The Four Purifiers of Nature

Definition - What does The Four Purifiers of Nature mean?

The four purifiers of nature in Hinduism are the elements of earth (prithvi), water (apas), fire (tejas) and air (vayu). In the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 31), air is described as the all-pervading purifier.

In a conversation with Prince Arjuna in the Gita, Lord Krishna says: “Of the four purifiers of nature —earth, water, fire and air — I am the wind, which purifies the other purifiers.” Air can purify water by turning it into vapor and then returning it to liquid form as rain. Fire cannot purify — in fact, does not exist — without air. Air also keeps earth — that which is solid — fresh and pure by sweeping away staleness and odor.

Yogapedia explains The Four Purifiers of Nature

Superior to these four purifiers of nature is knowledge. The Gita (Chapter 4, Verse 38) says: “Verily, there exists no purifier on Earth equal to knowledge.”

Understanding the elements is a fundamental concept in the traditional Indian system of medicine called Ayurveda. In addition to the four purifiers of nature, ether (akasha) — a fifth, more subtle, element — is the source from which all else emanates.

The four purifiers of nature and the forces they represent are:

  • Air represents motion and a purifying power of kinetic energy.
  • Fire is the source of all energy, heat and light, and represents the creation of energy in the body.
  • Water is the nourisher and protector of the body and represents fluid matter.
  • Earth represents the form of the body, all solid matter and creation itself.
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