Ayatana, aka: Āyatāna, Āyatana; 16 Definition(s)

Introduction

Ayatana means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Vastushastra (architecture)

Āyatana (आयतन) is a Sanskrit technical term denoting a “residence” in general, according to the lists of synonyms given in the Mayamata XIX.10-12 and the Mānasāra XIX.108-12, both populair treatises on Vāstuśāstra literature.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Vāstu-śāstra
Vastushastra book cover
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Vastushastra (वास्तुशास्त्र, vāstuśāstra) refers to the ancient Indian science (shastra) of architecture (vastu), dealing with topics such architecture, sculpture, town-building, fort building and various other constructions. Vastu also deals with the philosophy of the architectural relation with the cosmic universe.

Purana

Āyatana (आयतन) is the name for a “building” that once existed in ancient Kashmir (Kaśmīra) as mentioned in the Nīlamatapurāṇa.—The terms—bhavana, gṛha, niveśana, ālaya, veśma, āyatana, aṭṭālaka etc. have been used in the Nīlamata for buildings but it is not possible to distinguish between the significance of one term and the other. No example of the period of the Nīlamata has been preserved. The Nīlamata says nothing about the building-materials. All that is known about the houses mentioned in the Nīlamata is that those had doors and ventilators and were whitewashed. The decoration of houses with fruits, leaves and garlands of rice-plants is also referred to.

(Source): archive.org: Nilamata Purana: a cultural and literary study

Āyatana (आयतन).—(of Deva)—called divya by the Veda, at the end of nirāloka and of ākāśa or ether: Inaccessible to gods.1 Temples as places for śrāddha; construction of: description shows the vaiṣṇava and śaiva shrines in the same compound.2 Shrines where purāṇas were read.3

  • 1) Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 19. 168-9; III. 11. 34.
  • 2) Matsya-purāṇa 17. 11; 58. 2; 83. 3; 105. 15; 268. 35; 270. 34.
  • 3) Vāyu-purāṇa 4. 7; 30. 150; 38. 31, 48, 58; 54. 3; 77. 63; 92. 52.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

Shilpashastra (iconography)

Āyatāna (आयतान) is another name for āya: one of the forty-seven tānas (tone) used in Indian music.—The illustration of Āya (as a deity) according to 15th-century Indian art is as follows.—The colour of his body is yellow. His face is similar to the face of an elephant. His right hand is in Pravacana-Mudrā and a viṇā in his left hand.

The illustrations (of, for example Āyatāna) are found scattered throughout ancient Jain manuscripts from Gujarat. The descriptions of these illustrations of this citrāvalī are based on the ślokas of Vācanācārya Gaṇi Sudhākalaśa’s Saṅgītopaniṣatsāroddhāra (14th century) and Śārṅgadeva’s Saṅgītaratnākara (13th century).

(Source): archive.org: Illustrations of Indian Music and Dance in Western Indian Style
Shilpashastra book cover
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Shilpashastra (शिल्पशास्त्र, śilpaśāstra) represents the ancient Indian science (shastra) of creative arts (shilpa) such as sculpture, iconography and painting. Closely related to Vastushastra (architecture), they often share the same literature.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Sense medium. The inner sense media are the sense organs: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. The outer sense media are their respective objects.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

N Unceasing appearance of namas and rupas, which are making up the six kinds of sensations experienced from the six senses doors.

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

Ayatana means the place where subjects dwell.

(Source): Journey to Nibbana: Patthana Dhama

The 12 of the perceptual process: āyatana.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

and objects: s. Āyatana (“sense organs”), dhātu.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Āyatana (आयतन) or “places” refers to the fifth and last book of the Abhidhamma according to the Haimavata school.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Āyatana (आयतन) or dvādaśāyatana refers to the “twelve sense spheres” as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 24):

  1. cakṣus (eye),
  2. śrotra (ear),
  3. ghrāṇa (nose),
  4. jihvā (tongue),
  5. kāya (body),
  6. manas (mind),
  7. rūpa (form),
  8. gandha (smell),
  9. śabda (sound),
  10. rasa (taste),
  11. sparśa (tangible),
  12. dharma (thought).

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., dvādaśa-āyatana). The work is attributed to Nagarjuna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

āyatana : (nt.) sphere; region; sense-organ; position.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Āyatana, (nt.) (Sk. āyatana, not found in the Vedas; but freq. in BSk. From ā + yam, cp. āyata. The pl. is āyatanā at S. IV, 70.—For full definition of term as seen by the Pāli Commentators see Bdhgh’s expln at DA. I, 124, 125, with which cp. the popular etym. at KhA 82: “āyassa vā tananato āyatassa vā saṃsāradukkhassa nayanato āyatanāni" and at Vism. 527 “āye tanoti āyatañ ca nayatī ti ā. ") — 1. stretch, extent, reach, compass, region; sphere, locus, place, spot; position, occasion (corresponding to Bdhgh’s definition at DA. I, 124 as “samosaraṇa") D. III, 241, 279 (vimutti°); S. II, 41, 269; IV, 217; V, 119 sq. , 318. sq. ; A. III, 141 (ariya°); V, 61 (abhibh°, q. v.) Sn. 406 (rajass° “haunt of passion" = rāgādi-rajassa uppatti-deso SnA 381); J. I, 80 (raj°). Freq. in phrase araññ° a lonely spot, a spot in the forest J. I, 173; VvA. 301; PvA. 42, 54.—2. exertion, doing, working, practice, performance (comprising Bdhgh’s definition at DA. I, 124 as paññatti), usually —°, viz. kamm° Nd1 505; Vbh. 324, 353; kasiṇ° A. V, 46 sq. , 60; Ps. I, 28; titth° A. I, 173, 175; Vbh. 145, 367; sipp° (art, craft) D. I, 51; Nd2 505; Vbh. 324, 353; cp. an° non-exertion, indolence, sluggishness J. V, 121.—3. sphere of perception or sense in general, object of thought, sense-organ & object; relation, order.—Cpd. 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), and comprise the foll. : (a) ajjhatt°: 1. cakkhu eye, 2. sota ear, 3. ghāna nose, 4. jivhā tongue, 5. kāya body, 6. mano mind; (b) bāh°: 1. rūpa visible object, 2. sadda sound, 3. gandha odour, 4. rasa taste, 5. phoṭṭhabba tangible object, 6. dhamma cognizable object.—For details as regards connotation & application see Dhs. trsl. introduction li sq. Cpd. 90 n. 2; 254 sq.—Approximately covering this meaning (3) is Bdhgh’s definition of āyatana at DA. I, 124 as sañjāti and as kāraṇa (origin & cause, i.e. mutually occasioning & conditioning relations or adaptations). See also Nd2 under rūpa for further classifications.—For the above mentioned 12 āyatanāni see the foll. passages: D. II, 302 sq. ; III, 102, 243; A. III, 400; V, 52; Sn. 373 (cp. SnA 366); Ps. I, 7, 22, 101, 137; II, 181, 225, 230; Dhs. 1335; Vbh. 401 sq. ; Nett 57, 82; Vism. 481; ThA. 49, 285. Of these 6 are mentioned at S. I, 113, II. 3; IV, 100, 174 sq. ; It. 114; Vbh. 135 sq. , 294; Nett 13, 28, 30; Vism. 565 sq. Other sets of 10 at Nett 69; of 4 at D. II, 112, 156; of 2 at D. II, 69.—Here also belongs ākās’ānañc’āyatana, ākiñcaññ° etc. (see under ākāsa etc. and s. v.), e.g. at D. I, 34 sq. , 183; A. IV, 451 sq. ; Vbh. 172, 189, 262 sq. ; Vism. 324 sq.—Unclassified passages: M. I, 61; II, 233; III, 32, 216, 273; S. I, 196; II, 6, 8, 24, 72 sq. ; III, 228; IV, 98; V, 426; A. I, 113, 163, 225; III, 17, 27, 82, 426; IV, 146, 426; V, 30, 321, 351, 359; Nd1 109, 133, 171, 340; J. I, 381 (paripuṇṇa°); Vbh. 412 sq. (id.).

—uppāda birth of the āyatanas (see above 3) Vin. I, 185. —kusala skilled in the ā. M. III, 63. —kusalatā skill in the spheres (of sense) D. III, 212; Dhs. 1335. —ṭṭha founded in the sense-organs Ps. I, 132; II, 121. (Page 105)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Marathi-English dictionary

āyatana (आयतन).—n S Place or seat; place of residence or inherence. In comp as bhōgāyatana The seat of enjoyment or feeling, viz. the body; mūlāyatana Source, spring, origin, birth-place.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

āyatana (आयतन).—n Seat, place. Source.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Āyatana (आयतन).—[āyatante'tra, yat ādhāre lyuṭ]

1) Place, abode, house, resting-place; भूमेर्महदायतनं वृष्णीष्व (bhūmermahadāyatanaṃ vṛṣṇīṣva) Kaṭh.1.1.23. (fig. also); शूलायतनाः (śūlāyatanāḥ) Mu.7 hangmen; स्नेहस्तदेकायतनं जगाम (snehastadekāyatanaṃ jagāma) Ku.7.5 was centred in her; R.3.36; सर्वा- विनयानामेकैकमप्येषामायतनम् (sarvā- vinayānāmekaikamapyeṣāmāyatanam) K.13; °मृगेण (mṛgeṇa) 13 domestic deer; Chāṇ.32; (hence) a receptacle, home, support, seat.

2) The place of the sacred fire, altar, shed for sacrifices.

3) A sanctuary, sacred place; as in देवायतनम्, मठायतनम् (devāyatanam, maṭhāyatanam) &c. यथाक्रमविशेषेण सर्वाण्यायतनानि च । दर्शितानि (yathākramaviśeṣeṇa sarvāṇyāyatanāni ca | darśitāni) Mb.13.156.11; विजने वायतने गिरौ वने वा (vijane vāyatane girau vane vā) | Bu. Ch. 5.19.

4) The site of a house, ground-plot.

5) A barn; Y.2.154.

6) An inner seat (with Buddhists who consider the five senses with manas as the six Āyatanas).

7) The cause of disease.

Derivable forms: āyatanam (आयतनम्).

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Relevant definitions

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Shabdayatana
Śabdāyatana (शब्दायतन) or simply śabda refers to the “sense sphere of sound” and represents one...
Shrotrayatana
Śrotrāyatana (श्रोत्रायतन) or simply śrotra refers to the “sense sphere of the ear” and represe...
Cakshurayatana
Cakṣurāyatana (चक्षुरायतन) or simply cakṣus refers to the “sense sphere of the eye” and represe...
Gandhayatana
Gandhāyatana (गन्धायतन) or simply gandha refers to the “sense sphere of smell” and represents o...
Ghranayatana
Ghrāṇāyatana (घ्राणायतन) or simply ghrāṇa refers to the “sense sphere of the nose” and represen...
Jihvayatana
Jihvāyatana (जिह्वायतन) or simply jihvā refers to the “sense sphere of the tongue” and represen...
Rasayatana
Rasāyatana (रसायतन) or simply rasa refers to the “sense sphere of taste ” and represents one of...
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