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Samyutta Nikaya XLVI.51

Ahara Sutta

Food
(for the Factors of Awakening)


"Monks, I will teach you the feeding & starving of the five hindrances & of the seven factors of Awakening. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak...


(Feeding the Hindrances)

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen? There is the theme of beauty. To foster inappropriate attention to it: This is the food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is the theme of irritation. To foster inappropriate attention to it: This is the food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen? There are boredom, weariness, yawning, drowsiness after a meal, & sluggishness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is non-stillness of awareness. To foster inappropriate attention to that: This is the food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen? There are phenomena that act as a foothold for uncertainty. To foster inappropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen.


(Feeding the Factors of Awakening)

"Now, what is the food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for mindfulness as a factor of Awakening [well-purified virtue & views made straight]. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities...once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities...once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence...once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence...once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture...once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for rapture as a factor of Awakening. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture...once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen serenity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of serenity...once it has arisen? There is physical serenity & there is mental serenity. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen serenity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of serenity...once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration...once it has arisen? There are themes for calm, themes for non-distraction [these are the four frames of reference]. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration...once it has arisen.

"And what is the food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity...once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for equanimity as a factor of Awakening. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen.


(Starving the Hindrances)

"Now, what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen? There is the theme of unattractiveness. To foster appropriate attention to it: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is the release of the mind [through good will, compassion, appreciation, or equanimity]. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is stillness of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen.


(Starving the Factors of Awakening)

"Now, what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for mindfulness as a factor of Awakening. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities...once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen analysis of qualities as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of qualities...once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence...once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence...once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture...once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for rapture as a factor of Awakening. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture...once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen serenity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of serenity...once it has arisen? There is physical serenity & there is mental serenity. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen serenity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of serenity...once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration...once it has arisen? There are the themes for concentration, themes for non-confusion. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration...once it has arisen.

"And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen? There are mental qualities that act as a foothold for equanimity as a factor of Awakening. Not fostering attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor of Awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity as a factor of Awakening once it has arisen."

Source: ATI - For Free Distribution Only, as a Gift of Dhamma.

Dhamma Essay:
The Balanced Way by Bhikkhu Bodhi


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