the people. Therefore, the whole framework should serve the purpose of the people. The PEOPLE element, which I am calling the Fifth Estate is the most important element. That is why the whole framework of the constitution is a framework of: of the people, for the people and by the people. The Legislature is nothing but a representation of the people. The Executive is also a representation of people. The same is true for Judiciary and Press. All these five elements bring health and harmony to the entire social universe. Therefore, how these five functions work and perform depends on the people working in every function of the whole system. The biggest objective of the legislature is to give better governance, make better and effective laws, and effectively implement these laws. The biggest objective of the executive is to implement the laws and give the best of the administration. The biggest objective of the Judiciary is to give faster and speedy justice to the people. The biggest objective of the press is to reflect the affairs going on in the whole social universe as it is. They should reflect things as they are. Their job is like that of a mirror. If the press has to make a larger opinion on a particular topic or subject then they should hold a debate and discussion of experts and knowledgeable people in that subject domain and then convey the conclusions of the discussion and debate to the people. Today's technologically driven news and print media can do this job far better. The legislature and the executive are only the trustees of the constitution. They are the trustees of the people. They are the custodians of the constitution and should do the stewardship function of the constitution efficiently and effectively. There have been and there are many issues of bad governance in the whole system. There has been a huge trust-gap for a long time now in the whole system. There are many unhealthy issues also in the whole system like: Corruption, Terrorism, Women Empowerment, Poverty, etc. There are many more similar issues which are spreading like a cancer in the whole system. These social issues and problems can never be solved, eradicated, removed or minimized unless all the people of the whole system come forward unitedly and bring in a change. There is this debate going on in the country whether the parliament is supreme or the people are supreme. To me the parliament is an instrument of the people. The parliament is a fictitious entity. The parliament has no meaning without the parliamentarians. The parliament, being a fictitious entity, does not have a soul. The soul of the parliament is represented by the collective soul of the people and the parliamentarians. The purity of the parliament depends on the purity of the people in the parliament. The people aspect, therefore, is the most important element of the whole system. The people of the country should continuously churn the whole system. People should become the catalysts and change agents of the whole social universe. It is only the people who can bring this change because the change is eternal. Technology should play a key role in bringing this change. The technology should leverage every function in the whole system. And the whole system should eventually move towards an open, transparent and virtual democratic system so that even a common man can have an access to the whole system without any hassles and costs.

All the above three, that is the cosmic universe, the social universe and the individual universe are interrelated, interconnected and interdependent. It is a time to think, ponder and contemplate what kind of a social universe we wish to have?