What is this essential Right Action ?

The Noble Eightfold Way, leading to Nibbāna, is simply this:
Right View, Right Motivation, Right Speech, Right Action, Right 
Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Awareness, & Right Concentration.
But what is Right Action ?

                      The 3-fold Definition of Right Action:
                      Avoiding all Killing and Injuring of any living Being...
                      Abstaining from Taking & Stealing what is not Given...
                      Stopping all Misuse of any Sensual Pleasures ...
                      That is Right Action!

            The Characterization of Right Action:
Friends, it is caused by behaviour in conflict with the Dhamma, 
by reason of immoral behaviour, that some beings here, right at
the breakup of the body, after death, reappear lost in states of 
pain, in unhappy destinations, in the downfall, even in the hells... 
It is caused by behaviour in harmony with the Dhamma, by reason 
of moral behaviour, that some beings here, on the breakup of the 
body, after death, reappear in a happy destination, even in the 
heavenly worlds!!! And which, friends, are the 3 kinds of bodily
moral behaviour in harmony with the Dhamma?
Here someone, stop any killing of living beings, abstains from 
injuring living beings; with rod and weapon laid aside, gentle 
and kind, such one dwells sympathetic towards all living beings.
Avoiding the taking of what is not given, such one refrains from 
stealing, what is not given; such one does not take by way of 
theft the wealth and property of others, neither in the village 
nor in the forest. Abandoning abuse in sensual pleasures, such 
one gives up misuse in sensual pleasures; such one does not have 
intercourse with partners, who are protected by their mother, or 
father, or mother and father, or brother, or sister, or relatives, 
who is married, who are protected by law, or who are engaged 
to other side. That is how there are three kinds of bodily moral 
behaviour in harmony with the Dhamma... Such is Right Action!

          The Explanation of Right Action:
Primary of these is the ending of intentional killing or destroying 
of beings either by physical action or by verbal incitement, 
ranging from killing eggs of lice and bugs, or causing abortion, 
to any slaughter of living creatures, including human beings.
Restraint from taking, what is not given, means abstaining from 
taking, with intention to steal, living beings or non-living articles, 
which have an owner, removing or appropriating them, without the 
owner's consent, either by physical effort or by inciting another 
to do so. Restraint from wrong behaviour in sensual pleasures means 
abstention from any kind of sex, which will cause pain and suffering 
to others. Examples will be adultery, since this causes the disruption 
of marriage, rape, intercourse with minors protected by parents, & 
perversion of others. Included here also are abstention from use of 
booze, drugs and any kinds of intoxicants, which causes carelessness, 
and gambling with cards, dices, on horses, teams etc.

Knowing right & wrong Action as right & wrong Action, is Right View.
Awareness of presence of right & wrong Action, is Right Awareness.
Exchanging wrong Action with right Action, is Right Effort...

Further study of Buddhist Right Action (Samma-Kammanta):


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Saved: 03 September 2005