Saṃyukta Āgama

374. 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 receive nourishment. What are these four? The first is [1] rolled food. The second is [2] subtle food. The third is [3] the food of thought. The fourth is [4] the food of consciousness.

“If a bhikṣu has delight and craving for these four nutriments, then consciousness abides and increases. Because consciousness abides and increased, there is entry into names and forms. Due to entry into names and forms, various formations increase. Because formations increase, future existence increases. Due to future existence increasing, there is the accumulation of birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, misery, vexation, and suffering. It is also such as this for the accumulation of the pure mass of suffering.

“If there is no craving and no delight for the Four Nutriments, then because there is no craving and no delight, consciousness neither abides nor increases. Because consciousness does not abide and does not increase, there is not entry into names and forms. Because there is not entry into names and forms, volitions do not increase. Because volitions do not increase, future becoming does not arise and does not extend. Because future existence does not arise and extend, then there is not the arising 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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