NUTRIMENT AND THE ELEMENTS
[PERCEPTION OF REPULSIVENESS IN NUTRIMENT]
 Now comes the description of the development of the perception of
repulsiveness in nutriment, which was listed as the “one perception”1 next to
the immaterial states (III.105).
Herein, it nourishes (āharati, lit. “brings on”), thus it is nutriment (āhāra, lit.
“bringing on”). That is of four kinds as: physical nutriment, nutriment consisting
of contact, nutriment consisting of mental volition, and nutriment consisting of
“The word ‘perception’ (saññā) is used for the dhamma with the characteristic of
perceiving (sañjānana), as in the case of ‘perception of visible objects,’ ‘perception of
sound,’ etc.; and it is used for insight, as in the case of ‘perception of impermanence,’
‘perception of suffering,’ etc.; and it is used for serenity, as in the passage, ‘Perception
of the bloated and perception of visible objects, have these one meaning or different
meanings, Sopāka?’ (Source untraced. Cf. III.111), and so on. Here, however, it should
be understood as the preliminary work for serenity; for it is the apprehending of the
repulsive aspect in nutriment, or the access jhāna produced by means of that, that is
intended here by, ‘perception of repulsiveness in nutriment’”(Vism-mhṭ 334–35).
A more detailed exposition of nutriment is given at M-a I 107ff. “‘It nourishes’
(āharati)”: the meaning is that it leads up, fetches, produces, its own fruit through its
state as a condition for the fruit’s arising or presence, which state is called “nutriment
condition.” It is made into a mouthful (kabalaṃ karīyati), thus it is physical (kabaliṅkāra).
In this way it gets its designation from the concrete object; but as to characteristic, it
should be understood to have the characteristic of nutritive essence (ojā). It is physical
and it is nutriment in the sense stated, thus it is physical nutriment; so with the rest.
It touches (phusati), thus it is contact (phassa); for although this is an immaterial state,
it occurs also as the aspect of touching on an object (ārammaṇa—lit. “what is to be
leaned on”), which is why it is said to have the characteristic of touching. It wills
(cetayati), thus it is volition (cetanā); the meaning is that it arranges (collects) itself
together with associated states upon the object. Mental volition is volition occupied
with the mind. It cognizes (vijānāti) by conjecturing about rebirth (see XVII.303), thus
it is consciousness (viññāṇa = cognition) (Vism-mhṭ 335).