THE BASES AND ELEMENTS
[A. DESCRIPTION OF THE BASES]
1.  The “bases” (XIV.32) are the twelve bases, that is to say, the eye base,
visible-data base, ear base, sound base, nose base, odour base, tongue base, flavour
base, body base, tangible-data base, mind base, mental-data base.
(1) Meaning, (2) character, (3) just so much,
(4) Order, and (5) in brief and detail,
(6) Likewise as to how to be seen—
Thus should be known the exposition.
3. 1. Herein, [as to meaning] firstly individually:
It relishes (cakkhati), thus it is an eye (cakkhu); the meaning is that it enjoys a
visible datum and turns it to account.
It makes visible (rūpayati), thus it is a visible datum (rūpa); the meaning is that
by undergoing an alteration in appearance (colour) it evidences what state is in
the mind (lit. heart).
It hears (suṇāti), thus it is an ear (sota).
It is emitted (sappati), thus it is sound (sadda); the meaning is that it is uttered.
It smells (ghāyati), thus it is a nose (ghāna).
It is smelt (gandhayati) thus it is odour (gandha); the meaning is that it betrays
its own physical basis.
It evokes (avhayati) life (jīvita), thus it is a tongue (jivhā).
Living beings taste (rasanti) it, thus it is flavour (rasa); the meaning is that they
It is the origin (āya) of vile (kucchita) states subject to cankers, thus it is a body
(kāya), origin being the place of arising.
It is touched (phusiyati), thus it is a tangible datum (phoṭṭhabba).
It measures (munāti), thus it is a mind (mano).
They cause their own characteristic to be borne (dhārayanti), thus they are
mental data (dhammā).1