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.
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.
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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 (Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi) and who have perfect wisdom and Universal compassion. The Buddha of the present historical period is known as the Buddha Shakyamuni (see 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 “Small Vehicle (Lesser Vehicle) Buddhism (see Mahayana and Hinayana compared*) only recognizes one Buddha, Shakyamuni, and does not acknowledge other Buddhas in the world systems 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.'” (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 de[[lighted. 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).
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 Wheel of Dharma 8) entering Nirvana.
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)
**Buddha** (Skt. //Buddha//; Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་, //Sangyé or Sangye //; Wyl. //sangs rgyas//), usually refers to Shakyamuni Buddha, the Indian prince Gautama Siddhartha, who reached enlightenment in the sixth century B.C., and who taught the spiritual path followed by millions all over Asia, known today as Buddhism. Buddha, however, also has a much deeper meaning. It means anyone who has completely awakened from ignorance and opened to his or her vast potential for wisdom. A Buddha is one who has brought a final end to suffering and frustration and discovered a lasting and deathless happiness and peace.
The Tibetan term for Buddha, སངས་རྒྱས་, //Sangyé//, is explained as follows:
སངས་, //Sang// means ‘awakening’ from the sleep of ignorance, and ‘purifying’ the darkness of both emotional obscurations and cognitive obscurations.
རྒྱས་པ་ རྒྱས་, //Gyé// means ‘opening’, like a blossoming lotus flower, to all that is knowable, and ‘developing’ the wisdom of omniscience—the knowledge of the true nature of things, just as they are, and the knowledge of all things in their multiplicity.
The //Seventy Verses on Taking Refuge// says:
One who sleeps no more in ignorance,
And in whom genuine wisdom is brought forth,
Has truly awoken as an awakened buddha,
Just as one wakes from ordinary sleep.
As it says, ‘awakened’ means that ending the slumber of ignorance is like waking from sleep. And:
Their minds have opened to all that is knowable,
And they have overcome the tight seal of delusion,
So the awakened have blossomed like lotus flowers.
As it says, they are like ‘blossoming’ lotus petals in the sense that through their genuine wisdom they have overcome the tendency to ‘shut down’ through lack of knowledge, and their minds are open to all that can be known.
Buddha Samantabhadra Buddhas are spoken of in terms of the kayas and wisdoms.
- [[dharmakaya]], - [[sambhogakaya]] and - [[nirmanakaya]].
The three 'bodies' of a buddha. They relate not only to the truth in us, as three aspects of the true nature of mind, but to the truth in everything. Everything we perceive around us is nirmanakaya; its nature, light or energy is sambhogakaya; and its inherent truth, the dharmakaya.
- [[wisdom of dharmadhatu]] - [[mirror-like wisdom]] - [[wisdom of equality]] - [[wisdom of discernment]] - [[all-accomplishing wisdom]]
Sogyal Rinpoche writes:
You can also think of the nature of mind like a mirror, with five different powers or 'wisdoms.' Its openness and vastness is the **wisdom of all-encompassing space** or dharmadhatu, the womb of compassion. Its capacity to reflect in precise detail whatever comes before it is the **mirror-like wisdom**. Its fundamental lack of any bias toward any impression is the **equalizing wisdom** or wisdom of equality. Its ability to distinguish clearly, without confusing in any way the various different phenomena that arise, is the **wisdom of discernment**. And its potential of having everything already accomplished, perfected, and spontaneously present is the **all-accomplishing wisdom**. <ref>//The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying//, p. 157</ref>
These five wisdoms may be condensed into **two**:
* ‘the wisdom that knows the multiplicity of phenomena’ which comprises discriminating and all-accomplishing wisdom.
They can all be condensed into a **single** wisdom: the wisdom of omniscience.
of a Buddha]] Supreme nirmanakaya buddhas display the twelve deeds:
- the descent from [[Tushita]], the Joyous pure land (//dga' ldan gyi gnas nas 'pho ba//), - entering the mother’s womb (//lhums su zhugs pa//), - taking birthIn the case of Buddha Shakyamuni, this was in the [[Lumbini]] garden. (//sku bltams pa//), - becoming skilled in various arts (//bzo yi gnas la mkhas pa//), - delighting in the company of royal consorts (//btsun mo'i 'khor dgyes rol ba//), - developing renunciation and becoming ordained (//rab tu byung ba//), - practicing austerities for six years (//dka' ba spyad pa//), - proceeding to the foot of the [[bodhi tree]] (//byang chub snying por gshegs pa//), - overcoming [[Mara]]’s hosts (//bdud btul ba//), - becoming fully [[enlightenment|enlightened]] (//mngon par rdzogs par sangs rgyas pa//), - turning the wheel of [[Dharma]] (//chos kyi 'khor lo bskor ba//), and - passing into [[parinirvana|mahaparinirvana]] In the case of Buddha Shakyamuni, this was in the city of [[Kushinagara]]. (//mya ngan las 'das pa//)
, the future Buddha]] The qualities of a Buddha are immeasurable. Yet according to Maitreya's //Uttaratantra Shastra//, they can be condensed in eight qualities of the two-fold benefit of self and others:
Benefit of self:
1) Self-arisen wisdom
2) Unconditioned body
3) Spontaneously perfect
Benefit of others:
And 7) the benefit of self and 8) the benefit of others.
When the teacher is a fully enlightened buddha, he teaches through his three types of miraculous ability. <ref>Patrul Rinpoche, //Preliminary Points To be Explained when Teaching the Buddha's Word or the Treatises//, translated by Adam Pearcey.</ref>
* [[1002 buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon]] * [[Buddhas of the five families]] * [[Three kayas]]
* [[Khenpo Ngawang Palzang]], //[[A Guide to the Words of My Perfect Teacher]]//, Shambhala, 2004, pages 101-107.
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: Primary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ron Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, p. ISBN 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. http://www.BTTSOnline.org www.Amazon.com http://www.bttsonline.org/product.aspx?pid=118 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0881393533/ref=ase_medicinebuddh-20 and many other sources (see Bibliography).
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 Venerables Om Tare Tuttare Ture Om Ah Hum and Namo to Jivaka, Charaka, Lao Zi - Mahakashapa, Ashwagosha, Shantideva - Hui Neng - Shen Kai Sheng Ren Shr, Bodhidharma, the 16 Nalanda Acharyas 1. Nagarjuna-Manjushri, 2. Arydeva, 3. Buddhapalita, 4. Bhavaviveka, 5. Chandrakirti and Chandragomin, 6. Shantideva, 7. Shantarakshita, 8. Kamalashila, 9. Asanga-Maitreya, 10. Vasubhandu, 11. Dignaga, 12. Dharmakirti, 13. Vimuktisena, 14. Haribhadra, 15. Gunaprabha, 16. Shakyaprabha; Dharmarakshita, Atisha, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Nyingma Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Machig Lapdron, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, Sakya Pandita, Fazang, Yunmen, Nichiren, Honen, Shinran, Kukai, Dogen, Hakuin, Jamgon Kongtrul, Nyingma Penor Rinpoche, Bakula Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Geshe Lama Kongchog, Longchen Rapjampa - Gosok Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Mingyur Rinpoche, Geshe Ngwang Dakpa, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Karmapa, Sakya Trizin, Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Ajahn Chah, Seung Sahn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Sumedho, S. N. Goenka, Mama Ayur Punya Jyana Pushtim Kuriye Svaha, bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita. And thanks to 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 following Buddhist Scriptures: Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim, 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 Heart Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, the Srimala Devi Sutra, the Sutra in 42 Sections, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Hui Neng Sutra, Vasubandhu's Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara), Chandrakirti's Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara), Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and the Tantras and Mantras of the Vajrayana the 42 Hands and Eyes, Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra, the Vajrayogini, the Heruka, the Chakrasamvara, the Chod, the Hayagriva, the Hevajra, the Yamantaka, the Kalarupa, the Manjushri Nama Samgiti, the Vajrakilaya, the Vajrapani, the Vajra Claws Dakini, the Mahakala, the Tara, the White Umbrella Goddess (She Dan Do Bo Da La), Kirti Losang Trinle's Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, and Aku Sherab Gyatso's The Two Stages of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters.
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, http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0877735204/ref=ase_medicinebuddh-20, http://www.shambhala.com/html/catalog/items/isbn/978-0-87773-520-5.cfm Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Vaidya Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002; Vasant Lad, BAMS, MAsc, Ayurvedic Institute Gurukula Notes, Ayurvedic Institute, 1994-2006;
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