In the evolutionary order of the senses, smell, attributed Prithivi (prit-hee-vee) is lowermost, or should it be said more accurately, outermost. The Vedic symbol of Prithivi is a yellow square or cube. The western alchemical tradition applies these symbols to the earth element. Salt crystallizes into cubes, and Alchemical Salt is assigned to Binah, the substance mode and third sphere of the Qabalistic Tree. Alchemical Salt, Saturn and Binah, and therefore Prithivi, are attributed the quality cohesion.
The glutinous, cohesiveness suggested by the symbols and terms is the quality that molds our physical world. Therefore are yellow squares and cubes also symbolic of the earth element in the East. In the deeper meditative states, prior the actual inner vision of the First Matter, a salty taste is detected, but the smell of Prima Materia is sweet. The Inner Light, the First Matter, is solar-light substance, so the Prithivi square is shaded yellow. The inner light is not itself yellow, but our atmosphere taints and reflects its whiteness. The symbol is colored the yellow-gold identical with Tiphareth, reflecting Kether’s White Brilliance. Earth and all we can sense in this plane of name and form are composed of solar light-matter. Eastern and western traditions did not borrow each other's color symbols. Inward from east or west, the same realizations become apparent. Yellow is the reflected hue of Universal White Magnesia. See TATTVAS.