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Where does this come from?

ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

I've read that nowhere in the Pali Canon does the Buddha identify himself by name. Is this correct? If so, where did people get the idea that it was Siddhartha Gautama?

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The Buddha does not identify himself by name. But before he was the Buddha, he was Siddhartha Gautama...

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Explorer
    edited June 7

    Siddhartha is a title, meaning "one that has accomplished the goal".

    You can read it in Pāli texts as Siddhattha.

    The first text to treat "Siddhartha Gautama" as a proper name for the Buddha is Aśvaghoṣasyabuddhacarita (which can be read here) from approx 150CE, but it is not a sūtra, but rather, a medieval Buddhist historical epic of the time.

    ScottPenpersonDavid
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    @Vimalajāti said:
    Siddhartha is a title, meaning "one that has accomplished the goal".

    You can read it in Pāli texts as Siddhattha.

    The first text to treat "Siddhartha Gautama" as a proper name for the Buddha is Aśvaghoṣasyabuddhacarita (which can be read here) from approx 150CE, but it is not a sūtra, but rather, a medieval Buddhist historical epic of the time.

    Thanks! I've never seen this actually referenced. I'm going to give it a read.

  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    OK hold on, is it not in the Buddhavamsa as well?

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited June 7

    @ScottPen said:
    I've read that nowhere in the Pali Canon does the Buddha identify himself by name. Is this correct? If so, where did people get the idea that it was Siddhartha Gautama?

    Well, nowhere in the first four nikayas is the name Siddhattha mentioned (although Gotama is, e.g., MN 57, DN 3, etc.); but from what I understand, it is found in some of the later additions to the Pali Canon (i.e., the Apadana, Buddhavamsa, etc.). There's some debate as to whether it was his given name or something he was called afterwards, more as a epithet. Interestingly enough, Siddhartha was the name of Mahavira's father, a contemporary of the Buddha's, who was also a king. It may be that this was a common name in that time and region. Or, as S. Dhammika suspects, "When in later centuries a full biography of the Buddha was needed, much of the details were ‘lifted’ from the biography of Mahavira." Who knows?

    personScottPenlobster
  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    Thanks @Jason!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Our 'Font of all Knowledge', is our @Jason.
    Well-read doesn't cover it.... ;)

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Explorer
    edited June 8

    @ScottPen said:
    OK hold on, is it not in the Buddhavamsa as well?

    It is also in the Therāpadāna abundantly, and in the late Medieval prose-sections of the Pāli Jākata Tales, to the extent where they says "Prince Siddhattha", but these are very late additions to the Pāli Canon, the prose expansions of the Jākata Tales being later by far than the Therāpadāna.

    This is the kind of appearance "Siddhattha" makes in the Pāli Canon:

    Nikkhamitvā katipāhaṃ, viciniṃ lokanāyakaṃ; pasannacitto sumano, siddhatthaṃ tibhavantaguṃ.
    Having gone forth, I look for the World-Lord; with gladdened citta, most glad, the perfecter of the goal and the three-world-ender.

    (Khuddakanikāye-therāpadāna CXCVII)

    Notice the sequence: "lokanāyakaṃ, siddhatthaṃ, tibhavantaguṃ".

    This is a list of titles, some of them could be names, it is similar to: "arahaṃ, sammāsambuddho, bhagavā", or "the praise-worthy, the perfectly-enlightened, the lord".

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Explorer
    edited June 8

    @Vimalajāti said:

    Nikkhamitvā katipāhaṃ, viciniṃ lokanāyakaṃ; pasannacitto sumano, siddhatthaṃ tibhavantaguṃ.
    Having gone forth, I look for the World-Lord; with gladdened citta, most glad, the perfecter of the goal and the three-world-ender.

    (Khuddakanikāye-therāpadāna CXCVII)

    Sorry, my English is off here.

    "perfecter" should be "perfector": one that perfects.

  • ScottPenScottPen Maryland Veteran

    Thanks again, @Vimalajāti, I thought there had to be more to it than I was finding.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Explorer

    Also something sort of interesting that not a lot of people talk about.

    In the Chinese āgamasūtrāṇi (texts with content parallel to the Pāli scriptures), Gautama is treated as a personal name for the Buddha throughout, in the form of 瞿曇 (Qú Tán, historical pronunciation being like Gyo Dama). These are very old scriptures, old as the Pāli material, but in the Pāli texts, as far as I know, they do not do this as often, have people call the Buddha "Gautama" directly, as a name.

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