RIGHT ACTION (Samma Kammanta)

This factor is concerned with bodily action and has three aspects.

(a)   Abstinence from destruction of life, that is, abstaining from killing of other living beings, which includes animals and all other sentient beings, to abstain from hunting, fishing etc.
(b)   Abstinence from taking what is not given, that is, from stealing, cheating, exploiting others, gaining wealth by dishonest and illegal ways etc.
(c)   Abstinence from sexual misconduct, that is from illicit types of sexual relations such as adultery, seduction, rape, etc. and for those who are ordained as monks, the observance of celibacy.

Although the principles of right speech and right action are worded negatively, in terms of a little reflection it shows that positive psychological factors of great power go along with abstinence, for example;

i   Abstaining from the taking of life implies a commitment to compassion, respecting the life of other beings.
ii  Abstaining from stealing - a commitment to honesty or respect for others' rights of ownership.
iii Abstaining from false speech - a commitment to truth.

[Back to Noble Eightfold Path]