Pāḷi; √ anaññaposin
alt. sp.: IPA: ən̪əɲɲəpoːs̪ɪn̪, Velthuis: ana~n~naposin, readable: anannyaposin, simple: anannaposin
translation ~: …
anaññaposin: Description welcome. Info can be removed after imput.
by late Ven. Nyanalokita Thera:
by the Pali Text Society:
by Ven. Thanissaro Maha Thera:
by Ven. Varado Maha Thera:
Anaññaposin occurs five times in the scriptures, and always in verse. It is associated with bhikkhus who walk on uninterrupted almsround (called sapadānacārī, MN i 30). This is an austere practice (dhutaguṇa, Vin.3.15) according to which a bhikkhu visits all houses on an almsroute, and therefore does not cultivate special supporters.
Comprehending anaññaposin is confounded by the other meanings of poseti and its derivatives. The PED, for example, suggests anaññaposino means ‘not nourished by another’ (see under posin). Norman calls it ‘not supporting others’ (Snp 65). From this, we see the extent of the puzzle:
In considering this issue, we will accomplish the following objectives:
Puṭṭha is the past participle of poseti. Here it means ‘to nourish’:
• Like a hero nourished on royal food
Sūro yathā rājakhādāya puṭṭho. (Snp 831)
Posakā means ‘feeding’:
• Parents are of great help to their children, in nursing them, feeding them, and showing them the world.
bahukārā bhikkhave mātāpitaro puttānaṁ āpādakā posakā imassa lokassa dassetāro. (AN i 62)
Posa is the absolutive of poseti. In the following passage it means ‘to support,’ where ‘difficult to support’ could mean either financially difficult to support, or emotionally difficult to support:
• Formerly, the bhikkhus lived happily, the disciples of Gotama. They sought their almsfood without desire. They used their abodes without desire. Knowing the world’s unlastingness [according to reality], they put an end to suffering.
Sukhajivino pure āsuṁ bhikkhū gotamasāvakā
Anicchā piṇḍamesanā anicchā sayanāsanaṁ
Loke aniccataṁ ñatvā dukkhassantaṁ akaṁsu te.
… But now, like headmen in a village, they make themselves difficult to support. They eat and eat, and then lie down, infatuated with other people’s homes.
Dupposaṁ katvā attānaṁ gāme gāmaṇikā viya
Bhūtvā bhutvā nipajjanti parāgāresu mucchitā. (SN i 61)
Poseti: to take care of
Poseti means ‘to take care of’:
• Then the brahman who took care of his mother said to the Blessed One
mātuposako brāhmaṇo bhagavantaṁ etadavoca.
• Master Gotama, I seek almsfood righteously and thereby take care of my parents. In doing so, am I doing my duty?
Ahaṁ hi bho gotama dhammena bhikkhaṁ pariyesāmi. Dhammena bhikkhaṁ pariyesitvā mātāpitaro posemi. Kaccāhaṁ bho gotama evaṁkārī kiccakārī homī ti?
• Certainly, brahman, in doing so you are doing your duty. One who seeks almsfood righteously and thereby takes care of his parents begets much merit.
Taggha tvaṁ brāhmaṇa evaṁkārī kiccakārī hosi. Yo kho brāhmaṇa dhammena bhikkhaṁ pariyesati. Dhammena bhikkhaṁ pariyesitvā mātāpitaro poseti. Bahuṁ so puññaṁ pasavatī ti. (SN i 181-2)
Poseti: to take care of
Jīvaka, as a newborn baby, was discovered on a rubbish heap by Prince Abhaya, who told his men:
• Well, sirs, take that boy to our women’s quarters and give him to nurses to be taken care of (posetuṁ).
Tena hi bhaṇe taṁ dārakaṁ amhākaṁ antepuraṁ netvā dhātīnaṁ detha posetun ti.
… The men took the boy to Prince Abhaya’s women’s quarters and gave him to nurses saying, ‘Take care of him’ (posethā)
taṁ dārakaṁ abhayassa rājakumārassa antepuraṁ netvā dhātīnaṁ adaṁsu posethā ti.
… Because it was said of him ‘He’s alive,’ they named him Jīvaka.
Tassa jīvatī ti jīvako ti nāmaṁ akaṁsu.
… Because the Prince had him taken care of (posāpito), they called him Komārabhacca.
Kumārena posāpito ti komārabhacco ti nāmaṁ akaṁsu
In due course, Jīvaka Komārabhacca approached Prince Abhaya, and asked:
• Who, sire, is my mother? Who is my father?
kā me deva mātā? Ko pitā ti.
• Not even I, good Jīvaka, know your mother, but I am your father, for I had you taken care of (posāpito).
Ahampi kho te bhaṇe jīvaka mātaraṁ na jānāmi. Apicāhaṁ te pitā. Mayāsi posāpito ti. (Vin.1.269)
Apicāhaṁ te pitā. Mayāsi posāpito ti. Word play.
• The devas envy the bhikkhu who collects his food on almsround, who is self-reliant, not supported by a patron, inwardly at peace, and continuously mindful.
Piṇḍapātikassa bhikkhuno attabharassa anaññaposino.
Devā pihayanti tādino upasantassa sadā satimato ti. (Uda 30)
Context: Venerable MahāKassapa walking on uninterrupted house-to-house almsround in Rājagaha.
Not supported by a patron: not emotionally bound to any particular family
The following verse from the Khagaggavisāṇa Sutta repeatedly shows that a bhikkhu who is anaññaposī has no patron. Of particular interest is the link to kule kule appaṭibaddhacitto. The verse could be cynically interpreted as saying that patrons are for greedy, self-indulgent bhikkhus who do not walk on uninterrupted house-to-house almsround, and who are emotionally attached to particular supporters:
• Having no greed for flavours, not self-indulgent, not supported by a patron, walking on uninterrupted house-to-house almsround, not emotionally bound to any particular family, one should live the religious life as solitarily as a rhinoceros horn.
Rasesu gedhaṁ akaraṁ alolo anaññaposī sapadānacārī
Kule kule appaṭibaddhacitto eko care khaggavisāṇakappo. (Snp 65)
Illustration: anaññaposin, not supported by a patron
This bhikkhu Brahmadeva, madam, free of attachment has surpassed the devas. Liberated from the perception of existence, not supported by a patron, this very bhikkhu has entered your house for alms.
Eso hi te brāhmaṇī brahmadevo nirupadhiko atidevappatto
Akiñcano bhikkhu anaññaposī yo te so piṇḍāya gharaṁ paviṭṭho. (SN i 141)
Context: Venerable Brahmadeva walking on uninterrupted almsround in Sāvatthī.
One who is not supported by a patron, not well-known, inwardly tamed, established in excellent qualities, whose āsavas are destroyed, and who is free of spiritual flaws, he is what I call a Brahman.
Anaññaposiṁ aññātaṁ dantaṁ sāre patiṭṭhitaṁ
Khīṇāsavaṁ vantadosaṁ tamahaṁ brūmi brāhmaṇan ti. (Uda 4)
Context: Venerable MahāKassapa (‘not well-known’!) walking on almsround in the poor district of Rājagaha.
The devas envy the bhikkhu who collects his food on almsround, who is self-reliant, not supported by a patron, but not if it is based on desire for praise and fame.
Piṇḍapātikassa bhikkhuno attabharassa anaññaposino
Devā pihayanti tādino no ce saddasilokanissito ti. (Uda 31)
Context: Bhikkhus walking on almsround for selfish reasons.
Suttas and Dhammadesanā