Saṃyukta Āgama

371. The Nutriments

Translated from Taishō Tripiṭaka volume 2, number 99

Thus have I heard. At one time, the Buddha was in Śrāvastī, in the Jeta Grove, in Anāthapiṇḍada’s Park. At that time, the Bhagavān said to the bhikṣus, “There are four nutriments which benefit sentient beings, causing them to abide in the world and received nourishment. What are these four? That is to say, the first is [1] coarse, rolled food. The second is [2] the subtle food of sensations. The third is [3] the food of thought. The fourth is [4] the food of consciousness.

“How are these four nutriments conditioned, accumulated, produced, and experienced? That is to say, the nutriments are conditioned by desire, accumulated by desire, produced by desire, and experienced by desire. How are these desires conditioned, accumulated, produced, and experienced? That is to say, desires are conditioned by sensation, accumulated by sensation, produced by sensation, and experienced by sensation. How are these sensations conditioned, accumulated, produced, and experienced? That is to say, sensations are conditioned by contact, accumulated by contact, produced by contact, and experienced by contact. How is this contact conditioned, accumulated, produced, and experienced? That is to say, contact is conditioned by the Six Entrances, accumulated by the Six Entrances, produced by the Six Entrances, and experienced by the Six Entrances.

“The accumulation of Six Entrances is the accumulation of contact. The accumulation of contact is the accumulation of sensation. The accumulation of sensation is the accumulation of desires. The accumulation of desires is the accumulation of nutriments. The accumulation of nutriment is the cause of future accumulation of worldly birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, misery, affliction, and suffering. It is also such as this for the accumulation of the pure mass of suffering.

“Just so, with the cessation of the Six Entrances, comes the cessation of contact. With the cessation of contact, comes the cessation of sensation. With the cessation of sensation, comes the cessation of desire. With the cessation of desire, comes the cessation of nutriment. The cessation of nutriment causes the cessation of future worldly birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, misery, vexation, and suffering. It is also such as this for the cessation of the pure mass of suffering.”

After the Buddha had spoken this sūtra, the bhikṣus heard what the Buddha had said, and joyfully practiced in accordance.

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