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Thread: Why is he called Buddha?

  1. #1
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Why is he called Buddha?

    Ran across this commentary during this morning's reading :

    http://chanhtuduy.com/call-buddha-vi...gnFM2U5Y8AWC-I

    Since this commentary was new information to me ( after studying Buddhism since 1963) I thought it may be of interest to others.

  2. #2
    Hi Ron,

    As far as I know the Buddha was given that name because it means "awakened one" or "enlightened one". He was also known as the "Tathagata" which means "perfect one."

    I've never seen this Vietnamese website before and I don't have time at the moment to read all the English translation of such a very long article. It appears to ramble on from Confucius to the 4 Noble Truths to the Diamond Sutra then the 37 practices of Bodhisattvas to the Tibetan Buddhist Bardo - and there are comments about vegetarianism, the gods of the sensuous heavens, Vajrayana, mantras, yidams,... etc.

    It doesn't belong in our Early Buddhism forum.

    As I'm not sure where to put it I'm moving it to the Tea Room for now.

    If anyone actually finds the time to read it properly and discuss the contents, perhaps they could tell me which forum it should be posted in, many thanks.



  3. #3
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Hi, Aloka.

    Like you stated, the commentary covers several traditions, but the sutra quoted uses the words of The Buddha himself responding to a question from person called a "Great Brahmin" in which Buddha responds to a direct question and describes why he is justifiably called "Buddha".

    Therefore, in light of this direct quote, my suggestion would be to either place the thread in Early Buddhism, or in Historical Buddhism, simply because of the direct quote. Since the author quotes from several different traditions, perhaps "General Buddhism" might be appropriate as well.

    Most Vietnamese monastics are Zen, and therefore Mahayana, and as such the sutra could then make it qualify as Mahayana, or Zen, which explains why a Tibetan reference was also appropriate as you commented.

    The point I personally found profoundly interesting is that Buddha made it clear that it was not enough to be "enlightened", but one had to live in an enlightened manner to "earn" the title of Buddha. This rings true to me, since in my field, Environmental Engineering, we run across many folks who can "talk the talk, but don't walk the walk". Buddha makes this point clear in the Angulimala Sutta, where he teaches the serial killer and thief, Angulimala, that it is not enough to want to stop killing and stealing, nor just to plan to stop killing & stealing, but he must actually stop killing & stealing and to live his life beneficially if he truly wishes to reverse his karmic consequences and escape the hell realms.
    Last edited by Olderon; 09 Nov 18 at 19:50.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon
    the sutta quoted uses the words of The Buddha himself responding to a question from a brahman in which Buddha describes why he is called Buddha
    Hi Ron,

    The article says :

    The story about the meaning of this proper noun has been passed down from generations to generations and documented in the second book of the Anguttara Nikaya scripture.
    I wonder if you could provide the number of the sutta so that it can be read independently, please?.....and I'll move this to General Buddhist Discussions now.


  5. #5
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    Here is the link:

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/index.html

    Anguttara Nikaya
    The Further-factored Discourses
    © 2005
    Nipata: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Olderon View Post
    Here is the link:

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/index.html

    Anguttara Nikaya
    The Further-factored Discourses
    © 2005
    Nipata: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    Thanks Ron, but that's a link to the eleven books of the Anguttara Nikaya, I was hoping you could provide us wirh a link to the specific sutta you mentioned.

    Sorry, but I don't have anything else to add at this point.


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    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    The "commentary" included a direct quote from The Buddha in the link found in the original sutta, which you omitted when you copied it. Unfortunately, I did not save a copy of it.

    You did include an excerpt from it here: [quote] ... passed down from generations to generations and documented in the second book of the Anguttara Nikaya"....which is included in the link I provided in The OP.:

    Where did you leave it?

  8. #8
    Hi Ron,

    Having 'flu must be pickling my brain because I've no idea what you're talking about. The link to the article is still there in your post at the beginning of this topic.

    Where did I leave what ?

    I haven't seen any "direct quote from the Buddha" with a specific single Pali sutta reference in the Vietnamese article, only something written in inverted commas with a mention of the second book of the Anguttara Nikaya (which actually contains several suttas)

    As for the comments in the article, I have been unable to highlight, copy and paste anything from it at all, because such activity has been blocked on that website. The quote I referenced had to be copied by hand and then typed into my post.

  9. #9
    The parts before, including, and following the section I quoted from the article in post #4 (which I also can't copy and paste and had to hand copy because of the blockage on that website) is as follows:

    Buddha is the proper noun for Ven. Gautama after realizing the Perfect Enlightenment. The story about the meaning of this proper noun has been passed down from generations to generations, and documented in the second book of the Anguttara Nikaya scripture

    …One day, a great Brahmin came and asked the Buddha why he had such a title. The Buddha smiled and answered: “I am called the Buddha because I have these following conditions: One, I know what is needed to know. Two, I renounce what is needed to renounce. Three, I practice the Dharma that is worth practicing. For those reasons, I am called the Buddha.”
    I have now skimmed through the second book of AN suttas at the Access to Insight website and can't find it. None of those suttas seem to be about a Brahmin asking the Buddha about his title of "the Buddha".

    Maybe the comments are based on AN 2.33 and the part about the name "Buddha" was added on by the author at your link, or maybe something got confused in the translation into English. I really have no idea - and have nothing further to add about the contents of the Vietnamese article.


    The Buddha speaks of himself as "the Tathagata" (meaning "the perfect one") in the Itivuttaka sutta : Iti 112:


    § 112. The World {Iti 4.13; Iti 121}

    This was said by the Lord, said by the Arahant, so I heard:

    "Bhikkhus, the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; the Tathagata is released from the world. The origin of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; the origin of the world has been abandoned by the Tathagata. The cessation of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; the cessation of the world has been realized by the Tathagata. The course leading to the cessation of the world has been fully understood by the Tathagata; the course leading to the cessation of the world has been developed by the Tathagata.

    "Bhikkhus, in the world with its devas, maras, and brahmas, with its recluses and brahmans, among humankind with its princes and people, whatever is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought, and reflected upon by the mind — that is fully understood by the Tathagata: therefore he is called the Tathagata.

    "Bhikkhus, from the night when the Tathagata awakened to unsurpassed full enlightenment until the night when he passes away into the Nibbana-element with no residue left, whatever he speaks, utters, and explains — all that is just so and not otherwise: therefore he is called the Tathagata.

    "As the Tathagata says, so he does; as the Tathagata does, so he says: therefore he is called the Tathagata.

    "In the world with its devas, maras, and brahmas, with its recluses and brahmans, among humankind with its princes and people, the Tathagata is the conqueror, unvanquished, all-seer, wielding power: therefore he is called the Tathagata."

    Continues at the link:

    https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipi...l.html#iti-112


    Thanks for the chat Ron, and I hope you have a good day.

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