You are currently viewing Ahāra Paccaya – Condition of Fuel or Nutriment

Ahāra Paccaya – Condition of Fuel or Nutriment

Nutriment or Fuel condition refers to the way in which a particular physical thing or mental state or process is supported in its further growth.

Most people will have had some experience of this condition when their mind was running wild due to having too much fuel from the senses.

Traditionally there are 4 kinds of fuel enumerated:

• Physical Food (kabaliṅkārāhāra)

• Contact (phassa)

• Volition or Will (mano-sañcetanā)

• Consciousness (viññāna)

Physical Food keeps the physical body going

Contact with objects keeps the stream of thoughts going

Volition or Will keeps a line of kamma going

Consciousness keeps the experience of mind and matter going

Treating the four elements under this condition, one may again see, how useful a comprehension device they are. So will stand the earth element for physical food in general. Sense-impressions as a fuel, may be seen to posses certain qualities of the water element, in that they are only a rather quick refreshment, running through the senses as it were, but requiring quick replacement in order to keep a sense sphere being going. While at the same time easily binding a being to matter, when the flow of impressions becomes more stagnant. Intention or will posses certain qualities of the fire element, in that a being being fuelled by it, so to say burns free its own path. While the element of air, may be used to describe how a being may be fuelled by consciousness. In that, that the path of a being which is kept going mostly by means of swift attention and mindfulness is the most difficult to see and the most difficult to know where it goes.

Further on, I have shown already in the main post of this Website, how physical food fuelles the body, how that fuel in the body is a necessary condition for sense contact to have an impact on the senses, how that in turn fuelles the mind, intentions and finally conscious processing leading to knowledge. And I too have shown, where each of these processes occurs inside the body. Which gives the meditator precisely the clue where to make adjustments and where to win conscious control over what type of process is fuelled.

Through that in turn, slowly a bigger picture becomes discernible…

The Fuel for Life

Since its very conception, a physical being requires continuous fuel for the body. The moment the fuel becomes exhausted, that moment the life becomes exhausted.

Then, being born, its mother will cradle it, rock it, stroke and whip it, in order to produce impressions on the baby’s mind, tempting its mind from its habitual condition of latency into a condition of a more active mind. Thus, more and more, both sense activity and thought activity arises being fuelled by the various sense-objects impressing themselves onto the senses. And these keep the being busy in the sense-sphere world.

But then, as thought processes run longer and longer without being all the time stimulated by impressions upon the senses, more and more the mind’s intentions will become the fuel that keeps a being going.

Finally, when a being, being initiated for longer periods of time from within, gains life experiences, then, based on that, consciousness becomes more and more a faculty of knowledge. And in that faculty of knowledge, consciousness becomes a fuel for knowledge and knowledge in turn becomes a fuel for consciousness.

Yet, in the first place, from the time of conception, it was actually a certain knowledge inherent in consciousness, which allowed the evolving being to make use of the fuel present for its growth. And it was equally a certain knowledge inherent in consciousness which directed the attention of the being to the various sense-objects and exerted the mind to more prolonged periods of unprompted mental activity.

Hence, he who can penetrate thus far, indeed may have penetrated the furthest. He who can keep going that fuel, indeed might not die.

Any Comments? Write them below.