(Skt., foundation, basis).
A cognitive object; anything functioning as the objective support or basis of perception, whether in normal states of consciousness (vijñāna) or during meditation. There are six such objects, corresponding to the traditional Indian classification of the six senses, namely the objects of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and ideation. The first five are classified as material in form, while the sixth may be physical or mental, as well as past, present, or future. See also āyatana.