Bhagavan

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An epithet of the Buddha. According to the etymology of the Sanskrit term, bhagavan, someone who possesses a full share (of good qualities). In Hindu traditions, bhagavan is an epithet used also for Krishna and other avatars (incarnations) of Vishnu, as well as for Shiva, and in the Jain tradition, for Mahavira. To differentiate Buddha from these other bhagavans, the term is translated into Tibetan with a three-word compound: (1) "bcom" means vanquish: a Buddha has vanquished and overcome all obscurations preventing liberation and the omniscience of enlightenment, (2) "ldan" means possess: a Buddha has mastered, gained and thereby possesses a full share of good qualities, and (3) "'das" means beyond: a Buddha possesses all good qualities, far surpassing those of the non-Buddhist bhagavans.

Tibetan: bcom-ldan-'das

Sanskrit: bhagavān

J. Hopkins: Supramundane victor

Synonyms: Vanquishing Master Surpassing All; One Who Overcame and Gained All; Blessed One; Fortunate One

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