Going Beyond The Pleasures Of The Sense Organs

Bible clearly highlights how inexcusable humankind could be if they don’t seek their Heavenly Father. “God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Bible, Romans 1:20).

Let’s have a close look at the way nature is made. According to Science, there are 118 elements. However, ancient people in Bharat made it simple by making a general division of them into five.

In our physical bodies, we find solids, liquids, heat, air and space they occupy. Thus the human body is a representation of the physical world outside. The five basic or primordial elements (panchabhoothas) that make the human body are Ether (or space), Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. 

These five elements are inimical to each other. For example, water of oceans can swallow earth, fire can evaporate the water and air can suck fire. Yet they are collectively supportive, working for the sustenance of all living beings and vegetation.

The  primary lesson panchboothas teach us is that humans can really enjoy life only if they link themselves with the Supreme Soul.

The five physical elements have an associated sense with it. The sensations are sound, touch, sound, light, taste, smell respectively.

There are five corresponding sense-organs in living beings to experience them such as ears, skin, eyes, tongue and nose.

Not all species have all senses:

  • Plants are one-sensed able to feel pressure.
  • Worms are two-sensed able to feel pressure and taste.
  • Insects are three-sensed able to feel pressure, taste, and smell.
  • Reptiles are four-sensed able to feel pressure, taste, smell and sight.
  • Birds and animals are five-sensed able to feel pressure, taste, smell, sight and sound.

Human beings are very different as apart from the five sensations they have a unique ability of  seeking a purposeful and meaningful life.

Each of the five senses are limited in their respective areas and provide limited enjoyment. If the limit is crossed there is trouble.

For example, if you seek excessive enjoyment from your eating habits (tongue)  you damage your body. If you derive excess pleasure through TV/laptop you harm your eyesight.

As enjoyment from each sense organ is limited people jump from one form of sense enjoyment to another.  It’s often like “nectar in the beginning, which becomes poison in the end.” (Gita 3:39; 18:38) Hence Five Elements are called Pancha (five) Bhoothas (demons = those who hurt). When this was personified, the concept of Devil and demons arose, and the world was perceived as lying under their power. (Bible, 1 John 5:19)

Thus sense objects made of five elements actually serve as a pointer. Unlimited happiness is to be sought in the inner world, the soul. Then in linking with the Supreme Soul, our Father. It’s time to now connect with Him and get a taste of super-sensuous joy.

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