Eightfold Path, aka: Eightfold Way; 5 Definition(s)

Introduction

Eightfold Path means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

s. magga.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Abhidhamma

The Eightfold Path which is the way leading to the end of suffering is these eight factors:

  1. Right understanding,
  2. Right Thoughts,
  3. Right Speech,
  4. Right Action,
  5. Right livelihood,
  6. Right Effort,
  7. Right Mindfulness,
  8. Right Concentration.

It could be pointed out that the Eightfold Path is often taught as a "path" which one follows by developing each of the factors piece by piece until there are all perfected. In the Abhidhamma it is made clear that the Eightfold Path is in fact only momentary phenomena like everything else.

The Eightfold Path is not a "whole path" which one follows, but at the moment that a wholesome moment of wisdom (the wisdom that understands the true nature of things) arises then it is accompanied by the Eightfold Path factors as mental factors (cetasikas).

(Source): Dhamma Study: Introduction to the Dhamma

The factors of the eightfold Path are:

  1. right understanding
  2. right thinking
  3. right speech
  4. right action
  5. right livelihood
  6. right effort
  7. right mindfulness
  8. right concentration
(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
Abhidhamma book cover
context information

Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) usually refers to the last section (piṭaka) of the Pali canon and includes schematic classifications of scholastic literature dealing with Theravāda Buddhism. Primary topics include psychology, philosophy, methodology and metaphysics which are rendered into exhaustive enumerations and commentaries.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

There are also eightfold paths:

1) noble eightfold path (āryāṣṭāṅgamārga);

2) paths of the eight liberations (vimokṣa).

There are innumerable eightfold paths of this kind.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

The eight right ways for the Arhat leading to Nirvana. The eight are:

  1. Right View;
  2. Right Thought;
  3. Right Speech;
  4. Right Action;
  5. Right Livelihood;
  6. Right Effort;
  7. Right Remembrance;
  8. Right Concentration.
(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

Relevant definitions

Search found 2916 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Middle Path
majjhima-patipadā.
Way
Generally, it refers to the Way of Bodhi or enlightenment leading to Nirvana through spiritual ...
Noble Eightfold Path
Noble Eightfold Path:—A technical term in Buddhism corresponding to the Sanskrit āryā...
Threefold-path
There are also threefold paths (to go directly to nirvāṇa): A) Three kinds of bad paths ...
Twofold-path
There are also twofold paths (to go directly to nirvāṇa): bad path (akuśala-mārga) a...
Fourfold-path
There are also fourfold paths: 1) the path of worldly people (pṛthagjanamārga), the pat...
Fivefold-path
There are also fivefold paths: 1) path of the damned (nārakamārga), path of the animals...
Sixfold-path
There are also sixfold paths: 1) path of the damned (nārakamārga), path of the animals ...
Simple Path
There is a simple path (ekayāna) to go directly to nirvāṇa: this is mindfulness (smṛti) and ...
Ninefold-path
There are also ninefold paths: 1) path of the nine successive absorptions (anupūrvasamā...
Path Result
(fruition): phala.
Wrong Path
micchā-magga.
Sevenfold-path
There are also sevenfold paths: 1) paths of the seven factors of bodhi (saṃbodhyaṅga); ...
Tenfold-path
There are also tenfold paths: 1) paths of the ten aśaikṣas; 2) paths of the ten not...
Path Condition
magga-paccaya, is one of the 24 conditions (paccaya).

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