The Factors Leading to Enlightenment - Five Path-factors

Each reality that arises falls away very rapidly; it vanishes completely. Realities arise and fall away all the time. The Buddha taught the way to develop the panna that knows the characteristics of realities as they are. The development of the Eightfold Path is the one and only way to realise the truth. The factors of the Eightfold Path are the following cetasikas: right understanding (samma-ditthi, pañnna cetasika),  right thinking (samma- sankappa, vitakka cetasika),  right speech (samma-vaca cetasika), right action (samma-kammanta cetasika), right livelihood (samma-ajiva cetasika), right effort (samma-vayama, viriya cetasika), right mindfulness (samma-sati, sati cetasika) and right concentration (samma-samadhi, ekaggata cetasika).

In the beginning, when lokuttara citta has not yet arisen, the Path is still “worldly,” lokiya, not lokuttara. Then there are usually five Path-factors performing their functions together, which means that the citta is not accompanied by the three abstentions, virati cetasikas, of right speech, right action and right livelihood. When there is an opportunity to abstain from akusala, only one type of virati arises at a time. Only at the moment of lokuttara citta do the three virati cetasikas arise together. The five Path- factors (apart from the virati cetasikas) perform their functions together when there is awareness of a characteristic of nama or rupa appearing through one of the six doors. Panna cetasika that arises together with samma-sati gradually begins to consider and to investigate the characteristics of nama and rupa. Panna has to consider realities very often, over and over again, so that it can clearly discern whether it is a nama or a rupa that appears.

Topic 237