Sadhguru: Essentially, the body is a play of the five elements – water, earth, air, fire and space. It is very common in India to refer to the body as a puppet made of five elements. By composition, the body is seventy-two percent water, twelve percent earth, six percent air, four percent fire, and the remaining six percent space or akash.
How these five elements behave within you will determine just about everything. “Bhuta” means elements; “bhuta shuddhi” means to become free from the taint of the elements. It means to become free from the physical. Bhuta shuddhi is a basic sadhana in yoga to transcend the limitations of the physical and to become available to a dimension beyond the physical.
There are some simple things you can do to do bhuta shuddhi in a very natural way. It is not the ultimate type of bhuta shuddhi, but you can do some cleansing of the five elements.
Among the five elements, our biggest concern is water. You must take enormous care about water because it is seventy-two percent and it has tremendous memory. One thing you can do is just put some neem or tulsi leaves in it. These will not remove chemical impurities but they will make the water very vibrant and energetic. Another thing is to store water in a copper vessel so that the water acquires a quality from the copper which is beneficial.
Earth is twelve percent. How food goes into you, from whose hands it comes to you, how you eat it, how you approach it, all these things are important. Above all, the food you eat is life. Other forms are giving up their life to sustain us. If we can eat with enormous gratitude for all the living things which give up their life to sustain our lives, food will behave in a very different way within you.
Air is six percent. In that, only one percent or less is your breath. The rest is happening in so many other ways. It is not just the air that you breathe that affects you, it is the way you keep the air within you. You must take care of that one percent too but if you are living in a city it may not be in your hands what kind of air you breathe. So go for a walk in the park or along the lake.
Especially if you have children, it is important that you take them out at least once a month – not to the cinema or somewhere like that because the limited air in that hall gets affected just by the sounds, intentions, and emotions that are happening on the screen and reflecting in people’s minds. Instead of taking them to the cinema, take them to the river, teach them how to swim or climb a mountain. You needn’t go all the way to the Himalayas. Even a small hill is a mountain for a child. Even a rock will do. Go climb and sit on one of them. Children will enjoy it immensely and will become fit. You will become fit, your body and mind will function differently, and above all you are in touch with the Creator’s creation which is the most important thing.
You can also take care of what kind of fire burns within you. Get some sun on your body every day because sunlight is still pure. Fortunately, nobody can contaminate it. And what kind of fire burns within you – is it the fire of greed, fire of hatred, fire of anger, fire of love or fire of compassion. If you take care of that, you needn’t worry about your physical and mental wellbeing. It gets taken care of.
Akash is an intermediary situation between that which is creation and that which is the source of creation. If we keep the other four elements well, akash will take care of itself. If you know how to get the cooperation of akash into your life, this will be a blessed life.