Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

by Gelongma Karma Migme Chödrön | 2001 | 940,961 words

This page describes “other epithets of the buddha” as written by Nagarjuna in his Maha-prajnaparamita-sastra (lit. “the treatise on the great virtue of wisdom”) in the 2nd century. This book, written in five volumes, represents an encyclopedia on Buddhism as well as a commentary on the Pancavimsatisahasrika Prajnaparamita.

Part 13 - Other epithets of the Buddha

Bhagavat means endowed with qualities, as has been said above. He is also called:

A so mo (asama) [in the language of the Ts’in, Without equal],

A so mo so mo (asamasama) [ibid., Equal to that which is without equal].[1]

Lou kia na t’a (lokanātha) [ibid., Protector of the world].

Po lo k’ie (pāraga) [ibid., Having reached the other bank].

P’o t’an t’o (bhadanta) [ibid., Venerable one].

Che li k’ie na (śrīguṇa) [ibid., Perfection of beauty].

These are his innumerable epithets. His parents named him Si ta t’o (Siddhartha) [in the language of the Ts’in, Profit-realized one]. When he found the Path and understood all dharmas, he was called Buddha. When he accepted the worship of gods and men, he was also called by the names Bhadanta, Śrīguṇa. Thus, in various ways, names are given to him according to his qualities

Footnotes and references:


Asamasama, epithet found, e.g., in the Saddharmapuṇḍarikā, p. 456, the Mahāvastu, III, p. 231, the Mahāvyutpatti, no. 529, 6379. Burnouf and Kern translate it as ‘equal to that which has no equal’; but the early interpretations vary: (i) completely incomparable (T 1718, k. 10, p. 1712); (2) the Buddhas are not the same (asama) as beings but the dharmakāya is the same (sama) in nature (T 1522, k. 2); (3) There is no equality (asama) between Buddha and non-Buddha, there is only equality (sama) between Buddha and Buddha (T 1775, k. 1; T 1721, k. 12); (4) in the nine spheres, the mind of beings cannot succeed in equalizing things; it is only in the Buddha sphere that he can; the mind of the Buddha is thus equal (sama) to the unequaled (asama) (T 1728, k. 10). In the same way, the six pāramitās are equal to the unequaled Buddha (T 1509, k. 40). These different interpretations have been gathered together in Hôbôgirin, Ashamashama, p. 38.