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dhātu


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(Skt.; Pāli).

1 The perceptual bases or elements, of which there are eighteen in all, consisting of three groups of six. These are the six sense-faculties, their six corresponding objects, and the six perceptual awarenesses, hence: eye, colour-form, sight awareness; ear, sound, aural awareness; nose, fragrance, olfactory awareness; tongue, flavour, gustatory awareness; body, touch, tactile awareness; and mind, phenomena (dharma), mental awareness. This form of analysis, designed to provide a comprehensive account of the elements present when perception occurs, is used in the Buddhist analysis of perception to show that all the elements involved in the process are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and without autonomous existence.

2 Term used in compounds such as dharma-dhātu.Buddha-dhātu, loka-dhātu in the sense of ‘source’ or ‘matrix’.

Subjects: Buddhism.


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