Four primary elements

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The Four Primary Elements (jungwa chenpo shyi) are earth, water, fire and air.

Jungwa in Tibetan means to give rise, or source. They are given this name because they give rise to all that manifests—the material universe as well its inhabitants. They are called “great” (chenpo) because everything depends on them and they are present everywhere. Earth is what provides support and stability; water is the principle of cohesion; fire matures; and wind prevents decay. In addition, space is all-pervasive openness in which phenomena can take place—if it were not for space, a plant could not grow.