Lecture 6: The Buddhist Criteria of Ethics (Part2)

The criteria of the Noble Eightfold Path

The sammā-ājīva marks a special juncture of the path. When the person come to the path factor of sammā-ājīva, his position should be completely changed; he should be an ariya-sāvaka. The last three path factors are for bhikkhus. So, three individuals are taken into consideration in the path: the ordinary person, the noble disciple (ariya-sāvaka), and the bhikkhu.

Our day to day behavior, so called ‘ethics,’ is directly connected to the path. The first two factors create a new person, a cultured person, an ethical person; the person who has a new attitude towards society.

The second three factors are related to the basic ethical performance of the individual: he has to maintain the discipline in language; body discipline; and he should refrain from all those mischievous ways of behaviors. These are the basics of discipline in Buddhism. That is ethics in relation to word and body.

And ethics in relation to mind, which is a psychological ethics, is described in the last three factors. The noble eightfold path is an ethical path; it has nothing to do with any metaphysical or philosophical element.