A Sketch of the Buddha's Life

Readings from the Pali Canon

13,055 words

This modest selection of excerpts from the Pali Canon provides a rough sketch of the life of the Buddha. I hope you will find enough in this rather sparse selection to gain at least an inkling both of the range of the Buddhas teachings and of the sweeping trajectory of his extraordinary life....


The Many Names For The Buddha

The following are a few of the many epithets that appear in the Suttas in reference to the Buddha. The indicated Sutta passages contain examples.

  • Awakened one (buddho): AN XI.12
  • Blessed one (bhagava): AN XI.12
  • Bull among men: Sn III.11
  • Bull among seers: Sn III.11
  • Bull of the Sakyan clan: Sn III.11
  • Conqueror of beasts: Sn III.11
  • Consummate in knowledge and conduct (vijja carana sampanno): AN XI.12
  • Endowed with all the foremost marks: Snp III.1
  • Expert with regard to the world (lokavidu): AN XI.12
  • Foremost jewel: Sn III.11
  • Foremost of all people: Sn III.11
  • Foremost of charioteers: Thag VI.9
  • Foremost sage: Sn III.11
  • Great seer: Sn IV.14
  • Kinsman of the sun: Sn IV.14
  • Rightly self awakened (samma sambuddho): AN XI.12
  • Shower of the way: MN 107
  • Tathagata (the one "Thus gone" or "Thus come"): Iti 112
  • Teacher of divine and human beings (sattha deva manussanam): Iti 112
  • Ultimate leader: Thag VI.9
  • Unexcelled trainer for those people fit to be tamed (anuttaro purisa damma sarathi): AN XI.12
  • Well gone one (sugato): AN XI.12
  • Worthy one (arahant): AN XI.12
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