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Greek

  Air  
Water Aether Fire
  Earth  

Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

  Vayu/Pavan (Air/Wind)  
Ap/Jala (Water) Akasha (Aether/Space) Agni/Tejas (Fire)
  Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth)  

Chinese (Wuxing)

  Water (水) North  
Metal (金) West Earth (土) Middle Wood (木) East
  Fire (火) South  

Japanese (Godai)

  Air/Wind (風)  
Water (水) Void/Sky/Heaven (空) Fire (火)
  Earth (地)  

Tibetan (Bön)

  Air  
Water Space Fire
  Earth  

Medieval Alchemy

  Air  
Water Aether Fire
  Earth
Sulphur Mercury Salt

Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for "water", in Classical Sanskrit occurring only in the plural, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hxap "water". The Indo-Iranian word survives also, as the Persian word for water, Āb, e.g. in Punjab (from pañcāpas "five waters"). In archaic ablauting contractions, the laryngeal of the PIE root remains visible in Vedic Sanskrit, e.g. pratīpa- "against the current", from *proti-hxp-o-. The word has many cognates in archaic European toponyms (e.g. Mess-apia, perhaps also Avon'').

In the Rigveda, several hymns are dedicated to "the waters" (āpas): 7.49, 10.9, 10.30, 10.47. In the oldest of these, 7.49, the waters are connected with the draught of Indra (Soma, referred to as "the offspring of water", napāt apām).

In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or "five great elements". In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva, a personification of water, (one of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists).

In the Thai language, "ap" refers to a splashing of water, and "nam" is water. Therefore a showerbath is called "ap nam". Many Thai words have roots in Sanskrit.

See also

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