Buddha in Theravada Buddhism: A Study of the Concept of by Toshiichi Endo

By Toshiichi Endo

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Extra resources for Buddha in Theravada Buddhism: A Study of the Concept of Buddha in the Pali Commentaries

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I68 An underlying objective in giving sabbaiiiiutii as one of the two criteria for determining whether one is a sammasambuddha or a paccekabuddha is obviously because of the compassionate nature of Buddhahood. A Buddha is motivated by compassion for the world to preach his teach­ ings. This aspect of compassion in sabbaiiiiuta is the key-factor that prompted the Buddhists to draw a clear-cut demarcation between sammffsambuddha and paccekabuddha. OnCe such a distinction is made, it is a matter for later Buddhists to widen it further.

I All these answers of Niigasena are sought to be focussed on the fact that the faculty of omniscience is ever present m the mind of the Buddha. It also implies that nobody can revoke whal has been established by the B uddha, nor is it possible to retract the course of actions taken by him, because the Buddha is the supreme authority. ,aratana) which is the Lord'! l92 The extent to which the Buddha came to be exaltec in the Milindapaiiha can be understood, if this statement is comparee with an observation made in the Majjhima Nikaya.

It suggests that the word atidevadeva represents an intennediary stage in the transition from words like atideva and devadeva to devatideva. However, it is also not unlikely that both words atidevadeva and devatideva may have been in use simultaneously. There are at least two reasons to support the above contention: (I) both words atideva and devadeva occur in one of the earliest texts of the PaIi Canon. , Miin I I I & 137) is earlier than that of devatideva. The Buddhists had used the words atideva, devadeva, and even atidevadeva to describe the Buddha as one above gods, but they seem to have considered those terms inadequate and the final choice was made by the B uddhists or at least by the compiler(s) of the Milindapafiha particularly of the late strata of the text to adopt the word devatideva as the most suitable epithet to eulogize the Buddha.

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