Indriya; 14 Definition(s)


Indriya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, 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 Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Indriya in Theravada glossaries]
Faculties; mental factors. In the suttas the term can refer either to the six sense media (ayatana) or to the five mental factors of saddha (conviction), viriya (persistence), sati (mindfulness), samadhi (concentration), and panna (discernment); see bodhi pakkhiya dhamma.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

indriya means "controlling faculty";

(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas

Indriya (“faculties”); see also paccaya 16.

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

'faculties', is a name for 22, partly physical, partly mental, phenomena often treated in the Suttas as well as in the Abhidhamma. They are:

6 Bases (āyatana):

  • 1. eye: cakkhu
  • 2. ear: sota
  • 3. nose: ghāna
  • 4. tongue: jivhā
  • 5. body: kāya
  • 6. mind: mano

Sex (bhava):

  • 7. femininity: itthi
  • 8. masculinity: purisa
  • 9. vitality: jīvita

5 Feelings (vedanā)

  • 10. bodily pleasant feeling: sukha
  • 11. bodily pain: dukkha
  • 12. gladness: somanassa
  • 13. sadness: domanassa
  • 14. indifference: upekkhā

5 Spiritual Faculties (s. bala)

  • 15. faith: saddhā
  • 16. energy: viriya
  • 17. mindfulness: sati
  • 18. concentration: samādhi
  • 19. wisdom: paññā

3 Supermundane Faculties

  • 20. the assurance: 'I shall know what I did not yet know!': aññātañ-ñassāmīt' indriya
  • 21. the faculty of highest knowledge: aññindriya
  • 22. the faculty of him who knows: aññātāvindriya.


(1-5, 7-8) are physical; (9) is either physical or mental. All the rest are mental.

(14) (s. upekkhā) is here merely indifferent feeling (= adukkha-m-asukhā vedanā, i.e. 'neither pleasant nor unpleasant feeling') and not identical with that highly ethical state of equanimity (= tatramajjhattatā, i.e. 'keeping everywhere the middle', the equipoise of mind), also called upekkhā which belongs to the group of mental formations (sankhāra-kkhandha; s. Tab II).

(20) arises at the moment of entering the Sotāpatti-Path (sotāpatti-magga), (21) on reaching the Sotāpatti-Fruition (sotāpatti-phala), (22) at attaining the Arahat-Fruition (arahatta-phala). For the three last, s. ariya-puggala.

The faculties, excepting (7) and (8), form one of the 24 conditions (paccaya 16).

In Vibh. V all these faculties are treated in the above order, whereas S.XLVIII enumerates and explains them by way of the above indicated groups, leaving only 20-22 unexplained. See Vis XVI; Path 138ff.

For the 5 spiritual faculties (15-19), s. The Way of Wisdom (WHEEL 65/66).

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

Pali for 'controlling faculties';

(Source): Pali Kanon: A manual of Abhidhamma
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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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Indriya in Mahayana glossaries]

Indriya (इन्द्रिय, “faculties”) or Pañcendriya refers to one of the seven classes of the thirty-seven auxiliaries to enlightenment (bodhipākṣika), according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter XXXI.—Accordingly, “when a mind of dull knowledge (mṛdujñāna-citta) is acquired, there is “faculties” (indriya)”. Note: Śraddhā, vīrya, smṛti and prajñā are called faculties (indriya) when they are weak, called powers or strengths (bala) when they are strong.

Also, “his mind being tamed (dānta), the Yogin produces the ‘five faculties’ (pañcendriya)”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[Indriya in Buddhism glossaries]

The term literally means "belonging to Indra," chief deity in the Rig Veda and lord of Tavatimsa heaven, hence connoting supremacy, dominance and control. In Buddhism, depending on the context, indriya traditionally refers to one of the following groups of faculties:

  • the "Five Spiritual Faculties".
  • five or six sensory faculties.
  • 22 phenomenological faculties.
(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Indriya (इन्द्रिय, “faculty”).—Indriya is a comprehensive term. It means a controlling principle or a directive force, a faculty. The term has its bearing on philosophy, psychology and ethics in Buddhism.

There are twenty-two indriya-s which can be classified as physical, mental, spiritual and supramundane faculties.

  1. eye (cakṣu) [cakkhu],
  2. ear (śrotra) [sota],
  3. nose (ghrāṇa) [ghāna],
  4. tongue (jihvā) [jivhā],
  5. body-sensibility (kāya) [kāya],
  6. mind (manas) [mano],
  7. femininity (strī) [itthi],
  8. masculinity (puruṣa) [purisa],
  9. vitality (jīvita) [jīvita],
  10. bodily pleasant feeling (sukha) [sukha],
  11. bodily pain (duḥkha) [dukkha],
  12. joy (saumanasya) [somanassa],
  13. grief (daurmanasya) [domanassa],
  14. indifference (upekṣā) [upekkhā],
  15. faith (śraddhā) [saddhā],
  16. energy (vīrya) [viriya],
  17. mindfulness (smṛti) [sati],
  18. concentration (samādhi) [samādhi],
  19. wisdom (prajñā) [paññā],
  20. assurance ‘I shall come to know what I did not still know’; (ajñātamājñāsyāmīndriya) [aññātaññassāmītindriya],
  21. faculty of highest knowledge (ājñendriya) [aññindriya],
  22. faculty of one who knows (ājñātāvīndriya) [aññātāvindriya].

The first five indriyas constitute five faculties (pañca-indriyāṇi).

The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth are physical faculties. The ninth is considered as either physical or mental. The remaining are mental faculties.

The last three are treated as supramundane faculties.

(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[Indriya in Jainism glossaries]

Indriya (इन्द्रिय, “sense organs”).—What is meant by the sense organs (indriya)? An instrument to acquire knowledge by the soul is called sense organ. In other words sense organs are indicators of the soul.

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 1
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Indriya in Pali glossaries]

indriya : (nt.) controlling principal; faculty; sense.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Indriya, (nt.) (Vedic indriya adj. only in meaning “belonging to Indra”; nt. strength, might (cp. inda), but in specific pāli sense “belonging to the ruler”, i.e. governing, ruling nt. governing, ruling or controlling principle) A. On term: Indriya is one of the most comprehensive & important categories of Buddhist psychological philosophy & ethics, meaning “controlling principle, directive force, élan, du/namis”, in the foll. applications: (a) with reference to sense-perceptibility “faculty, function”, often wrongly interpreted as “organ”; (b) w. ref. to objective aspects of form and matter “kind, characteristic, determinating principle, sign, mark” (cp. woman-hood, hood = Goth. haidus “kind, form”); (c) w. ref. to moods of sensation and (d) to moral powers or motives controlling action, “principle, controlling” force; (e) w. ref. to cognition & insight “category”. ‹-› Definitions of indriya among others at DhsA. 119; cp. Expositor 157; Dhs. trsl. LVII; Cpd. 228, 229. B. Classifications and groups of indriyāni. An exhaustive list comprises the indriyāni enumd under A a-e, thus establishing a canonical scheme of 22 Controlling Powers (bāvīsati indriyāni), running thus at Vbh. 122 sq. (see trsl. at Cpd. 175, 176); and discussed in detail at Vism. 491 sq. (a. sensorial) (1) cakkh-undriya (“the eye which is a power”, Cpd. 228) the eye or (personal potentiality of) vision, (2) sot-indriya the ear or hearing, (3) ghān° nose or smell, (4) jivh° tongue or taste, (5) kāy° body-sensibility, (6) man°) mind; (b. material) (7) itth° female sex or femininity, (8) puris° male sex or masculinity, (9) jīvit° life or vitality; (c. sensational) (10) sukh° pleasure, (11) dukkh° pain, (12) somanasa° joy, (13) domanass° grief, (14) upekh° hedonic indifference (d. moral) (15) saddh° faith, (16) viriy° energy, (17) sat° mindfulness, (18) samādh° concentration, (19) paññ° reason; (e. cognitional) (20) anaññāta-ñassāmīt° the thought “I shall come to know the unknown”, (21) aññ° (= aññā) gnosis, (22) aññātā-v° one who knows.—Jīvitindriya (no. 9) is in some redactions placed before itth° (no. 7), e.g. at Ps. I, 7, 137.—From this list are detached several groups, mentioned frequently and in various connections, no. 6 manas (mano, man-indriya) wavering in its function, being either included under (a) or (more frequently) omitted, so that the first set (a) is marked off as pañc’indriyāni, the 6th being silently included (see below). This uncertainty regarding manas deserves to be noted. The foll. groups may be mentioned here viz 19 (nos. 1—19) at Ps. I, 137; 10 (pañca rūpīni & pañca arūpīni) at Nett 69; three groups of five (nos. 1~5, 10~14, 15~19) at D. III, 239, cp. 278; four (group d without paññā, i.e. nos. 15~18) at A. II, 141; three (saddh°, samādh°, paññ°, i.e. nos. 15, 18, 19) at A. I, 118 sq. Under aṭṭhavidhaṃ indriya-rūpaṃ (Cpd. 159) or rūpaṃ as indriyaṃ “form which is faculty” Dhs. 661 (cp. trsl. p. 204) are understood the 5 sensitives (nos. 1~5), the 2 séx-states (nos. 7, 8) and the vital force (no. 9), i.e. groups a & b of enumn. ; discussed & defined in detail at Dhs. 709~717, 971~973.—It is often to be guessed from the context only, which of the sets of 5 indriyāni (usually either group a or d) is meant. These detached groups are classed as below under C. f.—Note. This system of 22 indriyāni reflects a revised & more elaborate form of the 25 (or 23) categories of the Sāṅkhya philosophy, with its 10 elements, 10 indri, īni & the isolated position of manas.

C. Material in detail (grouped according to A a-e) (a) sensorial: (mentioned or referred to as set of 5 viz B. nos. 1~5): M. I, 295: S. III, 46 (pañcannaṃ °ānaṃ avak kanti), 225; IV, 168; A. II, 151 (as set of 6, viz. B. nos. 1—6): M. I, 9; S. IV, 176; V, 74, 205, 230; A. I, 113; II, 16, 39, 152; III, 99, 163, 387 sq.; V, 348. Specially referring to restraint & control of the senses in foll. phrases: in driyāni saṃvutāni S. II, 231, 271; IV, 112; pañcasu °esu saṃvuto Sn. 340 (= lakkhaṇato pana chaṭṭhaṃ pi vuttaṃ yeva hoti, i.e. the 6th as manas included, SnA 343); °esu susaṃvuta Th. 2, 196 (= mana-chaṭṭhesu i° suṭṭhu saṃvutā ThA. 168) indriyesu guttadvāra & guttadvāratā D. III, 107; S. II, 218; IV, 103, 112, 175; A. I, 25, 94, 113; II, 39; III, 70, 138, 173, 199, 449 sq.; IV, 25, 166; V, 134; It. 23, 24; Nd1 14; Vbh. 248, 360; DA. I, 182 (= manachaṭṭesu indriyesu pihita-dvāro hoti), i. vippasannāni S. II, 275; III, 2, 235; IV, 294; V, 301; A. I, 181; III, 380. °ānaṃ samatā (v. l. samatha) A. III, 375 sq. (see also f. below) °āni bhāvitāni Sn. 516 (= cakkh’ādīni cha i. SnA 426); Nd2 475 B8.—Various: S. I, 26 (rakkhati), 48 (°ûpasame rato); IV, 40, 140 (°sampanna); V, 216, 217 sq. (independent in function, mano as referee); Ps. I. 190 (man°); Vbh. 13 (rūpa), 341 (mud° & tikkh°) 384 (ahīn°).—(b) physical: (above B 7—9) all three: S. V, 204; Vism. 447; itthi° & purisa° A. IV, 57; Vbh. 122, 415 sq.; puris° A. III, 404; jīvit° Vbh. 123, 137; Vism. 230 (°upaccheda = maraṇa). See also under itthi, jīvita & purisa.—(c) sensational (above B 10—14): S. V, 207 sq. (see Cpd. 111 & cp. p. 15), 211 sq.; Vbh. 15, 71; Nett 88.—(d) moral (above B 15‹-› 19): S. III, 96, 153; IV, 36, 365 sq.; V, 193 sq. , 202, 219 (corresponding to pañcabalāni), 220 sq. (and amata), 223 sq. (their culture brings assurance of no rebirth), 227 sq. (paññā the chief one), 235, 237 (sevenfold fruit of), A. IV, 125 sq. , 203, 225; V, 56, 175; Ps. II, 49, 51 sq. , 86; Nd1 14; Nd2 628 (sat° + satibala); Kvu 589; Vbh. 341; Nett 15, 28, 47, 54. Often in standard combn. with satipaṭṭhāna, sammappadhāna. iddhipāda, indriya, bala, bojjhaṅga, magga (see Nd2 s. v. p. 263) D. II, 120; Vin. III, 93, Ps. II, 166 & passim. As set of 4 indriyāni (nos. 16‹-› 19) at Nett 83.—(e) cognitional (above B 20—22) D. III, 219 = S v. 204 (as peculiar to Arahantship); It. 53; Ps. I, 115; II, 30.—(f) collectively, either two or more of groups a-e, also var. peculiar uses: personal; esp. physical faculties. S. I, 61 (pākat°), 204 (id.); III, 207 (ākāsaṃ °āni saṅkamanti); IV, 294 (vipari-bhinnāni); A. III, 441 (°ānaṃ avekallatā). magic power A. IV, 264 sq. (okkhipati °āni). indriyānaṃ paripāko (moral or physical) over-ripeness of faculties S. II, 2, 42; A. V, 203; Nd2 252 (in def. of jarā); Vbh. 137. moral forces Vin. I, 183 (°ānaṃ samatā, + viriyānaṃ s. as sign of Arahant); II, 240 (pañc°). principle of life ekindriyaṃ jīvaṃ Vin. III, 156; Miln. 259. heart or seat of feeling in phrase °āni paricāreti to satisfy one’s heart PvA. 16, 58, 77. obligation, duty, vow in phrase °āni bhinditvā breaking one’s vow J. II, 274; IV, 190.

D. Unclassified material D I 77 (ahīn°); III 239 (domanass° & somanass°) M. I, 437 (vemattatā), 453 (id.); II, 11, 106; III, 296; S. III, 225; V, 209 (dukkh°, domanass°); A. I, 39, 42 sq. , 297; II, 38 (sant°), 149 sq.; III, 277, 282; Ps. I, 16, 21, 88, 180; II, 1 sq, 13, 84, 119, 132, 143, 145, 110, 223; Nd1 45 (°dhīra), 171 (°kusala), 341 (pucchā); Dhs. 58, 121, 528, 556 (dukkh°), 560, 644. 736; Nett 18 (sotāpannassa), 28 (°vavaṭṭhāna), 162 (lok’uttara); Vism. 350 (°vekallatā); Sdhp. 280, 342, 364, 371, 449, 473.

E. As adj. (-°) having one’s senses, mind or heart as such & such S. I, 138 (tikkh° & mud°); III, 93 (pākat°); V, 269 (id.); A. I, 70 (id) & passim (id.); A. I, 70 (saṃvut°) 266 (id.), 236 (gutt°); II, 6 (samāhit°); 8n 214 (susamāhit° his senses well-composed); PvA. 70 (pīṇit° joyful or gladdened of heart).

F. Some compounds: —gutta one who restrains & watches his senses S. I, 154; Dh. 375. —gutti keeping watch over the senses, self-restraint DhA. IV, 111. a paropariya, b paropariyatta & c paropariyatti (°ñāṇa) (knowledge of) what goes on in the senses and intentions of others a J. I, 78; b A. V, 34, 38; b Ps. I, 121 sq. , 133 sq.; II, 158, 175; b Vbh. 340, 342; c S. V, 205; c Nett 101. See remark under paropariya. —bhāvanā cultivation of the (five, see above Cd) moral qualities Vin. I, 294 (+ balabhāvanā); M. III, 298. —saṃvara restraint or subjugation of the senses D. II, 281; M. I, 269, 346; S. I, 54; A. III, 360; IV, 99; V, 113 sq. , 136, 206; Nd1 483; Nett 27, 121 sq; Vism. 20 sq. (Page 121)

(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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Marathi-English dictionary

[Indriya in Marathi glossaries]

indriya (इंद्रिय).—n S A sense, a faculty or power by which external objects are perceived: also an organ or a member, a natural instrument by or through which action is performed. Ten are enumerated, viz. tvagindriya, cakṣurindriya, śrōtrēndriya, rasanēndriya, ghrāṇēndriya. These are called jñānēndriya The five senses. vāgindriya, hastēndriya, pādēndriya, gudēndriya, upasthēndriya. These are called karmēndriya The organs and members of action. To these ten some add mana The mind. N.B. iṃ0 signifies, throughout these ten, both the percipient or sensitive principle inherent, and the organ or apparatus by or through which it manifests itself and acts. Another classification is into jñānēndriya. karmēndriya, antarindriya Organs of sense or perception, Organs of action, Internal organs. The first are Eye, ear, nose, tongue, skin: the second, Larynx or organ of speech, hand, foot, anus, parts of generation: the third mana, buddhi, citta, ahaṅkāra q. v. under antaḥkaraṇacatuṣṭaya. Some useful compounds are formed with this word; as indriyadamana, indriyanigraha, indriyaniyama Subduing or restraining the senses and affections; indriyapāṭava Sharpness or soundness of the senses and organs; indriyavaikalya Disorder or derangement of the senses or organs; indriyagōcara, indriyaviṣaya, indriyavaśa, indriyādhīna, indriya- jētā, indriyaniyāmaka, indriyanigrahī, indriyatarpaṇa, indriya- pōṣaṇa, indriyaśamana, indriyaśānti. 2 Membrum virile vel pudendum muliebre. krōdha asāvā indriyadamanīṃ || lōbha asāvā īśvara- bhajanīṃ || Let us have Anger, but--in subduing our senses and lusts: let us have Desire, but--in worshiping God. iṃ0 hātīṃ dharaṇēṃ To be greatly addicted to fornication or wenching.

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

indriya (इंद्रिय).—n A sense, a faculty or power by which external objects are perceiv- ed. An organ. Membrum virile, vel pudendum muliebre.

(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.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

[Indriya in Sanskrit glossaries]

Indriya (इन्द्रिय).—a. Fit for or belonging to or agreeable to, Indra.

-yaḥ A friend or companion of Indra.

-yam [indra-gha; indreṇa durjayam; by P.V.2.93 indriyamindraliṅgamindradṛṣṭa mindrasṛṣṭamindrajuṣṭamindradattamiti vā]

1) Power, force, the quality which belongs to Indra.

2) An organ of sense, sense, or faculty of sense. (Indriyas are often compared to restive horses, which, if not properly checked, will lead one astray; cf. mā bhūvannapathavarāstavendriyāśvāḥ Ki.5.5). There are two kinds of Indriyas:(a) ज्ञानेन्द्रियाणि (jñānendriyāṇi) or बुद्धीन्द्रियाणि (buddhīndriyāṇi); श्रोत्रं त्वक्चक्षुणी जिह्वा नासिका चैव पञ्चमी (śrotraṃ tvakcakṣuṇī jihvā nāsikā caiva pañcamī) (also manaḥ according to some); and (b) कर्मेन्द्रियाणिः -पायूपस्थं हस्तपादं वाक् चैव दशमी स्मृता (karmendriyāṇiḥ -pāyūpasthaṃ hastapādaṃ vāk caiva daśamī smṛtā) Ms.2.9. Ms. further adds एकादशं मनो ज्ञेयं स्वगुणेनोभयात्मकम् । यस्मिञ् जिते जितावेतौ भवतः पञ्चकौ गणौ (ekādaśaṃ mano jñeyaṃ svaguṇenobhayātmakam | yasmiñ jite jitāvetau bhavataḥ pañcakau gaṇau) || In the Vedanta मनः, बुद्धि, अहंकार (manaḥ, buddhi, ahaṃkāra) and चित्त (citta) are said to be the four internal organs, the total number of organs being, therefore, 14, each presided over by its own ruler or नियन्तृ (niyantṛ). In Nyāya each organ is connected with its own peculiar element; the eye, ear, tongue, nose, and skin being connected respectively with Light or fire, Ether, Water, Earth and Air.

3) Bodily or virile power, power of the sense.

4) Semen; गणिकान्नमथेन्द्रियम् (gaṇikānnamathendriyam) Mb.12.36.28.

5) Symbolical expression for the number '5'.

(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.

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Relevant definitions

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Indriyārtha (इन्द्रियार्थ).—1) an object of sense; these objects are:रूपं शब्दो गन्धरसस्पर्शाश्...
Śabdendriya (शब्देन्द्रिय).—the ear. Derivable forms: śabdendriyam (शब्देन्द्रियम्).Śabdendriya...
Sparśendriya (स्पर्शेन्द्रिय).—the organ or sense of touch. Derivable forms: sparśendriyam (स्प...
Indriyāgocara (इन्द्रियागोचर).—a. imperceptible. Indriyāgocara is a Sanskrit compound consistin...
Gandhendriya (गन्धेन्द्रिय).—the organ of smell. Derivable forms: gandhendriyam (गन्धेन्द्रियम्...
Vīryendriya (वीर्येन्द्रिय) refers to the “faculty of exertion” and represents one of the five ...

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