Soma Thera

Vimuttimagga: The Path of Freedom

Vimuttimagga: The Path of Freedom

The Vimuttimagga (The Path of Freedom), which serves as a meditation manual, is broadly considered a great and important work.

It is similar to the Path of Purification, or Visuddhimagga, but less analytical and more practical in its treatment of the traditional meditation objects. Both are commentaries, not from the Pali Canon, but very relevant to it, especially to the section of the Pali Canon called the Abhidhamma which contains the philosophical treatises of the Buddha.

There is considerable variance between traditions as to who is given credit for this great work, although it is widely held that it was written centuries after the time of the Buddha.

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About Soma Thera

Kotahene Soma Maha Thera (December 23, 1898 - February 23, 1960), born as Victor Emmanuel Perera Pulle in Kotahena, Colombo, was a Theravada Buddhist monk, translator and missionary.

In 1934, he went to Japan with his friend G.S. Prelis (later ordained as Kheminda Thera) and translated the Chinese version of the Vimuttimagga into English, which was published as The Path of Freedom. In 1936, both Soma Thera Perera and Prelis went to Burma and received the higher ordination as Theravada Buddhist monks on November 6, 1936 in Moulmein under the meditation teacher Jetavana Sayadaw.

Soma Thera participated in a mission trip to India in 1940 as a member of the Buddhist Mission of Goodwill. Soma Thera also took part in another mission trip to Germany in 1957, which was sponsored by the German Dharmaduta Society, during the period when the society acquired Das Buddhistische Haus (The Buddhist House) in Berlin, founded by Dr. Paul Dahlke. Soma Thera authored many books which was related to Buddhism and was an author of the Buddhist Publication Society, writing several booklets for the Bodhi Leaves and The Wheel series.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276