maggāmagga-ñāṇadassaba-visuddhi (S. *margāmarga-jñānadarśana-viśuddhi; C. dao feidao zhijian quingjing) is translated as "purification by knowledge and vision of what is path and what is not-path," etc. In the Pali tradition, maggāmagga-ñāṇadassaba-visuddhi is identified as the fifth of the seven stages of purification on the path to liberation, as presented in the Visuddhimagga.
- Purification by knowledge and vision of what is and is not the path (maggāmagga ñāṇadassana visuddhi) and the following purification involve cultivating ten insight knowledges . Having discerned the mind and matter of the three realms and their conditions, meditators prepare to cultivate the first knowledge by contemplating the three realms in terms of the five aggregates. That is, all matter whatsoever is included in the form aggregate, all feelings are consolidated in the feeling aggregate, and so on.
- To cultivate the knowledge of comprehension (1), meditators apply the three characteristics to the five aggregates. Beginning with a longer time—“The body of this lifetime is impermanent”—they meditate on increasingly shorter periods of time—“The feelings of this year are unsatisfactory”—until they see that in each split second, the aggregates are impermanent, unsatisfactory, and not a self.
- The initial phase of the knowledge of arising and passing away (2a) is developed by contemplating that the arising and ceasing of conditioned things is due to the presence or absence of their respective conditions. This contemplation is not done conceptually but by observing the very moment in which arising and passing away occur. In each nanosecond everything arises and passes away, giving way to the next moment that is equally transient.
- As meditation deepens, ten imperfections of insight arise: (a) meditators see an aura of light radiating from their bodies; (b–d) they experience rapture, pliancy, and bliss in a way they never have before; (e) their resolution becomes stronger; (f) they exert themselves in practice; (g) their knowledge matures; (h) their mindful awareness becomes stable; (i) their equanimity becomes immovable; and (j) there is subtle enjoyment, clinging, and attachment to these experiences. This last factor is why they are called “imperfections”: the mind relates to the first nine in an incorrect way. While these intriguing experiences that are natural byproducts of insight may give meditators the impression that their meditation is going well and they are developing special qualities—even the supramundane path and fruit—this is not the case. Not seeing the error in their discernment, they may stop insight meditation.
- Purification by knowledge and vision of what is and is not the path is the ability to discern that these ten imperfections, no matter how fascinating they may be, are not the path to liberation and that insight into the three characteristics is the correct path to liberation. This purification is instrumental in keeping meditators on the right track so they will actualize their spiritual goal.
- Dalai Lama & Thubten Chodron 2014, s.v. Chapter 10.