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The Noble Eightfold Path

अष्टाङ्गमार्ग (aṣṭāṅgamārga) : The Noble Eightfold Path : 八正道
  • प्रज्ञा (prajñā) : Wisdom : 慧
    1. सम्यक्दृष्टिः (samyakdṛṣṭiḥ) : Right View : 正見
Right view can also be translated as "right perspective", "right vision" or "right understanding". It is the right way of looking at life, nature, and the world as they really are. It is to understand how reality works. It acts as the reasoning for someone to start practicing the path. It explains the reasons for human existence, suffering, sickness, aging, death, the existence of greed, hatred, and delusion. It gives direction and efficacy to the other seven path factors. Right view begins with concepts and propositional knowledge, but through the practice of right concentration, it gradually becomes transmuted into wisdom, which can eradicate the fetters of the mind. Understanding of right view will inspire the person to lead a virtuous life in line with right view.
    1. सम्यक्संकल्पः samyaksaṃkalpaḥ : Right Intention : 正思惟
Right Intention can also be known as "right thought", "right resolve", "right conception" , "right aspiration" or "the exertion of our own will to change". In this factor, the practitioner should constantly aspire to rid themselves of whatever qualities they know to be wrong and immoral. Correct understanding of right view will help the practitioner to discern the differences between right intention and wrong intention.
  • शीलम् (śīlam) : Morality : 戒律
    1. सम्यग्वाक् samyagvāk : Right Speech : 正語
Right Speech deals with the way in which a Buddhist practitioner would best make use of their words. 
    1. सम्यक्कर्मान्तः samyakkarmāntaḥ : Right Action : 正業
Right Action can also be translated as "right conduct". As such, the practitioner should train oneself to be morally upright in one's activities, not acting in ways that would be corrupt or bring harm to oneself or to others.
    1. सम्यगाजीवः samyagājīvaḥ : Right Livelihood : 正命 
 RightLivelihood means that practitioners ought not to engage in trades or occupations which, either directly or indirectly, result in harm for other living beings.
  • समाधिः (samādhiḥ) : Concentration : 精進
    1. सम्यग्व्यायामः samyagvyāyāmaḥ : Right Effort: 正力
 Right Effort can also be translated as "right endeavor". In this factor, the practitioners should make a persisting effort to abandon all the wrong and harmful thoughts, words, and deeds. The practitioner should instead be persisting in giving rise to what would be good and useful to themselves and others in their thoughts, words, and deeds, without a thought for the difficulty or weariness involved.
    1. सम्यक्स्मृतिः samyaksmṛtiḥ : Right Mindfullness : 正念
Right Mindfulness is also translated as "right memory", "right awareness" or "right attention". Here, practitioners should constantly keep their minds alert to phenomena that affect the body and mind. They should be mindful and deliberate, making sure not to act or speak due to inattention or forgetfulness.
    1. सम्यक्समाधिः samyaksamādhiḥ : Right Concentration : 正定
Right Concentration is the practice of concentration (समाधिः samādhiḥ). As such, the practitioner concentrates on an object of attention until reaching full concentration and a state of meditative absorption (ध्यान dhyāna). Traditionally, the practice of samādhi can be developed through mindfulness of breathing (आनापानस्मृतिः ānāpānasmṛtiḥ), through visual objects (kasina), and through repetition of phrases (मन्त्रम् mantram). Samādhi is used to suppress the five hindrances in order to enter into jhana. Jhana is an instrument used for developing wisdom by cultivating insight and using it to examine true nature of phenomena with direct cognition. This leads to cutting off the defilements, realizing the dhamma and, finally, self-awakening. During the practice of right concentration, the practitioner will need to investigate and verify their right view. In the process right knowledge will arise, followed by right liberation.