Pancha Bootha Sthalam
The living being such as humans like us or any other living organisms in this whole world depends on five natural forces or powers. These five prime elements of nature are land, water, air, sky, fire.
Pancha means Five, Bhoota means powers or elements of nature. So these five prime elements are referred to as Pancha Bhootas.
If one of these elements is no longer exists, no one can stay alive. When they are in the right balance (equilibrium) everything are normal and peaceful.
On the other hand, whenever these powers turn as a destructive force/s then huge destruction will result and so life will be lost in huge numbers too within a short time span.
We have seen the destruction by huge uncontrollable wildfire and the destruction caused by tsunami and flood.
We also have seen the carnages by the cyclones, tornados and also by the earthquake, volcanos, etc. and from the sky, we can see what could happen when there is heavy snowfall, rain, lightning or thunder, etc.
An active Volcano
Lord Shiva and Pancha Bhootas
Hindus worship Lord Shiva as the God of destroyer and so when these Pancha Bhootas turn as a destructive force, they are considered as the Lord’s destructive forces. The Lord controls them and so there are peaceful and normal constantly.
So nature’s five elements are considered as the powers of Lord Shiva and the Hindus worship Lord Shiva as the Lord of Pancha Bhootas. Hence there are five Lord Shiva’s Pancha Bhootas temples in Southern Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh. Four in Tamil Nadu and one in Andra Pradesh.
In Sri Kalahasti temple in Andra the Lord is worship as air (‘Vaayu’) and in Tiruvannamalai temple in Tamil Nadu, Shiva is said to have manifested himself in the form of massive column of fire (‘Akni) while in Chidambaram, Thilai Nadaraja Temple, empty space to represent sky (‘akasha’) is worshiped as Shiva to signify God is beyond human comprehension. It is unusual where there is no physical stone lingam present, unlike other temples of Shiva.
In Thiruvanaikaval, near Trichy, the Lord is worship as the water (‘Jambu’) and in Kanchipuram’s Ekambareswarar Temple the Lord is worship as the earth (‘Prithvi’)
In these five Pancha Bhootas temples, the Lord is worship in the form of Linga(m). In Sri Kalahasti temple, the linga(m) is known as Vayu Linga(m) and in Chidambaram, Thilai Nadaraja Temple it is Aagaya Linga(m) or (Akasha Linga(m)). While in Thiruvannamalai temple, it is Agni Linga(m) (Jyothi Linga(m)) and Ekambareswarar Temple it is Prithvi Linga(m) and in Jambukeshwarar Temple of Thiruvanaikaval, the Linga(m) is submerged in water and is referred to as Appu Linga(m) or Jampu Linga(m).
The merciful Lord is blessing the devotees who come to worship him.