|The Eightfold Noble's Path|
|The Four Factors|
The Eightfold Noble Path - RIGHT LIVELIHOOD, RIGHT EFFORT, RIGHT MINDFULNESS, RIGHT CONCENTRATION
The Buddha continued in the Maha-cattarisaka Sutta,
"Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong livelihood as wrong livelihood, and right livelihood as right livelihood. And what is wrong livelihood? Scheming, persuading, hinting, belittling, & pursuing gain with gain. This is wrong livelihood."
The points made here must be clarified. The "wrong livelihood" here means gaining one's living by immoral or wrong actions such as killing, stealing, lying, robbing, etc. Anyone who makes his/her living uprightly without partaking the immoral or wrong actions has right livelihood. The translation here is not very clear in the English language.
"And what is right livelihood? Right livelihood, I tell you, is of two sorts: There is right livelihood with fermentations, siding with merit, resulting in the acquisitions [of becoming]; and there is noble right livelihood, without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path."
Again, there is the mundane right action and the supramundane right livelihood, and the Buddha is pointing out the distinction here.
"And what is the right livelihood that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results 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 that has fermentations, sides with merit, & results in acquisitions."
Here the Buddha points out that by abstaining from wrong livelihood and enters upon right livelihood, one achieves the mundane factor of right livelihood.
"And what is the right livelihood that is without fermentations, 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 fermentations, who is fully possessed of the noble path. This is the right livelihood that is without fermentations, transcendent, a factor of the path."
When the supramundane Path is achieved, one will be able to achieve the purity of mind that is free from attachments.
"One tries to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter into right livelihood: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities -- right view, right effort, & right mindfulness -- run & circle around right livelihood."
Here the Buddha explains how the three factors run and circle around right livelihood on the Path.
Right Effort, Right Mindfulness
At this point we have seen what is right effort. The effort to enter upon the five factors (right view, right intention, right speech, right action, and right livelihood) is one's right effort. Similarly, when one is mindful when entering upon the five factors, that is one's right mindfulness.
As it was taught by the Buddha in the beginning of 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."
Therefore when the mind fulfills and is equipped with the seven factors, it achieves the support and requisite conditions for the eighth factor - right concentration. And this is how the Eightfold Noble Path may be practiced with all the eight factors. In order to achieve Enlightenment, one must practice the Eightfold Noble Path moment by moment in a continuous way.
However, this is not the actual practice yet. This is the theoretical aspect of the Eightfold Noble Path along with the characteristics of the individual factors. The practical aspect is explained in the Practice section.
May all beings gain insight and be freed from sufferings!
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!