Buddhist Noble 8 Fold Path in Comparison to Asthanga Yoga 8 Limbed Path

buddha1During some of my recent studies, I was introduced to the Buddhist concept of the 8 Fold Path.  I have been studying yoga for many years, specifically Ashtanga Yoga which is Sanskrit for the 8 Limbed Path. The very first thing I wanted to see was how closely the two were related, and secondly I wanted to do some research upon where each theory came from and where each were given their information from. First and foremost, I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions in regards to this. What do you see that is closely related between the two paths?


1. Right Understanding (Samma ditthi)
2. Right Thought (Samma sankappa)
3. Right Speech (Samma vaca)
4. Right Action (Samma kammanta)
5. Right Livelihood (Samma ajiva)
6. Right Effort (Samma vayama)
7. Right Mindfulness (Samma sati)
8. Right Concentration (Samma samadhi)

Yoga Sutras (Asthanga / 8 Limbed Path)p

1. Yama (Principles or moral code)
2. Niyama (Personal Disciplines)
3. Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)
4. Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)
5. Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
6. Dharana (Concentration on Object)
7. Dhyana (Meditation)
8. Samadhi (Salvation)



Buddha – The Noble Eight Fold Path
Patanjali – Ashtanga Yoga – The Eight Limbed Path

Each leader/teacher/guru found their information from becoming completely enlightened or rather reaching a state of Samadhi. I feel that I can firmly say without a doubt that the True information came from the Highest Source, Cosmic Consciousness, the God-Head, God. Therefore, relating to where they came from (the information) on the physical Earth is irrelevant because the information is Divine and came from above to us. As above so below.

The second set of differences I have noted here is that the Yogic path is far more based around immediately going inward. Observe and restrict yourself, do postures, then spend the rest of the time within Pranayama (deep breathing) and meditation to reach Samadhi.

The Buddhist path, however, is similar in a way, but teaches us how to live the day to day here in this realm. I appreciate that, a lot. I think all in all, the paths have the same feel and the same outcome. Each teaches us rules, and how-to’s, to get to Samadhi and they especially teach us Samadhi is the ultimate goal.
In conclusion, each 8 limbed path gives us what we need to move forward in life. They answer, “What is the meaning of life?” Quite simply, the meaning of life is to reach Samadhi and here is a simple list of how to do it.


Each path can teach you how to get to Samadhi, or a state of Nirvana or Enlightenment. Using either will do, but using the paths together? Now there’s a mind-blowing thought. An instant how-to :1. Live here on earth and 2. Live within your True Self.

I’m sending love to all of you, here’s to our journey’s within!


Have a good one

Dharma J


6 Comments Add yours

  1. Daniel Chadwick says:

    You have written
    “The second set of differences I have noted here is that the Yogic path is far more based around immediately going inward.”
    Not sure if this contradicts a quote from, Prabhavananda & Isherwood’s, page 27 of their, The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali.


  2. rodneyjowen says:

    Interesting discussion. I think the similarities are not coincidental, as the Buddha was a yogi and not a Buddhist. The idea to adopt both paths is great way to approach Dharma.


  3. selfprogramming14 says:

    In my Understanding noble eight fold states only about… Suffering
    1) Human Suffering
    2)causes of Suffering
    3) Cessation of Suffering
    4)the way to Suffering-the noble Eight Fold Path…only one owns effort…

    No conceptualization,no God,no super natural power….only Cessation of suffering by following Noble eight Fold Path…by one self…one owns hard work…


  4. pat horton says:

    Thank you so much for your post. I too wanted to compare the differences between each path. I started with the buddhist path many years ago and the last 5 years have experienced the Ashtanga yoga and in the last two years have read several books on Patanj ali Yoga Sutras. My question is who came first Buddha or Patanj ali ?



    1. Dharma Jane says:

      Great question Pat! To answer, Buddha came first as he was born around 620 BCE, whereas Patanjali lived around 150 BCE 🙂


  5. Mardana says:

    The personal spiritual path is a path of personal power. The 8 limbed paths are ways to personal power. They bind one into awareness of the cause & effect system of Karmic power, lifetimes of cause and effect.

    Enlightenment is only a step on the path, and would be a useless dead end, if there was not more.

    The true central path is the Mystic Path, and has never changed. Millenia come and go, and many paths and attitudes and approaches and religions come and go. The central path never changes. People on the outside talk about it and about paths and approaches. People on the inside do not. It’s a rule.


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