The study on practice of āhāra(food, nutriment) in the Early Buddhism

【 Abstract 】
The study on practice of āhāra(food, nutriment)
in the Early Buddhism
Shin, Byoung-Sam
(Researcher, in Institute of Electronic Buddhist Texts & Culture Contents)

All of beings maintain their life with something to eat(food, nutriment). The buddhist terms for something to eat(food, nutriment) is āhāra. The buddhist term āhāra is translated into chinese character ‘食’. The original meaning of āhāra is to bring something. Therefore the relationship between subject and object should be maintained by something which subject brings from object, and life force should be continuous.

So the meaning of āhāra contains not only something to eat(food, nutriment) but also sense-impression, volitional thought, consciousness. At this point something to eat(food, nutriment), sense-impression, volitional thought, consciousness are assimilated to son’s flesh, skinned cow, a lump of charcoal in a blaze, a hundred lance one by one. The buddhist view of something to eat(food, nutriment) is negative rather than positive. Because ascetics need something to eat(food, nutriment) for maintaining their life, and their ultimate purpose is to accomplish emancipation from the sufferings of the transmigration of souls which make every endeavor to maintain life. On that account ascetic exercises are mentioned something to eat(food, nutriment) with relevance.

There is the perception of loathsomeness in something to eat(food, nutriment) which helps access concentration(upacāra) by ten methods: 1) as to going, 2) seeking, 3) using, 4) secretion, 5) receptacle, 6) what is uncooked(undigested), 7) what is cooked(digested), 8) fruit, 9) outflow, and 10) smearing.

And in mendicancy ascetic exercises which always ingest something to eat(food, nutriment) to the extent of the minimum quantity for maintaining life is assumed: 1) alms-food-eater’s practice, 2) house-to-house seeker’s practice, 3) one-sessioner’s practice, 4) bowl-food-eater’s practice, and 5) later-food-refuser’s practice. With these ascetic exercises, ascetic exercises attain Buddhahood little by little.

Human beings whom are inseparably related to something to eat(food, nutriment) have a tendency to regard something to eat(food, nutriment) as an object of indulgence which is originated in delusion.

By above-mentioned ascetic exercises human beings whom cause greed(lobha), hate(dosa), and delusion(moha) in connection with something to eat(food, nutriment) should be lead an satisfactory, joyful, boundless style of living.

【 Key Word 】

āhāra(food, nutriment) / sense-impression / volitional thought / consciousness / the perception of loathsomeness in food / access concentration(upacāra) / alms / delusion(moha)․greed(lobha)․hate(dosa) / Lokavidū(Knower of Worlds)