Meaning of kiñcana?

The indefinite pronoun kiñcana obviously means “something”. However, I recalled reading somewhere that it has a more specific, metaphysical, connotation. I just can’t remember where I read this or the details.

Can anyone shed light on this?

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PED says (sv. kiñcana, p214):

“From the freq. context in the older texts it has assumed the moral implication of something that sticks or adheres to the character of a man, and which he must get rid of, if he wants to attain to a higher moral condition.”

Answered my own question by doing the completely obvious thing of looking at my dictionary!

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The only thing I can think of is where greed, hate, and delusion are each said to be makers of limits and then said to each be something. Perhaps not quite metaphysical but still a special ‘buddhized’ meaning given to the general term kiñcana. But perhaps you’re thinking of some other meaning.

Rāgo kho, bhante, kiñcanaṃ, doso kiñcanaṃ, moho kiñcanaṃ.

Greed, hate, and delusion are makers of limits. A mendicant who has ended the defilements has given these up, cut them off at the root, made them like a palm stump, and exterminated them, so they are unable to arise in the future. The unshakable heart’s release is said to be the best kind of limitless heart’s release. That unshakable heart’s release is empty of greed, hate, and delusion. Greed is something, hate is something, and delusion is something. - SN 41.7

From PTS dictionary:

Kiñcana (adj. – nt.) [kiŋ+cana, equal to kiŋ+ci, indef. pron.] only in neg. sentences: something, anything. From the freq. context in the older texts it has assumed the moral implication of something that sticks or adheres to the character of a man, and which he must get rid of, if he wants to attain to a higher moral condition. <-> Def. as the 3 impurities of character (rāga, dosa, moha)

This ties in with my favorite section of the Pārāyana Vagga:

Akiñcanaṃ anādānaṃ,
etaṃ dīpaṃ anāparaṃ;
Nibbānaṃ iti naṃ brūmi,
jarāmaccuparikkhayaṃ.

“Owning nothing, taking nothing:
this is the island with nothing further.
I call this ‘nibbāna,’
the extinction of old age and death. - Snp 5.11

:anjal:

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@akincana ?

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@Polarbear lovely. In Ānandajoti Bhikkhu’s translation,

5.11.4
“Having nothing, no attachment, this is the island with nothing beyond,
this is called Nibbāna, I say, the end of old age and death.

11.4“Knowing this, those who are mindful, who are emancipated in this very life,
come not under Māra’s control, they are not servants to Māra.”

:slight_smile: Ty for sharing this.

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:rofl:

Akiñcanaṃ anādānaṃ,

etaṃ dīpaṃ anāparaṃ;

Nibbānaṃ iti naṃ brūmi,

jarāmaccuparikkhayaṃ.

“Owning nothing, taking nothing:

this is the island with nothing further.

I call this ‘nibbāna,’

the extinction of old age and death. - Snp 5.11
[/quote]

German language allows the very apt translation “a+kincana” as “Nicht-Irgend-etwas-heit”.
It is an early word for Nibbaana found in Suttanipaata and Dhammapada, and Sa.myutta nikaaya.

In the Vinaya Pi.taka Mahaavagga we find four verses of a dialogue between Buddha and Uruvela-Kassapa, who had been famous as the leader of 1000 fire worshipping ascetics dwelling in the forest:

disvaa pada.m santa.m anuupadhiikam
akincana.m kaama-bhave asatta.m
an-anyathaa-bhaavi.m an-anya-neyya.m
tasmaa na yi.t.the na hute aranjin ti
(Vin I 28.5; Ee I p. 36)

translation by IB Horner BD IV 48:

"when I had seen the path, peaceful, without substrate,
stainless, not attached to sensations becoming,
not becoming otherwise, where one cannot be led by others,
in consequence, I delighted not in sacrifice, in offering.

Here he explains why he has given up fire worship, and become a disciple of Lord Buddha.

a-kincana is often found in the phrase “an-upadhiika.m a-kincana.m kaama-bhave asatta.m”

In KN Snp, B.Bodhi does talk about this in his new book translating that in the introduction or section before the translation starts. Ven. Thanissaro also talks about it a little bit in his book translating it, at least in footnotes. I know there was the ambiguity in whether it was referring to the 3rd formless arupa samadhi, or a metaphysical realization in Snp passages, parayana vagga, but I don’t recall the details of what they said about it.

I doubt there are metaphysical realizations which haven’t been explicitly discussed elsewhere in the teachings. Any such important aspect would have impact on the entirety of the teachings, IMO.

with metta