Noble Eightfold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path (Pali: ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga; Sanskrit: āryāṣṭāṅgamārga)[1] is an early summary of the path of Buddhist practices leading to liberation from samsara, the painful cycle of rebirth.[2][3]

The Eightfold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right samadhi ('meditative absorption or union').[4] In early Buddhism, these practices started with understanding that the body-mind works in a corrupted way (right view), followed by entering the Buddhist path of self-observance, self-restraint, and cultivating kindness and compassion; and culminating in dhyana or samadhi, which re-inforces these practices for the development of the body-mind.[5][6][7][8] In later Buddhism, insight (Prajñā) became the central soteriological instrument, leading to a different concept and structure of the path,[5][9] in which the "goal" of the Buddhist path came to be specified as ending ignorance and rebirth.[10][11][12][3][13][14]

The Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of Theravada Buddhism, taught to lead to Arhatship.[15] In the Theravada tradition, this path is also summarized as sila (morality), samadhi (meditation) and prajna (insight). In Mahayana Buddhism, this path is contrasted with the Bodhisattva path, which is believed to go beyond Arahatship to full Buddhahood.[15]

In Buddhist symbolism, the Noble Eightfold Path is often represented by means of the dharma wheel (dharmachakra), in which its eight spokes represent the eight elements of the path.

The eight spoke Dharma wheel symbolizes the Noble Eightfold Path
Translations of
The Noble Eightfold Path
Paliअरिय अट्ठङगिक मग्ग
(ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga)
(IAST: āryāṣṭāṅgamārga)
Bengaliঅটাঙ্গিক আর্য মার্গ
(Aṭāṅgika ārya mārga)
(IPA: [mɛʔɡɪ̀ɴ ʃɪʔ pá])
(rōmaji: Hasshōdō)
(UNGEGN: areyadthangkikameak)
(RR: Paljeongdo)
Sinhalaආර්ය අෂ්ටා◌ගික මාර්ගය
Wylie: ‘phags pa’i lam yan lag brgyad pa
THL: pakpé lam yenlak gyépa
(RTGS: Ariya Mak Mi Ong Paet)
VietnameseBát chính đạo
Glossary of Buddhism

Etymology and nomenclature

The Pali term ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga (Sanskrit: āryāṣṭāṅgamārga) is typically translated in English as "Noble Eightfold Path". This translation is a convention started by the early translators of Buddhist texts into English, just like ariya sacca is translated as Four Noble Truths.[16][17] However, the phrase does not mean the path is noble, rather that the path is of the noble people (Pali: arya meaning 'enlightened, noble, precious people').[18] The term magga (Sanskrit: mārga) means "path", while aṭṭhaṅgika (Sanskrit: aṣṭāṅga) means "eightfold". Thus, an alternate rendering of ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga is "eightfold path of the noble ones",[3][19][20] or "eightfold Aryan Path".[21][22][23]

All eight elements of the Path begin with the word samyañc (in Sanskrit) or sammā (in Pāli) which means "right, proper, as it ought to be, best".[21] The Buddhist texts contrast samma with its opposite miccha.[21]

The Eightfold Path


According to Indologist Tilmann Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may initially have been as simple as the term the middle way.[5] In time, this short description was elaborated, resulting in the description of the eightfold path.[5] Tilmann Vetter and historian Rod Bucknell both note that longer descriptions of "the path" can be found in the early texts, which can be condensed into the eightfold path.[5][24][note 1]

The Eight Divisions

The eight Buddhist practices in the Noble Eightfold Path are:[27][note 2]

  1. Right View: our actions have consequences, death is not the end, and our actions and beliefs have consequences after death. The Buddha followed and taught a successful path out of this world and the other world (heaven and underworld/hell).[28][29][30][31][note 3] Later on, right view came to explicitly include karma and rebirth, and the importance of the Four Noble Truths, when "insight" became central to Buddhist soteriology.[32][33]
  2. Right Resolve or Intention: the giving up home and adopting the life of a religious mendicant in order to follow the path; this concept aims at peaceful renunciation, into an environment of non-sensuality, non-ill-will (to loving kindness), away from cruelty (to compassion).[34] Such an environment aids contemplation of impermanence, suffering, and non-Self.[34]
  3. Right Speech: no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him.[27]
  4. Right Conduct or Action: no killing or injuring, no taking what is not given, no sexual acts, no material desires.[27]
  5. Right Livelihood: beg to feed, only possessing what is essential to sustain life;[27]
  6. Right Effort: preventing the arising of unwholesome states, and generating wholesome states, the bojjhagā (seven factors of awakening). This includes indriya-samvara, "guarding the sense-doors," restraint of the sense faculties.[35][34]
  7. Right Mindfulness (sati; Satipatthana; Sampajañña): "retention," being mindful of the dhammas ("teachings," "elements") that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.[36][note 4] In the vipassana movement, sati is interpreted as "bare attention": never be absent minded, being conscious of what one is doing;[38] this encourages the awareness of the impermanence of body, feeling and mind, as well as to experience the five aggregates (skandhas), the five hindrances, the four True Realities and seven factors of awakening.[34]
  8. Right samadhi (Passaddhi; Ekaggata; sampasadana): practicing four stages of dhyāna ("meditation"), which includes samadhi proper in the second stage, and reinforces the development of the bojjhagā, culminating into upekkha (equanimity) and mindfulness.[39][8] In the Theravada tradition and the Vipassana movement, this is interpreted as ekaggata, concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, and supplemented with Vipassana-meditation, which aims at insight.


Following the Noble Eightfold Path leads to liberation in the form of nirvana:[40][41]

(...) Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

— The Buddha, Nagara Sutta, Samyutta Nikaya ii.124, Translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu[42][43]

Threefold division

The Noble Eightfold Path is sometimes divided into three basic divisions, as follows:[44]

Division Eightfold Path factors
Moral virtue[33] (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla) 3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
Meditation[33] (Sanskrit and Pāli: samādhi) 6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration
Insight, wisdom (Sanskrit: prajñā, Pāli: paññā) 1. Right view
2. Right resolve

This order is a later development, when discriminating insight (prajna) became central to Buddhist soteriology, and came to be regarded as the culmination of the Buddhist path.[45] Yet, Majjhima Nikaya 117, Mahācattārīsaka Sutta, describes the first seven practices as requisites for right samadhi. According to Vetter, this may have been the original soteriological practice in early Buddhism.[5]

"Moral virtues" (Sanskrit: śīla, Pāli: sīla) group consists of three paths: right speech, right action and right livelihood.[33] The word śīla though translated by English writers as linked to "morals or ethics", states Bhikkhu Bodhi, is in ancient and medieval Buddhist commentary tradition closer to the concept of discipline and disposition that "leads to harmony at several levels – social, psychological, karmic and contemplative".[46] Such harmony creates an environment to pursue the meditative steps in the Noble Eightfold Path by reducing social disorder, preventing inner conflict that result from transgressions, favoring future karma-triggered movement through better rebirths, and purifying the mind.[46][47]

The meditation group ("samadhi") of the path progresses from moral restraints to training the mind.[48][49] Right effort and mindfulness calm the mind-body complex, releasing unwholesome states and habitual patterns and encouraging the development of wholesome states and non-automatic responses, the bojjhagā (seven factors of awakening). The practice of dhyana reinforces these developments, leading to upekkha (equanimity) and mindfulness.[39][8] According to the Theravada commentarial tradition and the contemporary Vipassana movement, the goal in this group of the Noble Eightfold Path is to develop clarity and insight into the nature of reality – dukkha, anicca and anatta, discard negative states and dispel avidya (ignorance), ultimately attaining nirvana.[50]

In the threefold division, prajna (insight, wisdom) is presented as the culmination of the path, whereas in the eightfold division the path starts with correct knowledge or insight, which is needed to understand why this path should be followed.[51]

Tenfold Path

In the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta[52][53] which appears in the Chinese and Pali canons, the Buddha explains that cultivation of the noble eightfold path of a learner leads to the development of two further paths of the Arahants, which are right knowledge, or insight (sammā-ñāṇa), and right liberation, or release (sammā-vimutti).[54] These two factors fall under the category of wisdom (paññā).[55]

The Noble Eightfold Path, in the Buddhist traditions, is the direct means to nirvana and brings a release from the cycle of life and death in the realms of samsara.[56][57]

Further explanation

Right view

"Right view" (samyak-dṛṣṭi / sammā-diṭṭhi) or "right understanding"[58] explicates that our actions have consequences, that death is not the end, that our actions and beliefs also have consequences after death, and that the Buddha followed and taught a successful path out of this world and the other world (heaven and underworld or hell).[28][29][30][31] Majjhima Nikaya 117, Mahācattārīsaka Sutta, a text from the Pāli Canon, describes the first seven practices as requisites of right samadhi, starting with right view:

Of those, right view is the forerunner [...] And what is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed.[note 5] There are fruits, and results of good and bad actions. There is this world and the next world. There is mother and father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are contemplatives and brahmans who faring rightly and practicing rightly, proclaim this world and the next after having directly known and realized it for themselves.' This is the right view with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.[52][59]

Later on, right view came to explicitly include karma and rebirth, and the importance of the Four Noble Truths, when "insight" became central to Buddhist soteriology.[32] This presentation of right view still plays an essential role in Theravada Buddhism.[33]

The purpose of right view is to clear one's path from confusion, misunderstanding, and deluded thinking. It is a means to gain right understanding of reality.[60] In the interpretation of some Buddhist movements, state Religion Studies scholar George Chryssides and author Margaret Wilkins, right view is non-view: as the enlightened become aware that nothing can be expressed in fixed conceptual terms and rigid, dogmatic clinging to concepts is discarded.[60]


Right View can be further subdivided, states translator Bhikkhu Bodhi, into mundane right view and superior or supramundane right view:[61][62]

  1. Mundane right view, knowledge of the fruits of good behavior. Having this type of view will bring merit and will support the favourable rebirth of the sentient being in the realm of samsara.
  2. Supramundane (world-transcending) right view, the understanding of karma and rebirth, as implicated in the Four Noble Truths, leading to awakening and liberation from rebirths and associated dukkha in the realms of samsara.[63][33]

According to Theravada Buddhism, mundane right view is a teaching that is suitable for lay followers, while supramundane right view, which requires a deeper understanding, is suitable for monastics. Mundane and supramundane right view involve accepting the following doctrines of Buddhism:[64][65]

  1. Karma: Every action of body, speech, and mind has karmic results, and influences the kind of future rebirths and realms a being enters into.
  2. Three marks of existence: everything, whether physical or mental, is impermanent (anicca), a source of suffering (dukkha), and lacks a self (anatta).
  3. The Four Noble Truths are a means to gaining insights and ending dukkha.

Right resolve

Right resolve (samyak-saṃkalpa / sammā saṅkappa) can also be known as "right thought", "right intention", or "right aspiration". In this factor, the practitioner resolves to leave home, renounce the worldly life and dedicate himself to an ascetic pursuit.[27][33] In section III.248, the Majjhima Nikaya states,

And what is right resolve? Being resolved on renunciation, on freedom from ill will, on harmlessness: This is called right resolve.[66]

Like right view, this factor has two levels. At the mundane level, the resolve includes being harmless (ahimsa) and refraining from ill will (avyabadha) to any being, as this accrues karma and leads to rebirth.[33][67] At the supramundane level, the factor includes a resolve to consider everything and everyone as impermanent, a source of suffering and without a Self.[67]

Right speech

Right speech (samyag-vāc / sammā-vācā) in most Buddhist texts is presented as four abstentions, such as in the Pali Canon thus:[52][68]

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, and from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

Instead of the usual "abstention and refraining from wrong" terminology,[46] a few texts such as the Samaññaphala Sutta and Kevata Sutta in Digha Nikaya explain this virtue in an active sense, after stating it in the form of an abstention.[69] For example, Samaññaphala Sutta states that a part of a monk's virtue is that "he abstains from false speech. He speaks the truth, holds to the truth, is firm, reliable, no deceiver of the world."[69] Similarly, the virtue of abstaining from divisive speech is explained as delighting in creating concord.[69] The virtue of abstaining from abusive speech is explained in this Sutta to include affectionate and polite speech that is pleasing to people. The virtue of abstaining from idle chatter is explained as speaking what is connected with the Dhamma goal of his liberation.[69][33]

In the Abhaya-raja-kumara Sutta, the Buddha explains the virtue of right speech in different scenarios, based on its truth value, utility value and emotive content.[70][71] The Tathagata, states Abhaya Sutta, never speaks anything that is unfactual or factual, untrue or true, disagreeable or agreeable, if that is unbeneficial and unconnected to his goals.[71][72] Further, adds Abhaya Sutta, the Tathagata speaks the factual, the true, if in case it is disagreeable and unendearing, only if it is beneficial to his goals, but with a sense of proper time.[71][72] Additionally, adds Abhaya Sutta, the Tathagata, only speaks with a sense of proper time even when what he speaks is the factual, the true, the agreeable, the endearing and what is beneficial to his goals.[71][72][73]

The Buddha thus explains right speech in the Pali Canon, according to Ganeri, as never speaking something that is not beneficial; and, only speaking what is true and beneficial, "when the circumstances are right, whether they are welcome or not".[73]

Right action

Right action (samyak-karmānta / sammā-kammanta) is like right speech, expressed as abstentions but in terms of bodily action. In the Pali Canon, this path factor is stated as:

And what is right action? Abstaining from killing, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct. This is called right action.[74]

The prohibition on killing precept in Buddhist scriptures applies to all living beings, states Christopher Gowans, not just human beings.[75] Bhikkhu Bodhi agrees, clarifying that the more accurate rendering of the Pali canon is a prohibition on "taking life of any sentient being", which includes human beings, animals, birds, insects but excludes plants because they are not considered sentient beings.[76] Further, adds Bodhi, this precept refers to intentional killing, as well as any form of intentional harming or torturing any sentient being.[76] This moral virtue in early Buddhist texts, both in context of harm or killing of animals and human beings, is similar to ahimsa precepts found in the texts particularly of Jainism as well as of Hinduism,[77][78] and has been a subject of significant debate in various Buddhist traditions.[76]

The prohibition on stealing in the Pali Canon is an abstention from intentionally taking what is not voluntarily offered by the person to whom that property belongs.[79] This includes, states Bhikkhu Bodhi, taking by stealth, by force, by fraud or by deceit.[80] Both the intention and the act matters, as this precept is grounded on the impact on one's karma.[80]

The prohibition on sexual misconduct in the Noble Eightfold Path, states Tilmann Vetter, refers to "not performing sexual acts".[81] This virtue is more generically explained in the Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta, which teaches that one must abstain from all sensual misconduct, including getting sexually involved with someone unmarried (anyone protected by parents or by guardians or by siblings), and someone married (protected by husband), and someone betrothed to another person, and female convicts or by dhamma.[82][83]

For monastics, the abstention from sensual misconduct means strict celibacy, states Christopher Gowans, while for lay Buddhists this prohibits adultery as well as other forms of sensual misconduct.[84][85][86] Later Buddhist texts, states Bhikkhu Bodhi, state that the prohibition on sexual conduct for lay Buddhists includes any sexual involvement with someone married, a girl or woman protected by her parents or relatives, and someone prohibited by dhamma conventions (such as relatives, nuns and others).[82]

Right livelihood

Right livelihood (samyag-ājīva / sammā-ājīva) precept is mentioned in many early Buddhist texts, such as the Mahācattārīsaka Sutta in Majjhima Nikaya as follows:[52]

"And what is right livelihood? Right livelihood, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions; there is right livelihood that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path.

"And what is the right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones abandons wrong livelihood and maintains his life with right livelihood. This is the right livelihood with effluents, siding with merit, resulting in acquisitions.

"And what is the right livelihood that is noble, without effluents, transcendent, a factor of the path? The abstaining, desisting, abstinence, avoidance of wrong livelihood in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is without effluents, who is fully possessed of the noble path. (...)

The early canonical texts state right livelihood as avoiding and abstaining from wrong livelihood. This virtue is further explained in Buddhist texts, states Vetter, as "living from begging, but not accepting everything and not possessing more than is strictly necessary".[81] For lay Buddhists, states Harvey, this precept requires that the livelihood avoid causing suffering to sentient beings by cheating them, or harming or killing them in any way.[34]

The Anguttara Nikaya III.208, states Harvey, asserts that the right livelihood does not trade in weapons, living beings, meat, alcoholic drink or poison.[34][87] The same text, in section V.177, asserts that this applies to lay Buddhists.[88] This has meant, states Harvey, that raising and trading cattle livestock for slaughter is a breach of "right livelihood" precept in the Buddhist tradition, and Buddhist countries lack the mass slaughter houses found in Western countries.[89]

Right effort

Right effort (samyag-vyāyāma / sammā-vāyāma) is preventing the arising of unwholesome states, and the generation of wholesome states. This includes indriya-samvara, "guarding the sense-doors," restraint of the sense faculties.[35] Right effort is presented in the Pali Canon, such as the Sacca-vibhanga Sutta, as follows:[68][74]

And what is right effort?

Here the monk arouses his will, puts forth effort, generates energy, exerts his mind, and strives to prevent the arising of evil and unwholesome mental states that have not yet arisen.
He arouses his will... and strives to eliminate evil and unwholesome mental states that have already arisen. He arouses his will... and strives to generate wholesome mental states that have not yet arisen.
He arouses his will, puts forth effort, generates energy, exerts his mind, and strives to maintain wholesome mental states that have already arisen, to keep them free of delusion, to develop, increase, cultivate, and perfect them.
This is called right effort.

The unwholesome states (akusala) are described in the Buddhist texts, as those relating to thoughts, emotions, intentions, and these include pancanivarana (five hindrances) – sensual thoughts, doubts about the path, restlessness, drowsiness, and ill will of any kind.[81][90] Of these, the Buddhist traditions consider sensual thoughts and ill will needing more right effort. Sensual desire that must be eliminated by effort includes anything related to sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch.[91] This is to be done by restraint of the sense faculties (indriya-samvara). Ill will that must be eliminated by effort includes any form of aversion including hatred, anger, resentment towards anything or anyone.[91]

Right mindfulness

In the vipassana movement, mindfulness (samyak-smṛti / sammā-sati) is interpreted as "bare attention": never be absent minded, being conscious of what one is doing.[38] Yet, originally it has the meaning of "retention," being mindfull of the dhammas ("teachings," "elements") that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.[36] According to Frauwallner, mindfulness was a means to prevent the arising of craving, which resulted simply from contact between the senses and their objects. According to Frauwallner this may have been the Buddha's original idea.[37] According to Trainor, mindfulness aids one not to crave and cling to any transitory state or thing, by complete and constant awareness of phenomena as impermanent, suffering and without self.[50]

The Satipatthana Sutta describes the contemplation of four domains, namely body, feelings, mind and phenomena.[note 6] The Satipatthana Sutta is regarded by the Vipassana movement as the quintessential text on Buddhist meditation, taking cues from it on "bare attention" and the contemplation on the observed phenomena as dukkha, anatta and anicca.[92][93][note 7][note 8] According to Grzegorz Polak, the four upassanā have been misunderstood by the developing Buddhist tradition, including Theravada, to refer to four different foundations. According to Polak, the four upassanā do not refer to four different foundations of which one should be aware, but are an alternate description of the jhanas, describing how the samskharas are tranquilized:[95]

Rupert Gethin notes that the contemporary Vipassana movement interprets the Satipatthana Sutta as "describing a pure form of insight (vipassanā) meditation" for which samatha (calm) and jhāna are not necessary. Yet, in pre-sectarian Buddhism, the establishment of mindfulness was placed before the practice of the jhanas, and associated with the abandonment of the five hindrances and the entry into the first jhana.[26][note 10]

The dhyāna-scheme describes mindfulness also as appearing in the third and fourth dhyana, after initial concentration of the mind.[45][96][note 11] Gombrich and Wynne note that, while the second jhana denotes a state of absorption, in the third and fourth jhana one comes out of this absorption, being mindfully awareness of objects while being indifferent to them.[97][note 12] According to Gombrich, "the later tradition has falsified the jhana by classifying them as the quintessence of the concentrated, calming kind of meditation, ignoring the other – and indeed higher – element.[96]

Right Concentration


Samadhi (samyak-samādhi / sammā-samādhi) is a common practice in Indian religions. The term samadhi derives from the root sam-a-dha, which means 'to collect' or 'bring together', and thus it is often translated as 'concentration' or 'unification of mind'. In the early Buddhist texts, samadhi is also associated with the term "samatha" (calm abiding). In the suttas, samadhi is defined as one-pointedness of mind (Cittass'ekaggatā).[98] Buddhagosa defines samadhi as "the centering of consciousness and consciousness concomitants evenly and rightly on a single object...the state in virtue of which consciousness and its concomitants remain evenly and rightly on a single object, undistracted and unscattered."[99]

According to Bhikkhu Bodhi, the right concentration factor is reaching a one-pointedness of mind and unifying all mental factors, but it is not the same as "a gourmet sitting down to a meal, or a soldier on the battlefield" who also experience one-pointed concentration.[100] The difference is that the latter have a one-pointed object in focus with complete awareness directed to that object – the meal or the target, respectively. In contrast, right concentration meditative factor in Buddhism is a state of awareness without any object or subject, and ultimately unto nothingness and emptiness.[100]


Bronkhorst notes that neither the Four Noble Truths nor the Noble Eightfold Path discourse provide details of right samadhi.[101] The explanation is to be found in the Canonical texts of Buddhism, in several Suttas, such as the following in Saccavibhanga Sutta:[68][74]

And what is right concentration?

[i] Here, the monk, detached from sense-desires, detached from unwholesome states, enters and remains in the first jhana (level of concentration, Sanskrit: dhyāna), in which there is applied and sustained thinking, together with joy and pleasure born of detachment;
[ii] And through the subsiding of applied and sustained thinking, with the gaining of inner stillness and oneness of mind, he enters and remains in the second jhana, which is without applied and sustained thinking, and in which there are joy and pleasure born of concentration;
[iii] And through the fading of joy, he remains equanimous, mindful and aware, and he experiences in his body the pleasure of which the Noble Ones say: "equanimous, mindful and dwelling in pleasure", and thus he enters and remains in the third jhana;
[iv] And through the giving up of pleasure and pain, and through the previous disappearance of happiness and sadness, he enters and remains in the fourth jhana, which is without pleasure and pain, and in which there is pure equanimity and mindfulness.
This is called right concentration.[74][102]

Bronkhorst has questioned the historicity and chronology of the description of the four jhanas. Bronkhorst states that this path may be similar to what the Buddha taught, but the details and the form of the description of the jhanas in particular, and possibly other factors, is likely the work of later scholasticism.[103][104] Bronkhorst notes that description of the third jhana cannot have been formulated by the Buddha, since it includes the phrase "Noble Ones say", quoting earlier Buddhists, indicating it was formulated by later Buddhists.[103] It is likely that later Buddhist scholars incorporated this, then attributed the details and the path, particularly the insights at the time of liberation, to have been discovered by the Buddha.[103]


Although often translated as "concentration," as in the limiting of the attention of the mind on one object, in the fourth dhyana "equanimity and mindfulness remain,"[105] and the practice of concentration-meditation may well have been incorporated from non-Buddhist traditions.[106] Vetter notes that samadhi consists of the four stages of dhyana meditation, but put it more accurately, the first dhyana seems to provide, after some time, a state of strong concentration, from which the other stages come forth; the second stage is called samadhija.[45]

Gombrich and Wynne note that, while the second jhana denotes a state of absorption, in the third and fourth jhana one comes out of this absorption, being mindfully awareness of objects while being indifferent to it.[97][note 13] According to Gombrich, "the later tradition has falsified the jhana by classifying them as the quintessence of the concentrated, calming kind of meditation, ignoring the other – and indeed higher – element.[96]


Order of practice

Vetter notes that originally the path culminated in the practice of dhyana/samadhi as the core soteriological practice.[5] According to the Pali and Chinese canon, the samadhi state (right concentration) is dependent on the development of preceding path factors:[52][107][108]

The Blessed One said: "Now what, monks, is noble right concentration with its supports and requisite conditions? Any singleness of mind equipped with these seven factors — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness — is called noble right concentration with its supports and requisite conditions.

— Maha-cattarisaka Sutta

According to the discourses, right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, and right mindfulness are used as the support and requisite conditions for the practice of right concentration. Understanding of the right view is the preliminary role, and is also the forerunner of the entire Noble Eightfold Path.[52][109]

According to the modern Theravada bhikkhu (monk) and scholar Walpola Rahula, the divisions of the noble eightfold path "are to be developed more or less simultaneously, as far as possible according to the capacity of each individual. They are all linked together and each helps the cultivation of the others."[110] Bhikkhu Bodhi explains that these factors are not sequential, but components, and "with a certain degree of progress all eight factors can be present simultaneously, each supporting the others. However, until that point is reached, some sequence in the unfolding of the path is inevitable."[111]

The stage in the Path where there is no more learning in Yogachara Abhidharma, state Buswell and Gimello, is identical to Nirvana or Buddhahood, the ultimate goal in Buddhism.[112][113]


According to Bernard Faure, the ancient and medieval Buddhist texts and traditions, like other religions, were almost always unfavorable or discriminatory against women, in terms of their ability to pursue Noble Eightfold Path, attain Buddhahood and nirvana.[114][115] This issue of presumptions about the "female religious experience" is found in Indian texts, in translations into non-Indian languages, and in regional non-Indian commentaries written in East Asian kingdoms such as those in China, Japan and southeast Asia.[114] Yet, like other Indian religions, exceptions and veneration of females is found in Indian Buddhist texts, and female Buddhist deities are likewise described in positive terms and with reverence. Nevertheless, females are seen as polluted with menstruation, sexual intercourse, death and childbirth. Rebirth as a woman is seen in the Buddhist texts as a result of part of past karma, and inferior than that of a man.[114]

In some Chinese and Japanese Buddhist texts, the status of female deities are not presented positively, unlike the Indian tradition, states Faure.[114] In the Huangshinu dui Jingang (Woman Huang explicates the Diamond Sutra), a woman admonishes her husband about he slaughtering animals, who attacks her gender and her past karma, implying that "women go to hell" not because of her intentions nor actions (kamma), but simply because of the biology of her gender and the bodily functions over which she has no choice.[116][117] Similar discriminatory presumptions are found in other Buddhist texts such as the Blood Bowl Sutra and the Longer Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra.[114][116] In the Five Obstacles theory[note 14] of Buddhism, a woman is required to attain rebirth as a man before she can adequately pursue the Eightfold Path and reach perfect Buddhahood. The Lotus Sutra similarly presents the story of the Dragon King's daughter, who desires to achieve perfect enlightenment. The Sutra states that, "Her female organs vanished, the male organs became visible, then she appeared as a bodhisattva".[120]

Gender discrimination worsened during the medieval era in various sub-traditions of Buddhism that independently developed regionally, such as in Japan.[121]

Some scholars, such as Kenneth Doo Young Lee, interpret the Lotus Sutra to imply that "women were capable of gaining salvation", either after they first turned into a man, or being reborn in Pure Land realm after following the Path.[122] Peter Harvey lists many Sutras that suggest "having faded out the mind-set of a woman and developed the mind-set of a man, he was born in his present male form", and who then proceeds to follow the Path and became an Arahant.[123] Among Mahayana texts, there is a sutra dedicated to the concept of how a person might be born as a woman. The traditional assertion is that women are more prone to harboring feelings of greed, hatred and delusion than a man. The Buddha responds to this assumption by teaching the method of moral development through which a woman can achieve rebirth as a man.[124]

According to Wei-Yi Cheng, the Pali Canon is silent about women's inferior karma, but have statements and stories that mention the Eightfold Path while advocating female subordination.[125] For example, a goddess reborn in the heavenly realm asserts:

When I was born a human being among men I was a daughter-in-law in a wealthy family. I was without anger, obedient to my husband, diligent on the Observance (days). When I was born a human being, young and innocent, with a mind of faith, I delighted my lord. By day and by night I acted to please. Of old (...). On the fourteenth, fifteenth and eighth (days) of the bright fortnight and on a special day of the fortnight well connected with the eightfold (precepts) I observed the Observance day with a mind of faith, was one who was faring according to Dhamma with zeal in my heart...

— Vimanavatthu III.3.31, Wei-Yi Cheng[125]

Such examples, states Wei-Yi Cheng, include conflating statements about spiritual practice (Eightfold Path, Dhamma) and "obedience to my husband" and "by day and by night I acted to please", thus implying unquestioned obedience of male authority and female subjugation.[125] Such statements are not isolated, but common, such as in section II.13 of the Petavatthu which teaches that a woman had to "put away the thoughts of a woman" as she pursued the Path and this merit obtained her a better rebirth; the Jataka stories of the Pali Canon have numerous such stories, as do the Chinese Sutta that assert "undesirability of womanhood".[125] Modern Buddhist nuns have applied Buddhist doctrines such as Pratītyasamutpāda to explain their disagreement with women's inferior karma in past lives as implied in Samyutta Nikaya 13, states Wei-Yi Cheng, while asserting that the Path can be practiced by either gender and "both men and women can become arhant".[126]

Cognitive psychology

The noble eightfold path has been compared to cognitive psychology, wherein states Gil Fronsdal, the right view factor can be interpreted to mean how one's mind views the world, and how that leads to patterns of thought, intention and actions.[127] In contrast, Peter Randall states that it is the seventh factor or right mindfulness that may be thought in terms of cognitive psychology, wherein the change in thought and behavior are linked.[128]

See also


  1. ^ One of those longer sequences, from the CulaHatthipadopama-sutta, the "Lesser Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant's Footprints", is as follows:[25]
    1. Dhammalsaddhalpabbajja: A layman hears a Buddha teach the Dhamma, comes to have faith in him, and decides to take ordination as a monk;
    2. sila: He adopts the moral precepts;
    3. indriyasamvara: He practises "guarding the six sense-doors";
    4. sati-sampajanna: He practises mindfulness and self-possession (actually described as mindfulness of the body, kāyānussatti);
    5. jhana 1: He finds an isolated spot in which to meditate, purifies his mind of the hindrances (nwarana), and attains the first rupa-jhana;
    6. jhana 2: He attains the second jhana;
    7. jhana 3: He attains the third jhana;
    8. jhana 4: He attains the fourth jhana;
    9. pubbenivasanussati-nana: he recollects his many former existences in samsara;
    10. sattanam cutupapata-nana: he observes the death and rebirth of beings according to their karmas;
    11. dsavakkhaya-nana: He brings about the destruction of the dsavas (cankers), and attains a profound realization of (as opposed to mere knowledge about) the four noble truths;
    12. vimutti: He perceives that he is now liberated, that he has done what was to be done.

    A similar sequence can be found in the Sāmaññaphala-sutta.[26]
  2. ^ See also Majjhima Nikaya 44, Culavedalla Sutta
  3. ^ Quotes:
    * Vetter: "Compare AN 10.17.10 (Nal. ed. IV p. 320,26): "He has the right views (sammiiditthiko hotz), he does not see things in a wrong way: that which is given exists, that which is sacrificed exists, that which in poured (into the fire) exists, the fruit, i.e. retribution for good and evil actions, exists, the world, here, exists, the other world exists, the mother exists, the father exists, beings who appear (spontaneously) exist, in the world ascetics and brahmans exist who have gone and followed the right path and who describe this world and the other world from their own experience and realization."
    * Wei-hsün Fu and Wawrytko: "In the Theravada Buddhist Canon, many episodes appear where the Buddha emphasizes that accepting the reality of an afterlife is a part of having the Right View, the initial wisdom that one must have in pursuit of [...]"[30]
  4. ^ According to Frauwallner, mindfulness was a means to prevent the arising of craving, which resulted simply from contact between the senses and their objects; this may have been the Buddha’s original idea;[37] compare Buddhadasa, Heartwood of the Bodhi-tree, on Pratītyasamutpāda; and Grzegorz Polak (2011), Reexamining Jhana: Towards a Critical Reconstruction of Early Buddhist Soteriology, p.153-156, 196-197.
  5. ^ Vetter translates it as "offering into the fire".[59]
  6. ^ The formula is repeated in other sutras, for example the Sacca-vibhanga Sutta (MN 141): "And what is right mindfulness?
    Here the monk remains contemplating the body as body, resolute, aware and mindful, having put aside worldly desire and sadness;
    he remains contemplating feelings as feelings;
    he remains contemplating mental states as mental states;
    he remains contemplating mental objects as mental objects, resolute, aware and mindful, having put aside worldly desire and sadness;
    This is called right mindfulness."[68][74]
  7. ^ From The Way of Mindfulness, The Satipatthana Sutta and Its Commentary, Soma Thera (1998),
    For the dull-witted man of the theorizing type [ditthi carita] it is convenient to see consciousness [citta] in the fairly simple way it is set forth in this discourse, by way of impermanence [aniccata], and by way of such divisions as mind-with-lust [saragadi vasena], in order to reject the notion of permanence [nicca sañña] in regard to consciousness. Consciousness is a special condition [visesa karana] for the wrong view due to a basic belief in permanence [niccanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. The contemplation on consciousness, the Third Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity of this type of man.[94]
    For the keen-witted man of the theorizing type it is convenient to see mental objects or things [dhamma], according to the manifold way set forth in this discourse, by way of perception, sense-impression and so forth [nivaranadi vasena], in order to reject the notion of a soul [atta sañña] in regard to mental things. Mental things are special conditions for the wrong view due to a basic belief in a soul [attanti abhinivesa vatthutaya ditthiya]. For this type of man the contemplation on mental objects, the Fourth Arousing of Mindfulness, is the Path to Purity.[94]
  8. ^ Vetter and Bronkhorst note that the path starts with right view, which includes insight into anicca, dukkha and anatta.
  9. ^ Note how kāyānupassanā, vedanānupassanā, and cittānupassanā, resemble the five skandhas and the chain of causation as described in the middle part of Pratītyasamutpāda; while dhammānupassanā refers to mindfulness as retention, calling into mind the beneficial dhammas which are applied to analyse phenomena, and counter the arising of disturbing thoughts and emotions.
  10. ^ Gethin: "The sutta is often read today as describing a pure form of insight (vipassanā) meditation that bypasses calm (samatha) meditation and the four absorptions (jhāna), as outlined in the description of the Buddhist path found, for example, in the Sāmaññaphala-sutta [...] The earlier tradition, however, seems not to have always read it this way, associating accomplishment in the exercise of establishing mindfulness with abandoning of the five hindrances and the first absorption."[26]
  11. ^ Original publication: Gombrich, Richard (2007), Religious Experience in Early Buddhism, OCHS Library
  12. ^ Original publication: Gombrich, Richard (2007), Religious Experience in Early Buddhism, OCHS Library
  13. ^ Original publication: Gombrich, Richard (2007), Religious Experience in Early Buddhism, OCHS Library
  14. ^ The Lotus Sutra, for example, asserts "A woman's body is filthy, it is not a Dharma-receptacle. How can you attain unexcelled bodhi?... Also a woman's body even then has five obstacles.[118][119]


  1. ^ Brekke, Torkel. "The Religious Motivation of the Early Buddhists." Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 67, No. 4 (Dec., 1999), p. 860
  2. ^ Gethin 1998, pp. 81-83.
  3. ^ a b c Anderson 2013, pp. 64-65.
  4. ^ Vetter 1988, p. 11-14.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Vetter 1988.
  6. ^ Gethin 1992.
  7. ^ Gethin 2004.
  8. ^ a b c Arbel 2017.
  9. ^ Bronkhorst 1993.
  10. ^ Raju 1985, p. 147–151.
  11. ^ Eliot 2014, p. 39–41.
  12. ^ Harvey 2016, p. 253–255.
  13. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 1-13.
  14. ^ Paul Williams, Anthony Tribe & Alexander Wynne 2012, p. 52.
  15. ^ a b Harvey, Peter (2000). An introduction to Buddhist ethics : foundations, values and issues. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press. pp. 123–4. ISBN 0-521-55394-6.
  16. ^ Williams 2002, p. 41.
  17. ^ Buswell & Lopez 2003, p. 66.
  18. ^ Williams 2002, p. 52.
  19. ^ Buswell 2004, p. 296.
  20. ^ Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche (2007). Everyday Consciousness and Primordial Awareness. Snow Lion. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-55939-973-9.
  21. ^ a b c Thomas William Rhys Davids; William Stede (1921). Pali-English Dictionary. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 695–696. ISBN 978-81-208-1144-7.
  22. ^ Mkhas-grub Dge-legs-dpal-bzaṅ-po; José Ignacio Cabezón (1992). A Dose of Emptiness: An Annotated Translation of the sTong thun chen mo of mKhas grub dGe legs dpal bzang. State University of New York Press. p. 214. ISBN 978-0-7914-0729-5.
  23. ^ Chögyam Trungpa (2010). The Heart of the Buddha. Shambhala Publications. p. 119. ISBN 978-0-8348-2125-5.
  24. ^ Bucknell 1984.
  25. ^ Bucknell 1984, p. 11-12.
  26. ^ a b c Gethin, Rupert, Sayings of the Buddha: New Translations from the Pali Nikayas (Oxford World's Classics), 2008, p. 142.
  27. ^ a b c d e Vetter 1988, p. 12-13.
  28. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. 12; 77-79.
  29. ^ a b Velez de Cea 2013, p. 54.
  30. ^ a b c Wei-hsün Fu & Wawrytko 1994, p. 194.
  31. ^ a b Victor Gunasekara, The Pāyāsi Sutta: A Commentary and Analysis
  32. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. 77.
  33. ^ a b c d e f g h i Harvey 2013, p. 83-84.
  34. ^ a b c d e f Harvey 2013, p. 83.
  35. ^ a b Analayo (2013), Satipatthana, Windhorse Publications: "... sense-restraint, which in fact constitues an aspect of right effort."
  36. ^ a b Sharf 2014, p. 942-943.
  37. ^ a b Williams 2000, p. 45.
  38. ^ a b Sharf 2014, p. 941.
  39. ^ a b Polak 2011.
  40. ^ Lopez 2009, p. 136-137.
  41. ^ Stephen J. Laumakis (2008). An Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 150–151. ISBN 978-1-139-46966-1.
  42. ^ Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Nagara Sutta". Access to Insight. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  43. ^ "Samyukta Agama, sutra no. 287, Taisho vol 2, page 80". Cbeta. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  44. ^ Prebish 2000, p. 40.
  45. ^ a b c Vetter 1988, p. 13.
  46. ^ a b c Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 47-48.
  47. ^ Spiro 1982, p. 44-48.
  48. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 65.
  49. ^ Spiro 1982, p. 44-53.
  50. ^ a b Kevin Trainor (2004). Buddhism: The Illustrated Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 74. ISBN 978-0-19-517398-7.
  51. ^ Anderson 2013.
  52. ^ a b c d e f Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Maha-cattarisaka Sutta". Access to Insight. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  53. ^ "Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 2, No. 99, Sutra 785". Cbeta. Archived from the original on 23 September 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  54. ^ Choong 2000, p. 141.
  55. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 55-56.
  56. ^ Lopez 1995, p. 159.
  57. ^ Hirakawa 1990, p. 41.
  58. ^ Gunaratana 2001, p. 11.
  59. ^ a b Vetter 1988, p. 12 with footnote 4.
  60. ^ a b George Chryssides; Margaret Wilkins (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements. A&C Black. pp. 248–249. ISBN 978-0-8264-6167-4.
  61. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi. "The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering". Access to Insight. Retrieved 10 July 2010.
  62. ^ Fuller 2005, p. 56.
  63. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi (2005). In the Buddha's Words: An Anthology of Discourses from the Pali Canon. Wisdom Publications. pp. 147, 446 with note 9. ISBN 978-0-86171-996-9.
  64. ^ Richard Gombrich 2009, p. 27-28, 103-109.
  65. ^ Keown 2000, p. 59, 96-97.
  66. ^ Thanissaro Bhikkhu (2005). "Saccavibhanga Sutta". Access to Insight.
  67. ^ a b Damien Keown; Charles S. Prebish (2013). Encyclopedia of Buddhism. Routledge. p. 333. ISBN 978-1-136-98588-1.
  68. ^ a b c d Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Saccavibhanga Sutta". Access to Insight. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  69. ^ a b c d Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1997). "Samaññaphala Sutta". Access to Insight.
  70. ^ Kalupahana 1992, p. 105.
  71. ^ a b c d Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Abhaya Sutta". Access to Insight. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  72. ^ a b c Kalupahana 1992, p. 50-52.
  73. ^ a b J Ganeri (2007). The Concealed Art of the Soul: Theories of Self and Practices of Truth in Indian Ethics and Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 47–48. ISBN 978-0-19-920241-6.
  74. ^ a b c d e Roderick Bucknell; Chris Kang (2013). The Meditative Way: Readings in the Theory and Practice of Buddhist Meditation. Routledge. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-1-136-80408-3.
  75. ^ Christopher Gowans (2004). Philosophy of the Buddha: An Introduction. Routledge. pp. 177–178. ISBN 978-1-134-46973-4.
  76. ^ a b c Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 57-58.
  77. ^ Purusottama Bilimoria; Joseph Prabhu; Renuka M. Sharma (2007). Indian Ethics: Classical traditions and contemporary challenges. Ashgate Publishing. pp. 311–324. ISBN 978-0-7546-3301-3.
  78. ^ John Arapura (2003). K. R. Sundararajan & Bithika Mukerji (ed.). Hindu Spirituality: Postclassical and Modern. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. 392–417. ISBN 978-81-208-1937-5.
  79. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 58-59.
  80. ^ a b Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 59-60.
  81. ^ a b c Vetter 1988, p. 12.
  82. ^ a b Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 60-62.
  83. ^ Thanissaro Bhikkhu. "Cunda Kammaraputta Sutta". Access to Insight. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  84. ^ Christopher Gowans (2015). Steven M. Emmanuel (ed.). A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy. John Wiley & Sons. p. 440. ISBN 978-1-119-14466-3.
  85. ^ Andrew Powell (1989). Living Buddhism. University of California Press. p. 24. ISBN 978-0-520-20410-2.
  86. ^ David L. Weddle (2010). Miracles: Wonder and Meaning in World Religions. New York University Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-8147-9483-8.
  87. ^ Rahula 2007, p. 53.
  88. ^ Martine Batchelor (2014). The Spirit of the Buddha. Yale University Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-300-17500-4.; Quote: These five trades, O monks, should not be taken up by a lay follower: trading with weapons, trading in living beings, trading in meat, trading in intoxicants, trading in poison."
  89. ^ Harvey 2013, p. 273-274.
  90. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 67-68.
  91. ^ a b Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 69-75.
  92. ^ J. Mark G. Williams; Jon Kabat-Zinn (2013). Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on Its Meaning, Origins and Applications. Routledge. pp. 21–27. ISBN 978-1-317-98514-3.
  93. ^ Cite error: The named reference Nanamoli was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  94. ^ a b Bodhi, Bhikkhu; Thera, Soma (1998). "The Way of Mindfulness: The Satipatthana Sutta and Its Commentary". Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  95. ^ Polak 2011, p. 153-156, 196-197.
  96. ^ a b c Wynne 2007, p. 140, note 58.
  97. ^ a b Wynne 2007, p. 106-107; 140, note 58.
  98. ^ Henepola Gunaratana (1995), The Jhanas in Theravada Buddhist Meditation
  99. ^ Visudimagga 84-85; PP.85
  100. ^ a b Bhikkhu Bodhi 2010, p. 97-110.
  101. ^ Johannes Bronkhorst (2009). Buddhist Teaching in India. Simon and Schuster. pp. 10–17. ISBN 978-0-86171-566-4.
  102. ^ Johannes Bronkhorst (2009). Buddhist Teaching in India. Simon and Schuster. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0-86171-566-4.
  103. ^ a b c Johannes Bronkhorst (2009). Buddhist Teaching in India. Simon and Schuster. pp. 17–19. ISBN 978-0-86171-566-4.
  104. ^ Oliver Freiberger (2006). Asceticism and Its Critics: Historical Accounts and Comparative Perspectives. Oxford University Press. pp. 249–251. ISBN 978-0-19-971901-3.
  105. ^ Bronkhorst 1993, p. 63.
  106. ^ Bronkhorst, p. 53-70.
  107. ^ "Madhyama Agama, Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 1, No. 26, sutra 31 (分別聖諦經第十一)". Cbeta. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  108. ^ "Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 1, No. 32, Page 814". Cbeta. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
  109. ^ "Madhyama Agama, Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 1, No. 26, sutra 189 (中阿含雙品 聖道經第三)". Cbeta. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 27 October 2008.
  110. ^ Rahula 46
  111. ^ Bhikkhu Bodhi. "The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the End of Suffering". Buddhist Publication Society. p. 14. Retrieved 6 May 2008.
  112. ^ Buswell & Gimello 1994, p. 204.
  113. ^ Rinpoche Karma-raṅ-byuṅ-kun-khyab-phrin-las (1986). The Dharma: That Illuminates All Beings Impartially Like the Light of the Sun and Moon. State University of New York Press. pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-0-88706-156-1.; Quote: "There are various ways of examining the Complete Path. For example, we can speak of Five Paths constituting its different levels: the Path of Accumulation, the Path of Application, the Path of Seeing, the Path of Meditation and the Path of No More Learning, or Buddhahood."
  114. ^ a b c d e Bernard Faure (2009). The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender. Princeton University Press. pp. 53–54, 67–70, 78–81, 99–106, . ISBN 978-0-691-09171-6.
  115. ^ Gwilym Beckerlegge (2001). The World Religions Reader. Routledge. pp. 365–370. ISBN 978-0-415-24749-8.
  116. ^ a b R. Alan Cole (1994). Mothers and Sons in Chinese Buddhism. Stanford University Press. pp. 203–204. ISBN 978-0-8047-6510-7.
  117. ^ Wm. Theodore de Bary; Richard Lufrano (2010). Sources of Chinese Tradition: Volume 2: From 1600 Through the Twentieth Century. Columbia University Press. pp. 118–120. ISBN 978-0-231-51799-7.
  118. ^ Gene Reeves (2002). A Buddhist kaleidoscope: essays on the Lotus Sutra. Kosei. pp. 363, 447–448, 475. ISBN 978-4-333-01918-2.
  119. ^ Gwilym Beckerlegge (2001). The World Religions Reader. Routledge. pp. 369–370. ISBN 978-0-415-24749-8.
  120. ^ Bernard Faure (2009). The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender. Princeton University Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-0-691-09171-6.
  121. ^ Bernard Faure (2009). The Power of Denial: Buddhism, Purity, and Gender. Princeton University Press. pp. 112–116. ISBN 978-0-691-09171-6.
  122. ^ Kenneth Doo Young Lee (2012). Prince and the Monk, The: Shotoku Worship in Shinran's Buddhism. State University of New York Press. pp. 93–94. ISBN 978-0-7914-8046-5.
  123. ^ Peter Harvey (2000). An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues. Cambridge University Press. pp. 368–370. ISBN 978-0-521-55640-8.
  124. ^ Peter Harvey (2000). An Introduction to Buddhist Ethics: Foundations, Values and Issues. Cambridge University Press. pp. 371–372. ISBN 978-0-521-55640-8.
  125. ^ a b c d Wei-Yi Cheng (2007). Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan and Sri Lanka: A Critique of the Feminist Perspective. Routledge. pp. 58–60. ISBN 978-1-134-16811-8.
  126. ^ Wei-Yi Cheng (2007). Buddhist Nuns in Taiwan and Sri Lanka: A Critique of the Feminist Perspective. Routledge. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-1-134-16811-8.
  127. ^ Gil Fronsdal. The Dhammapada: A New Translation of the Buddhist Classic with Annotations. Shambhala Publications, Inc. Retrieved 14 July 2009.
  128. ^ Peter Randall (2013). The Psychology of Feeling Sorry: The Weight of the Soul. Routledge. pp. 206–208. ISBN 978-1-136-17026-3.


Primary sources
Secondary sources
  • Anderson, Carol (2013). Pain and Its Ending: The Four Noble Truths in the Theravada Buddhist Canon. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-81325-2.
  • Alexander Berzin (2007), "The Eightfold Noble Path"
  • Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions Of Meditation In Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass Publ.
  • Bucknell, Rod (1984), "The Buddhist to Liberation: An Analysis of the Listing of Stages", The Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 7 (2)
  • Bucknell, Roderick & Stuart-Fox, Martin (1986). The Twilight Language: Explorations in Buddhist Meditation and Symbolism. Curzon Press: London. ISBN 0-312-82540-4
  • Buswell, Robert E. (2004). Encyclopedia of Buddhism: A-L. Macmillan Reference. ISBN 978-0-02-865719-6.
  • Bhikkhu Bodhi (2010), The Noble Eightfold Path: Way to the End of Suffering, Buddhist Publication Society
  • Buswell, Robert E. Jr; Gimello, Robert M. (editors) (1994), Paths to Liberation. The Marga and its Transformations in Buddhist Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass PublishersCS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  • Buswell, Robert E. Jr.; Lopez, Donald Jr. (2003), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University Press
  • Choong, Mun-keat (2000), The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism: A Comparative Study Based on the Sutranga Portion of the Pali Samyutta-Nikaya and the Chinese Samyuktagama, Otto Harrassowitz Verlag
  • Eliot, Charles (2014), Japanese Buddhism, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-317-79274-1
  • Fuller, Paul (2005), The Notion of Ditthi in Theravada Buddhism, RoutledgeCurzon
  • Gethin, Rupert (1998), Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press
  • Richard Gombrich (2009). What the Buddha thought. Equinox. ISBN 978-1-84553-614-5.
  • Gunaratana, Henepola (2001), Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path, Wisdom Publications, ISBN 0-86171-176-9
  • Harvey, Graham (2016), Religions in Focus: New Approaches to Tradition and Contemporary Practices, Routledge
  • Harvey, Peter (2013), An Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press
  • Hirakawa, Akira (1990), A History of Indian Buddhism. From Sakyamuni to Early Mahayana, University of Hawai'i Press, hdl:10125/23030
  • Kalupahana, David J. (1992), A history of Buddhist philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
  • Keown, Damien (2000), Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction (Kindle ed.), Oxford University Press
  • Kohn, Michael H.; tr. The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen. Boston: Shambhala, 1991.
  • Lopez, Donald S (1995), Buddhism in Practice (PDF), Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-04442-2
  • Lopez, Donald, jr. (2009), Buddhism and Science: A Guide for the Perplexed, University of Chicago Press
  • Niimi, J. Buddhism and Cognitive Science. Retrieved 8 July 2006.
  • Polak, Grzegorz (2011), Reexamining Jhana: Towards a Critical Reconstruction of Early Buddhist Soteriology, UMCS
  • Prebish, Charles (2000), "From Monastic Ethics to Modern Society", in Keown, Damien (ed.), Contemporary Buddhist Ethics, Routledge Curzon
  • Rahula, Walpola (2007), What the Buddha Taught, Grove Press
  • Raju, P. T. (1985), Structural Depths of Indian Thought, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-88706-139-4
  • Spiro, Melford E. (1982), Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes, University of California Press
  • Velez de Cea, J. Abraham (2013), The Buddha and Religious Diversity, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-135-10039-1
  • Vetter, Tilmann (1988), The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism, BRILL, ISBN 90-04-08959-4
  • Wei-hsün Fu, Charles; Wawrytko, Sandra Ann (1994), Buddhist Behavioral Codes and the Modern World: An International Symposium, Greenwood, ISBN 978-0-313-28890-6
  • Williams, Paul (2000), Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations, Routledge
  • Williams, Paul (2002), Buddhist Thought (Kindle ed.), Taylor & Francis
  • Paul Williams; Anthony Tribe; Alexander Wynne (2012), Buddhist Thought, Routledge, ISBN 978-1-136-52088-4

External links


Abhijñā (Sanskrit: अभिज्ञा; Pali pronunciation: abhiññā; Standard Tibetan: མངོན་ཤེས mngon shes ་; Chinese: 六通/(六)神通) has been translated generally as "knowing," "direct knowing" and "direct knowledge" or, at times more technically, as "higher knowledge" and "supernormal knowledge." In Buddhism, such knowing and knowledge is obtained through virtuous living and meditation. In terms of specifically enumerated knowledges, these include worldly extra-sensory abilities (such as seeing past and future lives) as well as the supramundane extinction of all mental intoxicants (āsava).


In Buddhism, bodhipakkhiyā dhammā (Pali; variant spellings include bodhipakkhikā dhammā and bodhapakkhiyā dhammā; Skt.: bodhipakṣa dharma) are qualities (dhammā) conducive or related to (pakkhiya) awakening (bodhi).

In the Pali commentaries, the term bodhipakkhiyā dhammā is used to refer to seven sets of such qualities regularly mentioned by the Buddha throughout the Pali Canon. Within these seven sets of Enlightenment qualities, there is a total of thirty-seven individual qualities (sattatiṃsa bodhipakkhiyā dhammā).These seven sets of qualities are recognized by both Theravadan and Mahayanan Buddhists as complementary facets of the Buddhist Path to Enlightenment.A sutta found in The Senior Collection of Gandhāran Buddhist texts ascribes forty one instead of thirty seven beneficial dharmas. The Gandharan text includes rūpajhānas which the Pali tradition does not. Salomon notes this forty one numbered list appears in both a Chinese translation of the Dirghagama which current scholarship believes to be of the Dharmaguptaka school of Buddhism and a Chinese translation of the Dharmaguptaka vinaya.

Buddhist Publication Society

The Buddhist Publication Society is a charity whose goal is to explain and spread the doctrine of the Buddha. It was founded in Sri Lanka in 1958 by two Sri Lankan Buddhist laymen, A.S. Karunaratna and Richard Abeyasekera, and a European-born Buddhist monk, Nyanaponika Thera. Originally conceived as a limited effort to publish small, affordable books on fundamental Buddhist topics, the Society expanded its scope in response to the reception of their early publishing efforts. Reflecting its Sri Lankan roots, the Buddhist Publication society's publications reflect the perspective of the Theravada branch of Buddhism, drawing heavily from the Pali Canon for source material.

The BPS regularly supplies Buddhist literature to over 3,000 subscriber members all over the world, in some eighty countries. Its titles have been translated into many other languages, including German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Hindi, and Chinese.

Buddhist paths to liberation

The Buddhist tradition gives a wide variety of descriptions of the Buddhist path (magga) to liberation. The classical description is the Noble Eightfold Path, described in the Sutta Pitaka. This description is preceded by even older descriptions in the Sutta Pitaka, and elaborated in the various Buddhist traditions. A number of other paths have been developed and described within the various traditions.


The Dharma Chakra (Sanskrit: Dharma Chakra Pali: dhammacakka, "Wheel of Dharma") is a widespread symbol used in Indian religions such as Jainism, Hinduism and Buddhism. In Buddhism, the Dharma Chakra is widely used to represent the Buddha's Dharma (Buddha's teaching and the universal moral order), Gautama Buddha himself and the walking of the path to enlightenment, since the time of Early Buddhism. The symbol is also sometimes connected to the Four Noble Truths, the Noble Eightfold Path and Dependent Origination.

Historically, the dharmachakra was often used as a decoration in Hindu and Buddhist temples, statues and inscriptions, beginning with the earliest period of Indian Buddhism to the present. It remains a major symbol of the Hindu and Buddhist religions today.

Emblem of Tibet

The Emblem of Tibet is a symbol of the Tibetan government in exile. It combines several elements of the flag of Tibet, with slightly different artistry, and contains many Buddhist symbols. Its primary elements are the sun and moon above the Himalayas, which represent Tibet, often known as the Land Surrounded by Snow Mountains. On the slopes of the mountains stand a pair of snow lions. Held between the two lions is the eight-spoked Dharmacakra, represent the Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism. Inside the wheel, the three-colored swirling jewel represents the practices of the ten exalted virtues and the 16 humane modes of conduct. The inscription on the swirling banner below is as follows:bod gzhung dga' ldan pho brang phyogs las rnam rgyal ("Tibetan Government, Ganden Palace, victorious in all directions".) The Ganden Palace, located in Drepung monastery was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until the 5th Dalai Lama. After the 5th Dalai Lama had moved to the Potala in the mid 17th century the Tibetan Government created by him in 1642 became known as the "Ganden Phodrang" Government.

It is the official emblem of the Central Tibetan Administration government-in-exile headquartered in Dharamsala, India. Along with their flag, the emblem is considered a symbol of the Tibetan independence movement and is thus banned in the People's Republic of China, including the Tibet Autonomous Region, which corresponds to the former area of control of the Tibetan government at Lhasa, as well as other areas in greater Tibet. The emblem is often seen printed in black-and-white and crimson-and-white variants, which is characteristic of the colors commonly seen in Buddhist iconography and dress.

Middle Way

The Middle Way or Middle Path (Pali: Majjhimāpaṭipadā; Sanskrit: Madhyamāpratipada; Tibetan: དབུ་མའི་ལམ།, THL: Umélam; traditional Chinese: 中道; ; Vietnamese: Trung đạo; Thai: มัชฌิมาปฏิปทา) is the term that Gautama Buddha used to describe the character of the Noble Eightfold Path he discovered that leads to liberation.


Nekkhamma (Sanskrit: Naiṣkramya, नैष्काम्य) is a Pali word generally translated as "renunciation" or "the pleasure of renunciation" while also conveying more specifically "giving up the world and leading a holy life" or "freedom from lust, craving and desires." In Buddhism's Noble Eightfold Path, nekkhamma is the first practice associated with "Right Intention." In the Theravada list of ten perfections, nekkhamma is the third practice of "perfection." It involves non-attachment (detachment).

Prajñā (Buddhism)

Prajñā (Sanskrit) or paññā (Pāli) "wisdom" is insight in the true nature of reality, namely primarily anicca (impermanence), dukkha (dissatisfaction or suffering), anattā (non-self) and suññatā (emptiness).


Sacca (Pāli; Sanskrit Satya) word meaning "real" or "true". In early Buddhist literature, sacca is often found in the context of the "Four Noble Truths", a crystallization of Buddhist wisdom. In addition, sacca is one of the ten pāramitās or "most high" a bodhisatta must develop in order to become a Buddha.

Sammaditthi Sutta

The Sammādiṭṭhi Sutta (Pali for "Right View Discourse") is a Pali Canon discourse that provides an elaboration on the Buddhist notion of "right view" by the Buddha's chief disciple, Ven. Sariputta. The Chinese canon contains two corresponding translations, the Maha Kotthita Sutra (大拘絺羅經) and the Kotthita Sutra (拘絺羅經).

Right view is the first factor of the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, the path that leads to the cessation of suffering. Right view is considered the "forerunner" of all other path factors. Historically, this particular discourse has been used as a primer for monks in South and Southeast Asian monasteries and is read aloud monthly in Mahayana schools.

In the Pali Canon, the Sammaditthi Sutta is the ninth discourse in the Majjhima Nikaya ("Middle-length Collection," abbreviated as either "MN" or "M") and is designated by either "MN 9" or "M.1.1.9" or "M i 46". In the Chinese canon, the Maha Kotthita Sutra (大拘絺羅經) is found in the Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 1, No. 26, page 461, sutra 29 and the Kotthita Sutra (拘絺羅經) is found in the Taisho Tripitaka Vol. 2, No. 99, page 94, sutra 344.

Shraddha TV

Shraddha TV is a non-profit Buddhist television channel based in Sri Lanka. The channel is known for airing religious spiritual content with primary focus on Buddhism and the teaching of Buddha. Most of the programming is shot at the main Buddhist monastery in Polgahawela.

Shraddha TV was officially launched on 29 September 2012 on the cable television service, PEO TV. It was subsequently included on the home satellite television service, Dialog TV. The founder of television channel is Kiribathgoda Gnanananda Thero, who is also the founder of Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery. The chairperson of Shraddha TV is Roshini Rajapaksa.The channel is owned by the Mahamevnawa Buddhist Monastery and is broadcast from Kaduwela, a suburb of Colombo. Shraddha stands for the Devotion. It uses contents from real life and advertises itself as being suitable for people of all ages and religious persuasions. It broadcasts Dhamma Sermons, Dhamma Discussions, Meditation Guides, documentaries, and Charity Services 24 hours a day via Dialog TV Channel No 27 and SLT Peo TV Channel No 99. Its main tagline is "The Noble friend of Television Media". Shraddha TV started terrestrial broadcasting for the Western province via UHF 55 on 2015-12-31.

The channel frequently discusses the "Fundamentals of Buddhist Teachings", such as the Four Noble Truths, Noble Eightfold Path, Pratītyasamutpāda, Skandha - Five Aggregates of Clinging etc.


In Buddhism, a sotāpanna (Pali), śrotāpanna (Sanskrit; Chinese: 入流; pinyin: rùliú, Tibetan: རྒྱུན་ཞུགས་, Wylie: rgyun zhugs), "stream-winner", or "stream-entrant" is a person who has seen the Dharma and consequently, has dropped the first three fetters (saŋyojana) that bind a being to rebirth, namely self-view (sakkāya-ditthi), clinging to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa), and skeptical indecision (Vicikitsa).

The word sotāpanna literally means "one who entered (āpanna) the stream (sota)", after a metaphor which calls the noble eightfold path a stream which leads to nibbāna. Entering the stream (sotāpatti) is the first of the four stages of enlightenment.

Speech (disambiguation)

Speech is the vocal form of human communication.

Speech or speaking may also refer to:

Spoken language


Animal language, forms of animal communication that are considered to show similarities to human language

Talking animal or speaking animal, any non-human animal which produces sounds or gestures resembling those of a human

Connected speech in linguistics, a continuous sequence of sounds forming utterances or conversations in spoken language

Public speaking, a process of speaking to a group of people in a structured, deliberate manner

Speech imitation, the saying by one individual of the spoken vocalizations made by another individual

Speech synthesis, the artificial production of human speech language

Right speech, a component of the Noble Eightfold Path in Buddhism

as a proper name

Speech (rapper) (born 1968), an American rapper and musician

Speech Debelle (born 1983), a British rapper and Mercury Prize winner

Three marks of existence

In Buddhism, the three marks of existence are three characteristics (Pali: tilakkhaṇa; Sanskrit: त्रिलक्षण, trilakṣaṇa) of all existence and beings, namely impermanence (aniccā), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anattā). These three characteristics are mentioned in verses 277, 278 and 279 of the Dhammapada. That humans are subject to delusion about the three marks, that this delusion results in suffering, and that removal of that delusion results in the end of suffering, is a central theme in the Buddhist Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path.

According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the three seals are impermanence, non-self and nirvana. He says in "The heart of the Buddha's Teaching" that "In several sutras the Buddha taught that nirvana, the joy of completely extinguishing our ideas and concepts, rather than suffering, is one of the Three Dharma Seals."

Threefold Training

The Buddha identified the threefold training (trisikkhā) as training in:

higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)

higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)

higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)


Vīrya (Sanskrit; Pāli: viriya) is a Buddhist term commonly translated as "energy", "diligence", "enthusiasm", or "effort". It can be defined as an attitude of gladly engaging in wholesome activities, and it functions to cause one to accomplish wholesome or virtuous actions.

What the Buddha Taught

What the Buddha Taught, by Theravadin Walpola Rahula, is a widely used introductory book on Buddhism for non-Buddhists. Using quotes from the sutras, Rahula gives his personal interpretation of what he regards to be Buddhism's essential teachings, including the Four Noble Truths, the Buddhist mind, the Noble Eightfold Path, meditation and mental development, and the world today.According to Gimello, Rahula's book is an example of so-called Protestant Buddhism, and "was created in an accommodating response to western expectations, and in nearly diametrical opposition to Buddhism as it had actually been practised in traditional Theravada."

Topics in Buddhism
The Buddha
Key concepts
Major figures


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.