In Buddhism, it is taught that everything in the universe is comprised of one or more of 4 elements. The Human Body for example, is believed to constitute all 4;
Earth, representing solidity. This corresponds to bones, teeth, hair, organs, etc.
Water, representing fluidity. This corresponds to body fluids such as blood, sweat, phlegm.
Fire, representing the body’s natural heat
Air, representing breath, essential to life.
In a living entity, 2 more elements are present; space and mind consciousness, a living entity is formed. The result is that sensory inputs are acquired such as hearing, taste, sight, smell, touch and mental concepts are formed.
These 6 elements are described as Nama (psychological elements, which includes the sensory perceptions) and Rupa (the 4 elements) and form the fundamental basis of Buddhist meditation techniques. Refer to Paticca Samuppada.« Back to Glossary Index