On taṇhākkhayavimuttiyo

This is really a small point, but sometimes the littlest things make me happy!

In the verses by Moggallāna to Māra (MN 50:28.4, Thag 20.1:57.4), he mentions how he urged Sakka to recollect the “freedom through the ending of craving”, which is recorded in MN 37. The Pali phrase, as recorded in all editions I have seen, is:


The problem with this is that it appears to be a feminine plural, and is rendered as such by Norman and Horner. But, while in the context of meditative “freedoms” the plural is warranted, here it is not. Thus Bodhi translates as “deliverance” in singular, but without explanation.

The commentary is silent.

Returning to the context at MN 37, it speaks not just of the abstract “freedom” but of the “mendicant who is freed” (bhikkhu … vimutto) using the adjectival past participle. Elsewhere we encounter the same phrase declined as the dative/genitive of the masculine agent noun in -in:

for one who is freed through the ending of craving

In such cases the agent noun vimutti(n) functions in much the same way as the past participle vimutto.

So we should resolve the compound so that vimutti, as the nominative singular of the agent noun, agrees with yo.

taṇhākkhayavimutti yo
the one who is freed through the ending of craving