If we want to get the most out of our Buddhist life it’s important that we understand exactly who the Buddha is. After all, not only is he our teacher, he is the one who discovered the teachings. Because we can’t see the reality of the teachings on our own until we have followed them, we have to trust him.
1. Arahaṃ: Worthy. The Buddha is truly worthy because he has completely removed all greed, hatred and delusion from his mind.
2. Sammāsambuddho: Supremely enlightened. Unlike his disciples who also became enlightened, the Buddha did it without anyone’s help.
3. Vijjācaranasampanno: Endowed with knowledge and virtue. The Buddha had perfect virtue as well as all the special knowledge, including psychic powers, and direct knowledge of the results of actions.
4. Sugato: Follower of the Noble Path. He followed the Noble Eightfold Path all the way to the end.
5. Lokavidū: Knower of worlds. He understood the heavenly worlds, the human world, the ghost world, the animal wortld, an the hell worlds. He also understood how a person is reborn in each of these worlds and how to put an end to rebirth in any world.
6. Anuttaro purisadammasārathi: Peerless trainer of people. No matter what bad qualities an individual has, if there is the possibility for them to be trained, the Buddha can do it.
7. Satthā devamanussānam: Teacher of gods and humans. The Buddha helped both humans and gods to attain enlightenment.
8. Buddho: the Enlightened Teacher. He taught the Dhamma to others without holding anything back.
9. Bhagavā: the Blessed One. He was the only one who had all of these qualities.