Gods of the Elements

Gods of the Elements

I’ve spoken before about the five subtle elements or constituents of form. In the process of becoming or manifesting, consciousness creates a subtle “space” by recognition of itself as subject and object. This is much like you noticing objects around you now. They exist in space because perception inherits from the qualities of consciousness.

Flowing attention brings the quality of movement in space or ‘air’. The light of consciousness brings ‘fire’ and so forth, collapsing into increasing levels of density. Space, air, fire, water, earth.

Parallel to this in the structure of life is the sheaths or koshas and the chakras.

In reading the Vedic literature, I’ve seen many passages mentioning various kinds of gods or laws of nature. While much is said about their activity and family trees, there isn’t always references to what they actually manage.

For example, in the Bhagavad Gita Ch 11 v 5-6, on request Krishna shows the prince Arjuna his cosmic form, which overwhelms the prince.

“The Blessed Lord said:  
Behold, O Partha [Arjuna]! My forms, in hundreds and thousands, various in kind, celestial, of various colors and shapes.

Behold the Adityas, the Vasus, the Rudras, the two Ashvins and also the Marutas;
behold many wonders never seen before, O Bharata [Arjuna].

But a draft commentary on these verses describes their primary responsibility. Their verse sequence seems more about relationship than role. Included below is how many of them and in brackets, the corresponding kosha:

Vasus: 8: where space element is predominant (Bliss)
(Vasu means dwelling. Their individual names are different in different texts. Related to Adityas)

Marutas: 49: where air element is predominant  (Intellect)
(about wind, clouds, and storms, # varies, related to Rudras)

Adityas: 12 suns: where fire element is predominant  (Mind)
(Associated with the 12 months, naming also varies. Adityas means offspring of Aditi (meaning unbound, considered mother of the gods))

Ashvins: 2: where water element is predominant  (Energy)
(twin horsemen, devas of Ayurveda, dusk and dawn)

Rudras: 11 incarnations of Lord Shiva: where earth element is predominant  (Food body)
(children of Aditi but also said to be related to the Marutas, associated with senses, organs of action and mind)

If we recognize that the devas work in teams (relationship), we know the numbers suggest their geometry. It also suggests other players to balance things. (Leaving out the Marutas, we have the 33 devas that are children of Aditi, yet the Marutas also are said to be related to the Rudras)

Because of the different layers, there is also an implication sound (Sanskrit) is used differently by the different groups, perhaps even differently by each one of them. If this map and it’s members are understood clearly, we’d have a very good handle on how form is structured.

Keep in mind these are “essences.” Earth doesn’t mean physicality. It’s more like valance in a periodic table of the chemical elements. It’s also a complex topic influenced by personalization and the related history, culture, and experiences of ancient sages. As each of us have a unique perspective of the whole, our perspective will vary somewhat.

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