Of the Ariyan Path
Controverted Point: That the Path is fivefold only.
And did he not also say:
Surely, then, the Path is eightfold.
But you tell me that though these three—right speech, right action, right livelihood—are factors of the Path, nevertheless they are not path, while the other five are both factors of the Path and Path. Why this distinction?
Mahīsāsakas: But was it not said by the Exalted One:
Hence surely the Path is fivefold.
“In whatsoever doctrine and discipline, Subhadda, the Ariyan Eightfold Path is not found, neither in it is there found a saintly man of the first, or of the second, or of the third, or of the fourth degree. And in whatsoever doctrine and discipline, Subhadda, the Ariyan Eightfold Path is found, in it is such a saintly man found. Now in this doctrine and discipline, Subhadda, is found the Ariyan Eightfold Path, and in it, too, are found men of saintliness of all four degrees. Void are the systems of other teachers, void of saintly men.”
Hence surely the Path is eightfold.