The goal of Mahayana\'s
* 1 Explanation of the term _Buddha_
* 2 Nature of the Buddha
* 2.1 Spiritual realizations * 2.2 Ten characteristics of a Buddha * 2.3 Buddha as a supreme human * 2.4 Buddha as "just a human" * 2.5 Mahāsāṃghika supramundane Buddha
* 3 Depictions of the Buddha in art
* 3.1 Markings * 3.2 Hand-gestures
* 4 Names of the Buddha * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
EXPLANATION OF THE TERM _BUDDHA_
Part of a series on
* Councils * Later Buddhists
* Five Aggregates * Impermanence
* Dependent Origination
* Middle Way * Emptiness * Karma
* Rebirth * Saṃsāra * Cosmology
* Morality * Perfections * Meditation * Philosophical reasoning
* Mindfulness * Wisdom
* Aids to Enlightenment * Monasticism
* Four Stages
* Theravāda * Pāli * Mahāyāna
* Hinayana * Chinese * Vajrayāna
* Tibetan * Navayana * Newar
* v * t * e
There is a broad spectrum of opinion on the universality and method
of attainment of Buddhahood, depending on the
The Tathagatagarba and
Buddha-nature doctrines of
Buddhists do not consider
Siddhartha Gautama to have been the only
Pali Canon refers to many previous ones (see List of the
28 Buddhas ), while the
NATURE OF THE BUDDHA
Further information: Buddhology
The various Buddhist schools hold some varying interpretations on the nature of Buddha (see below).
All Buddhist traditions hold that a Buddha is fully awakened and has completely purified his mind of the three poisons of desire , aversion and ignorance . A Buddha is no longer bound by Samsara , and has ended the suffering which unawakened people experience in life.
Most schools of
TEN CHARACTERISTICS OF A BUDDHA
Some Buddhists meditate on (or contemplate) the Buddha as having ten
characteristics (Ch./Jp. 十號). These characteristics are frequently
mentioned in the
Pali Canon as well as
* Thus gone, thus come (Skt: _tathāgata_) * Worthy one (Skt: _arhat_) * Perfectly self-enlightened (Skt: _samyak-saṃbuddha_) * Perfected in knowledge and conduct (Skt: _vidyā-caraṇa-saṃpanna_ ) * Well gone (Skt: _sugata_) * Knower of the world (Skt: _loka-vid_) * Unsurpassed (Skt: _anuttara_) * Leader of persons to be tamed (Skt: _puruṣa-damya-sārathi_) * Teacher of the gods and humans (Skt: _śāsta deva-manuṣyāṇaṃ_) * The Blessed One or fortunate one (Skt: _bhagavat_)
The tenth epithet is sometimes listed as "The World Honored Enlightened One" (Skt. _Buddha-Lokanatha_) or "The Blessed Enlightened One" (Skt. _Buddha-Bhagavan_).
BUDDHA AS A SUPREME HUMAN
Similarly, in the Anuradha Sutta (SN 44.2) Buddha is described as
the Tathagata—the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment. , "And so, Anuradha—when you can't pin down the Tathagata as a truth or reality even in the present life—is it proper for you to declare, 'Friends, the Tathagata—the supreme man, the superlative man, attainer of the superlative attainment—being described, is described otherwise than with these four positions: The Tathagata exists after death, does not exist after death, both does one who had grown up in the world but had now gone beyond it, as a lotus grows from the water but blossoms above it, unsoiled.
Andrew Skilton writes that the Buddha was never historically regarded by Buddhist traditions as being merely human:
It is important to stress that, despite modern
However, Thích Nhất Hạnh , a Vietnamese Buddhist monk in the Zen tradition, states that "Buddha was not a god. He was a human being like you and me, and he suffered just as we do."
Jack Maguire writes that Buddha is inspirational based on his humanness.
A fundamental part of Buddhism's appeal to billions of people over the past two and a half millennia is the fact that the central figure, commonly referred to by the title "Buddha", was not a god, or a special kind of spiritual being, or even a prophet or an emissary of one. On the contrary, he was a human being like the rest of us who quite simply woke up to full aliveness.
MAHāSāṃGHIKA SUPRAMUNDANE BUDDHA
In the early Buddhist schools, the
Mahāsāṃghika branch regarded
the buddhas as being characterized primarily by their supramundane
nature. The Mahāsāṃghikas advocated the transcendental and
supramundane nature of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, and the
fallibility of arhats. Of the 48 special theses attributed by the
_Samayabhedoparacanacakra_ to the
In their view, the Buddha is equipped with the following supernatural qualities: transcendence (_lokottara_), lack of defilements, all of his utterances preaching his teaching , expounding all his teachings in a single utterance, all of his sayings being true, his physical body being limitless, his power (_prabhāva_) being limitless, the length of his life being limitless, never tiring of enlightening sentient beings and awakening pure faith in them, having no sleep or dreams, no pause in answering a question, and always in meditation (_samādhi _).
A doctrine ascribed to the Mahāsāṃghikas is, "The power of the
tathāgatas is unlimited, and the life of the buddhas is unlimited."
According to Guang Xing, two main aspects of the Buddha can be seen in
Mahāsāṃghika teachings: the true Buddha who is omniscient and
omnipotent, and the manifested forms through which he liberates
sentient beings through skillful means. For the Mahāsaṃghikas, the
As in Mahāyāna traditions, the Mahāsāṃghikas held the doctrine
of the existence of many contemporaneous buddhas throughout the ten
directions. In the
Mahāsāṃghika _Lokānuvartana Sūtra_, it is
stated, "The Buddha knows all the dharmas of the countless buddhas of
the ten directions." It is also stated, "All buddhas have one body,
the body of the Dharma." The concept of many bodhisattvas
simultaneously working toward buddhahood is also found among the
Mahāsāṃghika tradition, and further evidence of this is given in
the _Samayabhedoparacanacakra_, which describes the doctrines of the
Mahāsāṃghikas. A statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha in Tawang
DEPICTIONS OF THE BUDDHA IN ART
Main article: Buddharupa Buddha statues at Shwedagon Paya
Buddhas are frequently represented in the form of statues and paintings. Commonly seen designs include:
* The Seated Buddha
* The Reclining Buddha
* The Standing Buddha
* _Hotei_ or _
The Buddha statue shown calling for rain is a pose common in Laos .
Most depictions of Buddha contain a certain number of _markings_, which are considered the signs of his enlightenment. These signs vary regionally, but two are common:
* a protuberance on the top of the head (denoting superb mental acuity) * long earlobes (denoting superb perception)
In the Pali Canon there is frequent mention of a list of 32 physical marks of Buddha .
The poses and hand-gestures of these statues, known respectively as
asanas and mudras , are significant to their overall meaning. The
popularity of any particular mudra or asana tends to be
region-specific, such as the _
NAMES OF THE BUDDHA
Buddha, Self-existent, Lord of Law (Dharmaraja), Nayaka, Vinayaka, Caravan Leader, Jina (Victorious One), the Master-giver of Dharma, The Teacher, Master of the Dharma, the Lord of the World, the consoler, the loving-regarder the Hero, the champion, the victorious one in conflict, Light of the World, Illuminator of the Knowledge of True Wisdom, The dispeller of the darkness of ignorance, Illuminator of the Great Torch, Great Physician, Great Seer, the Healer, Attainer of the Great Vehicle (Mahayana), Lord of all Dharma, the Ruler, Monarch of All Worlds, the Sovereign, Lord of all wisdom, the wise, the destroyer of the pride of all disputers, the omniscient, the Arhat, Possessor of Perfect Knowledge, the Great Buddha, Lord of Saints, The Victorious, the Perfect Buddha, Sugata, the wise one who fulfills the wishes of all beings, The ruler of the world, bearer of the world, master of the world, sovereign of the world, teacher of the world, preceptor of the world, The Fount of Nectar, the powerful luminary, Bringer of all virtue and all real wealth, possessor of perfect excellence and all good qualities, the guide on the road of wisdom who shows the way to Nirvana, Tathagata without stain, without attachment, without uncertainty.
In his commentary to the Surangama Sutra , Venerable Master Hsuan Hua tells the following fable:
Originally every Buddha had ten thousand names. In time these ten thousand names were reduced to one thousand because people got confused trying to remember them all. For a while every Buddha had a thousand names, but people still couldn’t remember so many, so they were again reduced to one hundred names. Every Buddha had a hundred different names and living beings had a hard time remembering them, so they were shortened again to ten.
* Enlightenment in
* ^ buddhatva, बुद्धत्व. Spoken Sanskrit
Dictionary. (accessed: January 10, 2016)
* ^ _A_ _B_ Gethin, Rupert (1998). _The foundations of Buddhism_
(1. publ. paperback ed.). Oxford : Oxford University Press. pp.
224–234. ISBN 0-19-289223-1 .
* ^ Snelling, John (1987), _The Buddhist handbook. A Complete Guide
to Buddhist Teaching and Practice_. London: Century Paperbacks. Page
* ^ _Udana Commentary_. Translation Peter Masefield, volume I,
* _What the Buddha Taught_ (Grove Press, Revised edition July 1974), by Walpola Rahula * _Buddha: The Compassionate Teacher_ (2002), by K. M. M. Swe
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