In several places in all four Nikāyas, especially the Aṅguttara, we have an extended list of the Noble Eightfold Path, a ‘Tenfold Path’ (a term not to be found in the suttas). Here, after sammā samādhi, we have 9. sammā ñāṇa (right knowledge) and 10. sammā vimutti (right liberation). Unfortunately there is no detailed exposition of these in the suttas.
Table of Contents1. Interpretation 1. Free available resources and articles 1. Sutta References 1. Relevant SuttaCentral topics and discussions
A question that regularly occurs is if the last two limbs happen ‘automatically’ without deliberate practice and are for that reason not part of the standard version of the Noble Eightfold Path. Another frequent suggestion is that the last two limbs are fruits and results of someone who already attained arahantship.
2. Free available resources and articles
Bucknell argues in this article from 1984 that Right Knowledge and Right Liberation are not automatic developments on the path and have to be practiced. Relying on MN 27 he further argues that Right Knowledge consists of the three supernormal knowledges:
- the knowledge of the recollection of past lives
- the knowledge of the passing away and reappearance of beings
- the knowledge of the destruction of the taints
He concludes with remarking that next to the eightfold and tenfold versions of the path there are many other variations to be found in the suttas.
##3. Sutta References
This is a probably not exhaustive list of suttas mentioning the tenfold path:
- DN 18, DN 33, DN 34
- MN 8, MN 65, MN 78, MN 117
- AN 4.89, AN 4.206, AN 10.103 – AN 10.115, AN 10.117, AN 10.119 – AN 10.134, AN 10.144 – AN 10.166, AN 10.239
- SN 14.29, SN 45.26, SN 55.26
4. Relevant suttacentral topics and discussions