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Ten Titles of a Buddha

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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Ten Titles of a Buddha

"Every Buddha has a myriad titles, but people's memories are too poor to remember so many names clearly in a single lifetime. Somewhere in time, the Buddhas of the ten directions and the three periods of time held a meeting and decided they would simplify the myriad titles of a Buddha to one thousand. However, eventually a thousand were still too many, so the Buddhas investigated the question again and further simplified the matter so that each Buddha had one hundred titles. With the passage of time, that again was still too many, and so finally they were reduced to ten titles, which all Buddhas share. Those ten titles are:



1) Thus Come One

2) One Worthy of Offerings

3) One of Proper and Universal Knowledge

4) One Perfect in Clarity and Practice

5) Well Gone One

6) Unsurpassed One Who Understands the World

7) Hero Who Subdues and Tames

8) Teacher of Gods and Humans

9) Buddha

10) World-Honored One.

I. "The first title is Thus Come One

He has followed the way which is Thus

And come to realize Proper Enlightenment.

That is one explanation. The Vajra Sutra says:

The Thus Come One does not come from anywhere, nor does he go anywhere; therefore he is called the Thus Come One.

Furthermore, 'Thus' represents noumenon, the basic substance of principle, while 'Come' represents phenomenon, the names and characteristics of specifics.

Principle and specifics are nonÄ dual. The Flower Adornment Sutra takes as its creed the harmony of principle and specifics. The title 'Thus Come One' exemplifies the non-obstruction of noumenon and phenomenon.


II. "The second title is One Worthy of Offerings

The Buddha is one who should receive offerings from the humans and gods of the Three Realms, and who deserves the respect and reverence of those in and beyond the world.


III. "The third title is 'One of Proper and Universal Knowledge

There is nothing which he does not know and nothing which he fails to understand. His knowledge is both proper and pervasive==


IV. "The fourth title is One of Perfect Clarity and Conduct,

for the light of his Four Types of Wisdom is perfect and full


FOUR TYPES OF WISDOM

Wisdom of Successful Performance.

Wonderful Contemplating and Investigating Wisdom.

Impartial Wisdom of the Nature.

Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom.

V. "The fifth title is 'Well Gone One,

one who has gone to a good place, the very best place.


VI. "The sixth title is Unsurpassed One Who Understands the World.

Bodhisattvas are called 'Surpassed Ones,' for there are still the Buddhas above them. A Buddha, however, is unsurpassed. Since he understands all doctrines, both mundane and transcendental, he is one who well understands the world.


VII. "The Seventh title is 'Hero Who Subdues and Tames,

one who subdues and tames all the living beings in the world.


VIII. "The eighth title is 'Teacher of Gods and Humans.

The Buddha is the master of the gods in the heavens and the people in the world.


IX. "The ninth title is 'Buddha"

X. "The tenth title is 'World-Honored One.

World-Honored One means one who is honored by those in the world and those beyond the world. Those beyond the world have transcended the Three Realms.


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