This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
A M.wu.i or rur P.ru F.crons
Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw
Translated by U Saw Tun Teik, B.A., B.L.
Printed for ee Disibution by
ASSOCIATION FOR INSIGHT MEDITATION
3 Clihon Way • Al¡eiton • Middlesex • HA0 4PQ
Website: aimwell.org Email: email@example.com
A Summary of the Noble Eightfold Path......................................................1
1. Right View(Sammā Diṭṭhi)...................................................................1
Right View Regarding Kamma...........................................................1
Riglt View in Ten Maueis..................................................................2
Right View of the Four Truths............................................................3
2. Right Thought (Sammā Saṅkappa).......................................................3
3. Right Speech (Sammā Vācā).................................................................3
4. Right Action (Sammā Kammanta)........................................................3
5. Right Livelihood (Sammā Ājīva)..........................................................4
6. Riglt Eﬀoit (Sammā Vāyāma)..............................................................4
7. Right Mindfulness (Sammā Sati)..........................................................5
8. Riglt Concenuation (Sammā Samādhi)................................................5
1. The Exposition of Right View...................................................................5
Right View Regarding Kamma................................................................5
Analysis of Good and Bad Kammas...................................................6
Riglt View in Ten Maueis.....................................................................15
Right View of the Four Truths...............................................................18
Riglt View of tle Tiutl of Suﬀeiing................................................18
Riglt View of tle Cause of Suﬀeiing...............................................20
Riglt View of tle Cessation of Suﬀeiing..........................................20
Riglt View of tle Patl to tle Cessation of Suﬀeiing.......................20
2. The Exposition of Right Thought............................................................20
Thoughts of Renunciation......................................................................21
Thoughts of Loving-kindness................................................................21
Thoughts of Compassion.......................................................................21
3. The Exposition of Right Speech..............................................................21
Abstinence nom Falselood....................................................................21
Abstinence nom Bacl‑biting..................................................................21
Abstinence nom Abusive S¡eecl...........................................................21
Abstinence nom Fiivolous Tall.............................................................22
Aula, Dlamma, and Vinaya.............................................................22
4. The Exposition of Right Action...............................................................22
Abstention for Killing Living Beings.....................................................22
Abstention nom Stealing........................................................................22
Abstention nom Sensual Misconduct....................................................23
5. The Exposition of Right Livelihood........................................................23
Abstention nom Wiong Livelilood.......................................................23
Abstention nom Im¡io¡ei Livelilood...................................................23
Abstention nom Dislonest Livelilood..................................................23
Abstention nom Low Aits......................................................................24
6. Tle Ex¡osition of Riglt Eﬀoit................................................................24
The Power of the Path Factors...........................................................24
7. The Exposition of Right Mindfulness.....................................................26
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness..............................................26
8. Tle Ex¡osition of Riglt Concenuation...................................................27
Only When the Mental Restlessness Disappears...................................27
Tliee Cycles Relating to Foui Kinds of Saṃsāia........................................28
Rebirth in the Lower Realms.................................................................29
Rebirth in Happy Destinations..............................................................29
Rebirth in Form and Formless Realms..................................................29
Relationship Between Path Factors and Cycles..........................................30
The Three Stages of Wrong Views.........................................................30
Tle Fiist Nibbāna..............................................................................31
Matcl-box, Matcl-sticl and Niuous Suiface...................................31
Three Groups of the Eightfold Path............................................................32
To Desuoy tle Tliee Stages of Peisonali[ Belief..................................32
How to Establisl Moiali[..........................................................................33
Diﬀeient Kinds of Stable Moiali[.........................................................34
Factois Fulﬁlling tle Seven Kinds of Evil Deeds..................................34
Five Factors of Killing Living Beings................................................34
Five Factors of Stealing.....................................................................34
Four Factors of Sexual Misconduct...................................................34
Four Factors of False Speech.............................................................35
Four Factors of Divisive Speech........................................................35
Three Factors of Abusive Speech......................................................35
Two Factois of Idle Clauei...............................................................35
How to Establisl Concenuation.................................................................36
Mindfulness of Breathing......................................................................36
The Method of Practice is as Follows:...............................................36
Let the Mindfulness be Constant......................................................37
How the Mental Restlessness is Eradicated.....................................37
When Should One Establish Wisdom?..............................................37
How to Establish Wisdom..........................................................................38
Description of the Four Elements..........................................................38
Sohness and Haidness (pathavī dhātu)..............................................38
Colesion oi Liquidi[ (āpo dhātu).....................................................39
Heat and Cold (tejo dhātu).................................................................39
Support and Motion (vāyo dhātu).....................................................39
Increase and Decrease (udayavaya)........................................................39
Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and Not-self.............................40
Peisonali[-belief and tle Head........................................................40
Know, Perceive, Conceive, and View...............................................40
Because They Do Not Understand........................................................41
One Must Be Persistent.....................................................................42
To become ‘Bon-sin-san’ individuals................................................42
How to Establish the Noble Eightfold Path................................................42
Only Wlen Wisdom and Eﬀoit Aie Suenuous.....................................43
Undeistanding Reali[ Wlenevei Contem¡lated.................................43
Enjoying the Three Kinds of Happiness................................................43
Animal Talk (Tiracchāna Kathā)..............................................................44
Twen[-one Kinds of Wiong Livelilood foi Blilllus..........................45
Animal Arts (Tiracchāna Vijjā)...............................................................45
Bools by Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw........................................................47
A Sloit Biogia¡ly of Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw.....................................50
Tlis edition is based on tlat uanslated by U Saw Tun Teil, BA, BI,
published as Dhammadāna by Mr Stanley Davidson in 1984.
I lave iemoved many Pali woids, and sim¡liﬁed tle language to male
it easiei to iead foi tlose wlo aie not Pāḷi sclolais.
Tle teaclings of tle Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw given leie aie exuemely
valuable. If one could acquire a thorough grasp of the factors of the Noble
Eigltfold Patl as ex¡lained leie, it would be suﬃcient to iemove any wiong
views about the Dhamma.
If the readers could go one step further, and apply the advice given herein,
they would begin the practise of insight meditation in earnest, and thus
acquire priceless seeds of right understanding that would stand them in
good stead foi tle iealisation of nibbāna in tlis veiy life, oi at least duiing
tle sāsana of Maiueyya Buddla.
A Manual of the Path Factors
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa
Veneiation to Him, tle Most Exalted, tle Puiiﬁed,
the Supremely Enlightened Buddha
A Summxnv or xnr Noeir Eicnxroin Pxxn
1. Right View(Sammā‑diṭṭhi)
2. Right Thought (Sammā‑saṅkappa)
3. Right Speech (Sammā‑vācā)
4. Right Action (Sammā‑kammanta)
5. Right Livelihood (Sammā‑ājīva)
6. Riglt Eﬀoit (Sammā‑vāyāma)
7. Right Mindfulness (Sammā‑sati)
8. Riglt Concenuation (Sammā‑samādhi)
1. Right View (Sammā Diṭṭhi)
There Are Three Kinds of Right View:
i. Kammassakatā Sammā‑diṭṭhi: Right View Regarding Kamma. Only two
things, wholesome and unwholesome actions performed by all beings, are
their own properties that always accompany them wherever they may
wander in many existences.
ii. Dasavahuka Sammā‑diṭṭhi: Riglt View in Ten Maueis.
iii. Catusacca Sammā‑diṭṭhi: Right View of the Four Truths.
Right View Regarding Kamma
“Sabbe saā kammassakā kammadāyādā, kammayonī, kammabandhū,
kammappaṭisaraṇā, yaṃ kammaṃ karissanti kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā
tassa dāyādā bhavissanti.”
Sabbe saā kammassakā: Only the wholesome and unwholesome actions
of all beings are their own properties that always accompany them wherever
they may wander in many existences.
Kammadāyādā: Only the wholesome and unwholesome actions of all
beings are their inherited properties that always accompany them wherever
they may wander in many existences.
2 A Manual of the Path Factors
Kammayonī: Only the wholesome and unwholesome actions of beings
are the origin of their wanderings in many existences.
Kammabandhū: Only the wholesome and unwholesome actions of beings
are their relatives and associates that always accompany them wherever
they may wander in many existences.
Kammappaṭisaraṇā: Only the wholesome and unwholesome actions of
beings are their real refuge wherever they may wander in many existences.
Yaṃ kammaṃ karissanti kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa dāyādā bhavissanti:
If bodily, verbal, and mental actions are performed, whether wholesome or
unwholesome, they will inherit that kamma throughout many existences.
Right View in Ten Mauers
“Ahidinnaṃ, ahiyiṭṭhaṃ, ahi hutaṃ, ahi sukata dukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ
phalaṃ vipāko, ahi mātā, ahi pitā, ahi saā opapātikā, ahi ayaṃ loko,
ahi paroloko, ahi loke samaṇa brāhmaṇā samaggatā sammāpaṭipannā ye
imañca lokaṃ parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedenti.”
1) Ahi dinnaṃ: There really exists almsgiving as cause (kamma) and its
2) Ahi yiṭṭhaṃ: Tleie ieally exists oﬀeiing on a laige scale as cause and
3) Ahi hutaṃ: Tleie ieally exists oﬀeiing on a small scale as cause and
4) Ahi sukata dukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko: There really exist
wholesome and unwholesome actions as causes and their results.
5) Ahi mātā: There really exist the good and the evil deeds done to one’s
mother as causes and their results.
6) Ahi pitā: There really exist the good and the evil deeds done to one’s
father as causes and their results.
7) Ahi saā opapātikā: There really exist beings who are born by
apparitional rebirth such as beings in purgatory, petas, devas, Sakkas and
Bialmās wlo cannot oidinaiily be seen by men.
8) Ahi ayaṃ loko: There really exists this world which is under our very eyes.
9) Ahi paro loko: There really exist the other worlds or planes where one
may aiise ahei deatl. Oi, tleie ieally exists tlis luman woild and tle otlei
worlds (four lower worlds, six deva woilds and twen[ Bialmā woilds). Oi,
there really exists this universe consisting of the human world, four lower
A Summary of the Noble Eightfold Path 3
worlds, six deva woilds and twen[ Bialmā woilds and otlei woilds, wlicl
aie inﬁnite in all eiglt diiections.
10) Ahi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā samaggatā sammā paṭipannā ye imañca lokaṃ
parañca lokaṃ sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedenti: There really exist, in this
human world, recluses and priests who correctly practise the Dhamma, and
having realised this world and the other worlds through higher knowledge,
impart that knowledge to others.
Right View of the Four Truths
1) Dukkha Ñāṇaṃ, 2) Dukkha Samudaye Ñāṇaṃ, 3) Dukkha Nirodhe Ñāṇaṃ,
4) Dukkha Nirodhagāminipaṭipadāya Ñāṇaṃ.
1) Dukkha ñāṇaṃ: Peneuative insiglt into tle Tiutl of Suﬀeiing.
2) Dukkha samudaye ñāṇaṃ: Peneuative insiglt into tle Tiutl of tle Oiigin
3) Dukkha nirodhe ñāṇaṃ: Peneuative insiglt into tle Tiutl of tle
Cessation of Suﬀeiing.
4) Dukkha nirodhagāminipaṭipadāya ñāṇaṃ: Peneuative insiglt into tle
Tiutl of tle Patl Leading to tle Cessation of Suﬀeiing.
2. Right Thought (Sammā Saṅkappa)
There Are Three Kinds of Right Thought:
i. Nekkhamma saṅkappa: Riglt tlouglt nee nom gieed and sensuous
desiie, aimed at esca¡ing nom tle iound of iebiitls.
ii. Abyāpāda saṅkappa: Right thought for the welfare of all living beings.
iii. Avihiṃsa saṅkappa: Riglt tlouglt foi tle non‑injuiy of all living beings.
3. Right Speech (Sammā Vācā)
There Are Four Kinds of Right Speech:
i. Musāvādā virati: Renaining nom telling lies.
ii. Pisuṇavācā virati: Renaining nom bacl‑biting and calumny.
iii. Pharusavācā virati: Renaining nom using abusive language, woids,
or speech hurtful to others.
iv. Samphappalāpa virati: Renaining nom nivolous tall sucl as telling
legends and fables, tlat is nuitless foi tlis woild and tle next.
4. Right Action (Sammā Kammanta)
There Are Three Kinds of Right Action:
i. Pāṇātipāta virati: Renaining nom lilling and injuiing living beings.
4 A Manual of the Path Factors
ii. Adinnādāna virati: Renaining nom taling ¡io¡ei[ wlicl is not given.
iii. Kāmesumicchācārā virati: Renaining nom taling intoxicants and nom
unlawful sexual intercourse with those who are still in the care of parents
5. Right Livelihood (Sammā Ājīva)
There Are Four Kinds of Right Livelihood:
i. Duccarita micchājīva virati: In tle case of lai[, ienaining nom wiong
livelihood by means of immoral physical and verbal actions.
ii. Anesana micchājīva virati: In tle case of monls and iecluses, ienaining
nom wiong livelilood, e.g. by means of giving nuits and ﬂoweis to laymen
to win tleii aﬀection.
iii. Kuhanādi micchājīva virati: In tle case of monls and iecluses, ienaining
nom uicleiy and dece¡tion by means of woiling wondeis.
iv. Tiracchāna vijjā micchājīva virati: In the case of monks and recluses,
ienaining nom wiong livelilood, e.g. by means of performing base arts,
such as reading signs and omens, which are against the rules and practices
of the Order.
6. Right Eﬀort (Sammā Vāyāma)
There Are Four Kinds of Right Eﬀort:
i. Anuppannānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ anuppādāya vāyāmo: Suiving
in the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path so that those vices that have never
arisen during the present existence may not arise even for a moment in future
ii. Uppannānaṃ akusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ pahānāya vāyāmo: Suiving in tle
practice of the Noble Eightfold Path so that those vices that have already
arisen or are arising during the present existence may be dispelled and may
not arise even for a moment in future existences.
iii. Anuppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ uppādāya vāyāmo: Suiving in
tle ¡iactice of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl so tlat tle tlii[-seven factois of
enlightenment (bodhipakkhiya dhammas) that have never arisen during the
present existence may arise here and now.
iv. Uppannānaṃ kusalānaṃ dhammānaṃ bhiyyo bhāvāya vāyāmo: Suiving
in tle ¡iactice of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl so tlat tle viitues sucl as moiali[
that have already arisen and are arising during the present existence may
develo¡ continuously until tle auainment of ﬁnal nibbāna.
The Exposition of Right View 5
7. Right Mindfulness (Sammā Sati)
There Are Four Kinds of Right Mindfulness:
i. Kāyānupassanā satipaṭṭhānaṃ: Application of mindfulness to the
contemplation of physical phenomena, such as respiration.
ii. Vedanānupassanā satipaṭṭhānaṃ: Application of mindfulness to the
contemplation of feelings, such as pain and pleasure.
iii. Ciānupassanā satipaṭṭhānaṃ: Application of mindfulness to the
contemplation of thoughts, such lustful or angry thoughts.
iv. Dhammānupassanā satipaṭṭhānaṃ: Application of mindfulness to the
contem¡lation of mind‑objects, sucl as sensual desiie.
8. Right Concenuation (Sammā Samādhi)
There Are Four Kinds of Right Concenation:
1) Paṭhamajhāna samādhi: Concenuation of tle ﬁist jhāna produced by
ﬁxing one’s auention on one of tle objects of uanquilli[ meditation (samatha)
such as kasiṇa.
2) Dutiyajjhāna samādhi: Concenuation of tle second jhāna.
3) Tatiyajjhāna samādhi: Concenuation of tle tliid jhāna.
4) Catuhajjhāna samādhi: Concenuation of tle fouitl jhāna.
i. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Virw
The Exposition of Three Kinds of Right View:
i. Kammassakatā Sammādiṭṭhi: Right View Regarding Kamma.
ii. Dasavahuka Sammādiṭṭhi: Riglt View in Ten Maueis.
iii. Catusacca Sammādiṭṭhi: Right View of the Four Truths.
Right View Regarding Kamma
“Sabbe saā kammassakā, kammadāyādā, kammayonī, kammabandhū
kammappaṭisaraṇā yaṃ kammaṃ karissanti kalyāṇaṃ vā pāpakaṃ vā tassa
1. Sabbe saā kammassakā: Properties such as elephants, horses, vehicles,
caule, ﬁelds, buildings, gold, silvei, jewels, etc., can be said to belong to
us in the present existence. However, when we pass away they do not
accompany us beyond death. They are like properties that we borrow
foi some time. Tley aie liable to desuuction duiing tle ¡iesent existence.
There are ten kasiṇas (meditation devices). See Visuddhimagga (The Path of Purification),
tians. By Blilllu Nāṇamoli, BPS, Kandy 1975.
6 A Manual of the Path Factors
As sucl ¡io¡ei[ does not accom¡any beings to new existences, it cannot
uuly be said to belong to tlem. Tle Buddla tleiefoie said, “Sabbe saā
kammassakā —All beings aie owneis of tleii actions.” Tle only ¡io¡ei[
that accompanies all beings is their own volitional actions. Only the
mental, verbal, and physical volitional actions of beings always accom-
¡any tlem in tlis and futuie existences. Tley aie not desuoyed by ﬁie,
water, thieves, etc.
Herein, physical action means all movements of such parts of the body
as hands and legs, etc. Verbal action means all verbal expressions made by
means of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Mental action means the functioning
of the mind. These physical, verbal, and mental actions are known as the
Beings perform these three kammas during all waking hours. All their
work, great or small, is performed by means of these three kammas. These
three kammas become inert when a person is asleep. In the case of a dead
person, the three kammas cease to function as far as that body is concerned.
This is how the three kammas operate in all beings.
These three kammas have two aspects: three good kammas, and three
bad kammas. The three good kammas are of two kinds: that ripening during
the present existence, and that ripening during future existences. The three
bad kammas are of two kinds: that ripening in this existence, and that
ripening in future existences.
Analysis of Good and Bad Kammas
There Are Ten Kinds of Immoral Conduct:
1. Injuring and killing living beings (pāṇātipāta),
2. Taling oi desuoying animate and inanimate ¡io¡eities wlicl aie not
3. Commiuing sexual misconduct (kāmesumicchācārā),
4. Telling lies (musāvāda),
5. Backbiting and slander (pisuṇavācā),
6. Using abusive language (pharusavācā),
7. Taling ¡ait in nivolous conveisation (samphappalāpa),
8. Covetousness (abhijjhā),
9. Malevolence (byāpāda),
10. Wrong views (micchā‑diṭṭhi).
All tlose ¡lysical, veibal, and mental actions tlat aie nee nom tlese ten
kinds of immoral conduct, including all kinds of livelihood, acquiring wealth
The Exposition of Right View 7
and seeking knowledge, are good volitional actions which have to be
performed for this very existence.
All those physical, verbal, and mental actions that involve these ten kinds
of immoral conduct, including all kinds of livelihood, are bad volitional
actions which are performed for this very existence.
Two Kinds of Kamma for Future Existences
Tle [¡es of lamma ¡eifoimed in tlis ¡iesent existence, ¡lysical, veibal,
and mental, with a view to ripening in future existences, are also divided
into two kinds: Three good kammas and three bad kammas.
All tlese ¡lysical, veibal, and mental lamma tlat aie nee nom tle ten
linds of immoial conduct including almsgiving, fast‑day obseivance,
conduct, practising meditation, taking refuge in and paying respects to the
Tliee Gems: Buddla, Dlamma, and Saṅgla, aie lnown as good lamma
done in this present life with a view to ripening in future existences and to
being reborn in a good abode.
If any one of the ten kinds of immoral conduct be performed, whether
for ripening in this existence or in the future, that kamma leads one to the
lower planes in future existences. So it is known as bad kamma ripening in
futuie existence. In tlis way one slould diﬀeientiate between tle good and
bad kammas and contemplate all the three kinds of kammas, which are
performed everywhere, on land, in water, and in the sky.
Having seen the three kammas performed in this world, we can also
comprehend that all beings, on land, in water, and in the sky, have been
performing these three kammas in their past existences of endless
woild‑cycles and will also ¡eifoim tlem in tle futuie. Lile tlis univeise,
tleie aie in tle foui diiections, inﬁnite univeises in wlicl all beings in watei,
on land, and in the sky are performing these three kammas.
Having discerned this, it is self-evident that all beings live by these
three kammas done by themselves. They enjoy happiness by virtue of
these three kammas. By performing the three good kammas they enjoy
vaiious beneﬁcial iesults, and by ¡eifoiming tle tliee bad lammas tley
encountei vaiious linds of miseiy and suﬀeiing. Tle tliee lammas aie
tleii own ¡io¡ei[, wlicl can nevei be desuoyed by ﬁie, watei, tlieves,
robbers, and so forth. Though one may own nothing, not even a single
coin, he can achieve happiness if he has mental kamma in the form of
knowledge and wisdom. So the Buddha declared: “All beings have kamma
as tleii own ¡io¡ei[.”
8 A Manual of the Path Factors
The Result of Present Kamma
Those who wish to acquire worldly gains, such as wealth, governmental
standing, and honour in this life, can achieve their wish if they exert
themselves to acquire education and knowledge, If it be that such worldly
gains can be had without acquiring education and knowledge and by merely
worshipping God, the believers in God need not perform physical, verbal,
and mental lammas sucl as uading, faiming, leaining aits and sciences.
Instead, they need to perform only the act of worshipping God. However,
it is not so. Like Buddhists, the Christians, Moslems, and others, are
performing the three kinds of kamma, and so they acquire worldly gains.
It is not God, but the three kinds of kamma that gave these to them.
The Result of Past Kamma
Just as we can see that in this life worldly gains are not given by God,
but aie acquiied by one’s own lamma, similaily we can iealise tlat beneﬁcial
results of being reborn in a wealthy family or in the deva world are not by
virtue of worshipping God, but by virtue of past kamma such as almsgiving,
obseivance of moiali[ and so foitl, ¡eifoimed in ¡ievious existences. One
who is reborn in a wealthy family becomes the owner of the riches of that
family. That is, all his possessions are due to his past kamma. Here, the
analogy of vegetation should be given.
The process of the formation and growth of vegetation is commonly
ascribed to the seed. According to the Abhidhamma, the element of kinetic
energy (tejo), wlicl is lnown as caloiici[ (utu) is said to be the cause. The
seed is nothing but the element of kinetic energy. That element of kinetic
energy is the real seed.
At the beginning of the world, before the existence of seeds, vegetation
giew nomtejo. Latei tlat vegetation ¡ioduced nuits and seeds nom wlicl
uees giew successively.
In the same way all beings have kamma as their seeds of becoming:
wlolesome lamma as almsgiving, moiali[, etc., and unwlolesome lamma
as taking others’ lives, etc.
The process of becoming as men and animals is due to the past kamma in
previous existences. On account of the wholesome kamma, etc., they are reborn
as men and devas, and because of the unwholesome volitional kamma they are
reborn in four lower worlds: hell, animal world, peta world, andasurakāya world.
Pievious vegetation ¡ioduces seeds nom wlicl nesl vegetation aiises.
Seeds ¡ioduce uees, and uees ¡ioduce seeds ie¡eatedly in an eteinal cycle
The Exposition of Right View 9
of seeds and uees. Similaily, beings lave seeds of lamma in tleii ¡ievious
existences. From these seeds of kamma new existences appear. Thus beings
perform kamma, which in turn gives rise to new becoming repeatedly.
Tiees lave ¡lysical ¡lenomena only. A uee yields many nuits nom wlicl
many uees aie giown. In tle case of beings, tley lave two linds of
phenomena: physical and mental phenomena. Of these two, the mental factor
is the chief. One mental factor can produce not more than one new mental
factor (i.e. tle iebiitl‑consciousness, paṭisandhi‑viññāṇa). Therefore, although
beings have many seeds of wholesome and unwholesome kamma in one
existence, one mental factor of the previous existence, i.e. volition (cetanā)
produces in the next existence only one mental factor. Since many new mental
factois aie not ¡ioduced, one coi¡oieali[‑giou¡ of tle ¡ast existence gives
iise to not moie tlan one coi¡oieali[‑giou¡ in tle next becoming.
Eaitl, watei, sun, moon, stais, and so foitl, come into existence nom tle
seeds of linetic eneigy, wlicl go undei tle name of caloiici[. It is not tlat tley
were created by God. Beings such as men, animals, etc., come into new successive
existences because of the seeds of their past kamma performed in previous world
cycles of existences. Such view is known as Right View. To hold that God creates
them is wrong view. It is the wrong view of those who, not knowing fully the
operative power of kamma and climate, imagine that they were created by God.
Thus to help people abandon wrong view, and to rely upon kamma, knowledge,
and wisdom, the Buddha said, “All beings are owners of their kamma.”
2. Sabbe saā kammadāyādā: There are such things as legacies and heirs.
Tlese legacies can be called oui ¡io¡ei[ only befoie we die, but wlen we
pass away we have to leave them behind. They do not accompany us to the
next existence. Tley aie also liable to be desuoyed by ﬁie, watei, tlieves
and robbers before our death, or we may use them up until they are exhausted.
As for the three kinds of kamma performed by beings, they remain their
¡io¡ei[ in futuie existences. Tley aie nevei desuoyed by ﬁie, etc. For this
ieason, lamma is said to be tle only ¡io¡ei[ inleiited by beings. Beings
are sure to reap the results of their own kamma in future existences. The
wholesome kamma performed by feeding animals and birds can result in a
hundred happy existences. The wholesome kamma performed by feeding
virtuous monks can give rise to a countless number of happy existences as
a man or deva. Giving alms worth about a quarter of a kyat in this present
life can yield beneﬁcial iesults woitl moie tlan a tlousand lyats in futuie
existences. If a ¡eison lills an animal, sucl as a ﬁsl, fowl, oi ¡ig, le may
be killed in more than a thousand future existences.
10 A Manual of the Path Factors
In tlis woild, if a tiny banyan seed is ¡lanted, a big banyan uee will giow
u¡ beaiing innumeiable nuits in moie tlan a tlousand yeais. Similaily, if a
mango seed oi a jacl‑nuit seed is ¡lanted, big mango uees and big jacl‑nuit
uees will giow and beai moie tlan a lundied tlousand nuits foi many yeais.
Tlus in tle case of uees, a small seed is able to yield moie tlan lundied
tlousand nuits, leaves, biancles and twigs. Similaily, a seed of wlolesome
lamma sucl as almsgiving, moiali[, oi meditation ¡iactised at one time,
can yield more than a hundred thousand good results in successive future
existences. A seed of unwholesome kamma by killing a living being can
yield evil and painful results in numerous following existences.
Banyan seeds, mango seeds, and jacl‑nuit seeds may be com¡aied to tle
seed of ¡lysical, veibal, and mental actions. A small seed nom wlicl aiise
numeious leaves, nuits, biancles, and twigs may be com¡aied to a seed of
lamma tlat ¡ioduces many eﬀects in tle following successive existences.
If a ¡eison ¡eifoims one lamma, tle eﬀects always accom¡any lim in
many existences yielding good or bad results at the opportune moments.
One can nevei get iid of tlat lamma, but one las to enjoy oi suﬀei its iesults
under appropriate circumstances. So the Buddha declared: “All beings are
the heirs of their kamma.”
3. Sabbe saā kammayonī: there are several causes for the growth of a
banyan uee: tle banyan seed, tle eaitl, and tle watei. Of tlese causes, tle
banyan seed is the primary cause; the earth and water are the secondary
causes. In tle same way, in geuing wages by woiling as a labouiei, tle
present kamma, i.e. working as a labourer, is the primary cause. The place
for working, the spade, the basket and the employers who pay wages are
the secondary causes.
The wholesome past kamma, i.e. almsgiving, moiali[, and so foitl, wlicl
enables one to be reborn as a human being, and the unwholesome kamma
by killing others, etc., which cause one to be reborn as an animal, are the
primary causes similar to the banyan seeds. The parents are the secondary
causes, just as tle eaitl and watei aie foi tle giowtl of a banyan uee.
Similarly, with regard to the present good and evil results, one’s own kamma
performed in the present existence with knowledge and wisdom, or otherwise,
is the primary cause. So also, one’s own wholesome kamma as almsgiving,
moiali[, etc., and unwholesome kamma as killing beings, performed in
previous existences, are the primary causes of good and evil results. The parents
are not the primary causes, nor is it anything to do with God, For this reason,
tle Buddla declaied: “All beings aie boin nom tleii lamma.”
The Exposition of Right View 11
4. Sabbe saā kammabandhū: There are parents, brothers, sons, relatives,
teacleis, and niends wlom we love and iely u¡on, but tley can be loved
and relied upon only for a short period, i.e. before our death. However, one’s
own physical, verbal, and mental kamma are constant companions, which
accom¡any one and give la¡¡iness and ¡ios¡eii[ to one in futuie existences.
So tle wlolesome lamma alone is one’s ieal ielative oi niend, wlicl slould
be esteemed and relied upon. Therefore, the Buddha declared: “All beings
have kamma as their relatives.”
5. Sabbe saā kammappaṭisaraṇā: In this phrase, ‘refuge’ means reliance
u¡on oi taling sleltei foi ¡iotection against uoubles and dangeis. Tlose wlo
wish to enjoy long life have to rely on food and drink. Food and drink protect
¡eo¡le nom staivation. Staivation cannot befall tlose wlo lave suﬃcient
food and drink. Similarly, it is necessary to rely upon doctors and medicine
for protection against diseases, and to rely upon weapons for protection
against enemies. All linds of iefuge aie iesoited to foi diﬀeient ¡ui¡oses.
‘Refuge’ does not mean only worshipping. It also has the meaning of
reliance upon and taking shelter or protection, as mentioned above. We take
iefuge in tle Buddla, Dlamma, Saṅgla, teacleis and tlose noblei tlan us
by paying homage to them.
A man witlout ¡io¡ei[ will soon get into uouble. Feaiing tlat uouble,
we have to rely upon kamma by doing such work as will give us money
and ¡io¡ei[. Lacl of wlolesome lamma will lead to tle lowei woilds
wleie one las to suﬀei giievously. Feaiing sucl suﬀeiing, one las to ¡eifoim
wholesome kamma, which can lead one to be reborn as a man or deva in
future existences. The present kamma of working with knowledge and
wisdom can save us nom dangei in tle ¡iesent life, and wlolesome lamma
sucl as almsgiving and moiali[ can save us nom tle lowei woilds in futuie.
We have to rely on the present kamma of working for avoiding dangers
in this present existence. We have to rely on wholesome kamma also to avoid
suﬀeiing in tle lowei woilds in futuie existences. Tle Buddla tleiefoie
declared: “All beings have kamma as their own refuge.”
Here we should analyse several kinds of refuge. In Buddhism there are
four kinds of taking refuge for the future: Taking refuge in the Buddha,
taling iefuge in tle Dlamma, taling iefuge in tle Saṅgla, taling iefuge in
one’s own wholesome kamma.
Likewise, there are four kinds of refuge for sick persons: Refuge in a chief
doctor, refuge in good medicine, refuge in assistant doctors, refuge in
following tleii diiections witl conﬁdence.
12 A Manual of the Path Factors
Of tle above‑mentioned foui iefuges, tle clief doctois and tle assistants
are the refuge of the patient as they are capable of prescribing good and
suitable medicines for particular diseases. The medicine is the refuge of the
patient in that it can cure him of his disease. The patient’s sensible action in
following the directions are also his refuge, as without such action on his
¡ait tle otlei tliee iefuges would be ineﬀective foi tle cuie of tle disease.
So all four together are the real refuge of the patient.
Those who commit evil deeds and indulge in sensual pleasures resemble
sick persons; the Buddha resembles the chief doctor who is expert in curing
diseases; the monks resemble the assistant doctors; and the Dhamma resembles
the medicine. The physical, verbal, and mental wholesome kamma resemble
the sensible action of the patient in following the directions. So there are four
kinds of refuge in Buddhism. The three refuges of the Buddha, Dhamma, and
Saṅgla exist only duiing tle Buddlasāsana. Tley do not exist outside it.
However, the refuge in wholesome kamma exists both within and outside the
Buddlasāsana. We can nevei be nee nom lamma, wlicl is o¡eiating all tle
time in this universe as well as in other innumerable universes.
The teaching “All beings are owners of their kamma” applies to all
univeises botl witlin and outside tle Buddlasāsana. Tlis is wly tle iefuge
of kamma alone, and not the three refuges of the Buddha, Dhamma, and
Saṅgla, is dealt witl in tlis discouise. Tlese aie tle foui linds of iefuges
to rely upon for wise conduct in this existence and for rebirth in happy
existences in the future.
Saraṇaṃ, usually uanslated ‘iefuge’, means tlat wlicl can save, give
support or protection. Thus food and drink are the support of beings for a
long life. Medicines and a healthy diet are the support for the cure of diseases.
Kings or rulers are protection against the danger of dacoits and robbers.
Buildings are the refuge for living comfortably and safely. Boats and steamers
are for ocean and river voyages. The earth is for support. Similarly water,
ﬁie and aii aie tle su¡¡oits foi ies¡ective ¡ui¡oses. In tlis way tleie aie
numeious iefuges in tlis existence. Tlis is tle ex¡osition about tle diﬀeient
kinds of refuge in Buddhism.
In other religions only one refuge, the refuge of God, is known. So
wlatevei comes into existence oi is desuoyed is auibuted to God. I slall
claii( tlis statement.
In otlei ieligions, sucl as Cliistiani[ and Islam, tle uue meaning of
refuge is not understood and the respective followers regard God as their
only refuge. Since they believe only in one refuge, they take it for granted
The Exposition of Right View 13
that the appearance and disappearance of the world and beings are due to
the power of God. They believe that God saves those who have faith in him
by his supernormal power. With this power he can wash away all sins and
evils of beings and give tlem eteinal la¡¡iness and eteinal life ahei deatl.
The good and evil results of beings depend on the will of God.
They disbelieve in kamma, thinking that kamma is not the cause of such
results. It is most surprising that those who are really performing kamma
entirely disregard their own acts. Kamma means physical, verbal, and mental
actions of practising the teachings of a particular religion. The auspicious
act of baptism, worshipping and praying to God daily, obeying his
commandments, etc., are really kamma. These people believe that God saves
only those who perform such deeds, but not those who do not do so; but
they do not realise that such deeds are really kamma.
In those religions also, as in Buddhism, there are four kinds of refuge. In
Buddlism tley aie tle Buddla, tle Dlamma, tle Saṅgla, and lamma. But
in those religions they are:
Refuge in God, the Commandments of God, prophets, such as Christ and
Mohammed, and priests, their own kamma in the performance of religious
rites and duties.
The priests and missionaries of those religions do not realise that in their
religions also there are several kinds of refuge. So they regard God as their
only refuge and disregard kamma. Consequently they believe that good and
evil, ¡ios¡eii[ and iuin, la¡¡iness and suﬀeiing aie cieated only by God
and are not due to any other cause. They do not know that there are various
and diﬀeient causes.
Is it simply by worshipping and praying to God that the poor who desire
wealth can get it, or would they get it by the present kamma of working
diligently as a labouiei, faimei, oi uadei' Wealtl is not usually obtained
by worshipping and praying to God. On the other hand, acquisition of
¡io¡ei[ by ¡eifoiming tle ¡iesent lamma is self-evident. So it is ieasonable
to believe tlat acquiiing ¡io¡ei[ in tlis life is due to tle ¡iesent lamma,
and has nothing to do with God.
God las no ¡owei to give ¡io¡ei[ to anyone. Only tle ¡iesent lamma
can do so. If God had such power to give wealth, his faithful followers would
have no occasion to perform present kamma, they would be enjoying riches
given by lim, and tlose wlo aie not lis followeis would not get any ¡io¡ei[
although they were diligently performing the present kamma. However, it
is not so. The devout followers of God have to perform the present kamma
14 A Manual of the Path Factors
in oidei to acquiie wealtl and ¡io¡ei[, and tlose wlo aie not lis followeis
also can acquire it, if they wish, by performing present kamma. For this
reason, the acquisition of wealth in this life is the result of the present kamma.
It is not tle gih of God.
Similarly, if one desires education and knowledge, one can get it by
performing the present kamma of studying and learning. They cannot, as a
rule, be acquired by worshipping God. If one wishes to be a government
oﬃcei, one will lave to study goveinment iules and iegulations. Goveinment
posts cannot, as a rule, be obtained by worshipping and praying to God.
Thus we can see with our eyes that all the worldly gains are obtainable only
by the power of the present kamma and not by the power of God.
The believers in God believe that by worshipping God faithfully they are
need nom all tleii sins and evils. Howevei, as a iule tle sicl aie not cuied
by taking refuge in God only. On the other hand we can see that the present
kamma of taking medicine and regulating one’s diet can cure them.
How sui¡iising it is, tleiefoie, to maintain tlat one could be need nom
the result of sins in the next existence by worshipping God, when even a
disease such as ringworm is not usually cured by praying to God in this life.
Again, since even uiﬂing wealtl cannot as a iule be acquiied by meiely ¡iaying
to God in this life, is it not surprising to believe that just by praying to God
one can go ahei deatl to leaven, wleie one can enjoy a life of eteinal bliss.
Having seen tlat wealtl and la¡¡iness, not ¡ieviously auained in tlis
life, are achieved by virtue of present kamma and not by favour of God, we
can fully believe that there is no other refuge than the present kamma for
the acquisition of wealth and happiness in this life. Similarly, we can believe
tlat tle auainment of tle liglei ¡lanes of existence ahei deatl is also due
to wholesome kamma. It has nothing to do with God. God cannot enable
one who lacks such wholesome kamma to be reborn in a happy plane of
existence. Tlose wlo lave sucl lamma can auain tle liglei states of
existences, even though they do not pray to God.
Vaiious beneﬁcial iesults in tle next existence means eitlei iebiitl as a
membei of a well‑to‑do oi iuling family, oi iebiitl in tle deva and Bialmā
world as a powerful deva, Salla oi Bialmā and so foitl. Hence tle Buddla
declared: “All beings have kamma as their own refuge.”
Appendix Regarding Ownership of Kamma
A being has two aggregates (khandhā): material group (rūpakkhandhā) and
mental group (nāmakkhandhā). The material group consists of head, hands,
The Exposition of Right View 15
legs, etc. The mental group means feelings, perceptions, mental formations,
Of these two, the material group comes to dissolution once in each
existence. It las diﬀeient sla¡es oi foims in eacl existence. As foi tle
mind‑giou¡, tleie is no bieal in its ¡iocess. It continually aiises in succession
nom one existence to anotlei. Good lamma causes it to aiise in successive
la¡¡y existences. Wleievei tle mind giou¡ aiises, tleie a new and diﬀeient
mateiial giou¡ comes to be foimed. Tle bad lamma causes tle mind‑giou¡
to arise in lower states of existence.
Right View in Ten Mauers
1. Ahi dinnaṃ: Right View that almsgiving, such as giving to dogs, fowls,
birds, layfolk, bhikkhus, etc., if performed with benevolence, in a previous
existence, yields beneﬁcial iesults in subsequent existences.
2. Ahi yiṭṭhaṃ: Riglt View tlat libeiali[, if extended witl belief in ¡ast
kamma and with faith in and respect for the virtuous qualities of recipients,
yields beneﬁcial iesults in futuie existences.
3. Ahi hutaṃ: Riglt View tlat, gihs, even on a small scale (āhuna, pāhuna),
if made in ¡ievious existences witl good will, yields beneﬁcial iesults in
4. Ahi sukata dukkaṭānaṃ kammānaṃ phalaṃ vipāko: Right View that cruel
deeds done to beings in previous existences yield bad results in subsequent
existences, and tlat ienaining nom sucl evil acts yields beneﬁcial iesults.
5. Ahi mātā: Right View that good and evil deeds done to one’s mother
yield good and evil results respectively in subsequent existences.
6. Ahi pitā: Right View that good and evil deeds done to one’s father
yield good and evil results respectively in subsequent existences.
7. Ahi saā opapātikā: Right View that there really exist beings by
apparitional rebirth who are invisible to human eyes. Beings by apparitional
rebirth means those that do not take conception in the womb of a mother. Due
to the force of their previous kamma they are born complete with the limbs
and organs of the body, which will not develop further but remain as they are.
Beings of the eight great hell regions and the lesser hells certain petas and
asurakāyas inhabiting mountains, forests, and lonely islands in the ocean;
ceitain teiiesuial devas living in towns, villages, mountains, and forests;
certain ogres, ghouls, and vampires living on lonely islands in the ocean;
certain nāgas and garuḷas; devas inhabiting the higher regions such as sun,
moon, planet, stars, and six deva‑¡lanes of Cātumalāiājila, Tāvatiṃsa, Yāmā,
16 A Manual of the Path Factors
etc., Bialmās inlabiting tle twen[ Bialmā ¡lanes consisting of tliee ¡lanes
of tle ﬁist jhāna, three planes of the second jhāna, three planes of the third
jhāna, seven planes of the fourth jhāna, and four arūpa jhāna planes; all these
beings are known as ‘beings by apparitional rebirth.’
Unknown to Other Religions
Of tle twen[ Bialmā ¡lanes, tle Bialmā of gieat ¡owei lives in tle
lowest tliee ¡lanes of tle ﬁist jhāna. Tlat Bialmā is iegaided as God in otlei
religions in which higher planes existing above those three are not known.
The sun, moon, stars, and constellations in the sky are the heavenly
mansions of devas. By seeing these heavenly abodes one can visualise the
existence of higher planes of the devas, Sallas, and Bialmās.
Even when men are close to these beings, they are unable to see them
with their human eyes. Only when these beings make their forms visible,
and then only can men see them. They are invisible to human eyes like the
God, angels, and devils in other religions.
The belief that there really exist such beings by apparitional rebirth is
called right view.
8. Ahi ayaṃ loko: Right View that this world is the human world, and
9. Ahi paroloko: Right View that the other world consists of the four
lower worlds (hell, the worlds of animals, hungry ghosts, and jealous gods),
the deva woilds, and tle Bialmā woilds.
In other religions, hell, the worlds of hungry ghosts, jealous gods, and
the higher deva and Bialmā ¡lanes aie not lnown ¡io¡eily.
Another interpretation is that there are in this universe the human world,
the four lower worlds, and the heavenly deva and Bialmā woilds, wlicl
are called this world. Similarly, to the east, west, south, and north of this
univeise tleie aie inﬁnite univeises, wlicl aie called otlei woilds. Tlese
universes are not known in other religions.
10. Ahi loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā samaggatā sammāpaṭipannā ye imañca lokaṃ
parañca lokam sayaṃ abhiññā sacchikatvā pavedenti: There are higher spiritual
knowledge (abhiññā) and omniscience (sabbaññuta‑ñāṇa). Monks and
bialmins wlo exeit tlemselves diligently in fulﬁlling tle ¡eifections
(pāramitā) and ¡iactising uanquilli[ and insiglt meditation in tlis luman
world can achieve such knowledge. Persons who have achieved such
lnowledge a¡¡eai in tlis woild nom time to time.
Of these two kinds of knowledge, some are capable of gaining only higher
knowledge and they can see with this knowledge the four lower worlds, the
The Exposition of Right View 17
six deva woilds, and some of tle Bialmā woilds, as if witl tleii natuial eye.
Some are capable of achieving both higher knowledge and omniscience and
tley can see cleaily all of tle countless beings, inﬁnite woilds and univeises.
Persons who have both knowledges are called ‘Buddhas.’
Tlese two linds of ¡eisons a¡¡eai in tlis luman woild nom time to time
and impart their knowledge of this world and the other worlds, but it is
only a Buddha who can explain the round of rebirths and existence of
Three kinds of belief, namely: belief that those persons of higher spiritual
lnowledge and omniscience a¡¡eai in tlis woild nom time to time, belief
in them and their teachings, and belief in the existence of the other worlds,
constitute the right view. Those who have this right understanding entertain
no doubt that the Buddha, appears only in the human world, and not in the
In other religions, where there is no such right understanding, they
imagine tlat tle all‑lnoweis, tle all‑seeis, tle Omniscient ones a¡¡eai only
in the highest heavens and not in the human world.
However, there are two kinds of power: the power of kamma and the
power of knowledge. In the case of kamma, the power of jhāna is most eﬀective.
It can cause one to aiise in tle liglest ¡lane as a Bialmā witl a long s¡an of
life. It cannot, however, cause one to become an Omniscient Buddha. That
Bialmā las no lnowledge witl wlicl le can see all and lnow all.
Only in this human world can one work for omniscience, and only one
who perseveres diligently to achieve that knowledge can become omniscient.
It is only in the Buddha Dhamma that profound, sublime and wonderful
teachings exist, and it is because they belong to the sphere of knowledge
To suive to become a wealtly ¡eison is one way, and to acquiie insiglt
and tlus become a teaclei of beings is anotlei way. To suive to become
a gieat Bialmā is similai to suiving to become a wealtly man, and to
suive as a blilllu oi leimit foi acquiiing insiglt is lile suiving to become
a great teacher.
Anoxnrn Exxmrir: biids lave wings to ﬂy about in tle sly but tley do
not possess knowledge and wisdom like man. Men have knowledge and
wisdom but tley lave no wings and aie unable to ﬂy about in tle sly.
Tle Bialmā’s and devas wholesome kamma of jhāna resembles the wings
of ¡aiiots, ciows, and vultuies. Tle insiglt‑lnowledge and liglei lnowledge
of the monks and recluses resembles the knowledge and wisdom of men.
18 A Manual of the Path Factors
Buddhas Arise Only in the Human World
Tle Bialmās and tle devas live in the highest planes of existence due to
the power of jhāna and lamma, so tley aie long‑lived and ¡oweiful, but
tley lave no insiglt‑lnowledge and omniscience so tley aie not able to
undeistand tle dee¡ and ¡iofound uutls. Tleii lnowledge is conﬁned to
their own experience.
The right view that enables one to believe: 1) that the Omniscient Buddha
appears only in this human world and not in higher planes of existence;
2)that only monks and brahmins who are endowed with higher knowledge
and omniscience can clearly discern the condition of the kappa and universes,
tle beings wlo aie iunning tle iound of saṃsāia and low tle wlolesome
and unwholesome kamma operate; 3) that the teachings of those monks and
bialmins in tle Suua, Vinaya, and Ablidlamma aie uue, is lnown as ‘ahi
loke samaṇabrāhmaṇā sammā‑diṭṭhi’.
The Buddha rejected the wrong view that God who knows all and sees
all cannot appear in the human world, but only in the highest heavenly
abode, and that there cannot be many gods but only one, and that God,
being tle liglest and noblest, must be eteinal and nee nom old age, disease,
Detailed ex¡lanations of wiong views aie given in tle Sammā‑diṭṭli
Dī¡anī — Tle Manual of Riglt Views.
Right View of the Four Truths
Right View of the Four Truths Means:
1) Knowledge of tle ieal suﬀeiing.
2) Knowledge of tle uue cause of suﬀeiing.
3) Knowledge of tle cessation of suﬀeiing.
4) Knowledge of tle iiglt ¡atl leading to tle cessation of suﬀeiing.
Right View of the Truth of Suﬀering
Fnicnxrui Surrrninc: Tley eye of luman-beings, gods, and bialmās
constantly o¡¡iesses and laiasses tlose wlo aie auacled to it, so it is most
nigltful and is tle ieal suﬀeiing. In tle same way, eai, nose, tongue, body
and mind to wlicl luman-beings, gods, and bialmās aie auacled, gieatly
o¡¡iess and laiass tlem. Tley too aie most nigltful and aie tle ieal suﬀeiing.
Monr or Orrnrssion: Of these six, the eye oppresses through kammic
activities, instabili[, and suﬀeiing. Oi, it o¡¡iesses tliougl lamma activities,
burning up (santāpa), and instabili[. Oi, it o¡¡iesses tliougl iebiitl, aging,
The Exposition of Right View 19
and deatl. Oi, it o¡¡iesses oi laiasses by develo¡ing tle ﬁies of ¡assion,
laued, delusion, conceit, wiong view, mental deﬁlements and coiiu¡tions
by stimulating evil deeds sucl as lilling, and by ¡ioducing tle ﬁies of iebiitl,
aging, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow, and despair.
Orrnrssion Tnnoucn Kxmmx Acxivixirs: Possession of the eyes of men,
gods, oi bialmās is ¡ioduced by good deeds done in tle ¡ast life, witlout
which only the eyes of hell beings, animals, ghosts or demons would come
into being instead. Thus the eye of a higher being oppresses that being
tliougl tle good lamma‑activities tlat cieated tle eye. Tlese same
lamma‑activities o¡¡iess lim in tle next existence, because le las to ¡iotect
and sustain them so that he will not lose them. So the eyes of a higher being
o¡¡iesses lim tliougl tle lamma‑activities tlat ¡ioduce suﬀeiing. So tle
eye of a higher being perpetually oppresses him. Because the eye of the
higher being does not arise independently of kamma-activities, it is said that
tle lamma‑activities invaiiably o¡¡iess tle ¡ossessoi tliouglout tle
beginningless round of rebirths.
Orrnrssion Tnnoucn Insxxeiiixv: Tlis means o¡¡iession by liabili[ to
immediate desuuction wlenevei tleie is a cause foi desuuction. Fiom tle
time of conception there is not a single moment — even for a wink of an eye
oi a ﬂasl of ligltning — wlen tleie is no liabili[ to desuuction. And tleie
is always tle anxie[ caused by im¡ending desuuction. Wlen actual
desuuction comes, tle suﬀeiing tlat is ex¡eiienced is manifold. Tlus tle
eye of a liglei being o¡¡iesses lim tliougl instabili[.
Orrnrssion Tnnoucn Surrrninc: Suﬀeiing means ¡lysical and mental
¡ain. Tle ¡ain ex¡eiienced tliougl tle existence of tle eyes of a lell‑being,
glost, oi demon is obvious. Wlen tleie is mental disuess tliougl contact
with repulsive objects, or physical pain, there is oppression through ill of
suﬀeiing. Wlen tle eye conuacts some disease oi wlenevei tleie is ¡lysical
oi mental uouble in tle ¡ieseivation and ¡iotection of tle eye one is
o¡¡iessed by tle ill of suﬀeiing. Tlus tle eye o¡¡iesses beings tliougl tle
ill of suﬀeiing.
Orrnrssion Tnnoucn Bunninc: Tle eye, wlicl gives so mucl uouble to
beings, and wlicl is a souice of suﬀeiing, is an alaiming fact foi one wlo
has to wander through the beginningless round of rebirths because of that
eye. So it is tle ieal souice of suﬀeiing. Tle eai, nose, tongue, body and
mind should be regarded likewise.
The knowledge that enables one to realise and understand the immense
suﬀeiing inleient in any of tle tliee iealms (sensual iealm, foim iealm,
20 A Manual of the Path Factors
and formless realm) such as produced by the six sense bases is knowledge
of right view(sammādiṭṭhi-ñāṇa).
Right View of the Cause of Suﬀering
Tliouglout tle iound of iebiitls, as long as tleie is auaclment to tle
eye as: “It is mine, it is my self,” so long will its continuous oppression be
maintained. Tleiefoie, tle ciaving and gieed tlat is auacled to tle eye is
tle uue cause of suﬀeiing. Tle eai, nose, tongue, body, and mind slould be
Tlis lnowledge tlat sees and undeistands tle uue cause of suﬀeiing is
lnowledge of tle iiglt view iegaiding tle cause of suﬀeiing(sammādiṭṭhi-ñāṇa).
Right View of the Cessation of Suﬀering
When, in any existence, the greed and craving connected with the eye
ﬁnally ceases, tle eye does not aiise again, and so tle o¡¡iession by tle eye
does not arise again. The ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind should be
regarded likewise. This knowledge that sees and understands the real
cessation of suﬀeiing is lnowledge of tle iiglt view iegaiding tle cessation
of suﬀeiing (sammādiṭṭhi‑ñāṇa).
Right View of the Path to the Cessation of Suﬀering
When, as a result of practice of the Dhamma and development of the
mind tliougl meditation, tle uue natuie of tle eye and tle o¡¡iession by
the eye are realised and understood, craving connected to the eye ceases.
Tlen it does not aiise ahei deatl, and so tle o¡¡iession by tle eye ceases
too. The ear, nose, tongue, body and mind should be regarded likewise.
This knowledge that realises and understands the path leading to the
cessation of suﬀeiing is iiglt view iegaiding tle ¡atl leading to tle cessation
of suﬀeiing (sammadiṭṭhi‑ñāṇa).
In tle mauei of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl tlis iiglt undeistanding of tle
Four Truths is the most essential.
z. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Tnoucnx
There Are Three Kinds of Right Thought:
i. Thoughts of Renunciation (nekkhamma saṅkappa)
ii. Thoughts of Loving-kindness (abyāpāda saṅkappa)
iii. Thoughts of Compassion (avihiṃsa saṅkappa)
The Exposition of Right Speech 21
Thoughts of Renunciation
Tleie is a mental state nee nom gieed tlat can ienounce tle ﬁve sensual
pleasures — pleasant sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches — and
wlicl can abandon auaclment to tle ﬁve giou¡s of existence, viz. mind
Tlouglts aiising nom sucl absence of gieed aie tlouglts of ienunciation
Thoughts of Loving-kindness
Tleie is loving‑lindness foi all beings, be tley men oi animals and tle
wisl foi tleii beneﬁt and welfaie. Tlouglts aiising nom loving‑lindness
are abyāpāda saṅkappa.
Thoughts of Compassion
Thoughts arising out of compassion and sympathy for all beings who are
aﬄicted witl suﬀeiing is avihiṃsa saṅkappa.
j. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Srrrcn
There Are Four Types of Right Speech:
i. Abstinence nom falselood (musāvādavirati).
ii. Abstinence nont bacl‑biting (pisuṇavācāvirati).
iii. Abstinence nom abusive s¡eecl (pharusavācāvirati).
iv. Abstinence nom nivolous tall (samphappalāpavirati).
Abstinence hom FaIsehood
S¡ealing unuutl to male it a¡¡eai as uutl, and s¡ealing uutl as tlougl
it weie unuutl, mean s¡ealing falselood. Abstinence nom s¡ealing
falsehood is musāvāda virati.
Abstinence hom Back‑biting
Tle lind of tall tlat males two niends lose conﬁdence in and iegaid foi
each other, that creates dissension between two persons or that slanders
anotlei is bacl‑biting. Abstinence nom sucl bacl-iting is pisuṇavācā virati.
Abstinence hom Abusive Speech
Speaking with anger and using abusive language regarding race, family,
¡eisonal uaits, occu¡ation, etc., amounts to oﬀensive and abusive woids.
Abstinence nom sucl s¡eecl is pharusavācā virati.
22 A Manual of the Path Factors
Abstinence hom FrivoIous TaIk
Tleie aie ceitain ¡lays and novels tlat aie of no beneﬁt, tley aie wiiuen
merely for the sake of entertainment.
Auha, Dhamma, and Vinaya
Woids ielating to beneﬁt (aha) are those that could bring long life, health,
and honestly acquired wealth in this existence, and good results such as
human rebirth, etc., in the next.
Words relating to Dhamma are those that relate to ways and means for
auainment of tle above‑mentioned good iesults.
Words relating to Vinaya are those that relate to the rules of conduct for
lai[ and monls, guiding tlem towaids tle desuuction of gieed and laued.
Words relating to aha, dhamma, and vinaya are not found in all plays and
novels. Naiiating sucl ¡lays and novels to otleis amounts to nivolous tall.
Avoidance of such talk is samphappalāpa virati. Tlii[‑two [¡es of unbeneﬁ
cial talk (‘tiracchāna kathā’ lit. ‘animal talk’) are included in samphappalāpa.
See Appendix 1.
Those who wish to develop wisdom should not waste time indulging in
sucl tlii[‑two [¡es of tall. Tlose wlo aie develo¡ing mental calm
(samatha) and insight (vipassanā), should know the limit even of speech
associated with aha, dhamma, and vinaya.
q. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Acxion
There Are Three Kinds of Right Action:
i. Abstention nom Killing Living Beings (pāṇātipāta virati),
ii. Abstention nom Stealing (adinnādāna virati), and
iii. Abstention nom Sensual Misconduct (kāmesumicchācāra virati).
Abstention for Killing Living Beings
Pāṇātipāta means intentional lilling oi desuoying beings by ¡lysical
action oi veibal incitement, ianging nom causing aboition, desuoying eggs
of lice and bugs, to lilling and desuoying living beings. Abstinence nom
such deeds is pāṇātipāta virati.
Abstention hom SteaIing
Adinnādāna means taking with the intention of stealing any animate or
inanimate ¡io¡ei[ in tle ¡ossession of tle ownei, sucl as giass, fuel, watei
The Exposition of Right Livelihood 23
and so forth, without the knowledge of the owner, either by physical exertion
oi veibal incitement. Abstinence nom sucl deeds is adinnādāna virati.
Abstention hom SensuaI Misconduct
Kāmesumicchācāra means improper sexual intercourse of a man with a
woman, such as one protected by her parents, or intercourse of a married
woman whose husband is still alive, with another man. It also includes
taking intoxicants, and gambling with cards, chess, dice, etc. Abstinence
nom sucl deeds is kāmesumicchācāra virati.
j. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Livriinoon
There Are Four Kinds of Right Livelihood:
i. Wrong Livelihood1 (duccarita micchājīva virati),
ii. Improper Livelihood (anesana micchājīva virati),
iii. Dishonest Livelihood (kuhanādi micchājīva virati), and
iv. Low Arts (tiracchānavijjā micchājīva virati).
Abstention hom Wrong LiveIihood
Duccarita micchājīva means eaining a livelilood by commiuing any of
the three evil bodily actions (killing, etc.,) and four evil verbal actions (lying,
etc.) Abstinence nom sucl laimful modes of eaining a livelilood is duccarita
Abstention hom Improper LiveIihood
Anesana micchājīva means earning a livelihood by sages and bhikkhus
acquiiing iequisites by any of twen[‑one im¡io¡ei means, by giving nuits
and ﬂoweis, and so foitl. (See A¡¡endix 2). Abstinence nom sucl acts is
anesana micchājīva virati.
Abstention hom Dishonest LiveIihood
Tleie aie ﬁve ciooled ways of eaining a livelilood: (i) kuhana, (ii) lapana,
(iii) nimia, (iv) nippesana, (v) lābhena lābha nijigīsana.
i. Kuhana means uicleiy and dece¡tion. It means naudulently obtaining
gihs and oﬀeiings by maling ¡eo¡le tlinl tlat one ¡ossesses exuaoidinaiy
qualities such as noble virtue, although one does not possess them.
ii. Lapana means im¡udent tall in connection witl ¡io¡ei[ and gihs.
Selling weapons, livestock, flesh, intoxicants, and poisons (A.iii.208).
24 A Manual of the Path Factors
iii. Nimia means maling gestuies and lints to invite oﬀeiings.
iv. Nippesana means harassing with words so that one is obliged to make
v. Lābhena lābha nijigīsana means giving a small gih to get a biggei one.
Abstinence nom sucl wiongful modes of livelilood, is kuhanādi micchājīva
Abstention hom Low Arts
As tle woildly aits sucl as ¡io¡lesying nom tle signs of tle ¡aits of tle
body, ¡almisuy, etc., aie conuaiy to tle ¡iactice of sages and blilllu, tley
are called low arts. Earning a livelihood by means of such low arts is
tiracchānavijjā micchājīva virati.
Abstinence nom sucl wiongful modes of eaining a livelilood is called
tiracchānavijjā micchājīva virati. See Appendix 3.
6. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Erronx
Of tle foui linds of Riglt Eﬀoit, tle ﬁist two actions: i.e. the two
unwholesome volitional actions — one arisen (uppanna) and the other
unarisen (anuppanna) — constantly cause anxie[, moial coiiu¡tion, and
debasement to beings. The next two, namely, the wholesome volitional
actions tlat lave aiisen and tlat aie unaiisen always give ¡eace, ¡uii[,
nobili[, and ¡iogiess to beings.
Of the ten kinds of evil conduct, evil conduct that has arisen or is arising
is called uppanna‑akusala. Evil conduct that has not arisen, but may arise in
the future is called anuppanna‑akusala.
Of tle seven linds of Puii[ — 1) Puii[ of Moiali[, 2) Puii[ of Mind,
3) Puii[ of View, 4) Puii[ by oveicoming Doubt, 5) Puii[ by Knowledge
and Vision of tle Patl and non-Patl, 6) Puii[ by Knowledge and Vision of
tle Couise of Piactice, 7) Puii[ by Knowledge and Vision — sucl
¡uiiﬁcation as las aiisen oi is aiising is called uppanna kusala. The
¡uiiﬁcation tlat las nevei befoie aiisen oi las not yet been auained in tlis
life is called anuppanna‑kusala. Thus both wholesome and unwholesome
actions are of two kinds: arisen, and unarisen.
The Power of the Path Factors
If the Noble Eightfold Path is practised and developed in this life, by
virtue of its power, the unwholesome actions that have arisen in this life will
not aiise again till one auains ﬁnal nibbāna. By viitue of tle Noble Eigltfold
The Exposition of Right Eﬀort 25
Path, the unwholesome actions that have never arisen before in this life, but
wlicl could lave aiisen in tle futuie, will nevei again aiise until one auains
ﬁnal nibbāna. By viitue of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, tle two linds of aiisen
and unarisen unwholesome actions are eradicated and brought to an end.
Established as Natural Condition (Niyāma)
Similarly, if the Noble Eightfold Path is practised and developed in this
life, by viitue of its ¡owei, any one of tle seven linds of ¡uiiﬁcation tlat
aiises in tlis life, becomes indesuuctible and constant until one auains ﬁnal
nibbāna. Also by viitue of tle Noble Eigltfold Patl, tle ¡uiiﬁcations tlat
have never arisen before, arise in this very life.
One’s Own ReaI Beneﬁt
For these reasons, those devout laymen and Bhikkhus who are fortunate
enougl to encountei tle Buddlasāsana slould be convinced of tle fact tlat
only tle ¡iactice of Riglt Eﬀoit in tle ¡iactice and develo¡ment of tle
Eigltfold Patl is foi tleii uue welfaie and ¡ios¡eii[. Mundane aﬀaiis
slould be uansacted only wlen tley aie absolutely necessaiy and unavoid-
able. Tlis is tle elucidation of Riglt Eﬀoit, wlicl is a fundamental factoi
In explaining what is arisen and unarisen, one can easily understand the
unwholesome as the ten kinds of evil conduct, and in the case of the
wlolesome as tle seven linds of ¡uiiﬁcation.
Eﬀort to Prevent the Arising of Unarisen UnwhoIesome States
Practice of the Eightfold Path with the intention of preventing unwhole-
some actions nom aiising at all in tlis veiy life and tle following existences,
is tle ﬁist lind of Riglt Eﬀoit.
Eﬀort to Eradicate Arisen UnwhoIesome States
Practice of the Eightfold Path with the intention of preventing unwhole-
some actions that have not yet arisen, but which are liable to arise in the
futuie, is tle second lind of Riglt Eﬀoit.
Eﬀort to DeveIop Unarisen WhoIesome States
Puuing foitl eﬀoit to ¡iactise tle Noble Eigltfold ¡atl to auain oi iealise
in tlis veiy life tle liglei ¡uiiﬁcations tlat lave not yet been auained, is
tle tliid lind of Riglt Eﬀoit.
26 A Manual of the Path Factors
Eﬀort to Increase Arisen WhoIesome States
Puuing foitl eﬀoit to lee¡ tle Puii[ of Moiali[ sucl as tle Five Piece¡ts
or Eight Precepts with right livelihood as the eighth, which one is observing
in tlis veiy life, and to male it stable until one auains ﬁnal nibbāna, is tle
fouitl lind of Riglt Eﬀoit.
Tlese aie tle foui linds of Riglt Eﬀoit wlicl lave been ex¡ounded in
such a way as to help one to understand them easily. They are enumerated
as four only with reference to function. In fact, there is only one relevant
dlamma, namely eﬀoit, because wlen one uies to aclieve any one
¡uiiﬁcation, tle eﬀoit ¡ut foitl coveis tle foui functions automatically.
y. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Minnruinrss
Tle minds of beings aie nevei steady, but aie always ﬂeeting. Tley cannot
ﬁx tle mind steadily on any object of meditation. Since tley cannot conuol
tle mind tley aie lile mad ¡eisons. Socie[ las no iegaid foi mad ¡eisons,
wlo lave no conuol ovei tleii minds. Tlose wlo lave cannot conuol tle
mind to lee¡ it steady wlile meditating, ﬁnd tlat tley iesemble a mad
¡eison. Tley aie awaie tlat tley cannot conuol tle mind wlen tley uy to
ﬁx it on an object of meditation. To eliminate tle unsteady and ﬂeeting mind
and to ﬁx it steadily on an object of meditation, one las to ¡iactise tle Foui
Foundations of Mindfulness (Satipaṭṭhāna).
The Four Foundations of Mindfulness
Mindfulness of the Body
KXvXnurxssxnX Sxxirx))nXnx means tlat one’s mind is ﬁimly tied to
one’s own body with the rope of Right Mindfulness. One is constantly
observing, and focusing one’s mind on physical phenomenon such as
exhaling and inhaling. When this practice has been repeated for three or
four months, the unsteadiness of the mind will disappear. Then one becomes
ca¡able of concenuating one’s mind constantly on one’s own mateiial
phenomena, such as inhaling and exhaling, for one hour, two, three, four,
ﬁve, oi six louis eveiy day. Tlen one las gained conuol of tle mind to ﬁx
it on any object of meditation.
Mindfulness of Feelings
VrnxnXnurxssxnX Sxxirx))nXnx means tlat one’s mind is ﬁimly tied to
one’s own feelings with the rope of Right Mindfulness. Pleasant and
unpleasant feelings are constantly arising in one’s body dependent upon
The Exposition of Right Concenation 27
conditions. Re¡eatedly ﬁxing tle mind on tlese feelings will ¡ut an end to
mental iestlessness. Tlen one las gained conuol of tle mind to ﬁx it on any
object of meditation.
Mindfulness of Consciousness
CixxXnurxssxnX Sxxirx))nXnx means tlat one’s mind is ﬁimly tied to
one’s own tlouglts witl tle io¡e of Riglt Mindfulness. Diﬀeient [¡es of
consciousness, wlicl aie associated witl gieed and laued, aie alteinately
present in one’s mind-continuum dependent upon conditions. Repeatedly
ﬁxing tle mind on tlese tlouglts will ¡ut an end to mental iestlessness.
Tlen one las gained conuol of tle mind to ﬁx it on any object of meditation.
Mindfulness of Mental States
DnxmmXnurxssxnX Sxxirx))nXnx means tlat one’s mind is ﬁimly tied to
one’s own mental states with the rope of Right Mindfulness. Mental states
such as lust, ill-will, sloth, restlessness, worry, doubt, and so forth, are
alternately present in one’s mind-continuum dependent upon conditions.
Re¡eatedly ﬁxing tle mind on tlese mental states will ¡ut an end to mental
iestlessness. Tlen one las gained conuol of tle mind to ﬁx it on any object
Binn ur wixn xnr Rorr: Satipaṭṭhāna means tle meditative woil of geuing
rid of the mad, deranged, hot, and burning mind that has accompanied one’s
life-continuum nom tle inﬁnite ¡ast, by [ing one’s mind witl tle io¡e of
mindfulness to the four aggregates, namely, material phenomena, feelings,
thoughts, and mental states. One must practise for a predetermined period,
so tlat one’s mind does not wandei to exteinal objects, but is conﬁned to
the aforesaid four groups only.
Tlis slould le ¡iactised foi a ﬁxed ¡eiiod of two oi tliee louis eveiy
night according to one’s personal circumstances.
8. Tnr Exrosixion or Ricnx Concrnxnxxion
Only When the Mental Restlessness Disappears
In learning how to read, one has to begin with learning the alphabet.
Only ahei one las masteied tle al¡labet can liglei education be acquiied.
Similarly, in the process of mental development, the application of mindful-
ness is to be ¡iactised ﬁist. Only wlen mindfulness is steady, and tle mad
and deranged mind is got rid of, can the higher stages of meditation be
28 A Manual of the Path Factors
When mindfulness is steady, and one is able to keep one’s mind
consistently (for one, two, or three hours daily), on one’s own body, one
slould ¡iactise uanquilli[ meditation (samatha) to auain one oi otlei of
the four jhānas. It is lile tle liglei studies of tle Maṅgala Suua, Nāmallāia,
Paiiua, Giammai, oi Ablidlammattlasaṅgala, wlicl can be studied only
ahei tloiouglly masteiing tle al¡labets.
Tleie aie twen[-ﬁve meditation objects (kammaṭṭhāna).
1. Ten meditation devices (kasiṇa),
2. Ten kinds of loathsomeness (asubha),
3. One contem¡lation of tle tlii[-two ¡aits of tle body,
4. Mindfulness of breathing (ānāpānasati),
5. Three kinds sublime abidings (Brahmāvihāra): loving kindness
(meā), compassion (karuṇā), and sympathetic joy (muditā).
Tle ﬁist jhāna is auained by intense ¡iactice of one of tlese meditation
objects by gaining tle tliee stages of initial concenuation (parikamma
bhāvanā), access-concenuation (upacāra bhāvanā) and auainment concenua-
tion (appanā bhāvanā).
Meditation by tle ﬁxing mindfulness on tle ies¡iiation to get iid of tle
mad and deianged mind also leads to tle ﬁist jhāna.
This is the end of the exposition of the Noble Eightfold Path.
Tnnrr Cvcirs Rrixxinc xo Foun Kinns or SxysXnx
During the Buddha’s dispensation, if people practise and develop the
Noble Eigltfold Patl, tley can nee tlemselves nom tle cycle of suﬀeiing.
Tleie aie tliee cycles of suﬀeiing:
1. Tle cycle of deﬁlements (kilesa vaṭṭa),
2. The cycle of volitional actions (kamma vaṭṭa), and
3. The cycle of resultants (vipāka vaṭṭa).
Tley can also be classiﬁed as:
A) Three cycles relating to rebirth in the lower realms,
B) Three cycles relating to rebirth in happy destinations,
C) Three cycles relating to rebirth in the realms of form, and
D) Three cycles relating to rebirth in the formless realms.
It should be noted that the practice of mindfulness of breathing serves the dual purpose of
establishing mindfulness, and attaining the first jhāna. For a full explanation of the four
jhānas iefei to tle “Tle Patl of Puiification” tianslated by Blilllu Nāṇamoli.
Three Cycles Relating to Four Kinds of Saṃsāra 29
Rebirth in the Lower Realms
In the Case of the Three Cycles Relating to the Lower Realms:
1. Deﬁlements means ¡eisonali[-belief and sce¡tical doubt.
2. Volitional actions means the ten evil deeds: i) killing ii) stealing, iii)
sexual misconduct, iv) lying, v) back-biting, vi) abusive speech, vii) idle
clauei, viii) covetousness, ix) ill-will, and x) wiong view.
3. Tle cycle of iesultants means tle ﬁve aggiegates of lell-beings, animals,
ghosts, and demons.
Any ¡eison wlo las not got iid of ¡eisonali[-belief and sce¡tical doubt,
though he may be repeatedly reborn in the highest plane of existence for an
incalculable number of times, is yet destined to fall repeatedly into the sphere
of ten evil deeds to be ieboin as a ﬁsleiman, luntei, tlief, iobbei, oi as one
of tle beings in tle foui lowei iealms. Tle cycle of suﬀeiing means
wandering in the round of rebirths without gaining liberation.
Rebirth in Happy Destinations
In the Case of the Three Cycles Relating to Rebirth in Happy Destinations:
1. Deﬁlements means desiie foi sensual ¡leasuie, sucl as deliglting in
and auaclment to sense objects.
2. The cycle of volitional actions means the three ‘Domains of meritorious
Deeds:’ almsgiving (dāna), moiali[(sīla), and mental development (bhāvanā).
3. Tle cycle of iesultants means tle ﬁve aggiegates of luman beings
and of devas in the six celestial realms.
Rebirth in Form and Formless Realms
In the Case of the Three Cycles Relating to the Realms of Form and the Formless
1. Tle cycle of deﬁlements means auaclment to foim and foimlessness.
2. The cycle of volitional actions means wholesome volitional actions
leading to and practised in the form and the formless realms.
3. Tle cycle of iesultants means tle ﬁve aggiegates of Rūpa-brahmās,
and the four mental aggregates of the Arūpa-brahmās.
Tlus tleie aie tliee cycles — deﬁlements, volitional actions, and
resultants — regarding the round of rebirths in realms of form and the
30 A Manual of the Path Factors
Rrixxionsnir Brxwrrn Pxxn Fxcxons xnn Cvcirs
Tle Eigltfold Patl can be classiﬁed as ¡eitaining to Sueam-winneis,
Once-returners, Non-returners, and Arahants.
Tle Eigltfold Patl of tle Sueam-winnei com¡letely eiadicates tle tliee
cycles relating to rebirth in the lower realms. As regards the three cycles
relating to rebirth in happy destinations, it extinguishes only those that
would otleiwise aiise ahei seven moie iebiitls.
The Eightfold Path of the Once-returner completely eradicates the two
cycles of deﬁlements and iesultants ielating to tle sensual iealm tlat would
otleiwise aiise ahei one moie iebiitl.
The Eightfold Path of the Non-returner completely eradicates the three
cycles relating to the above rebirths in happy destinations, leaving only
rebirth in the realms of form and the formless realms.
The Eightfold Path of the Arahant completely eradicates the three cycles
ielating to all iebiitl. All deﬁlements aie com¡letely eiadicated.
The Three Stages of Wrong Views
Of tle foui linds of saṃsāia witl tle tliee cycles in eacl, tle tliee
cycles relating to the round of rebirth in the four lower realms are most
important for the Buddhists of the present day. When a person’s hair is on
ﬁie, tle vital tling to do is to extinguisl it. Sucl an emeigency ¡eimits of
no delay, not even for a minute. For those who have encountered the
Buddha’s teaching, it is more important to completely eradicate the three
cycles of suﬀeiing tlan foi tlat ¡eison to extinguisl tle ﬁie buining lis
hair. So here I explain the Eightfold Path, which is able to eradicate the
suﬀeiing in tle lowei iealms. Of tlese two tlings — ¡eisonali[-belief and
sce¡tical doubt — ¡eisonali[-belief is fundamental. Eiadication of ¡eison-
ali[ belief natuially im¡lies tle eiadication of sce¡tical doubt, and tle ten
evil deeds also disa¡¡eai com¡letely. Tle natuial iesult is tlat suﬀeiing in
the lower realms also ceases.
Peisonali[-belief (sakkāyadiṭṭhi) means the delusion of a self (aa-diṭṭhi).
Tle eye is iegaided as ‘Me’ oi ‘Mine’. Tlis view is leld ﬁimly and tenaciously.
The same applies in the case of the ear, nose, tongue, body, and the mind.
The expression, “The eye is tenaciously regarded as ‘Me’ or ‘Mine’ means
tlat wlenevei a visible object is seen, ¡eo¡le ﬁimly and tenaciously believe
Relationship Between Path Factors and Cycles 31
“I see it,” and the same remarks may be applied to the sound, smell, taste,
touch, and to thoughts or mental objects.
The First Nibbāna
In foimei existences. beings commiued foolisl mistales, and tliougl
¡eisonali[-belief all tlose old evil lammas auacl tlemselves to and
continuously accompany the life-continua of beings. In future existences too,
foolisl mistales will be commiued by tlose beings, and nesl evil lammas
will also aiise due to tle same ¡eisonali[-belief. Tlus wlen ¡eisonali[-belief
is extinguisled, botl tle old and new evil lammas aie uueily extinguisled.
Foi tlat ieason, suﬀeiing in tle lowei iealms is uueily extinguisled, and by
tle extinction of tle ¡eisonali[-belief, all foolisl and evil deeds, all wiong
views and all rebirths in Hell, or as animals, ghosts, and demons, are
simultaneously extinguisled. Tlat ¡eison auains tle Fiist nibbāna (witl
some iemaindei), wlicl means uuei extinction of tle tliee cycles ielating to
rebirth in the lower realms. He or she becomes a Noble One in the supramun-
dane sphere who will be reborn in successive higher planes of existence.
Match-box, Match-stick and Niuous Surface
Peisonali[-belief is establisled in tliee stages in tle life-continua of
1. Tle ﬁist is tle latent stage (anusaya bhūmi).
2. The second (pariyuṭṭhāna bhūmi) is the active stage when the mind is
disturbed by wrong views.
3. The third (vītikkama bhūmi) is tle uansgiession stage wlen wiong
views iesult in moial uansgiessions.
Tlieefold bodily action and fouifold veibal action aie tle uansgiession
stage. Threefold mental action is the active stage; and the latent stage is
wrong view, which accompanies the life-continua of beings in the beginning-
less round of rebirths, and abides as the potential for bodily, verbal, and
mental lammas befoie tley aie actually commiued.
When objects that can give rise to evil kammas contact any of the six sense
doors, such as eye-door and so forth, unwholesome volitional actions
actuated by tlat wiong view iise u¡ nom tle latent stage to tle active stage.
It means that mental action begins. If not suppressed at this point, these
unwlolesome lammas iise u¡ nom tle active stage to tle uansgiession
stage, which means physical and verbal actions are done.
32 A Manual of the Path Factors
The latent stage of wrong view may be compared to the combustible
mateiial in tle lead of a matcl-sticl. Tle active stage is lile tle ﬁie tlat
buins in tle matcl wlen it is suucl on tle niuous suiface of a matclbox,
and tle uansgiession stage is lile a ﬁie lit witl tle matcl tlat consumes a
heap of rubbish. The six external objects, such as beautiful sights, melodious
sounds, etc., iesemble tle niuous suiface of tle matcl-box.
Tnnrr Gnours or xnr Eicnxroin Pxxn
1. Moiali[ com¡iises Riglt S¡eecl, Riglt Action, and Riglt Livelilood.
2. Concenuation com¡iises Riglt Eﬀoit, Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt
3. Wisdom comprises Right Understanding and Right Thought.
Tle tliee as¡ects of moiali[, wlen analysed in detail, aie encom¡assed
by the eight precepts with right livelihood as the eighth (ājīvaṭṭhamaka sīla)
in the following manner:
1. I will abstain nom taling life.
2. I will abstain nom stealing.
3. I will abstain nom indulging in sexual misconduct and taling
intoxicants. (These three comprise Right Action).
4. I will abstain nom telling lies.
5. I will abstain nom seuing one ¡eison against anotlei.
6. I will abstain nom using iude and iougl woids.
7. I will abstain nom talling nivolously. (Tlese foui com¡iise Riglt
8. Right Livelihood (sammā-ājīva) means earning a living without
resorting to taking life, stealing, etc.
Peimanent moiali[, sucl as tle Five Piece¡ts, tle Ten Piece¡ts obseived
by hermits and wandering mendicants, the Ten Precepts observed by novices
and the 227 Rules of Vinaya observed by bhikkhus are within the domain
of moiali[ witl iiglt livelilood as tle eigltl. Tle Eiglt Piece¡ts obseived
on the Uposatha days aie just a ieﬁnement of tle Five Piece¡ts and moiali[
with right livelihood as the eighth.
To Desuoy the Three Stages of PersonaIiµ BeIief
Right Speech, Right Action and Right Livelihood — the three factors of
moiali[ — aie tle ¡atl factois to desuoy tle tliid stage of Peisonali[-belief.
It means tlat tley desuoy tle tliee bodily evil deeds and tle foui veibal
How to Establish Morali 33
Riglt Eﬀoit, Riglt Mindfulness, and Riglt Concenuation — tle tliee
¡atl factois of concenuation — desuoy tle second stage of Peisonali[-belief.
It means tlat tley desuoy tle tliee mental wiong deeds.
Right Understanding and Right Thought — the two path factors of
Wisdom — desuoy tle ﬁist stage of Peisonali[-belief. It means tlat tley
desuoy tle latent stage wlicl las been latent in tle life continua of beings
throughout the beginningless round of rebirths.
How xo Esxxeiisn Monxiixv
To get rid of the three physical evil deeds and the four verbal evil deeds,
tle tliee ¡atl factois of moiali[ must be establisled, wlicl means tlat tle
eight precepts with right livelihood as the eighth must be undertaken and
To get iid of tle tliee mental evil deeds conditioned by ¡eisonali[-belief,
tle tliee ¡atl factois of concenuation must be establisled, wlicl means
tlat mindfulness of bieatling, contem¡lation on bones, oi concenuation on
kasiṇas, must be ¡iactised foi at least one loui a day so tlat mental stabili[
can be gained.
To get iid of tle tliid stage of ¡eisonali[-belief, ¡eo¡le slould establisl
Puii[ of Moiali[ by undeitaling and obseiving tle eiglt ¡iece¡ts witl
right livelihood as the eighth. They can either recite it and undertake it
foimally, oi sim¡ly deteimine to abstain nom lilling living beings, and so
foitl, nom tlat day tliouglout life, and successfully abstain nom evil deeds.
It is not necessaiy to acce¡t tle ¡iece¡ts nom a blilllu. It is enougl to
determine as follows:
1. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom taling life.
2. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom stealing.
3. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom sexual misconduct,
and nom tle ﬁve linds of intoxicants.
4. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom false s¡eecl.
5. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom divisive s¡eecl.
6. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom abusive and iude
words regarding the caste, race, etc., of any person.
7. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom idle clauei, wlicl
is not conducive to the well-being of others either in the present life
or in the next.
8. Fiom today tliouglout my life, I will abstain nom wiong livelilood.
34 A Manual of the Path Factors
Diﬀerent Kinds of StabIe MoraIiµ
Once taken, it remains pure until it is violated. Only the precept that is
broken need be taken again, but there is no harm in retaking the others that
are not violated. If any precept that has not been violated is taken again,
one’s moiali[ becomes suongei.
It is best to ienew tle above eiglt ¡iece¡ts daily. It is ¡eimanent moiali[
lile tle ﬁve ¡iece¡ts, unlile tlat obseived on Uposatha days. Novices,
hermits, and wanderers, who always have to observe the Ten Precepts, and
bhikkhus who always have to observe the 227 Vinaya Rules, need not
undertake the eight precepts.
Factors FuIﬁIIing the Seven Kinds of EviI Deeds
Five Factors of Killing Living Beings
1. The being must be alive.
2. One must know that it is alive.
3. One must intend to cause its death.
4. An action must be done to cause death.
5. Its deatl must follow nom tlat action.
If all ﬁve factois aie fulﬁlled, tle ﬁist ¡iece¡t is violated and slould be
Five Factors of Stealing
1. Tle ¡io¡ei[ must belong to anotlei ¡eison.
2. One must lnow tlat tle ¡io¡ei[ belongs to anotlei.
3. One must intend to steal it.
4. One must act to steal it.
5. Tle ¡io¡ei[ must be talen by tlat act.
If all ﬁve factois aie fulﬁlled, tle second ¡iece¡t is violated and slould
be taken again.
Four Factors of Sexual Misconduct
1. There must be a man or a woman with whom it is improper to have
2. One must intend to have such sexual relations with them.
3. One must suive to lave inteicouise.
4. One must consent to the contact of the sexual organs.
How to Establish Morali 35
If all foui factois aie fulﬁlled, tle tliid ¡iece¡t is violated and slould be
Four Factors of False Speech
1. Tle statement must be unuue.
2. One must intend to deceive another.
3. One must uy to deceive anotlei.
4. The other must understand the meaning of what is said. (It is not
necessary that they should believe what is said).
If tlese factois aie fulﬁlled, tle fouitl ¡iece¡t is violated and slould be
Four Factors of Divisive Speech
1. There must be persons to be disunited.
2. There must be an intention to disunite two persons.
3. Tleie must be an eﬀoit made as a iesult of tle said intention.
4. The other must know the meaning of the thing said.
If tlese factois aie fulﬁlled, tle ﬁhl ¡iece¡t is violated and slould be
Three Factors of Abusive Speech
1. There must be someone to be abused.
2. One must be angry.
3. Abusive language must actually be used.
If tlese factois aie fulﬁlled, tle sixtl ¡iece¡t is violated and slould be
Two Factors of IdIe Chauer
1. Tleie must be an intention to say tlings tlat biing foitl no beneﬁts.
2. Such things must be said.
If tlese factois aie fulﬁlled, tle seventl ¡iece¡t is violated and slould
be taken again.
“Tlings wlicl biing foitl no good beneﬁts” means sucl ¡lays and novels
as are merely intended to amuse and entertain. Nowadays there are
numeious ¡lays and novels satis(ing all tle conditions of idle clauei.
The abovementioned factors of false speech, divisive speech, and idle
clauei ielate only to violation of tle ies¡ective ¡iece¡ts. Tley become
36 A Manual of the Path Factors
conditions for kamma that leads to rebirths in the lower planes (kammapatha),
if the following factors are added:
1. In tle case of false s¡eecl, anotlei ¡eison must suﬀei loss oi damage.
2. In the case of divisive speech, disunion must result.
3. In tle case of idle clauei, otleis must tlinl tlat tle idle s¡eecl is uue.
In the case of the four remaining precepts — killing, stealing, sexual
misconduct, and abusive speech — the above factors relate not only to
violation of the precepts, but also to the respective kamma that leads to
rebirth in the lower realms.
These are factors relating to the seven kinds of evil deeds should be known
by those who observe these eight precepts daily.
How xo Esxxeiisn Concrnxnxxion
Foi one wlo las well develo¡ed tle tliee factois of moiali[ and wlo
las tleieby establisled Puii[ of Moiali[, wiong livelilood and tle seven
kinds of evil deeds, namely: the three kinds of physical evil deeds and the
foui linds of veibal evil deeds, wlicl aie boin of ¡eisonali[-belief, aie
To desuoy tle second stage of evil deeds, namely: tle tliee linds of
mental evil deeds, tle ¡atl factois of concenuation — Riglt Eﬀoit, Riglt
Mindfulness, and Riglt Concenuation — must be establisled.
Establislment of tle tliee ¡atl factois of concenuation means ¡iactice
of one of tle foi[ subjects of meditation, sucl as kasiṇa.
Mindfulness of Breathing
In tlis connection tle ¡iactice of mindfulness of bieatling will be biieﬂy
described. If those who are still householders have no time to perform these
exercises in the day time, they should always practise about one or two
hours before going to bed and about an hour in the morning.
The Method of Practice is as Follows:
According to the Buddha’s Teaching “So satova assasati satova passasati —
mindfully he breathes in, mindfully he breathes out.” For a predetermined
¡eiiod, one’s mind slould be entiiely concenuated on inlaling and exlaling,
and not allowed to suay elsewleie. To ¡ievent tle mind wandeiing botl
¡lysical and mental eﬀoit slould be exeicised. Plysical eﬀoit means tle
deteimination to ¡iactise foi a ﬁxed ¡eiiod eveiy day witlout any la¡se.
Mental eﬀoit means taling gieat caie to concenuate tle mind on inlaling
How to Establish Concenation 37
and exlaling, so tlat it does not suay elsewleie, and feivent a¡¡lication of
the mind on inhaling and exhaling, so that sleepiness, boredom, and
drowsiness do not come enter one’s mind.
Let the Mindfulness be Constant
Fixing tle mind on one’s nosuils continuously, one slould always note
“exlaling,” wlen tle exlaled aii biusles against tle nosuils, and “Inlaling”
wlen tle inlaled aii biusles toucles it. Riglt Eﬀoit means botl ¡lysical
and mental eﬀoit.
Ahei a¡¡lying one’s mind diligently lile tlis foi a foitniglt, a montl, two
months, etc., one’s mindfulness becomes ﬁxed on inlaling and exlaling. Tlat
mindfulness is designated as Right Mindfulness. Once the three path factors
of moiali[ aie well establisled, tle mental iestlessness disa¡¡eais day by day.
It slould soon become a¡¡aient to anyone wlo uies to do tlis, tlat one
las no conuol ovei tle mind wlen one staits to ¡iactise meditation. Mad
¡eo¡le aie useless in woildly aﬀaiis because tley lave no conuol ovei tleii
minds. Lilewise, tlose wlo aie ¡eifectly sane iegaiding woildly aﬀaiis,
are in the same position as mad people when it comes to the practice of
meditation, since tley lave no conuol ovei tle mind. Tley aie useless at
keeping the mind on the meditation object. That is why the three path factors
of concenuation must be well-develo¡ed to get iid of mental iestlessness.
Foi moie details about Riglt Concenuation, my “Manual of tle Requisites
of Enlightenment (Bodhipakkhiya Dīpanī),” and “Manual of Respiration
(Ānāpāna Dīpanī)” may be referred to.
How the Mental Restlessness is Eradicated
Even if neitlei access concenuation (upacāra samādhi) noi auainment con-
cenuation (appanā samādhi) aie ieacled, if tle mind could be ﬁxed on tle object
of meditation foi one oi two louis eveiy day, it would become easy to concenuate
tle mind on any otlei object of meditation. A ¡eison wlo can auain Puii[ of
Mind by establisling tle tliee ¡atl factois of concenuation, eiadicates tliee
mental evil deeds — covetousness, ill-will, and wiong views boin of ¡eisonali[-
belief. The second stage of wrong view: viz. mental kamma, also becomes extinct,
and tle mental iestlessness caused by tle ﬁve lindiances disa¡¡eais.
When Should One Establish Wisdom?
Once tle tliee ¡atl factois of moiali[ aie undeitalen and obseived, nom
tlat veiy moment tley become establisled in tlat individual and nom tlen
38 A Manual of the Path Factors
on, as long as tleie is no violation of tle ¡iece¡ts, le is said to ¡ossess Puii[
of Moiali[. On tle veiy day of undeitaling tle ¡iece¡ts, tle ¡atl factois of
concenuation slould be ¡iactised. Tlose wlo aie suﬃciently diligent will
not tale moie tlan ﬁve oi ten days to get iid of tle mental iestlessness, and
laving auained steadfast concenuation on ies¡iiation, tle tliee ¡atl factois
of concenuation will become establisled. Tlen one is said to lave establisled
Puii[ of Mind, and can begin to develo¡ tle ¡atl factois of wisdom.
How xo Esxxeiisn Wisnom
If one las succeeded in establisling Puii[ of Moiali[ and Puii[ of Mind,
one slould immediately uy to establisl oneself in Riglt View and Riglt
Tlouglt — tle ¡atl factois of wisdom — witl a view to eiadicating tle ﬁist
[latent] stage of ¡eisonali[-belief. To establisl tle two ¡atl factois of wisdom
one must gain tle ﬁve linds of Puii[ of Wisdom (paññāvisuddhi) in due
oidei: Puii[ of View (diṭṭhivisuddhi), Puii[ by Oveicoming Doubt (kaṅkhā-
vitaraṇavisuddh), Puii[ by Knowledge and Vision of Patl and non-Patl
(maggāmaggañāṇadassana-visuddhi), Puii[ by Knowledge and Vision of tle
Course of Practice (paṭipadāñāṇadassana-visuddhi) and Puii[ by Su¡iamun-
dane Knowledge and Vision (lokuara-ñāṇadassana-visuddhi).
Description of the Four Elements
In tle wlole of oui body, solidi[ and sohness com¡iise tle element of
earth (pathavī); colesion and liquidi[ com¡iise tle element of watei (āpo);
leat and cold com¡iise tle element of ﬁie (tejo); and support and motion
comprise the element of air (vāyo).
The whole of the head is nothing but a collection of the four elements. All
the parts of the body, and the limbs, are nothing but collections of the four
elements. All laiis of tle lead, laiis of tle body, nails, teetl, slin, ﬂesl,
sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, lymph, fat, lungs, intestines, stomach,
faeces, and brain are nothing but collections of the four elements.
1. Haidness is tle suong foim of eaitl, and sohness is its weal foim.
2. Colesion is tle weal foim of watei, and liquidi[ is its suong foim.
3. Heat is tle suong foim of ﬁie, and cold is its weal foim.
4. Su¡¡oit is tle weal foim of aii, and motion is its suong foim.
Soùness and Hardness (pathavī dhātu)
Sealing-wax in its oiiginal foim is tle suong foim of tle eaitl element.
Its laidness is cons¡icuous, but wlen comes into contact witl ﬁie, laidness
How to Establish Wisdom 39
disa¡¡eais, and sohness manifests. Wlen tle ﬁie is iemoved, sohness
gradually disappears and hardness reappears.
Cohesion or Liquidiµ (āpo dhātu)
In the sealing-wax in its original form there is a weak form of water, so
colesion is cons¡icuous. Wlen it comes into contact witl ﬁie, colesion
disa¡¡eais and liquidi[ manifests. Wlen tle ﬁie is iemoved, liquidi[
disappears and cohesion reappears.
Heat and Cold (tejo dhātu)
Sealing-wax at ioom tem¡eiatuie las a weal foim of ﬁie. Coldness is
cons¡icuous. Wlen it comes into contact witl ﬁie, cold disa¡¡eais and leat
manifests. Wlen tle ﬁie is iemoved, tle leat disa¡¡eais and cold iea¡¡eais.
Support and Motion (vāyo dhātu)
Sealing-wax in its original form has a weak form of air. Support is
cons¡icuous. Wlen it comes into contact witl ﬁie, su¡¡oiting disa¡¡eais
and moving manifests. Wlen tle ﬁie is iemoved, moving disa¡¡eais and
‘Udaya’ means ‘appearance’, and ‘vaya’ means ‘disappearance’; udayabbaya
is a compound of the two words.
Tle illusuation of tle a¡¡eaiance and disa¡¡eaiance of tle elements
evident in sealing-wax has been given to help people realise and understand
the meaning and nature of ‘udayabbaya’ — wlicl in Vi¡assanā means
appearance and disappearance.
Increase and Decrease (udayavaya)
The head, the body, and the limbs may be dealt with in the same way as
tle sealing-wax. Heat and cold, tle two as¡ects of tle ﬁie element, aie always
taling ¡lace alteinately. Heat giadually incieases in tle wlole body nom
suniise until 2 ¡.m. and cold coiies¡ondingly decieases. Tlen cold incieases
and heat decreases. This is the personal experience of everyone. From this
simple explanation, numerous inferences can be made.
The increase of heat in the various parts of the body resembles sealing-wax
coming into contact witl ﬁie, and wlen tle cold incieases in tle body, it
iesembles sealing-wax iemoved nom tle ﬁie. Heat and cold inciease oi
decrease throughout the day. Heat increases when cold decreases, and cold
increases when heat decreases. Increase is ‘udaya’ and decrease is ‘vaya’.
40 A Manual of the Path Factors
Tle two as¡ects of tle eaitl element — sohness and laidness — inciease
or decrease in accordance with the rise and fall of temperature. The two
as¡ects of tle watei element — liquidi[ and colesion — and tle two as¡ects
of the air element — motion and support — also increase or decrease in the
The four elements in the various parts of the body resemble the numerous
small bubbles that rapidly appear and disappear on the surface of boiling
water in a big pot. The whole body resembles a lump of foam. Vapour
appears in each small bubble and it disappears every time the numerous
Impermanence, Unsatisfactoriness, and Not-self
Similarly, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and knowing —
all these mental phenomena that depend on the four elements — vanish
simultaneously with them. Therefore, the six kinds of consciousness — eye,
ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind-consciousness, and the four elements are
impermanent (anicca), because tley aie not stable, tley aie suﬀeiing (dukkha),
because they are associated with the danger of incessant appearance and
disappearance; they are not-self (anaa), because they have no essence or
substance in them.
PersonaIiµ-beIief and the Head
Peisonali[-belief and Riglt Undeistanding witl ies¡ect to tle foui
elements in the head are explained below.
Tle laii and bones in tle lead aie laid, and its slin, ﬂesl, blood, and
biains aie soh. and tlese two, namely laidness and sohness, constitute tle
eaitl element. Tle wlole of tle lead is com¡letely ﬁlled witl tle two linds
of eaitl element, and similaily witl tle two linds of watei, ﬁie, and aii. Tle
eaitl element is not tle lead, noi aie tle otlei elements. A¡ait nom tlese
elements there is no such thing as the head.
Know, Perceive, Conceive, and View
Tlose wlo cannot diﬀeientiate tle foui elements in tle lead and wlo
do not know that hardness, etc., in the head are elements, know the head as
such only; they note it as the head only; they only think that it is the head;
and they see it as the head only.
To know that it is the head is a delusion of mind (cia).
To perceive that it is the head is a delusion of perception (saññā).
How to Establish Wisdom 41
To conceive that it is the head is a delusion of conceit (māna).
To view it as the head is a delusion of view(diṭṭhi).
Knowing, perceiving, conceiving, and viewing the four elements of the
head is knowing, perceiving, conceiving, and viewing them as permanent
and as self. Thus to consider the four elements as the head is a misconception
of taking what is impermanent as permanent and what is not-self as self.
The four elements, which by nature disappear more than a hundred times
in an hour are really impermanent and not-self, in accordance with the
Buddha’s teaching “aniccaṃ khāyaṭṭhena … anaā asārakaṭṭhena — it is
impermanent, because it is vanishing … it is not-self, because it is without
any essence. The head of a man does not disintegrate at death, and it remains
as a head until it reaches the cemetery. So it is regarded as permanent and
self. From the conception that the four elements are the head arises the
misconception of the impermanent as permanent and what is not-self as self.
Because They Do Not Understand
As regards the composite parts of the head also, to know, perceive,
conceive, and view tle foui elements as laii, teetl, slin, ﬂesl, muscles,
bones, and brain, is to know, perceive, conceive, and view the four elements,
wlicl aie im¡eimanent and not-self, as ¡eimanent and self. It is ¡eisonali[-
belief to conceive and view the elements of hardness, etc., as the head, hair,
teetl, slin, ﬂesl, veins, bones and biain, not undeistanding tlat tley aie
Haidness is just tle eaitl element. It is not tle lead, laii, slin, ﬂesl,
muscles, bones, nor the brain. Cohesion is just the water element. Heat and
cold aie tle ﬁie element, and su¡¡oit and motion aie tle aii element. Tley
aie not tle lead, laii, teetl, slin, ﬂesl, muscles, noi biain. Ultimately, tleie
is no sucl tling as tle lead, laii, teetl, slin, ﬂesl, muscles, bones and biain.
Such understanding is called Right Understanding.
(Peisonali[-belief and tle Riglt Undeistanding aie also a¡¡licable to
the remaining parts of the body.)
To think out ways and means to understand these four elements is Right
Thought. Right Understanding may he compared to an arrow, and Right
Thought to the hand that aims at the target with a bow.
42 A Manual of the Path Factors
This is the brief exposition of how to establish Right Understanding and
Right Thought, which are the two path factors of wisdom. For a more detailed
explanation, see the Vijjā Magga Dīpanī and Bhāvanā Dīpanī wiiuen by me.
One Must Be Persistent
When the two path factors of wisdom have been established by thinking and
meditating deeply on the incessant arising and vanishings of the four elements
all over the body, and eye-consciousness, etc., just like the small bubbles in a pot
of boiling water, and when the characteristics of impermanence and not-self have
been successfully iealised, one must uy to maintain tlis iealisation tliouglout
one’s life, so that the insight knowledges may be achieved successively. Labourers
should practise the contemplation on the appearance and disappearance of
psycho-physical elements in all parts of the body, as they do their work.
To become ‘Bon-sin-san’ individuals
By repeated and persistent practice of that meditation the knowledge of
the arising and dissolution of the elements permeates the whole body. The
ﬁist stage of Peisonali[-belief in iegaid to tle wlole body disa¡¡eais. Tle
ﬁist stage of Peisonali[-belief wlicl las accom¡anied one’s life-continuum
throughout the beginningless round of rebirths is completely extinguished.
Tle wlole body is tlus uansfoimed into tle iealm of Riglt View.
Tle ten evil actions aie totally desuoyed and tle ten good actions aie
The round of rebirth in the four lower realms becomes completely extinct.
Only rebirths in the higher realms as men, devas and Bialmās, iemain. Tlat
person reaches the stage of a ‘Bon-sin-san’ Noble One.
(This is the full explanation of the practice of the Noble Eightfold Path
com¡iising tle tliee factois of tle Moiali[-giou¡, tle tliee factois of tle
Concenuation-giou¡, and tle two factois of tle Wisdom-giou¡ of tle
Heie ends tle ex¡osition of Peisonali[-belief in iegaid to tle lead, etc.
How xo Esxxeiisn xnr Noeir Eicnxroin Pxxn
Proper and full observance of eight precepts with right livelihood as the
eigltl constitutes tle ¡iactice of tle ¡atl factois of moiali[ — Riglt S¡eecl,
Right Action and Right Livelihood. Mindfulness of the respiration constitutes
tle ¡iactice of tle ¡atl factois of concenuation — Riglt Eﬀoit, Riglt Mindful-
ness, and Riglt Concenuation. Contem¡lation on tle aiising and dissolution
How to Establish the Noble Eightfold Path 43
of the four elements, and the six kinds of consciousness, constitutes the practice
of the path factors of wisdom — Right Understanding and Right Thought.
OnIy When Wisdom and Eﬀort Are Suenuous
Accoiding to tle metlod of baie insiglt, uanquilli[ and insiglt aie
develo¡ed togetlei. Ahei obseiving tle tliee ¡atl factois of moiali[, tle
practice of the path factors of wisdom is undertaken. The three path factors
of concenuation accom¡any tle two ¡atl factois of wisdom. Tlese two
groups are together called the “Pañcaṅgikamagga” (tle ﬁve factois of tle ¡atl).
Tlese ﬁve foim togetlei witl tle tliee factois of moiali[, become tle Noble
Eightfold Path. As one practices like this, the mental restlessness disappears.
Howevei, tlis can be aclieved only witl gieat wisdom and suenuous eﬀoit.
Understanding ReaIiµ Whenever ContempIated
Ahei Riglt View las become cleai in ies¡ect of tle wlole body —
whether in this existence or the next — it becomes clear, whenever one
contemplates, that actually there are no such things as a person, an
individual, a woman, a man, ‘me’, ‘him’, nor any head, leg, or hair. When
sucl lnowledge aiises, Peisonali[-belief, wlicl delusively iegaids tle
elements in the head as the head itself, disappears for ever. Whenever one
contemplates, this Right View arises.
Enjoying the Three Kinds of Happiness
When Right Understanding and Right Thought, the two factors of the
Wisdom-group of the Eightfold Path, have been established in the whole body,
the three cycles of rebirth in the lower realms completely disappear forever.
Fiom tlat instant tlat ¡eison is com¡letely libeiated nom tle miseiy of tle
foui lowei iealms. He oi sle las ieacled and is establisled in tle ﬁist stage of
tle full extinction of deﬁlements witl tle aggiegates of existence still iemaining.
Tlat is le oi sle las become a Sueam-winnei. Howevei, as le oi sle las yet to
acquire the full knowledge of the unsatisfactoriness (dukkhalakkhaṇa), some
craving and conceit still remain, which make him or her seek delight in the
pleasures of men, devas, and Bialmās. So le oi sle goes on enjoying tlose tliee
kinds of pleasures as one who will be reborn in the higher planes of existence
successively (which is the meaning of ‘Bon-sin-san’).
This is the end of the brief exposition of how to establish the Noble
This is the end of A Manual of the Path Factors.
Animal Talk (Tiracchāna Kathā)
Thir-two kinds of talk obsucting uition and rebirth in higher planes.
1. Talk about kings (rājakathā)
2. Talk about robbers (corakathā)
3. Talk about ministers of state (mahāmaakathā)
4. Talk about armies (senākathā)
5. Talk about dangers (bhayakathā)
6. Tall about baules (yuddhakathā)
7. Talk about food (annakathā)
8. Talk about drinks (pānakathā)
9. Talk about clothing (vahakathā)
10. Talk about dwellings (sayanakathā)
11. Talk about garlands (mālākathā)
12. Talk about perfumes (gandhakathā)
13. Talk about relations (ñātikathā)
14. Talk about vehicles (yānakathā)
15. Talk about villages (gāmakathā)
16. Talk about market towns (nigamakathā)
17. Talk about towns (nagarakathā)
18. Tall about disuicts (janapadakathā)
19. Talk about women
20. Talk about heroes (sūrakathā)
21. Tall about sueets (visikhākathā)
22. Talk about watering places (kumbaṭṭhānakathā)
23. Talk about relatives who have passed away (pubbapetakathā)
24. Tiuletaule (nānaakathā)
25. Talk about the origin of the world (lokakkhāyikakathā)
26. Talk about the origin of the ocean (samuddakkhāyikakathā)
27. Talk about annihilation belief (numbers 27 to 32 are known as
These 32 types of talk are listed in the Sandaka Sutta (Middle-length Sayings, Sutta 76),
wleie tle wandeieis weie talling all linds of woildly tall. Seeing Veneiable Ānanda
coming, the wanderer Sandaka told them to be silent, saying that the Buddha’s disciples do
not like a lot of noise. (ed.)
Tall about men is omitted in accoidance witl Majjlima Pannāsa Attlalatlā. ¡.156. 6tl.
28. Tall about eteini[ belief
29. Talk about worldly gain
30. Talk about worldly loss
31. Talk about self-indulgence
32. Tall about self-moitiﬁcation.
Twenµ-one Kinds of Wrong LiveIihood for Bhikkhus
1. Medical practice (vejjakammaṃ karoti)
2. Acting as a messenger (dūtakammaṃ karoti)
3. Doing things at the behest of laymen (pahiṇakammaṃ karoti)
4. Lancing boils (gaṇḍaṃ phāleti)
5. Giving oil for medical application (arumakkhaṇaṃ deti)
6. Giving emetics (uddhaṃ virecanaṃ deti)
7. Giving purgatives (adho virecanaṃ deti)
8. Pie¡aiing oil foi noseueatment (nahutelaṃ pacati)
9. Preparing oil for medicine (pivanatelaṃ pacati)
10. Presenting bamboos (veḷudānaṃ deti)
11. Presenting leaves (paadānaṃ deti)
12. Piesenting ﬂoweis (pupphadānaṃ deti)
13. Piesenting nuits (phaladānaṃ deti)
14. Presenting soapclay (sinānadānaṃ deti)
15. Presenting toothsticks (dantakaṭṭhadānaṃ deti)
16. Presenting water for washing the face (mukhodakadānaṃ deti)
17. Presenting talcum powder (cuṇṇamaikadānaṃ deti)
18. Using ﬂaueiing s¡eecl (cāṭukamyaṃ karoti)
19. Acting like halfcooked bean soup, i.e., s¡ealing lalf-uutls
20. Fondling children (pāribaaṃ karoti)
21. Running errands (jaṅghapesaniyaṃ karoti)
Animal Arts (Tiracchāna Vijjā)
Enixon’s Noxr: Tlougl not listed in detail by tle Sayādaw, tlese wiong
modes of livelilood foi sages and blilllus aie desciibed in tle Bialmajāla
Suua, wleie tle Buddla desciibes tle blilllus’ moiali[ in detail (D.i.9).
They can be summarised as follows:
1. Palmisuy, divination by signs, ¡oitents, dieams, oi body mails.
2. Knowledge of animal behaviour.
3. Judging the value of gems, livestock, and other goods.
4. Predictions about the movements of armies.
5. Predictions about the movements of planets.
6. Predictions about the weather.
7. Predictions about the harvest.
8. Accountancy and mathematics.
9. Com¡osition of ¡oeuy.
11. Arranging marriages and divorces.
12. Advising on investments.
13. Good-luck charms.
14. Black magic and spells.
15. Supplicating deities.
16. Consecrating building sites.
NB. Although bhikkhus can visit a new house or a building site, and
clant to waid oﬀ dangeis and evil s¡iiits, tley slould not be involved in
choosing the site, the position for buildings on the site, nor the auspicious
time foi staiting woil. Sucl decisions slould be made by qualiﬁed
town-planners, architects, and builders.
17. Giving ritual bathings.
18. Giving vaiious linds of medical ueatments.
To Summxnisr: A bhikkhu should not do anything that would normally
be done by lay people for a fee. He can teach secular knowledge or help
others with voluntary labour out of compassion, but he should not accept
anything in return. If he accepts any kind of reward for such services, it is
wrong livelihood, and any goods he has received should be forfeited to
another monk. Allowable goods can then be returned to him, and he can
use them, but a scrupulous bhikkhu would normally give such things away
A blilllu’s ¡iimaiy du[ is to obseive tle Vinaya, study tle Dlamma,
and suive in meditation to iealise nibbāna. If le ieceives any suitable gihs
tlat ¡eo¡le oﬀei out of faitl, it is iiglt livelilood as le is fulﬁlling a monl’s
du[. If le can also teacl Dlamma, it is excellent, but le need not, if le does
not feel com¡etent. Just by following tle Vinaya suictly le is teacling tle
¡eo¡le low to iesuain tleii desiies and low to live a sim¡le, contented life
in accordance with the Dhamma. (ed.)
Books by VenerabIe Ledi Sayādaw
Below aie some of tle subcommentaiies, manuals, essays, and leueis
wiiuen by tle Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw.
1. Paramaha Dīpanī. (Manual of Ultimate Truths) or Abhidhammaha
Saṅgaha Mahā Ṭīkā.
2. Nirui Dīpanī or Vuimoggallāna Ṭīkā.
4. Vibhaaha Ṭīkā.
5. Vaccavācaka Ṭīkā.
6. Sāsanasampai Dīpanī.
7. Sāsanavipai Dīpanī.
8. Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī.
9. Sammādiṭṭhi Dīpanī.
10. London Pāḷli Devī Questions and answeis.
11. Exposition of Buddhism for the West.
12. Padhāna Sua (Pāḷi and woid foi woid meanings).
14. Yamaka Pucchā Visajjanā.
15. Niyāma Dīpanī.
16. Vipassanā Dīpanī.
1. Rūpa Dīpanī (Manual of Material Qualities).
2. Lakkhaṇa Dīpanī (Manual of Characteristics of Existence).
3. Pāramī Dīpanī (Manual of Perfections).
4. Vijjāmagga Dīpanī (Manual of the Way to Path-Knowledge).
5. Nibbāna Dīpanī (Manual of Nibbāna).
6. Mahāsayana Dīpanī (Manual of the Great Lying Down).
7. Uama Purisa Dīpanī (A Manual of the Excellent Man).
8. Paṭiccasamuppāda Dīpanī (Manual of Dependent Origination).
9. Āhāra Dīpanī (Manual of Nuuitive Essence).
10. Anaa Dīpanī (Manual of Im¡eisonali[).
11. Anaa Dīpanī (New).
12. Kammaṭṭhāna Dīpanī (Manual of Meditation-subjects).
13. Ānāpāna Dīpanī (Manual of Exhaling and Inhaling).
14. Catusacca Dīpanī (Manual of the Four Noble Truths).
15. Bodhipakkhiya Dīpanī (Manual of the Requisites of Enlightenment).
16. Somanassaupekkhā Dīpanī (Manual of Joy and Equanimi[).
17. Bhāvanā Dīpanī (Manual of Mental Concenuation).
18. Sukumāra Dīpanī.
19. Saccaha Dīpanī.
20. Sāsanadāyajja Dīpanī.
21. Rogantara Dīpanī.
22. Dhamma Dīpanī.
23. Dānādi Dīpanī.
24. Maggaṅga Dīpanī (A Manual of the Path Factors).
25. Goṇasurā Dīpanī (A Manual of Cows and Intoxicants).
26. Niyāma Dīpanī (A Manual of Cosmic Order).
27. Sīlavinicchaya Dīpanī.
28. Virati-sīlavinicchaya Dīpanī.
29. Iṇaparibhoga-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
30. Dīghāsana-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
31. Asaṅkhāra-sasaṅkhāra-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
32. Sikkhā-gahana-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
33. Cetīyaṅgaṇa-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
34. Upasampada-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
35. Decision on Ājīvaṭṭhamaka Sīla.
36. Decision on Vikālabhojana-sikkhāpada.
37. Saraṇa-gamaṇa-vinicchaya Dīpanī.
38. Paramaha Saṅkhia.
39. Vinaya Saṅkhia.
40. Sadda Saṅkhia.
41. Alphabets Saṅkhia.
42. Prosody Saṅkhia.
43. Alaṅkā Saṅkhia.
44. Spelling Saṅkhia.
45. Paramaha Saṅkhia.
46. Chapter on Material Qualities (in brief).
47. Nibbāna-visajjanā Manual.
48. Ledi Questions and Answers.
49. Questions on Sotā¡anna.
50. Sāsanavisodhanī, Vols. I, II & III.
51. Gambhīra-kabyā-kyan (A Manual of Profound Verses).
52. O¡en leuei foi abstention nom taling beef.
53. Leuei of ie¡ly to U Ba Bwa, Townsli¡ Oﬃcei of Dedaya, saying tlat
he could not go on a pilgrimage to Ceylon that year.
54. Admonitoiy leuei to U Saing, Headman of Saing¡yin Village foi
abstention nom taling intoxicants.
55. Admonitoiy leuei to tle inlabitants of Di¡eyin Townsli¡ foi
abstention nom taling intoxicants.
56. Admonitoiy leuei ¡iolibiting Loueiies and Gambling.
57. An Advice to hold a Lighting Festival at the Bo Tree within the
precincts of Ledi Monastery, Monywa.
58. Leuei to U Hmat, a Ruby Meiclant of Mogol.
59. Inscii¡tion at Sīlataw Pagoda, wiiuen by tle Veneiable Malātleia
Ledi Sayādaw at tle iequest of U Hmat.
60. E¡ic on Saṃvega.
A Short Biography of VenerabIe Ledi Sayādaw
Known to sclolais of many counuies, tle Veneiable Ledi Sayādaw,
Aggamald¡aṇḍita, D.Liu., was ¡eila¡s tle outstanding Buddlist ﬁguie of
this age. With the increase in interest in Western lands, there is a great
demand for his Buddhist Discourses and writings which are now being
uanslated and ie¡ioduced in ‘Tle Liglt of tle Dlamma.’
Blilllu Nyāṇa wlo was latei lnown as Ledi Sayādaw was boin on
Tuesday, tle 13tl Waxing of Nauaw, 1208 Buimese Eia (1846 C.E.) at
Saing-¡yin Village, Di¡eyin Townsli¡, Slwebo Disuict. His ¡aients weie
U Tun Tla and Daw Kyone. Eaily in life le was oidained a Sāmaṇeia and
at tle age of 20 a Blilllu, undei tle ¡auonage of Salin Sayādaw U Paṇḍicca.
He received his monastic education under various teachers and later was
uained in Buddlist liteiatuie by tle Veneiable San-lyaung Sayādaw,
Sudassana Dlaja Atulādli¡ati Sīii¡avaia Malādlamma Rājādliiāja-guiu
He was a bright student. It was said of him: “About 2,000 students
auended tle lectuies deliveied daily by tle Veneiable Sanlyaung Sayādaw.
One day tle Veneiable Sayādaw set in Pāḷi 20 questions on Pāiamī
(Perfections) and asked all the students to answer them. None of them except
Blilllu Nyāṇa could answei tlose questions satisfactoiily.” He collected
all tlese answeis and wlen le auained 14 vassa, and while he was still in
San-lyaung monasteiy, le ¡ublisled lis ﬁist bool, Pāramī Dīpanī (Manual
Duiing tle ieign of King Tleebaw le became a Pāḷi lectuiei at Malā
Jotilāiāma monasteiy in Mandalay. A yeai ahei tle ca¡tuie of King Tleebaw,
i. e. in 1887 C.E. he removed to a place to the north of Monywa town, where
he established a monastery under the name of Ledi-tawya Monastery. He
acce¡ted many blilllu students nom vaiious ¡aits of Buima and im¡aited
Buddhist education to them. In 1897 C.E. he wrote Paramaha Dīpanī (Manual
of Ultimate Tiutls) in Pāḷi.
Later, he toured in many parts of Burma for the purpose of propagating
the Buddha Dhamma. In towns and villages he visited he delivered various
Discourses on the Dhamma and established Abhidhamma classes and
Meditation Cenues. He com¡osed Ablidlamma ilymes oi Ablidlamma
Saṅlliua and tauglt tlem to lis Ablidlamma classes. In some of tle
principal towns he spent a vassa imparting Abhidhamma and Vinaya
education to tle lay devotees. Some of tle Ledi Meditation Cenues aie still
existing and still famous. Duiing lis itineiaiy le wiote many essays, leueis,
¡oems and manuals in Buimese. He las wiiuen moie tlan 70 manuals, of
wlicl seven lave been uanslated into Englisl and ¡ublisled in ‘Tle Liglt
of the Dhamma’.
Vipassanā Dīpanī (Manual of Insiglt) was uanslated by lis disci¡le
Sayādaw U Nyāṇa, Patlamagyaw. Paṭṭhānuddesa Dīpanī (A concise exposition
of tle Buddlist Pliloso¡ly of Relations) was oiiginally wiiuen in Pāḷi by
tle late Ledi Sayādaw and uanslated by Sayādaw U Nyāṇa. Niyāma Dīpanī
(Manual of Cosmic Oidei) was uanslated by U Nyāṇa and Di Baiua and
edited by Mrs Rhys Davids. Sammādiṭṭhi Dīpanī (Manual of Right Under-
standing) and Catusacca Dīpanī (Manual of the Four Noble Truths) and
Alin-Kyan (An Ex¡osition of Five Kinds of Liglt) uanslated in ¡ait only, weie
all uanslated by tle Editois of ‘Tle Liglt of tle Dlamma.’ Bodhipakkhiya
Dīpanī (Manual of tle Factois Leading to Enligltenment) was uanslated by
U Sein Nyo Tun, I.C.S. (Retd.), and Maggaṅga Dīpanī (Manual of the
Constituents of tle Noble Patl) was uanslated by U Saw Tun Teil, B.A.,
B.L., and revised and edited by the English Editorial Board of the Union
Buddla Sāsana Council.
He was awarded the title of Aggamahāpaṇḍita by the Government of India
in 1911 C.E. Latei, tle Univeisi[ of Rangoon confeiied on lim tle degiee
of D. Liu. (Honoris Causa). In tle latei yeais le seuled down at Pyinmana
where he died in 1923 C.E. at the ripe age of 77.
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