anaṇa: free of karmic debt

anaṇa: debtlessness


Etymology: aṇa and iṇa

Aṇa occurs only as anaṇa. Its synonym is iṇa. Sāṇo is sa+iṇo=‘not free of karmic debt.’

Karmic debt

Karmic debt is defined in this quote:

• He misconducts himself by way of body, speech, and mind. This, I declare, is getting into karmic debt.
kāyena duccaritaṃ carati vācāya duccaritaṃ carati manasā duccaritaṃ carati. Idamassa iṇādānasmiṃ vadāmi (A.3.352).

Freedom from karmic debt

‘Free of karmic debt’ is illustrated in Aṅgulimāla’s verse.

• While I undertook much karmically consequential conduct that leads to [rebirth in] the plane of misery, yet its karmic consequence has reached me now. I enjoy my food free of karmic debt.
Tādisaṃ kammaṃ katvāna bahuṃ duggatigāminaṃ;
Phuṭṭho kammavipākena
anaṇo bhuñjāmi bhojanaṃ (M.2.105).


The meaning ‘debtlessness’ is seen in this passage:

• And what is the pleasure of debtlessness?
Katamañca gahapati anaṇasukhaṃ?

… In this regard a noble young man owes no debt great or small to anyone. At the thought: I owe no debt, great or small, to anyone, physical and psychological pleasure come to him. This, householder, is called the pleasure of debtlessness.
Idha gahapati kulaputto na kassaci kiñci dhāreti appaṃ vā bahuṃ vā. So na kassaci kiñci dhāremi appaṃ vā bahuṃ vā ti adhigacchati sukhaṃ adhigacchati somanassaṃ. Idaṃ vuccati gahapati anaṇasukhaṃ (A.2.69).


Illustration: anaṇā, not in karmic debt

We have brought about your death, sensuous yearning. Now we are no longer in karmic debt on account of you.
Vadhaṃ carimha te kāma anaṇā dāni te mayaṃ (Th.v.138).


1) We take te as instrumental case.

2) Karmic debt on account of sensuous yearning can be explained like this:

• What is the consequence of sensuous yearnings?
Katamo ca bhikkhave kāmānaṃ vipāko

… In one yearning for sensuous pleasure a corresponding personal disposition is manifested, either meritorious or demeritorious.
yaṃ kho bhikkhave kāmayamāno tajjaṃ tajjaṃ attabhāvaṃ abhinibbatteti puññabhāgiyaṃ vā apuññabhāgiyaṃ vā ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave kāmānaṃ vipāko (A.3.411).

Illustration: sāṇo, not free of karmic debt

• For seven days I ate the country’s almsfood whilst not free of karmic debt. But on the eighth day [complete] knowledge [of things according to reality] arose in me.
sattāhameva kho ahaṃ āvuso sāṇo raṭṭhapiṇḍaṃ bhuñjiṃ. Atha aṭṭhamiyā aññā udapādi (S.2.221).


‘[Complete] knowledge [of things according to reality]’: arahantship is associated with sammadaññā, e.g. sammadaññā vimutto (M.1.235), sammadaññāya paṇḍitā (Sn.v.733).


Sāṇo is sa+iṇo.