'space', is, according to Com., of two kinds:
limited space (paricchinna^ka^sa or pariccheda^ka^sa),
endless space (ananta^ka^sa), i.e. cosmic space.
1. Limited space, under the name of a^ka^sa-dha^tu (space element), belongs to derived corporeality (s. khandha, Summary I; Dhs 638) and to a sixfold classification of elements (s. dha^tu; M.112, M.115, M.140). It is also an object of kasina (q.v.) meditation. It is defined as follows: "The space element has the characteristic of delimiting matter. Its function is to indicate the boundaries of matter. It is manifested as the confines of matter; or its manifestation consists in being untouched (by the 4 great elements), and in holes and apertures. Its proximate cause is the matter delimited. It is on account of the space element that one can say of material things delimited that 'this is above. below, around that' " (Vis.M. XIV.63).
2. Endless space is called in Atthasa^lini ajata^ka^sa, 'unentangled', i.e. unobstructed or empty space. It is the object of the first immaterial absorption (s. jha^na), the sphere of boundless space (a^ka^sa^nan~ca^yatana). According to Abhidhamma philosophy, endless space has no objective reality (being purely conceptual), which is indicated by the fact that it is not included in the triad of the wholesome (kusalatika), which comprises the entire reality. Later Buddhist schools have regarded it as one of several unconditioned or uncreated states (asankhata dharma) - a view that is rejected in Kath. (s. Guide. p. 70). Therava^da Buddhism recognizes only Nibba^na as an unconditioned element (asankhata-dha^tu: s. Dhs. 1084).