Chapter 1The ÅyatanasIntroduction
The åyatanas, sometimes translated as bases or sense-fields are:
six internal bases
: the physical bases of the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, thebodysense and the mind-base or consciousness (manåyatana),
six external bases
: which are six classes of objects: visible object, sound, odour, taste,tactile object and mind-object (dhammåyatana), comprising: cetasikas, subtle rúpas andnibbåna.****
Issues of analysis
:1: Is the eyesense (the cakkhu pasåda rúpa) åyatana at each moment of citta in the eye-door process
or only at the moment when seeing (cakkhuviññåùa) arises? And the samefor the other sense-organs.2. Is cetasika an internal åyatana or an external åyatana?3. Is the cetasika which is the object, årammaùa, of citta, dhammårammaùa ordhammåyatana?
Conclusion regarding the first issue
: In the five sense-door processes the eye-sense(cakkhu pasåda rúpa) etc. is åyatana at each moment of citta in the eye-door process, notonly at the moment seeing (cakkhuviññåùa) arises.
The sources which support this conclusion
:1. The ìDispeller of Delusionî, Sammohavinodaní, the Commentary to the Book ofAnalysis, Ch 2, Classification of the Bases (åyatanas), Suttanta Division.2. Visuddhimagga, Ch XV, Description of the Bases and Elements.The reason for this conclusion is given by the ìDispeller of Delusionî, Classification of theBases (åyatanas), and the Visuddhimagga (XV, 10). We read in the ìVisuddhimaggaî: ìForonly the åyatana of the eye-base is the door of arising, and only the åyatana of visibleobject is the object of the consciousness group (viññåùa kåya) comprised in a cognitiveseries containing eye-consciousness.î
This shows that the rúpa of eyesense (cakkhuppasåda rúpa) is the eye-door and the åyatanaof the eye (cakkhåyatana) at each moment of citta in the eye-door process and that evensovisible object is the åyatana of visible object (rúpåyatana) at each moment of citta in theeye-door process. The reason is that both the eye-sense and the visible object are realitieswhich have not fallen away yet and that they are ìassociatingî at each moment of citta ofthe eye-door process