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Ākāśa (T. nam mkha'; C. xukong) translates as space or sky. It is also called ākāśadhātu (space element).
Ākāśa has two main connotations:Template:Buswell sv
- an absence which delimits forms, such as the hole in a nose, or the space inside a doorframeTemplate:Buswell sv
- the emptiness of spaceTemplate:Buswell sv, or absolute space - an absence of obstruction that serves at the support for the four primary elements (mahābhūta).
In some texts, it is identified as one of the five primary elements (mahābhūta).
- Space, as understood in the Abhidhamma, is not bare geometric extension but the void region that delimits and separates objects and groups of material phenomena, enabling them to be perceived as distinct. The space element has the characteristic of delimiting matter. Its function is to display the boundaries of matter. It is manifested as the confines of matter, or as the state of gaps and apertures. Its proximate cause is the matter delimited.Template:Manual of Abhidhamma sv