Tathagata, aka: Tathāgata, Tatha-gata; 11 Definition(s)
Tathagata means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
Tathagata, literally, “one who has truly gone (tatha gata)” or "one who has become authentic (tatha agata), an epithet used in ancient India for a person who has attained the highest spiritual goal. In Buddhism, it usually denotes the Buddha, although occasionally it also denotes any of his arahant disciples.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms
Tathagata:’An epithet of the Buddha, used by the Buddha in referring to himself. The Commentaries (DA.i.59-67; AA.i.58-63; MA.39-43; UdA.128ff., etc.) give eight (sometimes expanded to sixteen) explanations of the word, which shows that there was probably no fixed tradition on the point. The explanations indicate that the name can be used for any Arahant, and not necessarily only for a Buddha. The term was evidently pre-Buddhistic, though it has not yet been found in any pre-Buddhistic work.Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Tathagata refers to the one who is enlightened, who has a perfect knowledge. The omniscient one. Buddha.Source: Dhamma Dana: Pali English Glossary
Tathagata (“the perfect one”), lit. the one who has “thus gone”, or “thus come”, is an epithet of the Buddha used by him when speaking of himself.
To the often asked questions, whether the Tathāgata still exists after death, or not, it is said (e.g. S. XXII, 85, 86) that, in the highest sense (paramattha, q.v.) the Tathāgata cannot, even at lifetime, be discovered, how much less after death, and that neither the 5 groups of existence (khandha, q.v.) are to be regarded as the Tathāgata, nor can the Tathāgata be found outside these corporeal and mental phenomena. The meaning intended here is that there exist only these ever-changing corporeal and mental phenomena, arising and vanishing from moment to moment, but no separate entity, no personality.
When the commentaries in this connection explain Tathāgata by 'living being' (satta), they mean to say that here the questioners are using the merely conventional expression, Tathāgata, in the sense of a really existing entity. Cf. anattā, paramattha, puggala, jīva, satta. A commentarial treatise on "The Meaning of the Word 'Tathāgata' " is included in The All-Embracing Net of Views (Brahmajāla Sutta), tr. Bhikkhu Bodhi (BPS).Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines
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).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Tathāgata (तथागत) is a synonym for the Buddha according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter IV).
Why is he called To t’o a k’ie t’o (Tathāgata)?:
1) He preaches the natures of the Dharmas (dharmalakṣaṇa) in the way (tathā) that he has understood (gata) them.
2) In the way that the previous Buddhas have gone by the path of safety (yogakṣema-mārga), thus (tathā) the actual Buddha is going (gata) and will not go on to new existences (punarbhāva).Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
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)
Thus Come One [如来] (Skt, Pali tathagata; Jpn nyorai). One of the ten honorable titles of a Buddha, meaning one who has come from the realm of truth. This title indicates that a Buddha embodies the fundamental truth of all phenomena and has grasped the law of causality spanning past, present, and future. There are two opinions about the Sanskrit and Pali word tathagata. One view interprets it as a compound of tatha and agata, meaning "thus come one" and indicating one who has arrived from the realm of truth. This is the interpretation generally used in Chinese translations. The other interprets the word tathagata as the compound of tatha and gata, meaning "thus gone one" and indicating one who has gone to the world of enlightenment.Source: Soka Gakkai International: The Soka Gakkai Dictionary of Buddhism
Languages of India and abroad
tathāgata : (adj.) one who has gone so; the Enlighten One.Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Tathāgata, (Derivation uncertain. Buddhaghosa (DA. I, 59—67) gives eight explanations showing that there was no fixed tradition on the point, and that he himself was in doubt). The context shows that the word is an epithet of an Arahant, and that non-Buddhists were supposed to know what it meant. The compilers of the Nikāyas must therefore have considered the expression as pre-Buddhistic; but it has not yet been found in any pre-Buddhistic work. Mrs. Rhys Davids (Dhs. tr. 1099, quoting Chalmers J. R. A. S. Jan. , 1898) suggests “he who has won through to the truth. ” Had the early Buddhists invented a word with this meaning it would probably have been tathaṃgata, but not necessarily, for we have upadhī-karoti as well as upadhiṃ karoti.—D. I, 12, 27, 46, 63; II, 68, 103, 108, 115, 140, 142; III, 14, 24 sq. , 32 sq. , 115, 217, 264 sq. , 273 sq.; S. I, 110 sq.; II, 222 sq.; III, 215; IV, 127, 380 sq.; A. I, 286; II, 17, 25, 120; III, 35, etc.; Sn. 236, 347, 467, 557, 1114; It. 121 sq.; KhA 196; Ps. I, 121 sq.; Dhs. 1099, 1117, 1234; Vbh. 325 sq. , 340, etc., etc.
—balāni (pl.) the supreme intellectual powers of a T. usually enumd as a set of ten: in detail at A. V, 33 sq. =Ps. II, 174; M. I, 69; S. II, 27; Nd2 466. Other sets of five at A. III, 9; of six A. III, 417 sq. (see bala); —sāvaka a disciple of the T. D. II, 142; A. I, 90; II, 4; III, 326 sq.; It. 88; Sn. p. 15. (Page 296)
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.
1) being in such a state or condition; तथागतायां परिहासपूर्वम् (tathāgatāyāṃ parihāsapūrvam) R.6.82.
2) of such a quality. (-taḥ) 1 Buddha; काले मितं वाक्यमुदर्कपश्यं तथागतस्येव जनः सुचेताः (kāle mitaṃ vākyamudarkapaśyaṃ tathāgatasyeva janaḥ sucetāḥ) Śi. 2.81.
2) a Jina; स्थिता तथागतमुखे श्रुतिं श्रुतिविदो यथा (sthitā tathāgatamukhe śrutiṃ śrutivido yathā) Śiva. B.5.44.
Tathāgata is a Sanskrit compound consisting of the terms tathā and gata (गत).Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
Tathāgata (तथागत).—(= Pali id.) = Buddha: Mvy 3 = Tibetan de bzhin gśegs pa, thus gone or come (could = gata or āgata; both theories are held; acc. to Jä. and Das, in Tibet today the commonly accepted interpretation is who goes, or has gone, in the same way, sc. as earlier Buddhas); seven listed Dharmas 6 (Vipaśyin, Śikhin, Viśvabhū, Krakucchanda, Kanakamuni, Kāśyapa, Śākyamuni); Vipaśyin is the first ‘of 7 Tathāgatas, of whom I (Śākya- muni) am the 7th’ SP 201.4; same list, with variant forms, Mmk 397.11; Divy 333.3; and with other Buddhas, LV 5.15; 20 listed Mvy 82—101, the above seven, with variants, in 87—94; passim in all texts; as adj., f. °gatī, only m.c. for tāthāgatī, of (a) Buddha(s), in list of bhūmi: dharma- meghā tathāgatī Laṅk 318.12 (verse; tāth° metr. impossible; sc. bhūmiḥ; see s.v. tāthāgata).
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Tāthāgata (ताथागत).—adj., f. °ī (from tathāgata plus -a), of or belonging, pertaining to the (or a) Buddha: °taḥ (vihāraḥ) Bbh 318.5; 367.13; °taṃ caturthaṃ dhyānam Laṅk 97.7; °tasya padasya Bbh 10.4; °tī (bhūmi) Laṅk 244.11; 318.12 (verse, here m.c. tathāgatī); bodhisattva- °tī bhūmiḥ Bbh 367.3; °tī (vidyā) Mmk 561.20; (pūjā) 600.25; (mudrā) 502.13; tāthāgatī-mantrāḥ Mmk 35.3; 392.17 (here °gatī seems to represent °gatī-mudrā, compare 392.13 tathāgata- pātra-mudrā-mantra anena saṃyuktaḥ); tatrottarāpathe sarvatra tāthāgatī-vidyā-rājñaḥ (compare line 4 vidyā-rājñāṃ; here tāthāgatī, which read in composition with vidyā, takes its gender from that word, see Mmk 561.20, above) siddhiṃ gacchanti saṃkṣepataḥ Mmk 325.5—6 (one might expect rājñī instead of rājan after vidyā, but this text tolerates such things).Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.
Search found 1153 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:
Gata (गत).—adj., ppp., (1) understood, grasped (hardly a Sanskrit usage; compare however BR s.v...
Tathā (तथा).—ind. 1. So, like, correlative to yathā as, &c. 2. Thus, (implying certainty.) ...
Sugata (सुगत).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) 1. Passed, gone. 2. Well-bestowed. m. (-taḥ) A Bud'dha in gen...
Parāgata (परागत).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) 1. Spread, expanded. 2. Budded, blown. E. para, and āṅ bef...
Antargata (अन्तर्गत).—[, Sanskrit, see antogata.]
Manogata (मनोगत).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Seated in the mind. n. (-taṃ) Thoughts, ideas, notions, fe...
Kaṇṭhāgata (कण्ठागत).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Come in to the throat, (breath, &c.) E. kaṇṭha, an...
Yathātatha (यथातथ).—a. 1) true, right. 2) accurate, exact. -tham a narrative of the particulars...
Hastagata (हस्तगत).—Adj. Fallen into one’s possession, gained, secured.
Gatāgata (गतागत).—1) going and coming, frequent visits; आदित्यस्य गतागतैरहरहः संक्षीयते जीवितम्...
Gatacetana (गतचेतन).—mfn. (-naḥ-nā-naṃ) Senseless. swooned. E. gata and cetanā consciousness.
Ātmagata (आत्मगत).—ind. (-taṃ) Apart, to one’s self, (in theatrical language.) E. ātman and gat...
kalāgata (कलागत).—f Sharp contention, angry reviling, squabbling.
Pārśvagata (पार्श्वगत).—mfn. (-taḥ-tā-taṃ) Close to, beside. E. pārśva, and gata gone to.
Gataprāṇa (गतप्राण).—a. expired, dead; गतासूनगतासूंश्च नानुशोचन्ति पण्डिताः (gatāsūnagatāsūṃśca...
Search found 84 books and stories containing Tathagata, Tathāgata or Tatha-gata. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Vimalakīrti Sutra (by John R. McRae)
Chapter XII - Vision of Akṣobhya Buddha < [Fascicle Three]
Chapter VIII - The Path of Buddhahood < [Fascicle Two]
Chapter VII - Viewing Sentient Beings < [Fascicle Two]
Vinaya Pitaka (1): The Analysis of Monks’ Rules (Bhikkhu-vibhanga) (by I. B. Horner)
Translation of the terms Dhamma and Tathāgata < [Translator’s Introduction]
The Mahavastu (great story) (by J. J. Jones)
Chapter I - Prologue < [Volume I]
Chapter XV - The dreams of Śuddhodana and others < [Volume II]
Chapter XXI - Former Buddhas < [Volume III]