Do we really need solid food to suvive?

Combining verses from both of the sutta, it seems if you progress on first attainment further down the track you must come across an intersection where the second point can be seen and discerned.

Do we really need solid food to survive? This also goes into upādāna - Fueling up, from the heaps for continuation of existence and rebirth


When their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they extend it toward recollection of past lives. They recollect many kinds of past lives. That is: one, two, three, four, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand rebirths; many eons of the world contracting, many eons of the world expanding, many eons of the world contracting and expanding. They remember: ‘There, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food. This was how I felt pleasure and pain, and that was how my life ended. When I passed away from that place I was reborn somewhere else. There, too, I was named this, my clan was that, I looked like this, and that was my food.


Then those beings started to eat the solid nectar, breaking it into lumps. But when they did this their luminosity vanished. And with the vanishing of their luminosity the moon and sun appeared, stars and constellations appeared, days and nights were distinguished, and so were months and fortnights, and years and seasons. To this extent the world had evolved once more.

Then those beings eating the solid nectar, with that as their food and nourishment, remained for a very long time. But so long as they ate that solid nectar, their bodies became more solid and they diverged in appearance; some beautiful, some ugly


“Mendicants, there are these four fuels. They maintain sentient beings that have been born and help those that are about to be born. What four? Solid food, whether coarse or fine; contact is the second, mental intention the third, and consciousness the fourth. These are the four fuels that maintain sentient beings that have been born and help those that are about to be born.

This is one e.g. Prahlad Jani - Wikipedia

This goes to one extreme in a way and another extreme which was indulging in pleasures like brahmins out of which Buddha found a middle way

In general. Yes. Humans need food to survive. Can be porridge or IV drip, so not solid food.

Unless the devas can produce nectar inside the person who chooses not to eat like the story of the Buddha’s self torture and devas asked the Buddha not to completely not eat food.

The different kinds of food could refer to different realms.

To a dung bettle, dung is their food. Not to us humans.

A Brahma may have different food from devas.

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“What is one thing? All beings subsist on nutriment.”

What could be the food to a mind made body, or just the mind (arupalok) does it even need food
DN1 says they survive on rapture which is not a physical entity of this world

Coarse or fine both solid food lead to upadana, what if someone just eats vegetables or fruits with no earth element does it make them better suited to go forth?

Sorry, I use food as in nutriments, Ya, as you said, rapture is their nutriments.

Could be by DN27 that if the Brahma deities eat physical food, they get downgraded and reborn lower, eventually to become humans.

As for diet for renouncing, it’s hard to maintain vegan diet, but I am still managing it. Depends heavily on whether you’re living in a monastery with alms rounds or not. Buffet style offerings are the easiest to maintain vegan diet. Also depends on the buffet spread.