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Path of Purification, The (Visuddhimagga)

Product no.: 1-928706-01-0
The Visuddhimagga is the "great treatise" of Theravada Buddhism, an encyclopedic manual of doctrine and meditation written in the fifth century by the great Buddhist commentator, Buddhaghosa.

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Publisher's Synopsis

The most esteemed commentary in all of Pali literature, The Path of Purification, or Visuddhimagga is a systematic examination and condensation of Buddhist doctrine and meditation technique. The various teachings of the Buddha, found throughout the Pali Canon, are organized in a clear, comprehensive manner.

In the course of his treatise Buddhaghosa gives full and detailed instructions on the forty subjects of meditation aimed at concentration, an elaborate account of the Buddhist Abhidhamma philosophy, and explicit descriptions of the stages of insight culminating in final liberation.

The author, Bhadantacaryia Buddhaghosa, composed the Visuddhimagga in the early part of the 5th century A.D. The India-born monk-scholar traveled to Sri Lanka to translate into Pali the extensive Sinhalese commentaries preserved there. His crystallization of the entire Pali Canon reinvigorated Theravada Buddhism in India and Sri Lanka. It still shines as clearly today, in this brilliant 1956 translation by the British-born monk, Bhikkhu Nanamoli that in itself is considered an outstanding achievement of Pali scholarship of the 20th century.

This book is from BPS Pariyatti Editions of Seattle, which co-publishes classic and contemporary titles from the Buddhist Publication Society of Kandy, Sri Lanka.


"Buddhaghosa has composed one of the great spiritual classics of mankind. If I had to choose one book to take with me on a desert island, the Visuddhimagga would be my choice."    ~Edward Conze

"Bhadantacariya Buddhaghosa's Visuddhimagga... represents the epitome of Pali Buddhist literature, weaving together its many strands to create this wonderful meditation manual, which even today retains the clarity it revealed when it was written."     ~Dalai Lama


"No breezes that come bringing rain,
No balm of yellow sandalwood,
No necklaces beside, or gems
Or soft effulgence of moonbeams,

Can here avail to calm and soothe
Men's fevers in this world; whereas
This noble, this supremely cool,
Well-guarded virtue quells the flame.

Where is there to be found the scent
That can with virtue's scent compare,
And that is borne against the wind
As easily as with it? Where
Can such another stair be found

That climbs, as virtue does, to heaven?
Or yet another door that gives
Onto the City of Nibbana?
Shine as they may, there are no kings
Adorned with jewelry and pearls

That shine as does a man restrained
Adorned with virtue's ornament.
Virtue entirely does away
With dread of self-blame and the like;
Their virtue to the virtuous
Gives gladness always by its fame.

From this brief sketch it may be known
How virtue brings reward, and how
This root of all good qualities
Robs of its power every fault."

Author Buddhaghosa, Bhadantacariya
Translator Nanamoli, Bhikkhu
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 905 pp.
Publisher BPS Pariyatti Editions 2003
Gold Medal

Gold Medal


  Gold Medal Essential Reading

Browse these categories as well: Theravada Suttas, Southern Buddhism, Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation, Noteworthy Releases 2003, Gold Medal Essential Reading

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