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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.
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, which co-publishes classic and contemporary titles from the Buddhist Publication Society of Kandy, Sri Lanka.
The Visuddhimagga is available in Pali from the Pali Text Society and also in translation from PTS, entitled The Path of Purity.