What is this essential Right Action?

The Noble Eightfold Way, leading to Nibbāna, is simply this:
Right View,
Right Motivation, Right Speech, Right Action,
Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Awareness and
Right Concentration. But what is Right Action?

                    The 3-fold Definition of Right Action:
                    1: Avoiding all killing and harming of any living being...
                    2: Abstaining from taking and thus stealing what is not given...
                    3: Stopping all adultery and all abuse of any sense-pleasure...
                    That is Right Action!

The Characterization of Right Action. The blessed Buddha said:
Friends, it is caused by behaviour in conflict with the Dhamma, caused by
immoral behaviour, that some beings here, right at the breakup of the body,
right after death, reappear lost in states of pain, in an unhappy destination,
in the downfall dimensions, even in the hells...
It is caused by behaviour in harmony with the Dhamma,
caused by good moral
behaviour, that some beings here, on the breakup of the body, after the death,
reappear in a happy destination, even in the divine worlds!
And which are the 3 kinds of bodily moral behaviour that are in good harmony
with the Dhamma?
1: Here one, stops all killing of living beings, abstains from injuring living beings;
with rod & weapon laid aside, gentle and kind, such good one dwells sympathetic
towards all living beings.
2: Avoiding the taking of what is not given, one refrains from stealing what is
not freely given. One does not take by way of theft the wealth & property of
others, neither in the village nor in the forest.
3: Abandoning abuse of sensual pleasures, such one gives up misuse in sensual
pleasures. One does not have intercourse with partners, who are protected by
their mother, or father, or mother and father, or brother, or sister, or relatives,
who is married, betrothed to another, who are protected by law, in prison, or
who are engaged to other side.
That is how there are three kinds of advantageous bodily moral behaviour that
is in good harmony with the true Dhamma... Such is Right Action!

Primary of these is the ending of intentional killing or destroying of other
beings either by physical action or by verbal incitement, ranging from killing
eggs of lice and bugs, or causing abortion, to any slaughter of living creatures,
including human beings.
Restraint from taking, what is not given, means abstaining from taking, with
the intention to steal, living beings or non-living articles, which have an owner.
Removing or appropriating them, without owner's consent, either by physical
effort or by inciting another to do so.
Restraint from wrong behaviour in sensual pleasures means abstention from
any kind of sex, which will cause pain and suffering to others. Examples will be
adultery, since this causes the disruption of marriage, rape, intercourse with
minors protected by parents = pedophilia, and any perversion of others.
Included here also are abstention from the use of booze, drugs & any kinds of
intoxicants, which causes carelessness, & gambling with cards, numbers, dice,
on horses, and various teams etc.

Knowing right and wrong action as right and wrong action, is right view.
Awareness of presence of right and wrong action, is right awareness.
Exchanging wrong action with right action, is right effort...

The factors of the Noble 8-fold way thus mutually enhance each other!
Any intentional action - good as bad - determines - whether the future
will be pleasant or painful for the acting individuality...

Further study of Buddhist Right Action (Sammā-Kammanta):

What is Right Action?

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Updated: 18 July 2012