The Visuddhimagga purports to be a summary of the whole of the Sutta Piñaka as understood by the Mahàvihàra tradition of Theravàda Buddhism. The name means `Path of Purification'. The book was written by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century CE and takes as its schema the seven purifications (satta visuddhi) taught by the Buddha in the Rathavinãta Sutta (M.I,145). The Visuddhimagga's approach to spiritual practice is theoretical and abhidhamma-based rather than practical.