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A Sanskrit compound word from BHŪTA and mātrā, a feminine plural meaning “the subtle elements,” also called tanmātras. In the Kauṣītakī Upaniṣad the word is used to refer to ten primary realities, identified there as speech (vāk), smell (gandha), form or shape (rūpa), sound (śabda), nutriment or the essence of food (anna-rasa), action (karman), pleasure and pain (sukha-duḥkha), bliss (ānanda) [or delight (rati) or generation (prajāti)], going (ityā), and mind (manas).



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