Frequently Asked Questions about
Buddhism, the Buddha and Dharma
Who is the Buddha?
What are the Three Jewels?
What is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings?
Why are there many Buddhist traditions?
What are the various Buddhist traditions?
What does the imagery in tantric art mean?
What is the purpose of reciting mantras?
Who is Shakyamuni Buddha?
What do these titles mean? – Geshe, Rinpoche, Lama, Venerable
What is Bodhicitta?
Who Is the Buddha?
There are many ways to describe who the Buddha is, according to different ways of understanding. These various interpretations have their sources in the Buddha’s teachings.
One way is to see the historical Buddha who lived 2,500 years ago as a human being who completely cleansed his mind of all defilements and developed his full potential. Any being who does likewise is also considered a buddha, for there are many buddhas, not just one.
Another way is to understand a particular buddha or buddhist deity as omniscient mind manifesting in a certain physical aspect in order to communicate with us and all ordinary beings.
Yet another way is to see the Buddha – or any of the enlightened buddhist deities – as the appearance of the future Buddha that we will become once we have properly and completely engaged in the path to cleanse our mind of defilements and develop our full potential.