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Home Teachings The Eightfold Noble's Path The Eightfold Noble's Path - Right View

The Eightfold Noble's Path - Right View

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The Eightfold Noble Path - RIGHT VIEW

The Buddha taught in the Maha-cattarisaka Sutta,

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

The Buddha began the discourse with the above speech, and addressed the monks how the Eightfold Noble Path is practiced with all its factors. As the Buddha taught, it is the singleness of mind that is equipped with the other seven factors. Here singleness of mind means concentration, which can also be expressed as "unification of mind."

Then the Buddha began to explain how each factor relates to other factors on the Path,

Right View

"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view."

The Buddha strengthened here that one must be able to rightly discern what is right view and what is wrong view, and it is an important factor on the Path. The wrong view stated in brief here is the view that denies the work of kamma, such as action won't produce result. This is the kind of view one should abstain from and avoid.

"And what is right view? Right view, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right view with fermentations, siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right view, without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path."

The Eightfold Noble Path has two stages, one mundane and the other supramundane. One must first practice the mundane Eightfold Noble Path, and when the factors on the Path mature, the supramundane Path will appear (this is explained in the commentaries). Here the Buddha is showing the distinction of the mundane and the supramundane.

"And what is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions? 'There is what is given, what is offered, what is sacrificed. There are fruits & results of good & bad actions. There is this world & the next world. There is mother & father. There are spontaneously reborn beings; there are priests & contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is the right view that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions."

In brief, the mundane right view is the view that accepts the existence of kamma , such as there is action and the result of action.

"And what is the right view that is without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path? The discernment, the faculty of discernment, the strength of discernment, analysis of qualities as a factor for Awakening, the path factor of right view in one developing the noble path whose mind is noble, whose mind is free from fermentations, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right view that is without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path."

Here the Buddha is describing the supramundane right view, which is freed from attachments as a Noble factor on the supramundane Path. When this supramundane Path is achieved, one is said to have reached the Noble Status, and nibbāna can be experienced.

"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities -- right view, right effort, & right mindfulness -- run & circle around right view."

Here the Buddha explains how the other factors come into play with right view. The meaning of right view runs and circles around right view means that one rightly discerns right view as right view. That is, one discerns it as it actually is.

Just like the guard at the door of a castle, he checks what comes into the castle all the time, so one rightly discerns right view as it actually is.



 

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" Indeed, wisdom is born of mediation; without mediation wisdom is lost. Knowing this two fold path of gain and loss of wisdom, one should conduct oneself so that wisdom may increase. "

The Dhammapada


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