The word Buddha is derived from the Pali word ‘budh’ meaning to wake up, perceive, become aware. The Buddha is one who has transcended attachment, ill will, and ignorance (sometimes referred to as greed, hatred and delusion), who has perceived impermanence, dukkha, and selflessness, and attained Enlightenment and realized Nibbana (Nirvana). It is a state of consciousness when the individual is aware of absolute reality. It is a generic name and applies to all persons who have reached this stage.
The Buddha is not a Creator God, and he is not a saviour of human beings. He cannot punish or forgive persons who act contrary to the teaching. The Buddhist teaching does not have the concept of sin. Acting contrary to the teaching generates bad kamma, and retards the person’s progress as a Buddhist pilgrim.
Buddhism is the law of nature. What the Buddha perceived and taught is the law of nature.
There are three types of individuals who attain Enlightenment:
- Pacceka Buddhas
- Samma Sambuddhas, Universal Buddhas.