The Noble Eight-fold Path in Theravada Buddhism
By Dr Ari Ubeysekara
Gautama Buddha, also known as the ‘Enlightened One’ or ‘Awakened One’, lived in Northern India during the 6th and 5th century BC. Having left the life of a royal prince at the age of 29 to become a homeless ascetic, and with the sole intention of searching for the way out of human suffering, ascetic Gautama attained full enlightenment on the full moon day of the month of May at the age of 35. Enlightenment was attained through the realization of the four Noble Truths by His own effort without the help of a teacher. Having attained full enlightenment, and through compassion for other beings, the Buddha decided to teach the path of liberation from suffering that he had discovered so that others could also travel the same path and be liberated from suffering by attaining the state of Nibbana. The Buddha first wanted to teach his two previous teachers, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, but they had already passed away. The Buddha then decided to teach the five ascetic companions named Kondanna, Vappa, Bhaddiya, Mahanama and Assaji, who had supported him during the previous six years of his search for the path to liberation.
Gautama Buddha walked from Bodh Gaya, where He had attained enlightenment, to the deer park at Isipathana (now called Sarnath) near Varanasi in India where the five ascetics were living at that time. There, the Buddha delivered His very first sermon called “dhammacakkappavattana sutta” meaning “turning the Wheel of the Truth.” During this sermon, the Buddha expounded on the four Noble Truths (chathur ariya sacca) and the Noble Eight-fold Path (ariya atthangika magga), also known as the Middle Way (majjhima patipada).
This article gives a brief insight in to the Noble Eight-fold Path, or Middle Way, which the Buddha discovered by Himself through His own personal experience following the failure of both extreme indulgence in sensual pleasures and extreme self-mortification to reveal to Him the path out of human suffering. The Buddha described self-indulgence in sensual pleasures as “low, common, unprofitable, and the way of the ordinary people” and self-mortification as “painful, unworthy and un-profitable” (1)
The four Noble Truths
- Truth of suffering (dukkha sacca)
- Truth of the origin of suffering (samudaya sacca)
- Truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha sacca)
- Truth of the path leading to the cessation of suffering (magga sacca) (2)
The Four Noble Truths embody the essence of Buddhist doctrine and Buddhist practice leading to the end of suffering, as the Buddha declared over 2500 years ago:
“I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That is all I teach” (3)
The four Noble Truths discovered by Gautama Buddha are neither dogmas nor revelations that should be believed through blind faith. They are realities of life that need to be comprehended and realized through personal experience in order to attain enlightenment and escape from the cycle of birth and death (samsara).
The first Noble Truth is the fact that all forms of existence are subject to unavoidable and inevitable suffering, both physical and mental, mainly due to the following:
- Sorrow, lamentation, grief, pain, and despair
- Association with what one dislikes
- Separation from what one likes
- Not getting what one desires
- Concisely, the five aggregates of clinging are suffering.
The five aggregates of clinging are material form (rupa), feeling (vedana), perception (sanna), mental formation (sankhara) and consciousness (vinnana) which, according to the Buddha, are the constituent parts of the Psycho-physical unit (nama-rupa) that is known as an individual, a person or a personality.
The second Noble Truth is the origin of suffering. The Buddha showed that the origin of suffering is craving (tanha). Craving includes not only the desire to seek happy and pleasant experiences and avoid unhappy and unpleasant experiences but also attachment to ideas, beliefs, theories and opinions. Gautama Buddha, in his first sermon, described three types of craving:
- Craving for sense pleasures (kama tanha)
- Craving for becoming or existence (bhava tanha)
- Craving for non-becoming or non-existence (vibhava tanha)
The third Noble Truth of the cessation of suffering is the attainment of Nibbana by totally abandoning and eliminating craving. Nibbana is the sublime state beyond all suffering, a state of complete peace, calmness and happiness and the end of the cycle of birth and death (samsara).
The fourth Noble Truth is the path leading to the end of suffering. This is the Noble Eight-fold Path (ariya atthangika magga). The Dhamma Wheel, often depicted as a symbol of Buddhism, represents the Noble Eight-fold Path with its eight spokes representing the eight aspects of the path. The Noble Eight-fold Path provides practical steps to be followed in order to attain enlightenment (Nibbana) and it consists of eight interrelated factors.
The eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path
- Right view (samma-ditthi)
- Right intention (samma-sankappa)
- Right speech (samma-vaca)
- Right action (samma-kammanta)
- Right livelihood (samma-ajiva)
- Right effort (samma-vayama)
- Right mindfulness (samma-sati)
- Right concentration (samma-samadhi) (4)
When one understands and cultivates the eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path successfully and attains Nibbana (arhathood), two more factors of ‘right knowledge’ and ‘right liberation’ are added making it a tenfold set (dasa sammatta). Right knowledge is the review knowledge (paccavekkhana nana) that one has destroyed all the mental defilements while right liberation is one’s experience of deliverance from defilements. Thus, the set of ten factors are:
- Right view (samma ditthi)
- Right intention (samma sankappa)
- Right speech (samma vaca)
- Right action (samma kammanta)
- Right livelihood (samma ajiva)
- Right effort (samma vayama)
- Right mindfulness (samma sati)
- Right concentration (samma samadhi)
- Right knowledge (samma nana)
- Right liberation (samma vimutti) (5)
In the Maha-parinibbana sutta of the Digha Nikaya (the collection of Buddha’s long discourses), when addressing Subhadda, the last disciple the Buddha personally ordained as a Buddhist monk, the Buddha made the following statement in reference to the Noble Eight-fold Path:
“But, wherever Subhadda, the Noble Eight-fold Path is found in a religion and discipline, there a true ascetic (Stream Enterer, sotapanna) is found, there a second true ascetic (Once Returner, sakadagami) is found, there a third true ascetic (Non Returner, anagami) is found, there a fourth true ascetic (arahat), is found” (6)
From a practical standpoint, the above eight factors are divided into three groups of practice:
- Morality (sila) consisting of right speech, right action and right livelihood
- Concentration (samadhi)consisting of right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration
- Wisdom (panna), consisting of right view and right intention (7)
Although the eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path will not necessarily develop in the sequence stated above, the three practical stages of morality, concentration and wisdom may enhance the development of wisdom in that order – i.e. right moral discipline will lead to right concentration and right concentration will lead to right wisdom.
Among the eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path, the group of wisdom (panna), consisting of right view and right intention, is mentioned first as some degree of wisdom is necessary to begin the process of the Eight-fold Path. Right View will become a fully developed wisdom only at the end of the Noble Eight-fold Path.
The Noble Eight-fold Path has been described as being of two kinds, namely:
- Mundane Noble Eight-fold Path
- Supra mundane Noble Eight-fold Path
The mundane path develops when one initially begins to purify the moral discipline, develop concentration and gain some degree of insight but it will not lead to Nibbana as such. However, with the successful development of the Right Understanding, it will lead to the supra mundane path that will lead one to full enlightenment (8).
Right view (samma-ditthi)
Right view, or right understanding, is the correct understanding of the reality of physical and mental phenomena that removes the basic unwholesome factor of ignorance. Right View has been placed at the top of the Noble Eight-fold Path not only because it is essential to have a certain degree of correct understanding before one enters the path of liberation but also because the right understanding needs to be continually present in order to proceed with the other seven factors of the path through moral discipline (sila), concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (panna).
Right view can be one of two types:
- Mundane right view
- Supra mundane right view
Mundane Right View is having the correct understanding of the mechanism of volitional actions (kamma) – i.e. wholesome volitional physical, verbal or mental actions will lead to good results while unwholesome volitional actions will lead to bad results. This view is based on Buddha’s statement in the Cula-Kamma Vibhanga Sutta of the Majjhima Nikaya (the collection of Buddha’s middle length discourses) that:
“Beings are the owners of their actions, the heirs of their actions; born of their actions, related through their actions, and have their actions as their arbitrator. Action is what differentiates beings in terms of baseness and excellence” (9)
Wholesome volitional actions are based on wholesome mental factors of non-greed (alobha), non-aversion (adosa) and non-delusion (amoha) while unwholesome volitional actions are based on unwholesome mental factors of greed (lobha), aversion (dosa) and delusion (moha). Mundane Right View applies to the mundane world of the cycle of birth and death and any wholesome actions performed may be with the expectation of receiving a good outcome either in this life or in future lives.
In Buddhist teaching, the mundane right view has also been described in relation to the following 10 worldly matters while non-belief in them has been described as the wrong view (micca ditthi):
- There is merit in alms giving
- There is merit in large offerings
- There is merit in small offerings
- Good and bad deeds lead to good and bad results
- There is merit in what is done to mother
- There is merit in what is done to father
- There are beings of instantaneous birth
- There is this human world
- There are other worlds
- There are ascetics who attain super-knowledge and make it known to others (10)
Mundane right view is helpful and necessary at the beginning of one’s spiritual journey as it provides the motivation and the right direction for developing the Noble Eight-fold Path.
Supra mundane or superior right view is the correct understanding of the four Noble Truths – that there is suffering, the cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path leading to the cessation of suffering.Correct understanding of the four Noble Truths in relation to the Noble Eight-fold Path takes place in two ways. Firstly, it can happen at the beginning of the Noble Eight-fold Path in the form of a conceptual understanding of the four Noble Truths by learning and reflecting upon them. This understanding is known as right understanding in accordance with the truths (saccanulomika samma-ditthi). Secondly, the proper understanding of the four Noble Truths takes place at the end of the process of the Noble Eight-fold Path by penetrative and experiential realization through meditation and is known as right understanding or the penetrative knowledge of the truths (sacca pativedita samma-ditthi) (11).
Right intention (samma-sankappa)
Right intention, or right thought, is the second factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path that naturally evolves as a result of right view and together they form the stage of the Eight-fold Path called wisdom (panna). Right intention is necessary for the development of the next stage of the path, namely the moral discipline (sila) consisting of right speech, right action and right livelihood.
There are three aspects of right intention:
- Right intention of renunciation (nekkhamma sankappa)
- Right intention of good-will (avyapada sankappa)
- Right intention of harmlessness (avihimsa sankappa)
The right intention of renunciation is to counter the wrong intention of greed. It is to work towards letting go of craving and attachment to external objects that will bring only temporary pleasures since the objects of craving and attachment are impermanent in nature. The temporary experiences of pleasure create the urge to seek even more pleasures and to try in vain to possess and protect those experiences.
The right intention of goodwill is to counter the wrong intention of ill will. This counters the wrong intention of negative emotions like ill will, anger, resentment, aversion and hatred towards others. This is achieved by developing unconditional loving kindness (metta) towards all beings that can be done by practising the meditation on loving kindness (metta bhavana). During this meditation, one first develops loving kindness towards oneself and then directs it to all living beings.
The right intention of harmlessness is to counter the wrong intention of harmfulness. It is to counter the negative and harmful thoughts of aggression and violence towards others and is achieved by developing compassion (karuna) towards all other beings since they are also subject to various kinds of suffering.
Right speech (samma-vaca)
Right speech is the third of the eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the first of the three factors of the division of moral discipline (sila). Within the Noble Eight-fold Path, right speech is guided by the first two factors of right view and right intention. There are four aspects of right speech:
- Abstinence from false speech or telling lies
- Abstinence from malicious, backbiting, divisive or slanderous speech
- Abstinence from harsh, blameful or hurtful speech
- Abstinence from gossip, vain talk or idle chatter
In positive terms, while avoiding the four types of wrong and unwholesome speech as described above, right speech consists of speaking the truth; speech that promotes harmony and friendship among others; speech that is friendly, gentle, comforting and polite; and speech that is truthful, factual and useful to others. In the Noble Eight-fold Path, right speech contributes not only to positive ethical behaviour but also to promoting one’s spiritual progress and mental purification. Buddha’s advice with regard to right speech is to reflect before speaking, while speaking and after speaking, to note whether the words are likely to cause any harm to oneself, others or to both oneself and others, and on the positive side whether one’s speech is of benefit to oneself, others or both.
Right action (samma-kammanta)
Right action is the fourth factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the second of the three factors of the division of moral discipline (sila). Right action, by the avoidance of unwholesome physical or bodily actions, will result in an ethical life and will lead to peace and harmony between oneself and others. There are three aspects to right action:
- Abstinence from killing any living beings
- Abstinence from stealing
- Abstinence from sexual misconduct
In positive terms, abstinence from killing will help one to respect the lives of others and to develop loving kindness, compassion and goodwill for all living beings. Abstinence from stealing will help one to develop the qualities of honesty, generosity and respect for the rights of others to their property. Abstinence from sexual misconduct will help one develop respect for marriage and relationships and self-restraint with regard to one’s sensual desires.
Right livelihood (samma-ajiva)
Right livelihood is the fifth factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the third of the three factors of the division of moral discipline (sila). It expects one to make one’s living by ethical, legal and honest means following certain ethical standards and causing no harm or suffering to other living beings directly or indirectly. There are five types of trades that are to be avoided by a layperson in order to maintain a right livelihood:
- Trading in living beings including human beings and animals
- Trading in arms and weapons
- Trading in intoxicants including alcohol and illicit drugs
- Trading in poisons
- Trading in meat
Right effort (samma-vayama)
Right effort is the sixth factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the first of the three factors of the division of concentration or mental development (samadhi), the other two factors being right mindfulness and right concentration. Right effort provides the necessary energy to develop all the other seven factors of the path but, in particular, it provides the energy to develop the right mental concentration necessary to develop right wisdom.
There are four aspects to right effort:
- Effort to prevent the arising of un- arisen unwholesome mental states
- Effort to abandon the unwholesome mental states that have arisen
- Effort to develop the wholesome mental states that have not yet arisen
- Effort to maintain and further develop the wholesome mental states that have arisen
Here, the unwholesome mental states are rooted in mental defilements such as greed, hatred and delusion which may appear during one’s meditation practice as the five mental hindrances – sensual desire (kamacchanda); ill will (vyapada); sloth and torpor (thina-middha); restlessness and remorse (uddacca-kukkucca); and sceptical doubt (vicikicca). Wholesome mental states are the seven factors of enlightenment (sapta bojjhanga) – mindfulness (sati); investigation of phenomena (dhamma-vicaya); energy (viriya); rapture (piti); tranquillity (passaddhi); concentration (Samadhi); and equanimity (upekha) (12).
In order to be effective, right effort, which provides the energy to the whole process leading up to right wisdom, has to be positively influenced by right view and right intention and it should also be maintained in a balanced and sustained manner.
Right mindfulness (samma-sati)
Right mindfulness is the seventh factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the second factor of the division of higher mental development or concentration (samadhi). Mindfulness is deliberately paying bare and detached attention to thoughts, emotions and feelings in the present moment in a non-judgmental fashion. As taught by the Buddha in the Satipatthana sutta, right mindfulness is to be developed through the four foundations of mindfulness, namely:
- Contemplation of the body (kayanupassana)
- Contemplation of feelings (vedananupassana)
- Contemplation of the mind (cittanupassana)
- Contemplation of the mind objects (dhammanupassana)
Before describing these four foundations of mindfulness in the Satipatthana sutta, the Buddha declared that:
“This is the one and the only way for the purification (of the minds) of beings, for overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the cessation of physical and mental pain, for attainment of the Noble Paths, and for the realization of Nibbana” (13)
In contemplation of the body, one contemplates through mindfulness on breathing (anapanasati); the four postures of the body – sitting, standing, lying and walking (iriyapatha); clear comprehension in bodily actions and movements (satisampajanna); repulsiveness of the body made up of the 32 loathsome parts (paticulamanasikara); the four elements (dhatumanasikara) of earth (patavi), water (apo), fire (thejo) and air (vayo) representing the qualities of solidity, cohesion, heat and motion; and the dead body in the nine stages of gradual decomposition (navasivathika).
In contemplation of feelings, one mindfully contemplates on origination and dissolution of feelings that can be pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.
In contemplation of the mind, one is mindfully aware of any states of mind such as greed, non-greed, aversion, non-aversion, delusion, non-delusion, lazy mind, distracted mind, developed mind, undeveloped mind, inferior mind, superior mind, concentrated mind, un-concentrated mind, the mind free from defilements and the mind not free from defilements, that are present in any given moment.
In contemplation of mind objects, one mindfully observes mental phenomena such as the five mental hindrances (pancha nivarana); five aggregates of clinging (pancha-upadanaskhandha); the six internal and six external sense bases (ayatana); the seven factors of enlightenment (sapta bojjhanga); and the four Noble Truths (chathur ariyasacca).
In the Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha has advised the disciples to develop mindfulness on the body, feelings, mind and the mind qualities, ardent, alert, and mindful, putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world (14).
Right concentration (samma-samadhi)
Right concentration is the eighth and final factor of the Noble Eight-fold Path and the third and final factor of the division of mental development or concentration (samadhi). The first seven factors of the path, from right view to right mindfulness, when developed successfully become supportive and requisite conditions for the development of right concentration. This, in turn, will help to further establish moral discipline (sila) and wisdom (panna). Right concentration in the context of the Noble Eight-fold Path is different from the higher levels of concentration or one-pointedness developed in other mundane situations in life. Right concentration has to be wholesome and accompanied by the suppression of mental hindrances and, when progressed successfully, would lead to deep meditative absorption states and attainment of wisdom or insight.
The five mental hindrances (pancha-nivarana) that are obstacles to mental purification and development of Right concentration are:
- Sensual desire (kamacchanda)
- Ill will (vyapada)
- Sloth and torpor (thina-middha)
- Restlessness and worry (uddhacca-kukkucca)
- Sceptical doubt (vicikicca)
There are eight deep meditative absorption states (jhanas) of which the first four are fine material states of mind (rupa jhanas) while the remaining four higher absorption states are formless or immaterial states (arupa jhanas).
In Buddhist teaching, the first four deep absorption states have been described in relation to right concentration within the Noble Eight-fold Path:
- First meditative absorption state (first jhana)is accompanied by five mental factors called jhanic factors (jhanangas) – applied thought (vitakka); sustained thought (vicara); rapture (piti); happiness (sukha); and one-pointedness (ekaggatha)
- Second meditative absorption state (second jhana)is accompanied by the three factors of rapture, happiness and one-pointedness, having abandoned the factors of applied thought and sustained thought
- Third meditative absorption state (third jhana)is accompanied by the two factors of happiness and one-pointedness, having abandoned the factor of rapture
- Fourth meditative absorption state (fourth jhana)is accompanied by the factor of one-pointedness as well as equanimity (upekha), having abandoned the factor of happiness
In Buddhist teaching, 40 meditation objects have been described as suitable objects for developing concentration of which any could be chosen, depending on one’s temperament, and preferably with the support of a meditation teacher who is described as a spiritual friend (kalyanamittha).
The 40 meditation objects are:
- Ten kasinas or devices: earth, water, fire, wind, blue colour, yellow colour, red colour, white colour, light and space.
- Ten types of foulness: the 10 stages in the decomposition of a corpse.
- Ten contemplations: contemplation on Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, morality, generosity, heavenly beings, death, body, in breath and out breath, and peace.
- The four sublime states or divine abodes: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity.
- Four immaterial spheres: sphere of boundless space, sphere of boundless consciousness, sphere of nothingness and sphere of neither perception nor non-perception.
- Perception of the loathsomeness of food.
- Analysis of the four elements: earth element, water element, fire element and air element.
In meditation, when the meditator fixes attention on the chosen meditation object and the concentration develops deeper, an acquired sign (uggaha nimitta) appears in the meditator’s mind that is a mental image of the meditation object. As the concentration deepens, it is followed by another sign called the counterpart sign (patibhaga nimitta) which is a finer and brighter image of the same object and is an indication that the meditator is entering a deep mental absorption state through access or neighbourhood concentration (upacara samadhi). As the concentration deepens further with total suppression of the five mental hindrances and development of the five Jhanic factors, the meditator will reach the stage of fixed concentration (appana samadhi) which is the first Jhana or the first stage of deep absorption. This will be followed by higher stages of deep absorption with the gradual deepening of concentration and gradual abandoning of some of the Jhanic factors.
Development of only the deep absorption states or Jhanas do not lead to development of insight or enlightenment by eradicating all the mental defilements. However, a meditator, having attained the states of fixed concentration or access concentration, can then use that deep concentration to practise insight or vipassana meditation in order to gain insight, knowledge and enlightenment. This approach to practising insight meditation following the development of deep absorption states through concentration meditation first is known as samatha yanika. In the other approach, known as suddha vipassana yanika, the goal of meditation is not to develop deep absorption states but to attain enlightenment and Nibbana through insight or vipassana meditation by realizing the true nature of mind and body processes.
In insight meditation, using the one-pointedness developed through Right Concentration, the disciple then focuses attention on the three common characteristics of all natural phenomena – impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha) and no-self (anatta) – eventually developing the insight knowledge (vipassana panna) and attaining the state of Nibbana. The state of Nibbana is attained through four Noble Stages by gradual elimination of the ten fetters (dasa samyojana) that keep beings bound to the cycle of birth and death (samsara):
- The first Noble Stage of Stream Entry (sotapanna) is attained by the elimination of the three fetters of self-illusion (sakkaya ditthi), sceptical doubt (vicikicca) and indulgence in wrongful rites and ceremonies (silabbata paramasa). A Stream Enterer is expected to attain Nibbana within a maximum of seven life times.
- The second Noble Stage of Once Returner (sakadagami) is attained by weakening the two fetters of sense desire (kamaraga) and ill will (patigha). A Once Returner is expected to be reborn only once before attaining Nibbana.
- The Third Noble Stage of Non-Returner (anagami) is attained by totally eliminating the two fetters of sense desire and ill will. A Non Returner will not be reborn in this world again and, after death, will be born in a Pure Abode (suddhavasa) which is a Brahma world where Nibbana is attained by attaining the Arahanthood.
- The fourth and final Noble Stage of Nibbana is attained by eliminating the remaining five fetters of: desire to be born in fine material worlds (ruparaga) and immaterial worlds (aruparaga); conceit (mana); restlessness (uddaccha); and ignorance (avijja) thus becoming an enlightened one (arahat) with no further rebirth and associated suffering (15).
The eight factors of the Noble Eight-fold Path have traditionally been presented in the order in which they are discussed above, beginning with right view and ending with right concentration. However, they are not expected to be developed in an orderly step-by-step manner as they can be present together in any given stage of the path supporting each other. Some factors can be more prominent than others at any particular stage. They can be developed simultaneously at a pace dependent on the capacity of each individual. From a practical point of view, it is advisable for one’s spiritual development that one begins with the factor of morality (sila) followed by the factors of concentration (samadhi) and wisdom (panna) in that order.
It can be said that the Buddha’s teachings, expounded over a period of 45 years from the attainment of enlightenment to His passing away, are focused around the Noble Eight-fold Path. However, the Buddha presented it in many different ways and through many different methods in order for the teaching to be understood by different people with different levels of spiritual development and capacity (16).
- Bhikkhu Bodhi 1999, Dhamma cakkappavattana Sutta, The Connected Discourses of the Buddha, A Translation of the Samyutta Nikaya, Wisdom Publications.
- Thanissaro Bhikkhu (1999), ‘The Four Noble Truths: A Study Guide’, Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), November 2013.
- Walpola Sri Rahula, ‘The First Sermon of the Buddha’, tricycle.org/magazine/the-first-sermon-of-the-buddha/
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi1995, Saccavibhanga sutta, Translation of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications.
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi1995, Mahacattarisaka sutta, Translation of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications.
- Walshe, Maurice (1987), Mahaparinibbana sutta in “Thus Have I Heard”, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, Digha Nikaya, Wisdom Publications, London.
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi1995, Culavedalla sutta, Translation of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi, ‘The two kinds of Noble Eightfold Path’, http://www.beyondthenet.net/dhamma/mundanePath.htm
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi1995, Cula-Kamma Vibhanga sutta, Translation of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications.
- Ven. Ledi. Sayadaw (1977), ‘The Noble Eightfold Path and It’s Factors Explained’, The Wheel Publication, No. 245/247, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994), ‘The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the end of Suffering’, The Wheel Publications, No. 308/311, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
- Bhikkhu Bodhi (1994), ‘The Noble Eightfold Path: The Way to the end of Suffering’, The Wheel Publications, No. 308/311, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
- Walshe, Maurice (1987), Maha Satipatthana sutta in “Thus Have I Heard”, The Long Discourses of the Buddha, Digha Nikaya, Wisdom Publications, London.
- Bhikkhu Nanamoli and Bhikkhu Bodhi 1995, Satipatthana sutta, Translation of the Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha, Wisdom Publications.
- Ven. Narada Maha Thera 1982,, Buddhism in a Nutshell, Buddhist Publication Society, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
- Dr Walpola Rahula 1996, What the Buddha Taught, Buddhist Cultural Center, Dehiwala, Sri Lanka.