Ayatana Sutta, aka: Āyatana-sutta; 2 Definition(s)


Ayatana Sutta means something in Buddhism, Pali. 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Ayatana Sutta in Theravada glossaries]

1. Ayatana Sutta - Once when the Buddha was staying in the Kutagarasala in Vesali, he preached to the monks a sermon on the six spheres of contact (salayatana). The monks listened with rapt attention until Mara, making a terrible din, disturbed their peace of mind. The Buddha admonished the monks not to be led away by Mara, and the latter, discomfited, disappeared (S.i.112).

2. Ayatana Sutta - The four Ariyan truths are concerned with the six personal spheres of sense. Effort should be made to realise this. S.v.426.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

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).

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Ayatana Sutta in Pali glossaries]

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
context information

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.

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