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Neither bonded, nor free

Neither bonded, nor free

कुसले पुण नो बद्धे, नो मुत्ते

Wise man is neither bonded nor free

Here, wise man has been described in an ornamental language. One who is in bondage cannot be free, and one who is free cannot be in bondage. Man can either be in bondage or free. He cannot be in both the conditions, simultaneously.

Thus, one who is not bonded, surely he is free; and one who is not free, he is surely bonded, but here, a wise man is described as one without both the conditions. How is it possible that one is neither free, nor bonded?

Philosophers or experienced men sometimes say astonishing things, which are not contrary but ornamentally seem to be so. It applies here too.

Objects of senses do not bind a wise man; but he is not free from his duties. From this perspective, it has been said that he neither is in bondage, nor free.

- Acaranga Sutra 1/2/6

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