In this article I investigate a difficult saying of the Buddha, preserved in three places in Pāli canonical discourses: n’ āhaṃ kvacani kassaci kiñcanatasmiṃ, na ca mama kvacani kismiñci kiñcanat’ atthi (‘There is no I anywhere in anyone’s property, and neither is there anywhere in anything property which is mine’). At A 3: 70, this saying is attributed to the Jains, while at A 4: 185, the Buddha teaches it as a ‘brahman truth’ acceptable to paribbājakas, and at M 106, the Buddha teaches it as a means of attaining the experiential dimension of no-thing-ness (ākiñcaññāyatana). I compare this Pāli saying with a Jain version, preserved in the Āyāraṅga Sutta, and I also compare it other versions preserved in Sanskrit and Gāndhārī, as well as in versions translated into Chinese and Tibetan. I conclude that the Pāli version has become garbled in transmission, and I reconstruct two conjectural original forms of the saying, one of them suitable to be attributed to the Jains and one the Buddha’s modification of this Jain saying. I conclude that the old saying is an example of Buddhist recycling of sayings current in the śramaṇa culture of north India.
Jones, Dhivan Thomas
"From Nothing to No-thing-ness to Emptiness: the Buddhist Recycling of an Old Jain Saying,"
The Indian International Journal of Buddhist Studies: Vol. 22, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.linfield.edu/iijbs/vol22/iss1/3