Dharma Pearls

Translating Classical Buddhism to Modern English

The Related Discourses

13. Factors of the Noble Path

75. The Eightfold Path (2)

1. Thus have I heard: One time, the Buddha was staying at Anāthapiṇḍada Park in Jeta Grove in Śrāvastī.

2. It was then that the Bhagavān addressed the monks … like 13.74 with this difference: “What’s right view? There are two kinds of right view: Right view that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right view that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

3. “What is the right view that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? If someone’s view is that there’s generosity, there’s the teaching … knowing there are arhats in the world who aren’t subject to a later existence. This is called the worldly right view that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and leads to a good destiny.

4. “What is the right view that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … their reflection on the path as path. When associated with uncontaminated reflection, it’s discrimination of qualities, discernment, inquiry, awareness, intelligence, and rousing investigation. This is called the right view that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

5. “What is right intention? There are two kinds of right intention: Right intention that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right intention that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

6. “What is right intention that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? Right intention is thought of renunciation, thought without anger, and thought that’s not harmful. This is called right intention that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

7. “What is right intention that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. When associated with uncontaminated reflection, it’s the mental states of discernment, definite resolve, and measured intent. This is called the right intention that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

8. “What is right speech? There are two kinds of right speech: Right speech that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right speech that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

9. “What’s right speech that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? This right speech is free of false speech, duplicity, harsh words, and fancy speech. This is called right speech that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

10. “What’s right speech that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. He rids himself of desire for wrong livelihood, the four verbal bad actions, and the other verbal bad actions. Secluded from them, he is uncontaminated, isolated, unattached, resolute, and collected. He doesn’t transgress or act freely given the occasion and doesn’t surpass limitations. This is called right speech that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

11. “What’s right action? There are two kinds of right action: Right action that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right action that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

12. “What’s right action that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? It’s free of killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct. This is called right action that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

13. “What’s right action that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. He rids himself of desire for wrong livelihood, the three bad physical actions, and the numerous other physical bad deeds. He’s uncontaminated, unattached to pleasure, resolute, and collected. He doesn’t transgress or act freely given the occasion and doesn’t surpass limitations. This is called right action that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

14. “What’s right livelihood? There are two kinds of right livelihood: Right livelihood that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right livelihood that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

15. “What is right livelihood that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? It’s pursuing clothing, food, bedding, and medicines for illnesses in ways according to the Dharma and not contrary to the Dharma. This is called right livelihood that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

16. “What’s right livelihood that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. Regarding wrong livelihoods, he’s uncontaminated, unattached to pleasure, resolute, and collected. He doesn’t transgress or act freely given the occasion and doesn’t surpass limitations. This is called right livelihood that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

17. “What’s right method? There are two kinds of right method: Right method that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right method that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

18. “What’s right method that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? It’s desire, effort, method, initiation, resolute establishment, and the capability to work energetically. These mental states are collected, constant, and non-stop. This is called right method that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

19. “What’s right method that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. When associated with uncontaminated recollection, it’s the mental states of desire, effort, method, diligence, initiation, resolute establishment, and the capability to work energetically. These mental states are collected, constant, and non-stop. This is called right method that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

20. “What’s right mindfulness? There are two kinds of right mindfulness: Right mindfulness that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right mindfulness that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

21. “What’s right mindfulness that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? Suppose mindfulness, following mindfulness, deep mindfulness, and recollection are not false or vacant. This is called right mindfulness that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

22. “What’s right mindfulness that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. When associated with uncontaminated reflection, suppose that mindfulness, following mindfulness, deep mindfulness, and recollection are not false or vacant. This is called right mindfulness that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

23. “What’s right concentration? There are two kinds of right concentration: Right concentration that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny, and right concentration that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.

24. “What’s right concentration that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny? Suppose the mind abides unconfused, undisturbed, collected, tranquil, concentrated, and single-minded. This is called right concentration that’s worldly, conventional, contaminated, acquired, and which leads to a good destiny.

25. “What’s right concentration that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering? It’s the noble disciple’s reflection on suffering as suffering … it’s accumulation … it’s cessation … his reflection on the path as path. When associated with uncontaminated reflection, it’s abiding unconfused, undistracted, collected, tranquil, concentrated, and single-minded. This is called right concentration that’s noble, transcendent, uncontaminated, unacquired, and which correctly ends suffering and leads to the limit of suffering.”

26. After the Buddha taught this sutra, the monks who heard what he taught rejoiced and approved.


Translator: Charles Patton

Last Revised: 14 September 2020