Been casually trying to research something for a piece of art for a few years now, and it feels like i'm finally getting somewhere, although like Indiana Jones & the Holy Grail, I also feel like I might have to leave the grail where it is and it'll turn out I'm not gonna find an answer.... which is where you guys might be able to help me cos i've been totally blown away by the knowledge of text some people have on here!!
Basically, i've been trying to find some sort of original text/script for the Noble Eightfold Path as the work of art I wish to produce is for me to look at and understand it's meaning, but still be individual and a little bit secret to me (and to anyone who can read said language!). So, and this is the bit I may need correction on... my knowledge of the origins and history of this so far is that the teachings of Gautami Buddha would have been passed down orally and that his language would have been Magahi/Magadhi (albeit they weren't written down). I also understand that the earliest written scrolls are very scant and unlikely to produce a handy piece of text for what i'm looking for. Pali appears to be more a vocal language and not a written medium as such, and Devanagari looks to me like a general written language for a large area of India, although i'm not too sure about that one.
So, my question, if it can be answered is,...
What does the scripture/text look like for the written version of the Eightfold Path??
I am coming up with either Devanagari or Magadhi as the basis for what it should be, but i'm amazed that the only versions of the Eightfold Path I can find are in Romanised English and I simply cannot find a variant in anything like it's mother tongue! I could get it translated from English via a website, but if anyone's ever used a translator to go from english to french and back to english, it never reads correctly.
Can anyone help me, i'm really on my last legs and all the sources i've tried (Pali text society, Naropa, various Buddhist institutions...
) have only gotten me this far. Can anyone show me what the Eightfold Path looks like in it's most likely original text/scripture??
Thank you, namaste.