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Who is the Buddha?

There are many ways to describe who the Buddha is, according to different ways of understanding. These various interpretations have their sources in the Buddha’s teachings ([[Dharma]]).

One way is to see the [[historical Buddha]] who lived 2,500 years ago as a human being who cleansed his [[mind]] of all [[defilements]] and developed all his potential. Any being who does likewise is also considered a Buddha, for there are many [[Buddhas]], not just one.

Another way is to understand a particular Buddha or [[Buddhist]] [[deity]] as [[omniscient]] [[mind]] manifesting in a certain physical aspect ([[nirmana kaya]]) in order to communicate with us.

Yet another way is to see the Buddha -- or any of the [[enlightened]] [[Buddhist deities]] -- as the appearance of the [[future Buddha]] that we will become once we properly and completely have engaged in the [[path]] ([[marga]]) to cleanse our mind of [[defilements]] and develop all our potentials.

Fair Use Source: https://www.fpmt.org/faq/buddhism_faq.asp#bda

In the [[heavens]] above and the [[earth]] below
there is no one like the Buddha.
No one in the worlds of the [[ten directions]] equals him.
I have seen everything in the world,
and nothing compares with the Buddha.
([[UW]] 27)

Buddha means [[awakened]] or [[enlightened]] one. It is a title which is applied to those who have reached [[perfect enlightenment]] ([[anuttarasamyaksambodhi]]) and who have perfect [[wisdom]] and universal [[compassion]] ([[maha karuna]]). The Buddha of the present historical period is known as the Buddha Shakyamuni (see also [[Shakyamuni]] Buddha. There were also [[Buddhas] prior to his time ; there were and are Buddhas in other world-systems (see also [[world-system]]); and there will be Buddhas in the future both in our world system and in others.

In the present historical period most [[lineage]]s of "[[Small Vehicle Buddhism]] (or the [[Theravada]] or [[Hinayana]] see [[Mahayana and Hinayana compared]]) only recognizes one Buddha, [[Shakyamuni]], and does not acknowledge other [[Buddhas]] in the [[world system]]s of the other directions... Is it true that there are no other Buddhas since they say that there are no others? No. If they recognize the other Buddhas throughout the ten directions, then those Buddhas exist, but if they do not recognize those Buddhas, those Buddhas nonetheless still exist. The Buddhas of the ten directions are one with [[Shakyamuni]] Buddha, and so it is said, 'The Buddhas of the [[ten directions]] and the [[three periods of time]] share a single Dharma Body (see [[Dharmakaya]], [[Dharma dhatu]] and [[Tathagata garbha]] and [[Buddha Matrix]]).'" ([[UW]] Ch40 25-26)

"Who is the Buddha? The Buddha is the [[Greatly Enlightened One]]. His great [[enlightenment]] is an [[awakening]] concerning [[all things]], without a single bit of [[confusion]]. A [[true Buddha]] is without [[karmic obstacles]] and has [[transcended]] [[emotional responses]]. [[Living beings]], on the other hand, are [[attached]] to [[emotions]] and worldly [[love]]." (AS 2)

"You still don't know who the Buddha is? I will tell you. You are the Buddha. 'Then why don't I know it?' you ask. Your not knowing is just the Buddha. But this is not to say that you have already become a Buddha. You are as yet an unrealized Buddha. You should understand that the Buddha became a Buddha from the level of being an ordinary person. [[Living]] beings have the ability to [[cultivate]] and become Buddhas. A Buddha is an Enlightened One; therefore, when a human being becomes fully enlightened, he's a Buddha too." (AS 4-5)

"When someone heard it said that the Buddha is living beings and living beings are the Buddha, he became really delighted. After that, he told everyone to call him 'Buddha'. 'Don't call me by my name, just call me Buddha, because living beings are Buddhas!' Then some people started calling him 'Buddha', but because there were others who did not, he became irate and said, 'I told you to call me Buddha. Why aren't you calling me Buddha? I'm going to give you a hard time!' Then someone said to him, 'The Buddha is kind. In his heart there is [[compassion]] for all living beings; he doesn't get [[angry]] or afflicted. If you were a Buddha , you would not have a temper or any [[afflictions]]. Because you still have a temper and afflictions, you still are an ordinary living being.'" ([[FAS]] Ch7 33).

[[Eight Aspects of the Path of Buddhas]]

In all world-systems the careers of all Buddhas share the

following eight aspects:

1) Descending from the [[Tushita Heaven]]

2) Entering the womb

3) Emerging from the womb

4) Leaving the home-life

5) Subduing [[Mara]]

6) Becoming a Buddha

7) Turning the Great [[Dharma Wheel]]

8) Entering [[Nirvana]].

"Shakyamuni Buddha

For three [[asamkhyeya]] [[kalpas]] cultivated [[blessings]] and [[wisdom]],
For a hundred kalpas perfected [[marks]] and characteristics.

It took him that long in the past so that in this life he could 'at midnight see a bright star and awaken to the Way'. If he hadn't cultivated before, he wouldn't have been able to do it." ([[FAS]]-PII(1) 234-5)

Fair Use Source: [[Ron Epstein]], [[Buddhism A to Z]], 2003: pp. 31 - 32

1) Chinese Mandarin: fo , fo to , fo to ye ; 2) Sanskrit: Buddha, 3) Pali: Buddha; 4) Alternate Translations: Awakened One, Fully Enlightened One.

See also: [[enlightenment]], [[bodhi]], [[Shakyamuni]] ([[Buddha]]), [[Ten Titles of a Buddha]].

[[Buddhist Text Translation Society]] (http://www.BTTSonline.org) References: LY I 13, [[DFS]] VI 1124-5, 1131; [[TD]] 26-27; [[VS]] 141-142; [[DFS]] Ch2, 8,9; [[UW]] 25-26; [[FAS]] Ch24 20-22ff, 58-60; [[FAS]]-PI 149-150, 155; [[FAS]] Ch7 3-5, 14-15, 33-34; [[SS]] II 166-167; [[AS]] 2-5.

[[Buddhahood]]: The state which a Buddha has attained. The ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. The highest of the Ten Worlds. The word [[enlightenment]] is often used as synonymous with Buddhahood. Buddhahood is thought of as a state of perfect freedom, in which one is awakened to the eternal and [[ultimate truth]] that is the [[reality of all things]]. It is characterized by boundless wisdom and infinite compassion. The Lotus Sutra reveals that even this supreme state of Buddhahood inherently resides in the lives of all beings. Nichiren Daishonin writes in the "Kanjin no Honzon Sho," "That common mortals born in the Latter Day of the Law can believe in the [[Lotus Sutra]] is due to the fact that the world of Buddhahood is present in the world of Humanity."
See also: [[Attainment of Buddhahood]]. Source: Dictionary of Buddhist Terms and Concepts

Buddhahood: (Japanese. [[Butsu]]) The highest of the Ten Worlds. This state is reached when one has the wisdom to realize the essence of his own life, that it breathes in perfect harmony with the rhythm of the universe and continues to exist from the infinite past to the eternal future. Buddhahood is an ideal condition that one experiences in the depths of his life as he continues to act with benevolence in everyday life. Buddhahood appears in daily life as the actions of a bodhisattva.
See also: [[Ten Worlds]]. Source: Unknown

Fair Use Source: http://www.sgi-usa.org/cgi-bin/lexicon.cgi?exact=on&term=Buddhahood

[[Fair Use]]

Return to the list of [[Dharma terms]]

See [[Sanskrit Dharma Terms]] and other [[Ayurvedic]] - [[Buddhist]] - [[Yogic]] - [[Vedic]] - [[Hindu]] Words and Definitions in the [[Buddhist Ayurveda Degrees]] [[Course Code]]


Adapted from Fair Use Source: [[Upasaka]] [[Ron Epstein]], [[Buddhism A to Z]], 1999: p.
Primary Original Source: The [[Tripitaka]] of [[Sutra]], [[Shastra]] and [[Vinaya]] [[Dharma]] teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian [[Sanskrit]]- [[Siddham]], [[Chinese]], [[Tibetan]] and [[Japanese]] traditions of the [[Nalanda Tradition]] of ancient [[Nalanda University]]) of [[Shakyamuni Buddha]], and his [[Arya]] [[Sagely]] [[Bodhisattva]] [[Bhikshu]] [[Monk]] and [[Upasaka]] disciples.

These [[Good and Wise Advisors]] ([[Kaliyanamitra]]) [[Dharma Master]] teachers include [[Arya]] [[Venerable]]s [[Nagarjuna]], [[Ashvaghosha]], [[Aryasura]], [[Aryadeva]], [[Kumarajiva]], [[Shantideva]], [[Chandrakirti]], [[Chandragomin]], [[Vasubandhu]], [[Asanga]], [[Hui Neng]], [[Atisha]], [[Kamalashila]], [[Dharmarakshita]], [[Tsong Khapa]], [[Thogme Zangpo]], [[Patanjali]], [[Sushruta]], [[Charaka]], [[Vagbhata]], [[Nichiren]], [[Hsu Yun]], [[Hsuan Hua]], [[Shen Kai]], [[Tenzin Gyatso]], [[Kyabje Zopa]], [[Ajahn Chah]], [[Vasant Lad]], and other [[modern day masters]]. We consider them to be in accord with [[Tripitaka Master]] ]]Hsuan Hua]]’s "[[Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers]]"

Nalanda Online University's teachings are based especially on the Dharma Flower Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Hridayam Sutra, the Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters.

Fair Use Compilation Sources for the Above Material on the Teachings of the [[Buddha]] [[Dharma]] and [[Sangha]]:

Primary [[Fair Use]] Compilation Source: Epstein, Ronald B., Ph.D, compiler, Buddhist Text Translation Society's [[Buddhism A to Z]], Burlingame, California: [[Buddhist Text Translation Society]], 2003. [[ISBN 0881393533]] Paperback: 284 pages. http://www.BTTSOnline.org www.Amazon.com


Secondary [[Fair Use]] Compilation Source: The [[Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism]], 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998: http://www.budaedu.org.tw

Secondary [[Fair Use]] Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, [[Digital Dictionary of Buddhism]] [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is "guest", with no password.

http://buddhism-dict.net/ddb - Based in large part on the [[Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms]] with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by [[Soothill]] and Hodous) Delhi, India: [[Motilal Banarsidass]], 1997.

Secondary [[Fair Use]] Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The [[Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen]], Boston, Massachusetts: [[Shambhala Publications]], 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5 http://www.Shambhala.com,



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[[Ayurveda Dharma]] is distributed via this [[GNU Free Documentation License]] (FDL) and/or under [[Creative Commons License]] Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/us/legalcode. Since words create our reality (see [[prajna]]), there are certain words to avoid: Please see also: [[Words to Avoid]]


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