In Hindu religion, we have separate Gods for the five prime elements of nature (land, water, air, ether or sky and fire) as described in wikipedia.

'Bhoota' means a ghost. 'Pancha' means the number 5. So 'Pancha Bhoota' represents God or good spirit.

Here is what I want to know: Why a good spirit like God is represented by 'bhoota' (ghost or bad spirit). In the wikipedia reference 'bhoota' means elements. Why do we have so many meanings for the single word bhoota.

  • There is VarunDeva for water, BhoomiDevi for earth/land, AgniDeva for fire, Vayu/PavanDeva for air, but I don't think or I don't know any god or demi-god assigned for ruling the tattva of aakasha because aakasha or ether or space is considered to be ruled by the Bramhn the supreme omnipotent god because of its true nature(not affected by anything and indestructible) and infinite expanse
    – Yogi
    Aug 14, 2015 at 18:39
  • What is wrong with having multiple meanings for the same word bhUta? This is more a language-related question than Hinduism. Vote to close. Nov 12, 2015 at 18:03
  • 1
    A single word can have different meanings. For example - 'minute', it means small and it is also used in the sense of time.
    – Pinakin
    Nov 13, 2015 at 10:33
  • Bhuta in general means "already happened", it's related to material world. We all are Bhuta in literal sense. Somehow it has become more associated with preta yoni.
    – iammilind
    Feb 28, 2016 at 7:58

1 Answer 1


Actually, bootha doesn't necessarily mean "ghost." The pancha boothas are the five temples of shiva. Each of them represent the five prime elements of nature: like you said land, water, air, sky, and fire.

  • 1
    What are scriptural evidences for pancha mahabhootas as five shiva temples, also you have to enumerate and name all those temples.
    – Yogi
    Aug 14, 2015 at 18:34
  • Check this from wiki Aug 4, 2017 at 6:42

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