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Tanmatras

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Tanmatras
Tanamatra (Sanskrit: तन्मात्र) is a noun which means – rudimentary or subtle element, merely that, mere essence, potential or only a trifle. There are five sense perceptions – hearing, touch, sight, taste and smell, and there are the five tanmatras corresponding to the five sense perceptions and five sense-organs. The tanmatras combine and re-combine in different ways to produce the gross elements – earth, water, fire, air and ether, which make up the gross universe perceived by the senses. The senses play their part by coming into contact with the objects, and carry impressions of them to the manas which receives and arranges them into a precept.

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Rakefet Dictionary

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Tanmatras
Tanmatras (Sanskrit) The subtle essences of the five elements, popularly given as earth, water, fire, air, and ether; and in one sense they are referred to as sabda (sound), sparsa (touch), rupa (sight), rasa (taste), and gandha (smell). They are equivalent to the five mahabhutas (foundation-substances of the world). The tanmatras are the abstract sources or originants, devoid of properties and qualities from our point of view, but when the tanmatras emanate what becomes the pertinent qualities and properties of nature, then they become the mahabhutas. In the order of cosmic emanation, each of the seven logoi produces its vehicular expression which is the tanmatra, from which again is emanated the respective propertied and qualified mahabhuta or cosmic element.