Buddha, aka: Buḍḍha, Buddhā; 20 Definition(s)

Introduction

Buddha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Purāṇa

1a) Buddha (बुद्ध).—The 20th avatār of Viṣṇu after the advent of Kali; born of Ajana (Añjana, Bhāgavata-purāṇa) in the land of Kīkaṭas;1 Hari addressed as;2 according to Matsya-purāṇa the 9th incarnation.3

  • 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa I. 3. 24; VI. 8. 19.
  • 2) Ib. X. 40. 22.
  • 3) Matsya-purāṇa 47. 247; 54. 19; 285. 7.

1b) A son of Bautya Manu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa IV. 1. 114.

1c) One of the names of Śiva.*

  • * Vāyu-purāṇa 30. 216; 54. 71; 97. 172; Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa III. 72. 177.
(Source): Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purāṇa book cover
context information

The Purāṇas (पुराण, purana) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahāpurāṇas total over 400,000 ślokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

General definition (in Hinduism)

Buddha (बुद्ध) is a Sanskrit word referring to one of the ten incarnations of Viṣṇu. This incarnation appeared in the dvāparayuga. Viṣṇu is the name of a major Hindu deity and forms part of the trinity of supreme divinity (trimūrti) together with Brahmā and Śiva. They are seen as the cosmic personifications of creation (brahmā), maintenance (viṣṇu), and destruction (śiva).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Hinduism

1. Avatar of Viṣnu. Buddha: Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, is generally included as an avatar of Vishnu in Hinduism. Buddha may be depicted in Hindu scriptures as a preacher who deludes and leads demons and heretics away from the path of the Vedic scriptures. Another view praises them as a compassionate teacher who preached the path of ahimsa (non-violence).

2. The Buddha is viewed as an avatar of the god Vishnu in Vaishnava Hinduism although the Buddha himself denied that he was a god or an incarnation of a god. Buddha's teachings deny the authority of the Vedas and consequently Buddhism is generally viewed as a nāstika (heterodox school) from the perspective of orthodox Hinduism.

3. Puraṇas: The Buddha is described in important Hindu scriptures, including almost all the major Puranas. It is considered that 'not all of them refer to the same person: some of them refer to other persons, and some occurrences of "buddha" simply mean "a person possessing buddhi"; most of them, however, refer specifically to the founder of Buddhism. They portray him with two roles: preaching false views in order to delude demons, and criticizing animal sacrifice

In the Puranic texts, he is mentioned as one of the ten Avatars of Vishnu, usually as the ninth one.

He is often described as a yogi or yogācārya, and as a sannyāsi. His father is usually called Śuddhodhana, which is consistent with the Buddhist tradition, while in a few places the Buddha's father is named Añjana or Jina. He is described as beautiful (devasundara-rūpa), of yellow skin, and wearing brown-red or red robes.

(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism

According to Vaishnavas the Buddha incarnation was taken in order to delude the demons and cause them to reject the Vedas. The function of Śankarāchārya was to re-establish the Vedas and the subsequent Vaishnava acharyas to re-establish Theism.

(Source): Red Zambala: On the Salvific Activities of God

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The name given to one who rediscovers for himself the liberating path of Dhamma, after a long period of its having been forgotten by the world. According to tradition, a long line of Buddhas stretches off into the distant past. The most recent Buddha was born Siddhattha Gotama in India in the sixth century BCE. A well educated and wealthy young man, he relinquished his family and his princely inheritance in the prime of his life to search for true freedom and an end to suffering (dukkha). After seven years of austerities in the forest, he rediscovered the "middle way" and achieved his goal, becoming Buddha.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

Wife of Prince Bodhi and, later, of Moggallana. By Bodhi she had a daughter Lokita and by Moggallana four children: Kitti (afterwards Vijayabahu I.), Mitta, Mahinda and Rakkhita. Cv.lvii.40.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

T/M (The one who knows). Omniscient. The one who does reach by himself the knowledge of the four Noble Truths. Perfect Being, Buddha.

(Source): Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary

s. sammā-sambodhi.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

Pali

buddha : (pp. of bujjhati) known; understood; perceived. (m.), one who has attained enlightenment; the Enlightened One. || buḍḍha (adj.) aged; old.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Buḍḍha, (for vuḍḍha, pp. of vṛdh, see vaḍḍhati) aged, old D. II, 162; J. I, 164 (°pabbajita one who has become an ascetic in his old age). Compar. buḍḍhatara DhA. II, 239 (v. l. K. B. S. vuḍḍhatara). (Page 488)

— or —

1) Buddha, 2 (=buddha1) A. one who has attained enlightenment; a man superior to all other beings, human & divine, by his knowledge of the truth, a Buddha. At A. II, 38 the Buddha declares himself to be neither a god (deva) nor a Gandharva, nor a Yakṣa nor a man. ‹-› The word Buddha is an appellative, not a proper name (na mātarā kataṃ etc., vimokkh’antikaṃ etaṃ bud‹-› dhānaṃ Bhagavantānaṃ bodhiyā mūle ... paññatti) Nd1 458 & Ps. I, 174.—There are 2 sorts of B’s, viz. Pacceka-buddhas or Buddhas who attain to complete enlightenment, but do not preach the way of deliverance to the world, and Sammāsambuddhas, who are omniscient and endowed with the 10 powers (see bala), and whose mission is to proclaim the saving truth to all beings (cp. Miln. 106). In this function the B’s are Satthāro or teachers, Masters. In his rôle of a preeminent man a Buddha is styled Bhagavā or Lord: Buddho so Bhagavā M. I, 235; Pv. II, 960=DhA. III, 219.—Besides the 18 dhammā and the 10 balāni they are gifted with the 4 vesārajjāni (A. II, 9, cp. Miln. 106). These teachers appear upon the earth from time to time; the approach of the birth of a B. (buddh’—uppāda) is hailed by the acclamation of the worlds, they live the houseless life and found an Order (Buddha-pamukha bhikkhu-saṅgha Sn. p. 111; Sn. 81, 386; Miln. 212; DA. I, 242; PvA. 19). The news that a B. has appeared upon earth is a cause of the greatest rejoicing: opportunity to see him is eagerly sought (Vin. II, 155; S. I, 210; DA. I, 248). The B. is always born in a brāhmaṇa or khattiya family. It is impossible here to give all the references for the Buddhas or Buddhahood in general; see e.g. Vin. III, 24 sq. ; Dh. 182 sq. , 194, 195 (=sammā sambuddhā DhA. III, 252), 387; J. I, 51; III, 128; Vism. 442 (pubba-buddhā); PvA. 20.—The remembrance of former births a B. shares with other classes of privileged beings, only in a different (higher) degree. This faculty (in an ascending scale) is possessed by the foll. 6 classes: titthiyā, pakati-sāvakā, mahā-sāvaka, agga-sāvakā, pacceka-buddhā, buddhā (see Vism. 411).—B. The word Buddha is specially applied to the Buddha of the present world-age, Gotama by family-name. He is said to be the 25th of the series of former Buddhas (pubbā buddhā) S. I, 109, 140; IV, 52.—Seven Buddhas are mentioned in the earlier texts & frequently referred to (cp. the 7 Rishis of the Vedic period, see also under satta, No. 7). They are Vipassī, Sikhī, Vessabhū, Kakusandha, Konāgamana, Kassapa and Gotama (D. II, 5—7; S. II, 5—11; cp. Th. 1, 491; J. II, 147). They are also mentioned in an old formula against snake-bites (Vin. II, 110). The (allegorical) names of the predecessors of these in former ages are Dīpaṅkara, Kondañña, Maṅgala, Sumana, Revata, Sobhita, Anomadassī, Paduma, Narada, Padumuttara, Sumedha, Sujāta, Piyadassī, Atthadassī, Dhammadassī, Siddhattha, Tissa, Phussa.—The typical career of a Buddha is illustrated in the life of Gotama and the legends connected with his birth, as they appear in later tradition. Before his last existence he practised the 10 perfections (pāramitā, q. v.) for many ages, & finally descended from the Tusita Heaven (see Buddhavaṃsa). He was born in a khattiya family and was distinguished by the 32 signs of a great man (Mahāpurisa-lakkhaṇāni see D. II, 17 sq. and similar passages; cp. Ud. 48). His mother Māyā bore him painlessly and died seven days after his birth M. III, 118 sq.—The story of each of the 25 Buddhas is given in the Buddhavaṃsa, quoted in the introductory chapters of the Jātak’aṭṭhakathā.—Convinced that asceticism was not the way to enlightenment, he renounced austerities. He became enlightened when seated in meditation under an Assattha tree (Ficus religiosa, hence called Bodhi or Bo tree). At the supreme moment he was tempted by Māra, but vanquished the evil one. He was then ready to depart, but resolved to remain in the world and preach the truth (M. I, 169; Vin. I, 6; a rather diff. account A. II, 20). That day he knew and proclaimed himself to be the Buddha and his career as a teacher began (M. I, 171; Vin. I, 9; Sn. 558).—Like all the other Sammā-sambuddhas he founded an Order, converting and gladdening men by his discourses. After a long life of teaching he attained Nibbāna (nibbānaṃ adhigacchi), and passed utterly away: S. I, 210; D. II, 156; Sn. 83, 513, 1133 sq. ; Miln. 96.—The Epithets attributed to all the Buddhas are naturally assigned also to Gotama Buddha. Out of the almost endless series of these we only give a few. He is adored as the highest and holiest of men (S. I, 47; III, 84; loke anuttaro, lokassa aggo; Miln. 70). He is the supremely wise, the conqueror of the powers of darkness, the teacher of gods (devas and yakkhas) and men S. I, 50, 132, 206. 301; A. I, 142; II, 33; III, 65; Sn. 157 sq. He is the ādicca-bandhu kinsman of the sun S. I, 186; and compared to a universal monarch (rājā cakkavattī) A. I, 76; III, 150 and to the lion (sīha), the king of the animals A. III, 122. He is buddha-vīra Th. 1, 47; the refuge of all beings M. II, 305; DA. I, 233; Miln. 95; further appaṭipuggala S. I, 134; his teaching leads to enlightenment, to self-conquest, to security & deliverance M. I, 235; Sn. 454, 993; DA. I, 230. He himself is not to be reborn (antima-sarīro with his last body) S. I, 210; he is vimutto, freed & has come to the end of sorrow A. IV, 258; S. III, 65; full of compassion for all beings S. I, 25, 51; M. II, 100; he is bhisakko the physician A. IV, 340; magga-ññu, magga-vidū, maggakovido S. III, 66.—Under Buddh’anussati (Vism. 198 sq.) we find the famous formula Bhagavā Arahaṃ Sammāsambuddho vijjā-caraṇa-sampanno sugato lokavidū anuttaro purisa-damma-sārathi Satthā devamanussānaṃ buddho Bhagavā (D. I, 49≈), analysed & exegetically discussed. Here (p. 209) “Buddha" is expld with the formula as found at Ps. I, 174; Nd1 457. More explicitly with var. epithets at the latter passage. This formula is one of the highest & most comprehensive characterisations of a Buddha, & occurs frequently in the Canon, e.g. M. I, 179; S. II, 69; V, 343.—A khattiya by birth he is called a brāhmaṇa because he carries on the sacred tradition, and because he excels in wisdom, self-control and virtue Miln. 225.

—ânubuddha enlightened after the Enlightened one Th. 1, 679, 1246 (trsld “who next to our Great Waked one was awoke"). —ânubhāva the majestic power of the B. PvA. 38, 171. —ânussati mindfulness of the B. , one of the 6 anussatis (B. °, dhamma°, saṅgha°, sīla°, cāga°, devatā°) D. III, 250, 280; Vism. 132 (where followed by upasamânussati and 4 other qualities making up the pīti-sambojjh’aṅga; see anussati), 197 sq. (the 10, as mentioned under anussati). —aṅkura a nascent (lit. sprouting) Buddha, one who is destined to be a B. DhA. I, 83. —antara a Buddha-interval, the period between the appearance of one Buddha & the next Miln. 3; DhA. I, 201 (the 4 last ones); IV, 201; PvA. 10, 14, 21, 47, 191. —ārammaṇa having its foundation or cause in the B. , in °pīti joy, caused by contemplation of a B. J. III, 405; Vism. 143 (here as ubbegā-pīti). —ûpaṭṭhāna B. -worship DhA. I, 101; PvA. 93. —uppāda the coming into existence of a Buddha, time or age in which a B. was born (opp. Buddh’antara), a Buddha-period J. I, 59; Mhbv 12; VbhA. 50; ThA. 28. —kara making a B. , bringing about Buddhahood J. I, 20. —kāraka=°kara Mhbv 9. —kāla the time of a B. Vism. 91 (Buddhakālo viya pavattati it is like the time of the B.) —kula Buddha-clan SnA 532 (B. -pitā, °mātā ibid.). —kolāhala the announcement of a Buddha, one of the 5 kolāhalas (q. v.) KhA 121, cp. J. I, 48. —khetta field or region of (or for the existence of) a Buddha Vism. 414 (divided into 3 spheres: jātikkhetta, āṇākkhetta, visayakkhetta, see khetta). —gata directed or referring to the B. S. I, 211 (sati); Dh. 296. —guṇa quality of a B. , virtue, character of a Buddha J. I, 27; II, 147; Bu II. 177; Mbhv 80; KhA 121 (cp. App.). —cakkhu the eye of a Buddha, i.e. an eye (or the faculty) of complete intuition Vin. I, 6; ThA. 2; see discussed in detail at Nd1 359=Nd2 2354; cp. cakkhu. —ñāṇa knowledge of a B. , which is boundless (cp. Saddh. 73, J. P. T. S. 1887, 40) Bu I. 64 (appameyya); X. 5 (cuddasa). —dhamma Buddhahood Miln. 276; pl. condition or attributes of a B. J. I, 20; referred to as 6 at Nd1 143= Nd2 466 (bhāgī channaṃ °ānan ti Bhagavā), as 18 at Miln. 105, 285. Kern (Manual & Grundriss III, 8, p. 63) gives (after Lal. Vist. 183, 343) the foll. 18 āveṇikadharmas (“extraordinary qualities") as such: (1) seeing all things past, (2) present, (3) future, (4) propriety of actions of the body, (5) of speech, (6) of thought, (7) firmness of intuition, (8) of memory, (9) of samādhi, (10) of energy, (11) of emancipation, (12) of wisdom, (13) freedom from fickleness, (14) noisiness, (15) confusedness, (16) hastiness, (17) heedlessness, (18) inconsiderateness.—pañha the name given to one question asked by Sāriputta, which the paribbājikā Kuṇḍalakesī was unable to answer DhA. II, 225.—pasanna finding one’s happiness, or believing in the B. Vin. IV, 39.—putta son of the B. said of bhikkhus or arahants Miln. 143, cp. S. III, 83: puttā Buddhassa orasā.—bala the force of a B. (iddibala & paññā°) Bu I. 3.—bījaṅkura a future B. Bu II. 71.—bhāva condition of a B. enlightenment J. I, 14, 147 (abuddhabhāva un-buddhahood, of Devadatta); DA. I, 1.—bhūmi the ground of Buddhahood Bu II. 175.—manta mystic verses of a B. DA. I, 248.—māmaka devotedly attached to the B. DhA. I, 206 (+Dhamma°, Saṅgha°).—rakkhita saved by the B. (Np.) SnA 534 (+Dhamma°).—rasmi (pl. °iyo) rays shining forth from the person of the Buddha; they are of 6 colours J. I, 501; SnA 132; Mhbv 6, 15, 38; VvA. 207; DhsA. 13.—rūpa form or figure of the B. Vism. 228 (Mārena nimmita, cp. Divy 162, 166; Buddha-nirmāṇa the magic figure of the B.).—līḷha (& °līḷhā) deportment, ease, grace of a Buddha J. I, 54; Mhbv 39; DhA. I, 33; II, 41.—vacana the word (teaching) of the Buddha Miln. 17; KhA 13; SnA 274, 331.—visaya the sphere (of wonder), the range, scope or power of a Buddha (cp. buddha-khetta) DhA. I, 33; II, 199; SnA 154, 228.—veneyya one able to be led to enlightenment, accessible to Buddha’s teaching SnA 15, 331.—sāsana the teaching (instructions) of the B. Dh. 368, 381.—sukumāla delicate, sensitive (to fatigue), as Buddhas are DhA. I, 5. Buddhaka (-°) (adj.) (fr. buddha) in cpd. dvaṅgula-buddhikā (f.) possessing insight as much as 2 finger-breadths VvA. 96.—The °ka belongs to the whole cpd. (Page 488)

2) Buddha, 1 (adj.) (med. -pass. pp. of bujjhati, cp. Epic Sk. buddha) (a) understood S. I, 35=60 (su-dub-buddha very difficult to understand).—(b) having attained enlightenment, wise A. IV, 449; PvA. 16 (buddh’ādayo), 60 (=ariya). Usually appld to the Bhagavant (Gotama) M. I, 386 (one of the adj. describing Gotama to Nigaṇṭha Nāthaputta); Sn. 993. The true brāhmaṇa is buddha, e.g. Sn. 622, 643, 646. (Page 488)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

1) Buddha (बुद्ध):—There are two kinds of Buddhas:

  1. the Buddha with the body born of the fundamental element (dharmadhātujakāya); 
  2. the fictive Buddha (nirmāṇabuddha) who adapts himself to the sufferings of beings.

In speaking of the dharmadhātujakāya Buddha, we say that it is enough to hear his name to find salvation; in speaking of the nirmāṇakāya Buddha who is adapted to beings, we say that in accordance with their karmic cause and conditions, some beings, even though they are dwelling with this Buddha, fall into hell.

2) Buddha-bhūmi (बुद्ध):—One of the ten grounds shared by adepts of the three Vehicles (sādhāraṇabhūmi). These are all the attributes of Buddha, beginning with the knowledge of phenomena in all their aspects (sarvākārajñatā).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

Buddha (बुद्ध) is the first of the “three treasures” (triratna) defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 1). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., triratna and buddha). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Buddha or Buddhānusmṛti refers to one of the “six recollections” (anusmṛti) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 54).

Buddha or Buddhacakṣus refers to one the “five eyes” (cakṣus) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 65).

Buddha (“intelligence”) also refers to one of the “eight practices for the abandoning of conditions” (saṃskāra) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 119).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgrahaMeans "the Enlightened One" or "the Awakened One".(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary"Buddha" refers to a fully awakened or enlightened being. The Indian sage Shakyamuni came to be known as the Buddha, but with the development of the Mahayanist pantheon, other Buddhas were also recognized. While each Buddha has a specific iconography, there are certain characteristics that many share. They are often dressed in simple robes suggestive of Shakyamunis mendicant existence. They have elongated, pierced ears, in reference to his renunciation of material wealth such as heavy earrings. The most common pose is the seated, full lotus position, but standing images are also plentiful. Having achieved nirvana, they seem withdrawn from worldly concerns and give the impression of great calm and introspection. As the historic Buddha is said to have exhibited "thirty two features and eighty characteristics" which marked him as a divine being, any number of these features may also be included. Some common characteristics are the urna (a curl of white hair on the forehead, sometimes represented by a golden disc or inlaid crystal), the ushnisha (a protuberance on the head, indicating his superior wisdom), a reverse swastika on his chest, and webbed hands and feet.(Source): The Art of Asia: Who is Who in Heaven

Refers to one who has become awakened and attained nirvana through eradication of impurities. He will no more be reborn in the cycle of samsara. &

(Source): Buddhism Tourism: Glossary of Buddhist Terms

Perfect Enlightenment, Universal Buddha hood, is the state attained by a Universal Buddha (samma sambuddha), i.e one by whom the liberating Law (dhamma) wich has become lost to the world, is again discovered, realized and clearly proclaimed to the world.

(Source): Amaravati: Glossary

Buddha Skt., Pali, lit., “awakened one.” A person who has achieved the enlightenment that leads to release from the cycle of existence (samsāra) and has thereby attained complete liberation (nirvāna). The content of his teach­ing, which is based on the experience of enlight­enment, is the four noble truths. A buddha has overcome every kind of craving (trishnā); although even he also has pleasant and unpleasant sensations, he is not ruled by them and remains innerly untouched by them. After his death he is not reborn again.

Two kinds of buddhas are distinguished: the pratyeka-buddha, who is completely enlight­ened but does not expound the teaching; and the samyak-sambuddha, who expounds for the wel­fare of all beings the teaching that he has discov­ered anew. A samyak-sambuddha is omniscient (sarvajñatā) and possesses the ten powers of a buddha (dashabala) and the four certainties. The buddha of our age is Shākyamuni. (See also Buddha 2.)

(Source): Shambala Publications: General

India history and geogprahy

Buddha (बुद्ध) is an example of a name based on some sect mentioned in the Gupta inscriptions. Various names indicated Buddhist or Jain sects. The Gupta empire (r. 3rd-century CE), founded by Śrī Gupta, covered much of ancient India and embraced the Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Derivation of personal names (eg., Buddha) during the rule of the Guptas followed patterns such as tribes, places, rivers and mountains.

(Source): archive.org: Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions
India history book cover
context information

The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

buddha (बुद्ध).—m (S) A generic name for a deified teacher of the bauddha sect. Many are reckoned, but the name is especially applied to the ninth incarnation of viṣṇu, the apparent founder of the religion of the bauddha.

--- OR ---

buddha (बुद्ध).—ind An affix to the word śēḷī or mēṇḍhī (goat or sheep) denoting unity, and thus corresponding with Head; as śēḷī buddha ēka; mēṇḍhī buddha dōna. See sara, naga, naphara, rāsa, buddha is applicable only to the numbers below 20; above 20 buddha gives place to māca.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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