The secrets of water: The five elements

In topic

Physical Health / Yogic Physiology


Sadhguru elaborates on the significance of water. He says, that water is one of the most significant aspects of the physical life. Over 72% of human physical body is water. Modern science today tells us that water has both memory and intelligence. For you to live a healthy physical life, it is very important that the water within you responds well to you.


Duration: 43 min


24 min read

The secrets of water: The five elements

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Water, jala or neer or achamaniyam as it’s known in Sanskrit language – in many ways water is fundamental, or among the most important ingredient of physical aspect of the life-making process.

Today, a lot is being said in scientific terms about how water is fundamentally life-making. Not just as an ingredient, not just as one more ingredient, but as an active participant in the making of life. This is something always many cultures in the world have been aware of, but we have an issue that unless it comes from a laboratory, it cannot be really true – though it’s the most obvious truth, that anybody who’s paid a little bit of attention to life would notice, that there is a certain aspect or a certain dimension of participatory role for water in everything that’s life.

In the last decade or a little more than that, much is being said in the modern scientific language as to how water has both memory and intelligence of its own. It is not just reacting to various things happening around it, it is responding and water’s response to different inputs is different. There are experiments to show, how water does not respond the same way to every person who approaches it.

See, if the water does not respond well to you, you’re a done case. Over seventy-two percent of your very physical body is water. If the water doesn’t behave well with you, you’re done. Your physical life is going to be a horror story in so many ways. You can be vaccinated for every disease there is and there isn’t, but your physical life is going to be a horror story, because water does not respond well to you.

Why wouldn’t water respond well to you? To put it in a very simplistic way – if you do not approach this dimension – consciously or unconsciously – appropriately water may choose not to respond to you well. You may be living wantonly right now, but water is responding largely to your karmic substance. The fundamental reverb that you’re setting forth, based on that, accordingly it’ll respond.

So if we find that somebody has this issue of the very water – which is nearly two-thirds of our body or more than two-thirds of our body, nearly three-fourths of our body – is not behaving well within us, and just about everything is going wrong with the system, then water-based kriyas and karmas are done, so that you make friends with water. Because if you’re not friends with food, you can still manage – it’s only twelve percent. But if you’re not friends with water, physical life is going to be a horror story.

So to keep this relationship between the water that’s around us, and the water that’s within us, and the water that has to come into us today – to keep a good relationship, to keep that kind of relationship that even if it’s dirty water, once it enters you it will dance in joy. If you keep your situation like that, physical health, your physical life on all levels is well taken care of. It’s not that air, fire, earth not important – it’s important. But in sheer volume water wins. Most nations turning democratic, majority you know, you know the value of majority.

And among the ingredients, leaving the akash, which is of a completely different nature – among the four, water has a more active role, more participatory role compared to the other elements. What does this mean in our day-to-day life? What does this mean in our process of creating health, well-being, intelligence, agility and the spiritual possibility – what does it mean? What it means is, you know you can either float on the water or you can drown – that’s what it means. The same water can take you places, the same water can drown you.

So, the dimension of water – much has been said in recent times. And we know that we can change the molecular composition of water. With any kind of reverb or vibration, the way the water structures itself, the way the molecular structure changes so rapidly.

And water has almost like, how human body has cells. Water has its own cellular structure, and this cellular structure can change, with even smallest inputs of vibration. Vibration can come in the form of touch, in the form of thought, emotion, a look or an utterance of a sound or mantra, or just the presence or if one is meditative – it’s a known thing, these are recorded now. Many images, microscopic images produced like this, that when you become meditative, how the neuronal structure in the brain rearranges itself and dances in a completely different way, simply because you’re in a certain state of experience.

When you’re joyful, how the neuronal structure is; when you’re peaceful, how it is; when you’re blissful, how it is; when you’re stressed or anxious or angry, how it is – all these things have been recorded now. Something very similar to what happens in human brain happens in water, for every input that is put into it. When I say input, not chemical input, not physical input, just a thought, or an emotion can change the molecular structure of the water in a dramatic way. Different bodies of water are responding in different ways, for the same inputs. And the same body of water responds in different ways for different people who come to it. If five people go to the river, the same river water will respond differently to five different people, if they allow a little space between them – it’s clearly there.

So we are dealing with such an intelligent liquid. They’ve gone to the extent of saying that water is the most valuable computer on the planet. So, enormous amount of systems were established in day-to-day life, as to how to treat water. Largely lost, but still a bit, traditionally people were conscious of certain things and those who are little orthodox, even without knowing why they’re doing it, many of them are doing the right things.

If you walk into a traditional South Indian home even today, the water is kept in a certain way. It has to be in a metal pot, preferably copper or brass or some alloy of copper. And you will see they will keep a lamp, they will have sacred ash smeared on it, a flower on top of it, here it is [looking at the water pot kept on the table]. In America there’s no flower, but in India always there’ll be a flower on top of it. Because water needs to be happy, if you should not turn into a horror.

Life is – I don’t know, sometimes you might have been, many of you, but I think once a month everybody should make a visit to one of the major hospitals around you. Not just to catch an infection, just to see how much of a horror life can become, you know. Life can become real horror, if certain things don’t function properly within this [body], and taking care of water is an important aspect of that.

So every day how you drink the water means – even today, even today in our house they do it, and many homes they still do it. Of course many people have shifted to plastic bottles and plastic purifier machines. Otherwise, in the night with little tamarind and turmeric, the vessel is washed not with soap, and then water is filled up and they put a flower on it, they light a lamp in the night and go to bed, and next day morning they will drink from that. This water is going to behave wonderfully within you. Above all, water is looking at your attitude towards it.

Being a huge presence on the planet, over seventy percent of the planet itself is water. Our idea of life springs from water. If you’re looking for life in any planet, we’re only first looking for water, because the basic elements which make life, I’m not talking about the five elements, the basic elements from the chart, you know, from the periodic chart if you take, it’s only a matter of six to eight elements, which are playing a major role in the life-making process. Carbon is a major thing, of course, we think carbon is poison now, but we’re all carbon, okay. Everything that’s life is largely carbon – carbon, hydrogen, phosphorus, and oxygen, nitrogen a little bit. Just these things and maybe one or two more. These are the things which in play with water, generate life.

So, all the life making material, fundamental physical life that happens on this planet are actively engaged with water, otherwise they cannot by themselves do anything. Experiments have been conducted where these elements, water, a little bit of electricity, life begins to happen in a complete vacuum state. Rudimentary life will start taking shape right there in a vacuum state, simply because these ingredients and water and little bit of electrical charge, life begins to happen. Well, it’s come a long way with its evolution and everything. But the fundamental composition of life in terms of being three fourths of it being water has not changed. This is true with every life, not just with human life.

So the phenomena of water on the planet is indescribably big and complex. It’s behaving in so many different ways and accordingly, it affects life, makes life or breaks life. So, this play of water in our lives is big. Conducting water in the right manner means, largely you’ve handled your physical life well, largely. Rest of it, very simple, if water is good, earth will be good. Taking charge of air is very simple. If you just learn a few things, you can take charge of the air as to how it should behave. Mastering fire is a different nature but it’s four percent.

With ninety-six percent you can manage life, because most people are not aspiring to take their life to tweak it to the highest pitch. They are okay if they don’t get into trouble. For that you don’t need ninety-six percent. You can easily manage with sixty percent. You can do pretty good. You can be successful, you can earn a living. You know, you can produce two children and send them to the university. All this you can do is fifty, sixty percent of you. The problem only arises when you want to be like a racing machine. You want to be on the edge between physical and non-physical, then you need to gather all your hundred percent. Otherwise, it doesn’t really matter.

So I’m saying if you handle water, almost everything that people call as normal life is generally handled. The agility of the body, the agility of your intelligence, largely depends on water. As you know, water is the only substance found on this planet, which is found in all the three states naturally – solid, liquid and gaseous or vapor state. But a certain arrangement of its molecules, which is these days being referred as structured water, is almost being recognized as the fourth state of water, because the cellular structure or the molecular structure within the water are arranged in a crystalline form. Because of this, a structured water is being referred to today as the fourth state of water.

There are various ways to do this, one aspect of it is implosion. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this, but you could do this – our waterfall is not high enough, it doesn’t have the volume. I’m sure if you try the Niagara, it will be so, but don’t try it there. Some other waterfall, which is at least a minimum twenty, twenty-five feet, and there’s substantial volume falling. You go fill the water up there, before it falls, how it feels, drink it, feel it. Then come down immediately after the waterfall, just take the water and feel it. You will see the water is silky. It’s almost like you know, it’s like silk threads you feel like that. If you pull it out, it’s almost coming like that in your experience. Not that water has become thread, but it feels like that. Because of the sheer force, a certain natural amount of implosion is happening. Because of this, the molecular structure is rearranging itself in such a way, that it becomes far more conducive for life.

Today they have created implosion machines. Some, some inventor in UK has patented this and this is being used in agriculture now. If you implode the water, just by a certain way of churning it, creating a centrifugal force which turns inward rather than going outward. You must understand all energy on the planet is released – today all modern technology happens because of explosion. When I say explosion, don’t just think of a big bomb exploding. If you start the car what’s happening in the engine is explosions, continuously something is exploding. So almost everything that we do in the name of technology, all machines that we built are releasing energy by explosion. Wherever there is explosion, there is a tremendous waste of energy, because once it explodes you cannot control.

See right now, you run your car, then you go on to the bonnet – you don’t get to touch the engine, if you touch it, your hands will burn out. If you just touch the bonnet or even go near it, it’s so hot. All this energy is just going out. Only a part of the energy you can trap it, and convert it into kinetic energy, rest of it is all dissipating into the air in the form of heat. Thermal energy is going waste. Every machine that you run on this planet is generating heat, not because we need it, simply because we don’t know how to make use of it. So that is happening with everything that we do.

Implosion is a different way of generating energy. You can say, Yoga is implosive. Cool, but hot, you know. Very cool, but burning inside, because it’s an implosion. It’s not an explosive process. Because it’s an implosion. Enlightenment is an implosive process. It’s very wonderful to see that today modern science is beginning to recognize the significance of implosion and what it can do. If implosion becomes the way of doing things, running machines on this planet, there will be no global warming. You can run as many machines as you want because it will not throw out thermal energy, because implosion is a different way of making energy.

So imploding machines, generating this imploded water – they’re saying you can grow the same crops with ten percent of the water that you’re using right now. But now, you’re pumping water through your pipelines from your local waterworks or whatever you call it. They say, if the water is going through, let’s say fifty bends, pumped forcefully, and then it drops out of your tap – you take it in a glass, in terms of molecular structure arrangement, sixty percent of it has turned into poisonous water. But if you hold it in this glass for the next twenty minutes, it will undo itself.

If you’re drinking – I see in America, people are drinking from a spout like this, straight into their mouth. Many times when I’m thirsty, when I’m outside people say, “Sadhguru there’s a spout here,” I said, “I’ll never ever drink from a spout. It lacks dignity”. I don’t know, a lot of people are not going to like this. But please drink in some other way, this is not the way to drink water.

In the east always the best way to drink water is with your own hands. Not even in a tumbler. You must drink with your own hands. If that’s not possible, if somebody gives water to you, in a metal tumbler, you always hold it with both your hands and drink like this. Have you seen this? When you come to India, you must have seen, the village people still do it like that. Of course city people are – they’re all wearing “I Love New York” T-shirts so… they’re different people. But you will see if you go into the villages, even today, if you give water they will always drink like this [with their hands]. Even if you give it in a tumbler, they’ll hold the tumbler like this [with both hands] and drink like this. Not like this [with one hand]. Because it’s important that first before you drink water, you have to touch it. Allow that much time and then drink it, then it behaves differently.

And this may sound like, what to say, some mumbo-jumbo story. Well, some people come to senses only after suffering comes – why some, most people.

This happened once. In a South Indian jungle a lion was really feeling a little [swagger], you know, the king of the jungle. So he was just swaggering around like that. He saw a little rabbit, pop he caught him, “Who is the king of the jungle?” he asked. Uuuugh, you know, you don’t know whether you are his snack today. He said, “You, you, my master, only you, who else can be?” Let him go today, okay, magnanimous today.

And then a fox was going, pop he caught the fox, “Who is the king of the jungle?” You know a fox, what he will say. He said all those things with extra attachments.

Then he was feeling really full and with a big swagger he came. There’s a big clearing in the forest. He looked up, a huge tusker, he was in the mood, not considering sizes, he said “Who is the king of the jungle?” The tusker without a word, picked him up in his trunk, twirled him around and smashed him on the ground. His back broke. Then he said, “You could have just told me”. The tusker said, “Well, I had to make my point”.

Life is just like this. You – after things go bad, well you would have told me, I would have loved water, somebody should have told me. Oh, see life has to make a point, otherwise not everybody gets it.

So, in terms of one’s spiritual growth, also water is very important with what kind of memory, with what kind of attitude are we taking the water. I’m talking about the memory and attitude of the water. To create that, you have a responsibility how to create that. In India there’s a word called teerth, teerth. You’ve heard teerthakund? Teerth means water with a specific type of memory, with a specific capability to act. So, a teerth from a certain kind of temple supposed to do this to you. Teerth from another kind of temple will do something else to you, because the water flows over that and it has the memory of the divine.

And there are deities in India which are made of nine types of deadly poisons, a combination of nine types of deadly poisons – this is called as navapashana. It’s an Indian alchemy where nine poisons which each one of them would kill you for a minute dose, but now nine have combined together and they’ve made a deity out of it. Every day somebody pours water over that, and that water that comes out people drink this – with traces of those nine deadly poisons, because over a period of time the deity wears out and they’ll have to prepare a new one.

The controversy is going on now because one very famous temple, the deity is all worn out. They should make a new one. But now the new laws, the government’s laws does not allow making of a new deity. But this deity is melting away, people have drunk it up – it was made for that purpose. Periodically you must replace it, as people drink it up. People should drink up the God. No. Because what is the idea, and what is the point – now I’m getting into trouble! We want to drink the Gods, we want to eat them up, so that they become part of every cell of our body, and happen in a certain way.

So teerth and prasad – very important. It’s not because you’ve not eaten at home, you go to temple for that one drop of water, or for that one little something that they give you. It’s not because you have no food at home or water at home, because you want to take in water, which has a certain type of memory, the memory of the divine, so that it functions within you in a certain way. So this science has been elaborated in many, many ways, and many absolutely incredible forms and some of them are truly miraculous and fantastic. Some of them are absolutely filthy. Over a period of time, all these things have happened.

But what we are looking at now is, water as an element, what can we do with it on a daily basis? See, water is used for everything. If you want to consecrate something, water is an important part of it. In most ancient cultures, whether it is Mesopotamian culture, Egyptian culture, the Jewish culture, India, of course, probably only in India, it still lives to a reasonable level. In all the other places, it’s been wiped out because of whatever influences that have happened in the last few hundred years. Without consecrating the food with water they wouldn’t consume it.

Even today, you will see in most homes in India, those who still sit on the floor and eat –first thing is they’ll take water, they will put it around, sprinkle it on the food, then only they eat the food. Because what we consume should become conducive to us, even before it enters us. In this, water plays a significant role. How we treat the water, that’s how everything else is. There are various aspects to this, how different water bodies have gained reputation over a period of time.

For example, Ganga is, now she’s internationally famous, and she’s in lots of trouble. Right now there’s a big effort to clean Ganga and put her back into some kind of this thing, but it is a big job. Actually, it’s a very simple job. But people like to do big jobs because there’s money involved. It’s very simple. If you don’t let any of the effluents in, and give it one season, Ganga will clean herself. Nobody need to clean her. Just takes one season. When the flood comes, she’ll clean herself up. But they want to clean the river, for whatever reason, anyway.

Many people, not one or two, thousands of people, millions of people actually have experienced this. By being on the banks of Ganga and consuming this water, and taking a dip in this water,, they have come out of all kinds of ailments. Sunderlal Bahuguna was a great proof of this. In his efforts to save Ganga and the Himalayan rivers, which the movement was called as the “Chipko movement” at one time – I almost went full time into that movement, but then I got enlightened, my direction changed. Otherwise I would’ve almost joined the Chipko movement at that time. There later on, these people were initially decried, later on admired as tree huggers.

He’s the one who got the tribal people to hug the trees. When they came to cut the trees, they went and hugged the trees and did not allow them to cut. Because the entire Indian Railways at one time was built from the timber from Himalayan region. It took them fifty years to understand they could make the railway sleepers with something else, with concrete or metal or something. Otherwise all of them were wooden. Because the British used wood, so they continued. The entire Indian Railways was made from timber from Himalayan range. That means the whole forest range amounting to maybe twenty, twenty-five thousand square miles vanished. But we had railways.

So, at that time Sunderlal Bahuguna started a movement, and he went there – I forget what the ailment – he went there with a serious ailment, and he and his wife just lived in the banks of Ganga. Just everyday Ganga water consumption and the dip, he just completely came out of that ailment. In my own experience for twenty-seven years without a break, every year I went to Himalayas for trekking. I think only last four years or five years I took people, and then I gave up, too much management and now our Sacred Walks is doing that. Otherwise, all those first twenty-two or twenty-three years, I went alone by myself. Many, many days, just drinking two to three times Ganga water, no food, nothing, I just trekked every day in the mountains eighteen, twenty kilometers a day. No food, I was just fine, fully charged up, just drinking this water. Distinctly different, especially beyond Gangotri if you go and drink the Bhagirathi water, you see it just fires you up. Just two handfuls of water you’re done for the day, you’re fully on. It just charges you up in such a big way. And even today, this is the only segment of the river which is not going through a turbine.

Right now, the Ganga water that comes downstream into the plains has already gone through three or four turbines, they’re generating electricity from this. They could have spared this one river, because in many ways it is the very consciousness of India, it is symbolically consciousness of India, and above all the river had very special qualities. This is something that rudimentary idea is H2O is H2O, wherever you take it it’s same H2O. You’re only looking at the physical, chemical properties, there are other dimensions to life.

Now, science is trying to touch other aspects, after having you know, levelled out everything, now you’re trying to build a mountain from the level land, it’s a tough job and your mountains may collapse very easily because they’re built by you. A mountain that’s standing for a million years has gone through everything that it can go through, and it is standing because everything that can fall off has fallen off, largely. So nature has its own way of doing things, these water bodies. I have experienced some water bodies as truly powerful process.

It’s from my experience of certain natural water bodies, which were like you know – you just get into this water, you’re like sparkling. Because of that experience I have, we decided to set up the Chandrakund and Suryakund in the Ashram. I thought people should have some experience of water, what water does to you. And today I think there are tens and thousands of people who know the well-being of being in charged water, what it means how water behaves very differently.

Many of you who’ve been in the Chandrakund or Suryakund have experienced the excessive buoyancy of the water. You can check the pH factor, it is just normal. It is not like sea water, it’s not dead sea where you can walk upon it and whatever. This is just regular water, but you can feel the body becomes far more buoyant in that water, simply because of the sheer energy, because of the molecular arrangement has changed so dramatically because of the reverberation which is constantly on.

We can create this in our own homes. I’m – internationally acceptable way of making a jeevarasam. Have you seen the jeevarasam? So I’m designing and making a jeevarasam which will be internationally acceptable. Right now what we’re making in India is a very powerful jeevarasam, but you know there is a fetish in the world about certain substances. So we are making another kind of jeevarasam. A copper pot, a jeevarasam, a lamp on top of it. If you can put a flower or a leaf on it, it’s fine. You put this in your house, and consume this water on a daily basis. Most probably, it’s not like a guarantee because there are so many other influences, but largely I would say, you will not get into chronic ailments. You have to catch a bug. That’s different. But largely you will be free from body generating ailments.

Your attitude towards the entire thing, not seeing it as a commodity, but seeing it what is bigger than your mother. Yes or no? Water is bigger than your God, yes or no? If you say no, I’m going to deprive you of water for next twenty-four hours. In twenty-four hours’ time you will agree with me. So, I’m saying the fundamental life-making material, if you do not treat it as such, with the necessary value and the necessary reverence towards it, it has its own way of doing things. Maybe you always been thinking if you do something wrong, a lightning rod will strike you down. Lightning may miss you but water will get you. Yes! If you don’t treat it well, it’ll get you anyway. If you do the wrong things, it’ll get you anyway.

So, drinking water is one thing – we can’t control the bathing water, if we could, that would be great. There are ways to do that. We are in the process of making a manual – How you should conduct water around you, and within you. It’s a part of the Bhuta Shuddhi. The practices are too complex and sophisticated to be taught to larger public, it will take a certain effort. Simple practices can be thought. In the twenty-one day Hatha Yoga, we’re teaching the Bhuta Shuddhi practice. Otherwise, there is Pancha Bhuta Aradhana, where you can just experience some well-being through a ritual that happens.

But understanding a few simple facts, as to how you should deal with it – what’s around you and what’s within you. These two dimensions of water you have relationship with, not just this, what is around you also you have a relationship with this. And we can change the way the water bodies around you behave with you, simply by doing certain things with yourself, and sometimes with the water body itself. We want this to become common knowledge as it used to be at one time. If you’re not made yourself sensitive enough to know, at least you must have information. It’s not the same thing. If you could feel it, it would be the best way to do it.

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