Every now and then i see claims that a particular practice of the noble eightfold path (or alternatively, the threefold division) builds on a specific preceding practice.

Two examples of claims (right or wrong) is that right view is a necessary foundation for the other seven practices, or that panna comes last building on the two other thirds in the threefold division.

I am interested in suttas as sources for claims like this, so my question is what specific references there are for describing this type of order of the practices. (Please note that i'm primarily asking for references, and not personal opinions).


Of those, right view is the forerunner. And how is right view the forerunner? In one of right view, right resolve comes into being. In one of right resolve, right speech comes into being. In one of right speech, right action... In one of right action, right livelihood... In one of right livelihood, right effort... In one of right effort, right mindfulness... In one of right mindfulness, right concentration... In one of right concentration, right knowledge... In one of right knowledge, right release comes into being. Thus the learner is endowed with eight factors, and the arahant with ten.

MN 117

Bhikkhus, this is the forerunner and precursor of the rising of the sun, that is, the dawn. So too, bhikkhus, for a bhikkhu this is the forerunner and precursor of the breakthrough to the Four Noble Truths as the really are, that is, right view.

SN 56.37

Mendicants, the dawn is the forerunner and precursor of the sunrise.

In the same way right view is the forerunner and precursor of skillful qualities.

Right view gives rise to right thought. Right thought gives rise to right speech. Right speech gives rise to right action. Right action gives rise to right livelihood. Right livelihood gives rise to right effort. Right effort gives rise to right mindfulness. Right mindfulness gives rise to right immersion. Right immersion gives rise to right knowledge. Right knowledge gives rise to right freedom.

AN 10.121


There is this Chart of the Factors of the Gradual Training

It says it lists the (20 or 30) suttas which describe "gradual training".

That belongs with this document: The Gradual Gradual Training.

Apart from these there are other ways to sequence things -- e.g. there's putting a sequence to the noble eightfold path, which is usually with right view first, though when it's considered as the threefold training I think the doctrine usually starts with virtue (see Anupubbikathā).

Or there's MN 95 which lists a 12-step process (it lists it forward and backwards): faith, approaching the teacher, etc.

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