V 11-42 Explanation of the Ten Titles of Buddha 十大佛号的释解
Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比，怎么写，都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.
In this chapter, we will talk about some exciting Buddhist knowledge. What is Buddha? How many types of Buddha are there?
The first meaning of Buddha is the ‘enlightened one’. People who have attained enlightenment are Buddhas. Many people are unclear about this. They say that Buddha is a Buddha. Then who is the ‘Thus Come One Buddha? That’s why Master wants to clarify it for you. Buddha means the ‘enlightened one’, right? That what is the ‘Thus Come One’? In fact, another name of the Buddha is called ‘Thus Come One’. So ‘Thus Come One Buddha’ essentially means ‘Buddha’. It’s like how some people are called ‘professors’ in one place and then called ‘senior lecturers’ in other places. It’s just a title or an honorific. In the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, you recite ‘O’ Holy Thus Come One, One worthy of offerings, One with right and universal knowledge, One with perfect clarity and conduct, Well-Gone One, One who understands the world, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Deities and Humans, Buddha, World Honoured One’. What do those titles mean? This will be discussed in this chapter.
Firstly, Buddhism teaches people how they could improve their spiritual morality and enlightenment. That way, society also improves. Secondly, why do people learn Buddhism? It’s to learn Prince Siddhartha’s knowledge when he enlightened and saw through the truth of life and the universe to transcend life and death and cease all afflictions to gain liberation. The reader should know that Prince Siddhartha is Gautama Buddha. Why must we mention that name? It’s because Gautama Buddha began his path of enlightenment to become Buddha from when he was Prince Siddhartha.
What is Buddha? Buddha is a being who have transcended the sufferings of life and death, one who has ceased all their afflictions and gained perfect and complete liberation. It is thorough liberation. “I’ve thought clearly; I don’t need fame, I don’t need wealth. I’m like that, so what can you do about that? I don’t need anything, so you don’t have to sue me. You can take whatever you want. After the divorce, I don’t need anything. If you want the house, you can take it. If you want money, you can have it. I’m liberated, I don’t need anything, I’m already happy.” Alright, so you have liberated thoroughly. Why did Gautama Buddha say that everybody could become a Buddha? He explained that it’s because everybody possesses a Buddha-nature from within them. That’s why everybody could become a Buddha through cultivational practices. That’s why ‘Buddha’ and ‘Thus Come One’ are the same. Buddha said that every person possesses an inherent nature, which is the same original nature that they have. ‘Thus Come One’ translated from Sanskrit means ‘the same’, that’s why Buddha is also called ‘Thus Come One’.
‘Thus Come One’ is just one of the titles of a Buddha. You can call them ‘Buddha’, or you can call them ‘Thus Come One’. Many people simply combine them together and call ‘Thus Come One Buddha’. So Gautama Buddha could be called Gautama Thus Come One Buddha. Do you know that Guan Yin Bodhisattva also has the title of ‘Thus Come One’? It’s called ‘Right-Dharma-Clear Thus Come One’.
Did you know that in heaven, there are many titles of the ‘Buddha;? Every Buddha has ten thousand names. Because the sentient beings couldn’t remember it all, it’s reduced to a thousand names. They still couldn’t remember it all, so it was reduced to one hundred. But since the sentient beings still couldn’t remember all the different Holy names, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas acted accordingly. Buddha said, “Alright, let’s just keep ten titles.” That’s why Buddha has ten other different titles. In reality, they all mean the same thing. For example, if you call somebody teacher, tutor, sir, they all mean the same thing.
Buddha have ten different titles.
The first one is called Thus Come One. What does it mean? It means one who has come again and become enlightened. So a being who has descended from heaven to Earth and attained complete and perfect enlightenment through cultivation to become a Buddha.
The second one is called ‘One worthy of offerings’, so it denotes somebody who should receive everybody’s offerings.
The third one is called ‘One with right and universal knowledge’. How does one cultivate their knowledge to become right and universal? It’s by practising the right moral conduct and knowledgeable about all Dharmas. Then one can attain Buddhahood.
The fourth one is called One with perfect clarity and conduct. It’s somebody who is clear and possesses the supranatural power of the knowledge of past lives, Divine eyes and knowledge of extinction of contaminants. Those who are clear about their destiny would understand their whole life, for example like how long their lifespan is and what they will become. Those who have cleared up their Divine eyes could see everything, even the future. And those who are clear about the knowledge of extinction of contaminants could see all of their previous reincarnations, and so would also know about the future. One who possesses all three is one who has perfect clarity and conduct. They know everything about their past lives and future and the path they are walking so. So they will never step on the wrong path, and so become a Buddha.
In reality, these three supranatural powers are similar to the actions of sages, the actions of Brahman, the actions of heaven, the actions of infants and the actions of the ill. Master explains. The actions of sages denote that one should act like a sage in the Human Realm. The actions of Brahman denote that one should act purely in the Human Realm. The actions of heaven denote that one should do the things that associate with heaven. What do the actions of infants mean? Infants also imply small children. Why are children kind when they’re very young? “People’s nature is good in the beginning.” Small children have a very good conscience. That’s why people should act like small children in the Human Realm. What do the actions of the ill mean? After you fall ill, you begin to suffer. Many people start to awaken after they begin to fall ill. Any illnesses, for example, mental illnesses and physical illnesses, all fall in the category of the actions of the ill. In reality, if you could understand all of this and could do all of it, then you are a Bodhisattva with perfect clarity and conduct, which is a Buddha.
The fifth one is called the Well-Gone One. What does it mean? It’s one who passed away very well with no pain from any illnesses or death by a calamity.
The sixth one is called the One who understands the world. It is one who understands everything, and everything is within the palm of their hands.
The seventh one is called the Supreme Lord, one who is unsurpassed, having achieved unsurpassed, complete and perfect enlightenment. And thus became a Buddha.
The eighth one is called the Regulating Hero, one who constantly help others. The term ‘Regulating’ denotes that they regulate the mind of others by educating them and guiding them on the right path. For example, there was a great philanthropist who’s a successful business person and is very wealthy, but they don’t know Buddhism. If you could spiritually awaken them to learn and practise it, then you are called a ‘regulating hero’. What’s is considered the right path? ‘Cultivating all that is wholesome and refrain from committing any evil’ is the right path. In reality, it’s very easy for wealthy people to commit wholesome deeds. And it’s also equally easy for them to commit unwholesome deeds. If they don’t properly cultivate, then they might harm others and create a lot of negative karma for themselves. If you could spiritually awaken them, then that is a great meritorious deed, and you could become a Buddha. For example, let’s say that there’s a powerful person who has great financial control over the world. If you could spiritually awaken them and guide them to learn and practise Buddhism, then you could become a Buddha because you have great energy. That is the regulating hero.
The ninth one is called Teacher of Deities and Humans. As the title implies, it’s one who guides and teaches deities and humans.
The final one is Buddha. The Buddha is one who has become enlightened and also strives to enlighten others. So their level of enlightenment is perfect and complete.
Every day when you recite the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, you recite, “O’ Holy Thus Come One, One worthy of offerings, One with right and universal knowledge, One with perfect clarity and conduct, Well-Gone One, One who understands the world, Supreme Lord, Regulating Hero, Teacher of Deities and Humans, Buddha, World Honoured One.” Now that their meaning has been explained, you now understand it when you recite it. In reality, they are all methods of how one becomes a Buddha.