Each of these five elements comes from the pancha tanmatra. Tanmatra is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “subtle essence” and is related to each of the body’s sense organs. The different tanmatras are as follows:
- Shabda (sound)
- Roopa (vision)
- Sparsha (touch)
- Gnadha (smell)
- Rasa (taste)
The individual great elements described by pancha mahabhuta are made up of all five different tanmatras, but with each one featuring them in different proportions and having one that is predominant.
While meditating during yoga, it is possible to feel the presence of all the different elements in one's body and in the universe that surrounds the body by using each of these senses.