Tāmasa ahaṃkāra ( tamasa ahamkara; the dark ego) gets distorted and transformed into śabdatanmātra (sabdatanmatra; the essence of sound). The vacuous ākāśa(akasa; ether) — the cause of śabda (sabda; sound) is created from the essential form of śabda.
Ākaśa is one of Pañcamahābhūta (Panchamahabhuta; five great elements ). In the ‘Śukānupraśna’ (Sukanuprasna) adhyāya (adhyaya; chapter) of Mahābhārata (Mahabharata), the creation and dissolution of the Pañcamahābhūta have been described. In the way of describing so, the names and numbers of the Pañcamahābhūta have been mentioned. Bhūmi (Bhumi; Earth), Āpaḥ (Apah; Water), Jyotiḥ (Jyotih; flame), Vāyu (Vayu; Air) and Ākāśa (Ether) –
bhūmirāpastathā jyotirvāyurākaśa eva ca
mahābhūtāni bhūtānām sāgarasyormayo yathā.
The mention of Pañcabhūta or Pañcamahābhūta came for the first time in the ancient Chāndogya Upaniṣad (Chandogya Upanishad), although there had been a mention of the trilectic manifestation of the three elements. Scholars have argued that here, by mention of three elements, we have to take it as a pentagonal manifestation of the three elements. In the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, only Tejas, Jala and Pṛthvī have been mentioned, but in the Taittirīya Upaniṣad, the creation of ākaśa and vāyu has been described thus: The ākāśa has been created from that Atman-śabda-denoting Brahman; from the ākāśa, vāyu was created, from vāyu, emanated agni (fire), from agni, came forth water, and from water, emerged the earth.
ākāśād vāyuḥ / vāyorāgniḥ /
agnerāpaḥ / advyaḥ pṛthivī/
In Mahābhārata, in the context of describing the origin of Pañcabhūta, it has been said, initially the infinite sky was silent, sleeping and alone like the mountain. Just as darkness emerges from darkness, so water was created out of ākāśa, and air came from water–
purā stimitamākāśam anantamacalopamam
naṣṭacandrārkapavanaṃ prasuptamiva saṃvabhau
tataḥ salilam utpannaṃ tamasīvāparaṃ tamaḥ.
In another place in Mahābhārata, it is said that Pañca Mahābhūta emerged out of Sānkhyīya ahaṃkāra. Ākāśa is one of those bhūta(s). Tāmasa ahaṃkāra, getting distorted, creates śavdatanmātra. From that savdatanmātra, the blank ākāśa is created.
Śavda is the attribute of Ākāśa or ether, all Indian philosophies accept this–
ākāśasya guṇo ghoṣaḥ śrotreṇa ca sa gṛhyate
śrotrasthāśca diśaḥ sarvāḥ śavdajñāne prakīrtitāḥ.
The sounds we hear, have an atomic state, which is called tanmātra. Śavda-tanmātra. The finest, atomic, unspeakable part of Ākāsa is the sound-attribute owned by it. Sin e it is so minute and unspeakable, it is ̍aviśeṣa̍. The attribute of the ether, śavda-tanmātra gets shifted to the next mahābhūta, so all the five attributes– śavda, śparśa, rūpa, rasa, and gandha– are there in Kṣiti or the earth.
It is said that in the vāstu-pūjā of a householder, Ākāśa is to be worshiped as a demigod, at the īśāna corner of the house. It is also said that Ākāśa has to be worshiped as a god in homakuḍa.