Alambana is a complex concept that has different interpretations in different schools of thought. Vedic philosophy divides alambana into two types: asraya and visaya. It also uses the term to mean “pillar of strength,” referring to God. When this alambana is contemplated, it provides the support or foundation for the mind to travel towards God.
In contrast, Buddhist philosophy sees alambana as a cause or object-condition of knowledge and mental fluctuations. The term can be used to describe the objective base of consciousness. It further divides alambana into three categories, according to their motivations: