Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

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Nibbida
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Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by Nibbida »

I noticed that Bhikkhu Nanamoli's translation of Visuddhimagga is being sold for $37. I understand the economics of publishing, even non-profit publishing. But I'm wondering why this book is being sold while others are available for free online, e.g. Bhikkhu Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path, books by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante G., etc.

Just curious.
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mikenz66
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by mikenz66 »

It says $20 at http://www.bps.lk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is a non-profit orgainization. Note that they have put many of their publications up as PDFs:
http://www.bps.lk/book_index.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also see: http://www.bps.lk/ourpublications.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
For the last year, the BPS has been busy digitalising, typesetting, and reprinting many of its publications that have gone out of print. We intend to digitalise most of our older publications and then make them available either as good quality printed books or as free online publications both in html and pdf formats. Eventually, all Wheel publications will be combined and republished as books. An online ordering catalogue is being created to enable our readers to order our printed books online through this website.
I'm not sure whether they intend to do this with the VM. Personally, I'd rather pay the order of 30USD for a nicely-bound version than print and bind it myself (which would probably be more expensive). I'd love to have a searchable PDF on my computer of course...

Mike
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Nibbida
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

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Last edited by Nibbida on Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mikenz66
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by mikenz66 »

Here is is for 23 Pounds (37USD) including shipping to most places:
http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/97 ... rification" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mike
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by Individual »

Nibbida wrote:I noticed that Bhikkhu Nanamoli's translation of Visuddhimagga is being sold for $37. I understand the economics of publishing, even non-profit publishing. But I'm wondering why this book is being sold while others are available for free online, e.g. Bhikkhu Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path, books by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante G., etc.

Just curious.
Although you personally might see each book as equally valuable, that's not the case for others. Translations of central texts of Buddhism are far more valuable than commentaries on commentaries!

I think that books like the Visuddhimagga aren't free merely because those involved in the translating are either motivated by personal gain or don't have the insight to understand that with modern technology, online collaboration among translators is cheaper and easier than seeking grants from formal institutions, and such texts also proliferate more widely. If books are copyrighted, eventually they may even be lost if they're out of print and paper copies eventually decay. People who digitally scan and distribute texts like the Visuddhimagga may be violating copyright, but they are also encouraging more people to read the text and possibly saving the text from extinction (for a little while longer at least, since everything is impermanent, of course).
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by pink_trike »

Good question in an era when it could be released in electronic format on file sharing networks that would make it available to anyone with interest in every part of the globe for free. If there's a printed version then there's an electronic version already, just waiting to be converted into a PDF doc with a few clicks.
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bazzaman
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by bazzaman »

I was given a free copy published by the Penang Buddhist Association. Limited distribution though...
A couple of years ago accesstoinsight.org had some transcription projects going on... one of which was the Vm. The idea was that it would be available online; but so far no joy. I wonder what happened?
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by Cittasanto »

Nibbida wrote:Many thanks. :-)

I really hope they are able to put Visuddhimagga and other valuable works online for free. I'm happy to cough up the cash, but it's so valuable and it would make it available to so many. This is one area where I believe Buddhists are very advanced and organized compared to other philosophies, religions, and psychology. Online audio talks and books are so freely available, which makes them appealing to people with casual but curious interest.
it is online for free, I don't have a link saved but one of retro's posts to do with the safron seach engine has the link in it.
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He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
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cooran
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by cooran »

Hello all,

The Vissuddhimagga is 885 pages of text and no doubt about the same again in footnotes ~ I wouldn't be able to download it online even if it were offered (which it isn't).

RobertK's website has the first 90 pages online:

http://www.abhidhamma.org/visuddhimagga-1.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

metta
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by Cittasanto »

Edited
removed Link
it is 32.74MB
Last edited by Cittasanto on Wed Sep 30, 2009 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
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BlackBird
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by BlackBird »

Hi Manapa, all.

Are we allowed to download this? The reason I ask is this link it is the same translation as available here, for a $38 charge
Individual wrote: Although you personally might see each book as equally valuable, that's not the case for others. Translations of central texts of Buddhism are far more valuable than commentaries on commentaries!
The Visuddhimagga is the most important post canonical text of our religion.

Metta
Jack
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by Cittasanto »

BlackBird wrote:
Hi Manapa, all.

Are we allowed to download this? The reason I ask is this link it is the same translation as available here, for a $38 charge

Metta
Jack
Hi Jack
this is something I am unsure of? I do know that BPS do allow great chunks of work to be reproduced (as in full or almost full copies see google books) but I don't read russan. here is a preview (I think it is about half) http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=C389 ... q=&f=false" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; and yes it is the same book again.
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill
EOD
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by EOD »

Nibbida wrote:I noticed that Bhikkhu Nanamoli's translation of Visuddhimagga is being sold for $37. I understand the economics of publishing, even non-profit publishing. But I'm wondering why this book is being sold while others are available for free online, e.g. Bhikkhu Bodhi's Noble Eightfold Path, books by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante G., etc.
The Visuddhimagga is available for free on palikanon.com, but only in German and Pali.
Blackbird wrote:
Individual wrote:Although you personally might see each book as equally valuable, that's not the case for others. Translations of central texts of Buddhism are far more valuable than commentaries on commentaries!
Seeming disdain for the most important post-canonical work of our great religion? Or am I drawing conclusions here?
I think it depends on what "most important" means. The Visuddhimagga is certainly held in high esteem in the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism, but it doesn't belong to the authoritative texts according to the Buddha (see AN 4.180 and DN 16).

Best wishes,

EOD
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BlackBird
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by BlackBird »

EOD wrote: I think it depends on what "most important" means. The Visuddhimagga is certainly held in high esteem in the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism, but it doesn't belong to the authoritative texts according to the Buddha (see AN 4.180 and DN 16).
Dear EOD

I can't find a passage in the Maha-paranibbana sutta that states that the Visuddhimagga is not an authoritative text according to the Buddha, or in this case that the Visuddhimagga does not meet the criteria for an authoritative text. Could you please quote this passage for me?

If it were to be similar to this:
"O bhikkhus, remember these four (citations of) Great Authorities - the words & syallables are to be closely scrutinized, laid beside Sutta & compared with Vinaya. If, when thus laid beside Sutta & compared with Vinaya, they lie not along with Sutta & agree not with Vinaya, to this conclusion must ye come: Sure this is not the word of that Exalted One, Arahant, the Fully Enlightened One, & it was wrongly taken by that monk. So reject it, monks."
- http://www.lotsasites.com/topic?topic=associationofma2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Then the simple argument is that when you closely scrutinize the Visuddhimagga, lay it beside the Suttas and compare it with the Vinaya, it's a perfect fit to the Suttas, and agrees wholeheartedly with the Vinaya. Are there any exact points of the Visuddhimagga that you feel are at odds with the scriptures of the Pali Canon?

To turn this question around, if I may, what would you consider a more important post-canonical text?

Metta
Jack
Last edited by BlackBird on Tue Sep 29, 2009 10:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

Path Press - Ñāṇavīra Thera Dhamma Page - Ajahn Nyanamoli's Dhamma talks
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cooran
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Re: Why isn't the Visuddhimagga free?

Post by cooran »

Hello EOD,
I think it depends on what "most important" means. The Visuddhimagga is certainly held in high esteem in the Theravadin tradition of Buddhism, but it doesn't belong to the authoritative texts according to the Buddha (see AN 4.180 and DN 16).
As there were no texts at the time of the Buddha, I'm not sure what you are referring to ~ Please post for us the relevant quotes you are referring to.

metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
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