84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པ། | Glossary of Terms

    དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པ།

    de bzhin gshegs pa

    tathāgata

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A frequently used synonym for buddha. According to different explanations, it can be read as tathā-gata, literally meaning “one who has thus gone,” or as tathā-āgata, “one who has thus come.” Gata, though literally meaning “gone,” is a past passive participle used to describe a state or condition of existence. Tatha­(tā), often rendered as “suchness” or “thusness,” is the quality or condition of things as they really are, which cannot be conveyed in conceptual, dualistic terms. Therefore, this epithet is interpreted in different ways, but in general it implies one who has departed in the wake of the buddhas of the past, or one who has manifested the supreme awakening dependent on the reality that does not abide in the two extremes of existence and quiescence.