What does it mean coarse and fine foods?

The nutriment food, gross or subtle; second, contact; third, mental volition; fourth, consciousness. These are the four kinds of nutriment for the maintenance of beings that have already come to be and for the assistance of those about to come to be.

Coarse food is rice ?
Fine foods ?

The initial term here is kabaḷīkārāhāra, “solid” or “lumpy” food. There’s a few places where the devas are said to consume such food, eg. AN 11.13, DN1, etc. So I would think the distinction is between the “coarse” food of humans and animals and “refined” food of the gods.



But , does it mean edible foods ?
If not , it could mean something else .

Well, food by definition is edible, so I prefer to avoid that translation. The root meaning is “lump, morsel, mouthful”.

Bhante ,

The sutta said nutriment food , including contact , mental volition , consciousness , which is not edible foods at all , does it ?

And , the nutriments mentioned supposed to be a part of four bases of contemplation , does it not ?

Well, this is a metaphorical usage. The point of specifying the first one as kabaḷīkārāhāra is to make it clear that it means food in the normal, literal sense. You can translate it as “edible” if you like, I just prefer to keep it more literal in this case.

That’s right, yes.

Bhante ,

But , the question is , the teaching here would stressed on the contemplation to end craving . Now , the Buddha and arahant disciples still consume foods after liberation , does that mean they still have to contemplate on the foods consummation ?!

FYI , if you don’t mind , I heard from a monk , he said here it was referring to
the 5 sense objects , would you agree ?!

Thank you .

I’d say it’s more about understanding causality. But anyway, an arahant has perfected this understanding, so they can’t eat out of greed. They just eat!

That seems unnecessarily broad. The realm of edible food is of course associated with the sense sphere realm, but this teaching is pointing to a specific aspect of it.

1 Like