(to go with MN 27)


I.  Tathgata: “Thus Come” or “Thus Gone”

  1. “Thus Come” (tathā āgata): come to Buddhahood in the same way as all the Buddhas of the past have come, i.e., byfulfilling the Ten Perfections (pāramīs): giving, moral discipline, renunciation, wisdom, energy, patience, truthfulness, determination, loving-kindness, equanimity
  2. “Thus Gone” (tathā gata): “gone” to Nibbāna in the same way that all the liberated ones of the past have gone, i.e., by the four establishments of mindfulness, the four right efforts … the Noble Eightfold Path

II.  Arahaṃ: the Accomplished One (Worthy One, Consummate One)

  1. because he has destroyed all defilements (kilesa, āsava)
  2. because he has gained liberation from the round of birth and death
  3. because he is worthy (arahati) to receive offerings and veneration

III.  Sammā Sambuddha: Fully Enlightened One

    By perfect and complete comprehension of all the principles governing the spiritual life, and of all things that should be known with wisdom: the entire domain of cognizable phenomena

IV.  Vijjācaraṇasampanna: Perfect in True Knowledge and Conduct

  1. He is endowed with the three “true knowledges” (vijjā): recollection of past lives; of the passing away and rebirth of beings; and of the destruction of defilements. (This may be elaborated in terms of other knowledges.)
  2. Conduct: Moral restraint, restraint of the senses, moderation in eating, wakefulness, etc., including the various meditative attainments.
  3. Briefly: “True knowledge” is the knowledge of whatever is good and harmful for living beings; “conduct” is compassionate conduct to deter them from harm and direct them to the good.

V.  Sugata: Sublime One (Fortunate One, “Well Gone One”)

  1. He has gone along the good path, the Noble Eightfold Path.
  2. He has gone to the good state, the deathless state, Nibbāna.

VI.  Lokavidū: Knower of the Worlds

  1. He knows the world of beings: all sentient beings in all realms
  2. He knows the “astronomical world”: the world-systems spread out in immeasurable space and time
  3. He knows the “world of formations” (saṅkhāraloka}

VII.  Anuttara Purisadammasārathī: Unsurpassed trainer of tamable persons

VIII.  Satthā Devamanussānaṃ: teacher of gods and human beings

IX.  Buddha: the Enlightened One

  1. He is himself enlightened.
  2. He enlightens others.

X.  Bhagavā: the Blessed

    “This is a term signifying the respect and veneration given to him as the highest of all beings and distinguished by his special qualities.” (Visuddhimagga)