Aṅguttara Nikāya

The Book of the Tens

62. Craving

“Bhikkhus, it is said: ‘A first point of craving for existence, bhikkhus, is not seen such that before this there was no craving for existence and afterward it came into being.’ Still, craving for existence is seen to have a specific condition.

“I say, bhikkhus, that craving for existence has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for craving for existence? It should be said: ignorance. Ignorance, too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for ignorance? It should be said: the five hindrances … as in 10:61 … And what is the nutriment for not hearing the good Dhamma? It should be said: not associating with good persons.

“Thus not associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up not hearing the good Dhamma…. The five hindrances, becoming full, fill up ignorance. Ignorance, becoming full, fills up craving for existence. Thus there is nutriment for craving for existence, and in this way it becomes full.

“Just as, when it is raining and the rain pours down in thick droplets on a mountaintop, the water flows down along the slope … … and the rivers, becoming full, fill up the great ocean; thus there is nutriment for the great ocean, and in this way it becomes full. So too, not associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up not hearing the good Dhamma … and ignorance, becoming full, fills up craving for existence. Thus there is nutriment for craving for existence, and in this way it becomes full.

“I say, bhikkhus, that (1) true knowledge and liberation have a nutriment; they are not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for true knowledge and liberation? It should be said: (2) the seven factors of enlightenment…. Hearing the good Dhamma, too, I say, has a nutriment; it is not without nutriment. And what is the nutriment for hearing the good Dhamma? It should be said: (10) associating with good persons.

“Thus associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up hearing the good Dhamma…. The seven factors of enlightenment, becoming full, fill up true knowledge and liberation. Thus there is nutriment for true knowledge and liberation, and in this way they become full.

“Just as, when it is raining and the rain pours down in thick droplets on a mountain top, the water flows down along the slope … and the rivers, becoming full, fill up the great ocean; thus there is nutriment for the great ocean, and in this way it becomes full. So too, associating with good persons, becoming full, fills up hearing the good Dhamma…. The seven factors of enlightenment, becoming full, fill up true knowledge and liberation. Thus there is nutriment for true knowledge and liberation, and in this way they become full.”