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Visuddhimagga

An encyclopaedia of the Buddha’s teaching, written by Buddhaghosa at the request of Saṅghapāla Thera. It is said (Cv.xxxvii.236) that when Buddhaghosa arrived at the Mahāvihāra and asked permission to translate the Singhalese Commentaries into Pāḷi, the monks, to test him, gave him two stanzas (quoted at the beginning of the book) on which they asked him to write a thesis. As soon as he had finished this, the devas hid the copy, and the same thing happened after it was rewritten. He then rewrote it a third time, and when it was being read in the assembly of monks, the two previous copies suddenly reappeared and were found to agree in every detail with the new one.

For a description of the book, see Law, History of Pāḷi Literature, ii.399 f. A Commentary on the work exists, called the Paramatthamañjūsa by Dhammapāla (P.L.C. 113; Svd.1231), and a Visuddhimagga Ganthipadattha was written by Sāradassī, a monk of Ava. (Sās.116; Bode, op.cit., 56).

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