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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Pancatattvas, PaJcatattvas, Paycatattvas

Pañcatattvas literally means ‘five basic principles’.

They are the same as the ‘pañcamakāras’. They may also be the five elements also called ‘pañcabhutas’:

  1. Pṛthvī - earth
  2. Ap - water
  3. Tejas - fire
  4. Vāyu - air
  5. Ākāśa - ether


  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore