The Path; path of virtue
Happiness is for Gautama, as for Aristotle, "the bloom upon virtue."
The path which leads to the Supreme Bliss is the path of morality defined as the Noble Eightfold Path.
If a man follow this, he is happy here and hereafter.
It consists of:
[paragraph continues] This is described by Gautama as a Middle Path between the extreme of sensuality on the one hand and asceticism on the other;
or between superstitious credulity and sceptical materialism.
It is a truly noble ideal: yet one must never forget that "Righteousness" throughout is Buddhistically defined: e.g. "Right Views"
means a correct grasp of the Buddhist teaching that all is transient, all is sorrowful, all is unreal.
Again, "Right Contemplation" is the practice of Samādhi, concentration of the mind upon Buddhist ideas, such as the above.
The highest "Livelihood," again, is to live upon the alms of the faithful.
273. Best of paths is the Eightfold; the four truths are the best of truths: purity is the best state; best of men is the seer.
274. This is the way; there is none other that leads to the seeing of Purity (Nirvāna.) Do you follow this path: that is to befool Mara.
275. Traveling by this way you'll end your grief: it is the way I preached when I learnt to throw off my bonds.
276. ’Tis you who must strive: the Blessed Ones are only preachers. They who strive and meditate are freed from Mara's bonds.
277. "All is passing": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow: this is the way of purity.
278. "All is sorrow": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow; this is the way of purity.
279. "All is unreal": when one sees and realises this, he sits loose to this world of sorrow this is the way of purity.
280. He who fails to strive when ’tis time to strive, young and strong though he be, slothful and enmeshed in lust, the sluggard, never finds the path to wisdom.
281. Whoso guards his tongue and controls his mind and does nothing wrong: keeping clear these three paths, he will achieve the way shown by the wise.
282. From meditation springs wisdom; from neglect of it the loss of wisdom. Knowing this path of progress and decline, choose the way that leads to growth of wisdom.
283. Cut down the jungle (I do not mean with an axe!). For from the jungle of lust springs fear, and if you cut it down, you will be disentangled, O Bhikkhus!
284. Whilst the entanglement of a man with a woman is not utterly cut away, he is in bondage, running to her as a sucking calf to the cow.
285. Pluck out the bond of self as one pulls up an autumn lotus. Forge thy way along the path of safety, Nirvāna, shown by the Blessed.
286. "Here will I pass the wet season; here the winter and summer," thinks the fool, unmindful of what may befall.
287. Then comes Death and sweeps him away infatuated with children and cattle, and entangled with this world's goods, as a flood carries off a sleeping village.
288. There is no safety in sons, or in father,
or in kinsfolk when Death overshadows thee: amongst thine own kith and kin is no refuge:
289. Knowing this clearly, the wise and righteous man straightway clears the road that leads to Nirvāna.