Six sense organs or six faculties

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In addition to the five sense organs – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin – Buddhism adds the mind, which is a powerful organ that also processes information from the external and internal worlds.   The six faculties refer to the innate faculty of vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch and thought.  The terms “six sense organs” and “six faculties” are used interchangeably.

The Pāli and Sanskrit word for “sense organ” is āyatana, whereas the Pāli and Sanskrit word for “faculty” is indriya.  These two words are translated into the same Chinese/Vietnamese word “Căn”.

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