Right View Comes First

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by The Buddha


 

Monks, right view comes first. And how does right view come first? One understands wrong view as wrong view and right view as right view: this is one’s right view.

And what is wrong view? There is nothing given, nothing sacrificed, nothing offered; there is no fruit or result of good and bad actions; there is no this world, no other world; there is no mother, no father; there are no beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world no ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others. This is wrong view.

And what is right view? Right view, I say, is twofold: there is right view that is affected by influxes, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions; and there is right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path.

And what is right view that is subject to the influxes, partaking merit, ripening in the acquisitions? There is what is given, sacrificed, and offered; there is fruit and result of good and bad actions; there is this world and the other world; there is mother and father; there are beings spontaneously reborn; there are in the world ascetics and brahmins of right conduct and right practice who, having realized this world and the other world for themselves by direct knowledge, make them known to others. This is right view that is subject to the influxes, partaking of merit, ripening in the acquisitions.

 Photo By IIP Photo Archive

Photo By IIP Photo Archive

And what is right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path? The wisdom, the faculty of wisdom, the power of wisdom, the investigation-of-states enlightenment factor, the path factor of right view in one whose mind is noble, whose mind is without influxes, who possesses the noble path and is developing the noble path: this is the right view that is noble, free of influxes, supramundane, a factor of the path.

One makes an effort to abandon wrong view and to enter upon right view: this is one’s right effort. Mindfully one abandons wrong view, mindfully one enters upon and abides in right view: this is one’s right mindfulness. Thus these three states run and circle around right view, that is, right view, right effort, and right mindfulness.


Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi was born in New York City and, after finishing a BA and a PhD in philosophy, received full ordination in Sri Lanka in 1973. In 1988, he was appointed editor of the Buddhist Publication Society in Sri Lanka and has written, edited, and translated a number of Buddhist texts.

From The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony, edited by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Copyright ©2016 by Bhikkhu Bodhi. Used by permission of Wisdom Publications, Somerville, MA.

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