Magga-vibhanga Sutta
(An Analysis of the Path)
Samyutta Nikaya 45.8

this same explanation is found in many other discourses
including MN 141 and DN 22 - Mahasatipatthana Sutta

Place your mouse cursor on the words and phrases to see the Pali for this discourse

I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying in Savatthi at Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. There he addressed the monks, saying, "Monks."

"Yes, lord," the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, "I will teach & analyze for you the Noble Eightfold Path. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak."

"As you say, lord," the monks responded to him.

The Blessed One said, "Now what, monks, is the Noble Eightfold Path? [It is] as follows: Right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

And what, monks, is right view? Knowledge concerning dukkha, knowledge concerning the origination of dukkha, knowledge concerning the stopping of dukkha, knowledge concerning the way of practice leading to the stopping of dukkha: This, monks, is called right view.

And what, monks, is right intention? Intentions of renunciation, intentions of freedom from ill will, intensions of harmlessness: This, monks, is called right intention.

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

And what, monks, is right action? Abstaining from taking life, abstaining from stealing, abstaining from sexual misconduct. This, monks, is called right action.

And what, monks, is right livelihood? There is the case where a well-instructed disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned dishonest livelihood, keeps his life going with right livelihood. This, monks, is called right livelihood.

And what, monks, is right effort?

  1. There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
  2. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.
  3. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
  4. He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen.
This, monks, is called right effort.

And what, monks, is right mindfulness?

  1. There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in the body -- ardent, clearly aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world.
  2. He remains focused on feelings in the feelings -- ardent, clearly aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world.
  3. He remains focused on mind-states in mind-states -- ardent, clearly aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world.
  4. He remains focused on dhammas in dhammas -- ardent, clearly aware, & mindful -- putting away greed & distress with reference to the world.
This, monks, is called right mindfulness.

And what, monks, is right concentration?

  1. There is the case where a monk -- quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful (mental) qualities -- enters & remains in the first jhana: rapture & happiness born of seclusion, accompanied by initial & sustained thinking.
  2. With the stilling of initial & sustained thinking, he enters & remains in the second jhana: rapture & happiness born of concentration, unification of awareness free from initial thinking & sustained thinking -- internal serenity.
  3. With the fading of rapture, he remains in equanimity, mindful & clearly aware, and physically sensitive of pleasure. He enters & remains in the third jhana, of which the Noble Ones declare, 'Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasurable abiding.'
  4. With the abandoning of pleasure & pain -- as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress -- he enters & remains in the fourth jhana: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain.
This, monks, is called right concentration."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted at his words.


From Chanting Discourses and Samyutta Nikaya 45.8 at the Access to Insight web site.

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