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see also    Panch Mahaa-Bhoot;     Shiv Tattwa;

(1) Gist.    Main points. 
(2) Building blocks of the Universe - five elements - Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Space.
(3) Tattwa in Sanskrit means Thatness, which generally means Truth or principles. In this context it means building blocks of the Universe. Saankhya philosophy lists 25 Tattwa categories, or principles or elements; while Shaivism lists 36 Tattwa.

These are the following 24 Tattwa
Padm Puraan, p 738 and Agni Puraan, p 47 list the following 24 Tattwa -
5 Gyaan Indriyaan
5 Karm Indriyaan
5 Subjects of Gyaan Indriyaan
5 Bhoot
Man,  Ahankaar, Mahat Tattwa  Prakriti

Beyond these 24 Tattwa, Paramaatmaa is the 25th Tattwa, that is why He is called Panchvinshak (who has 25).
[Padm Puraan, p 738],   [Agni Puraan, p 47]

According to Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/19 there are 28 Tattwa
Total 28 Tattwa or elements
5 Karm Indriyaan - Hands, Feet, Speech, Reproduction organs, Anus
5 Gyaan Indriyaan - Skin, Tongue, Eyes, Ears, Nose
5 (Panch) Tanmaatraa - pleasures of Gyaan Indriyaan (Touch, Taste, Seeing, sound, Smell)
5 (Panch) Mahaa Bhoot - Earth, Air, Fire, Sky, Water.
1 Man
1 Ahankaar
1 Mahat Tattwa
1 Prakriti
1 Purush
3 Gun (Sat, Raj, Tam)

[Bhaagvat, 11/16,  For full description of Tattwa read  Bhaagvat Puraan, 11/19]

Guru Tattwa
Alison Berker

A Tattwa can be understood as an essential element of the manifest universe. The Guru Tattwa could best be described as the tendency of God to Self-liberate. Just as the manifest universe becomes more dense as it comes into being, ending with earth, the densest state of matter, there is an opposite tendency as well, the tendency of that which has been separated to rise and return. The Guru Tattwa is everything that encourages this process of rising and returning to God. It reaches its pinnacle in the Sat Guru - the being who will grant you "final liberation." However, before you meet the Sat Guru, you will meet many Gurus who are useful on the path to ultimate liberation.

In Kali Yug in the West, much confusion persists over what the nature of, and relationship to, Guru ought to be. People yearn to do the right thing and go by proper procedure, but under-informed in the philosophies, the texts and the mores of the culture to which they are appealing, they go astray willy nilly. They are convinced they need to locate their sat Guru before they have even learned to sit in a proper meditational asana for the needed length of time, or they abjectly surrender to the first person labeled "Guru" that comes along and then blindly closing their eyes to any further information that might be helpful in advancing them spiritually. Fortunately, God is able to use even these mistakes to encourage the process of liberation in sincere individuals, although it doesn't usually end looking anything like the imagination declares it to look like.

A further investigation reveals several things about Guru. While it is declared that a Guru is absolutely essential along the path, what form or forms Guru takes will vary from person to person. If a person is desirous of liberation and unable to locate a Guru, one very valuable suggestion is to take Lord Shiva as one's Guru and then trust that whatever shows up is an emanation of Him. Lord Shiva is the Adi-Guru, the root Guru of all Gurus. If you self-initiate in this way and sincerely envisages whoever shows up as an emanation of Lord Shiva, you are very likely to be protected even if the being that shows up still has substantial limitations. Those very limitations may, in fact, inform and aid your enlightenment process.

Gurus can come in many forms. Dattaatreya, the father of Aghor, who was supposed to be a triple incarnation of Brahmaa, Vishnu, and Shiv had 24 Gurus, none of whom even knew that they functioned as his Guru. Just so, a person may receive spiritual help and guidance from many different beings. Sincerity is all that is required and God will locate the ways and means for transcendence to take place. A Guru may come to teach you for a while and then be on its way, or you may be on your way. As one of my teachers used to say, "You don't need to defecate in the living room to have a reason to get up and go to the kitchen." Your further evolution may take you away from a Guru that helped you. Nonetheless, you can remain grateful even if their limitations drove you away.

It is not necessary to get in a big entanglement over loyalty issues, because everything proceeds from the One and returns to it. It is true that at a certain point on the path, it may become necessary to limit incoming data since it may only confuse the dedicated mind, but this should be after adequate understanding is obtained, not before. Otherwise, one runs the risk of developing a needless fanaticism and of propagating a dogmatic conviction that may be very limiting for other beings. In general, any system that is unwilling to embrace the validity of other systems, is probably limited. As the saying goes, "It takes one to know one."

In the final analysis, surrendering to Guru is absolutely essential in order to achieve liberation, because how can you let go of you? Like Chinese handcuffs, in which the process of trying to extricate yourself binds you more tightly in the handcuffs, there comes a point on the spiritual path where all effort amounts to a further exercise in Chinese handcuffs and surrender is essential. However, such surrender will only work when it is appropriate. Such a surrender is both monumental and utterly natural and arrangement for its occurrence will be handled by Nature in the due course of time. In the meantime, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, "do what you can with what you have where you are." It is sure to be enough.

Relationship to Guru can be analyzed by looking at the ninth house and lord, the fifth house and lord (ninth from the ninth) and Jupiter, although you may have to do a broader analysis of the chart to determine whether there is enough spiritual inclination for the person to have an active path. Here are some examples. See the charts at:

Anandamayi Ma
Anandamayi Ma was born illumined. She was conscious of, and had accurate recall of, her entire life even her birth and infancy. She was prone to falling into trance states. In her twenties, she gave her own self Mantra Deekshaa and repeated the Mantra. She also went through a period of self directed Saadhanaa that lasted a couple of years. She described it as Gyaan masquerading as A-Gyaan - one day it came to her what it would be like to be a Saadhak and she began to perform Saadhanaa. Her Lagna Lord is Jupiter who is exalted in the 5th House suggesting her ability to function as her own Guru. Her 9th Lord Mars is in the 12th House with Raahu indicating how unconventional she was. It is unconventional to self-initiate but she
also initiated female devotees into the Gayatri Mantra and into the sacred thread ceremony amongst many other unconventional acts. Victory to the Saint, Anandamayi Ma

Swami Niranjan - Bihar School of Yog
Swami Niranjan, who inherited the Bihar School of Yog from his Guru, Swami Satyananda, demanded that his parents take him to the Aashram when he was four years old, where he has lived ever since, except for traveling to teach. His 9th Lord is Sun, in the 3rd House, aspecting back into the 9th which contains the Full Moon. Jupiter is in the Lagna in its own sign with Saturn, Venus and Mars forming a Praavrajya Yog. His entire life so far has been spent with his Guru.

Professor KN Rao
KN Rao is a very famous Indian astrologer. He took formal initiation with a Guru. He also had a Jyotish Guru and was privileged to meet many very great Yogis in India. His 9th Lord is Mercury exalted in the 12th with Ketu and the Sun. This is a very good spiritual combination. His Jupiter is exalted in the tenth as well. Because both the ninth lord and Jupiter are exalted, he has had many tremendously good experiences with the Yogis of India.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 12/15/11