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Product ID book00B014
Title Buddha's Path to Deliverance
Author Nyanatiloka Mahathera
Publisher BPS  
The Buddha's Path to Deliverance

About the Compiler

Ven. Nyanatiloka Thera was born in Germany in 1878 and was trained as a classical violinist in conservatories in Frankfort and Paris. After reading his first books on Buddhism, he immediately set his heart on becoming a Buddhist monk, and in 1903 he traveled to the East, where he took ordination in Burma. He thus became the first Continental European to join the Theravada Buddhist order. Ven. Nyanatiloka spent most of his monk's life in Sri Lanka, where in 1911 he established a monastery for Western Buddhist monks called Island Hermitage. He was a prolific translator of Pali Buddhist texts into German and English. His other works published by the BPS include Buddhist Dictionary, The World of the Buddha, Guide through the Abhidhamma Pitaka, and Fundamentals of Buddhism. He passed away in Colombo in 1957, after living for over fifty years as a distinguished member of the Theravada Buddhist order.

The Buddha's Path to Deliverance

This classic anthology from the Pali Canon charts the entire course of spiritual development as prescribed in the most ancient Buddhist texts. Drawing upon the Buddha's own words from the Sutta Pitaka, the compiler has arranged them in accordance with two overlapping schemes of practice: the threefold training in virtue, concentration, and wisdom, and the seven stages of purification. The long chapter on concentration provides sutta sources for all the forty classical subjects of meditation, while the chapter on wisdom cites texts relating to the development of insight. The result is a comprehensive meditation manual composed almost entirely from the Buddha's discourses, illuminated by the author's own brief explanations.

The German Buddhist monk Ven. Nyanatiloka Thera (1878-1957) was the first Continental European in modern times to be ordained into the Theravada Buddhist order. A prolific translator of Pali Buddhist texts into German and English, he spent over fifty years in the Buddhist order, mostly in Sri Lanka.


The Four Noble Truths 5

The Seven Stages of Purity 52



General Remarks 59

1. Purity of Morality (sila-visuddhi) 66

Ascetical Means of Purification 68



11. Purity of Mind (citta-visuddhi) 73

General Remarks 73

Forty Concentration Exercises 75

Ten Kasinas 76

Fen Cemetery Meditations (sfvathika-asubha) 81

Ten Contemplations (anussati) 83

On Buddha, Dhamma, etc. 85

On Death 87

On Body 95

On In-and-Out Breathing 97

On Peace 106

Four Divine Abodes: All-Embracing Kindness 108

Compassion, Altruistic Joy, Equanimity 117

The Buddha's Path.

Four Immaterial Spheres 125

One Perception of Loathsomeness

One Analysis of the Four Elements

Supplementary Texts:

The Four Applications of Min

The Eight Deliverances 140

Ten Contemplations (Girimananda sitta)

Overcoming and Developing

The Six Spiritual Powers 14

General Remarks 149

The Five Groups of Existence (khandha)

The Twelve Bases (ayatana) 156

The Eighteen Elements (dhatu)

The Twenty-Two Faculties (indriya)

The Four Noble Truths 166

Dependent Origination (paticca-samuppada)

III.Purity of Understanding (ditthi visuddhi)

IV. Purity of Escape from Doubt

V. Purity of the Knowledge and Not-Path

VI. Purity of the Knowledge and

1.Contemplation of Arising

2.Contemplation of Dissolution

3.Awareness of Terror 197

4.Contemplation of Misery

5.Contemplation of Turning

6.Desire for Deliverance 2

7.Reflective Contemplation200

8.Equanimity Regarding all Formations 201

9.Adaptation Knowledge 207

VII. Purity of Knowledge and Vision