Tanmatras are the five objects of perception, made up of the five subtle elements. According to this principle, each of the five senses (sound, touch, sight, taste and smell) corresponds with one or more of the five elements (ether, air, fire, water and earth).
Tanmatras is an important concept in both Ayurveda and Hindu philosophy. The word itself stems from two Sanskrit roots; tan, meaning subtle, and matra meaning element. These subtle energies form the way in which the objective, material world is perceived.