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anīgha {pi}

Pāḷi; √ anīgha
alt. sp.: IPA: ən̪iːgʰə, Velthuis: aniigha, readable: aniigha, simple: anigha
translation ~:
khmer: អនីឃ
thai: อนีฆ
sinhal.: අනීඝ
burm.: အနီဃ


[dic] anīgha (anigha)

anīgha: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.

ATI Glossary

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Buddhist Dictionary

by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:

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PTS Dictionary

by the Pali Text Society:


Glossary Thanissaro

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Illustrated Glossary of Pāli Terms

by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:


The derivation of anīgha

DOP says the etymology of anīgha is uncertain, but suggests it means either niddukkha or a + īgha (without evil). But the scriptures do not support this.

Etymology: a + nīgha not a + īgha

The scriptures show that anīgha is a + nīgha not a + īgha. For example, the Kāmabhu Sutta (SN iv 292) says the arahant is called anīgho because he has abandoned rāgo nīgho, doso nīgho, moho nīgho:

• Attachment, hatred, and undiscernment of reality are spiritual defilements

rāgo kho bhante nīgho doso nīgho moho nīgho

… The arahant has abandoned them, chopped them down at the root, completely and irreversibly destroyed them, so they will never arise again in future, therefore the arahant is called ‘one who is rid of spiritual defilement’

te khīṇāsavassa bhikkhuno pahīnā ucchinnamūlā tālāvatthukatā anabhāvakatā āyatiṁ anuppādadhammā tasmā khīṇāsavo bhikkhu anīgho ti vuccati. (SN iv 292)

Nīgha means rāgo, doso and moho

The Kāmabhu Sutta also therefore shows that nīgha means rāgo, doso, and moho.

Nīgha means spiritual defilement

Other suttas show the meaning of anīgha is broader than that, showing that nīgha means spiritual defilement.

1) The Uraga Sutta, quoted more fully below, links it to the abandonment of the five hindrances (yo nīvaraṇe pahāya pañca anīgho).

2) Other suttas associate anīgha with freedom from, for example, longing (nirāsaṁ), doubt (saṁsayaṁ) and attachment (asitaṁ; chinnaganthaṁ; saṁyojanabandhanacchidā). See Illustrations.

Therefore nīgha means any kind of spiritual defilement.

Anīgha means ‘rid of spiritual defilement’

If anīgha means freedom from a broad range of spiritual defilements through their being abandoned, chopped down at the root, completely and irreversibly destroyed, so they will never arise again in future, it is properly represented by the phrase ‘rid of spiritual defilement.’

Spellings, anīgha and anigha

There are two spellings: anīgha and anigha, but anīgha seems more orthodox. Anigha occurs only in verse, suggesting that anīgha becomes anigha for metrical purposes. Indeed, DOP says anīgha is ‘usually unmetrical.’



anigho: (main article see: anīgha)

Illustration: anigho, rid of spiritual defilement

[The Blessed One:]

‘Indeed, I am rid of spiritual defilement, deity;

anigho ve ahaṁ yakkha

and no spiritually fettering delight is found in me;

atho nandi na vijjati

And when I am sitting alone, disgruntlement [with the celibate life] does not overwhelm me.

Atho maṁ ekamāsīnaṁ arati nābhikīratīti.

Then the Buddha explained:

Spiritually fettering delight is for one with spiritual defilement;

aghajātassa ve nandi

Spiritual defilement is for one with spiritually fettering delight;

nandijātassa ve aghaṁ

Thus know me friend as a bhikkhu free of spiritually fettering delight and rid of spiritual defilement.

Anandi anigho bhikkhu evaṁ jānāhi āvuso ti. (SN i 54)


I accept PTS spellings here. I take anigha as standing for anīgha because DOP says anīgha is usually unmetrical. I take aghaṁ to mean nigha because the passage itself does so.

Although these readings are unsettled, other readings do no better in explaining the nature of the conversation here. Bodhi renders the word as ‘untroubled’ throughout.


anīghaṁ: (main article see: anīgha)

Illustration: anīghaṁ, rid of spiritual defilement

One whose spiritual shackles are destroyed, one rid of spiritual defilement, free of expectations

taṁ chinnaganthaṁ anīghaṁ nirāsaṁ. (SN i 12)


anīghā: (main article see: anīgha)

Illustration: anīghā, rid of spiritual defilement

He has a benevolent mind and unhateful thoughts. He thinks ‘May these creatures sustain themselves happily, and be rid of unfriendliness, hostility, and spiritual defilement.’

ime sattā averā avyāpajjhā anīghā sukhī attānaṁ pariharantū ti. (MN iii 55)

Rid of spiritual defilement, free of doubt [about the excellence of the teaching], unattached to anything in the whole world [of phenomena]

anīghaṁ chinnasaṁsayaṁ asitaṁ sabbalokassa. (Iti 97)

Those who have severed every tie and bond [to individual existence], inwardly tamed, liberated [from perceptually obscuring states], rid of spiritual defilement, free of expectations,

Ye sabbasaṁyojanabandhanacchidā dantā vimuttā anīghā nirāsā;. (Snp 491)


anīgho: (main article see: anīgha)

Illustration: anīgho, rid of spiritual defilement

He who has abandoned the five hindrances, who is rid of spiritual defilement, who has overcome uncertainty [about the excellence of the teaching], who is free of the arrow [of doubt and uncertainty about the excellence of the teaching],

yo nīvaraṇe pahāya pañca anīgho tiṇṇakathaṅkatho visallo. (Snp 17)


Because of its proximity to tiṇṇakathaṅkatho we take visallo to mean free of vicikicchākathaṅkathāsallaṁ, a term which occurs at DN iii 250 and AN iii 292.

And whatever man here is wise, one who is blessed with profound knowledge, who has freed himself from this [wretched] bondage to all states of individual existence, he is free of craving, rid of spiritual defilement, and free of expectations [in regard to both this world and the world beyond]. He has overcome birth and old age, I declare.

Vidvā ca yo vedagū naro idha bhavābhave saṅgamimaṁ visajja
So vitataṇho anīgho nirāso atāri so jāti jaranti brūmiti. (Snp 1060)


nīghā: (main article see: anīgha)

Illustration: nīghā, spiritual defilement

Bhikkhus, there are these three kinds of spiritual defilement. What three?

Tayome bhikkhave nīghā. Katame tayo?

• the spiritual defilement of attachment

• the spiritual defilement of hatred

• the spiritual defilement of undiscernment of reality


Glossary various Teacher

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See also

Suttas and Dhammadesanā

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Add a reference here or in the list.


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en/dictionary/anīgha.txt · Last modified: 2019/09/25 05:32 by