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  • Āhāra

'nutriment', 'food', 

is used in the concrete sense as material food and as such it belongs to derived materiality (s. khandha, Summary I.) 

In the figurative sense, as 'foundation' or condition, it is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya) and is used to denote 4 kinds of nutriment, which are material and mental: 

  1. material food (kabalinkārāhāra), 
  2. (sensorial and mental) contact (phassa), 
  3. mental intention (mano-sañcetanā), 
  4. consciousness (viññāna).
  1. Material food feeds the eightfold materiality having nutrient essence as its 8th factor (i.e. the solid, liquid, heat, motion, colour, odour, the tastable and nutrient essence; s. rūpa-kalāpa). 
  2. Sensorial and mental contact is a condition for the 3 kinds of feeling (agreeable, disagreeable and indifferent); s. paticcasamuppāda (6). 
  3. Mental intention (= karma) feeds rebirth; s. paticca-samuppāda (2). 
  4. Consciousness feeds mind and materiality (nāma-rūpa; ib., 2) at the moment of conception" (Vis.M. XI).

Literature (on the 4 Nutriments):

  • M. 9 & Com. (tr. in 'R. Und.'),
  • M 38;
  • S. XII, 11, 63, 64 -
  • The Four Nutriments of Life, Selected texts & Com. (WHEEL 105/106).

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