Āyatana ( Pāli; Sanskrit: आयतन) is a Buddhist term that has been translated as "sense base", "sense-media" or "sense sphere.""Sense base" is used for instance by Bodhi (2000b) and Soma (1999). "Sense-media" is used by Thanissaro (e.g., cf. Thanissaro, 1998c). "Sense sphere" is used for instance by VRI (1996) and suggested by Rhys Davids & Stede (1921–5), p. 105, whose third definition for Āyatana is:sphere of perception or sense in general, object of thought, sense-organ & object; relation, order. – [Aung & Rhys Davids (1910),] p. 183 says rightly: 'āyatana cannot be rendered by a single English word to cover both sense-organs (the mind being regarded as 6th sense) and sense objects'. – These āyatanāni (relations, functions, reciprocalities) are thus divided into two groups, inner (ajjhattikāni) and outer (bāhirāni).... In Buddhism, there are six internal sense bases (Pali: ajjhattikāni āyatanāni; also known as, "organs", "gates", "doors", "powers" or "roots") and six external sense bases (bāhirāni āyatanāni or "sense objects"; also known as vishaya or "domains"). Thus, there are six internal-external (organ-object) pairs of sense bases:
:* eye and visible objects
:* ear and sound
:* nose and odor
:* tongue and taste
:* body and touch
:* mind and mental objects
Buddhism and other Indian epistemologies identify six "senses" as opposed to the Western identification of five. In Buddhism, "mind" denotes an internal sense organ which interacts with sense objects that include sense impressions, feelings, perceptions and volition.
(Pāli; Skt. ) refers to all six sense objects and six sense organs and is generally used in the context of the Twelve Causes (nidāna) of the chain of Dependent Origination.