What Does Buddha Mean? A Guide To Personal Awakening

what does buddha mean

When you hear the word Buddha, what comes to mind? Do you think of Buddhism? Meditation? Monks in red robes?

Many of us have encountered the word before, but what does Buddha mean?

As it turns out, the word Buddha is a pretty versatile one. We’re going to explore what the word Buddha means, who the Buddha was, and how someone can become a Buddha.

What Does Buddha Mean?


If you’re looking to learn more about how to practice Buddhism, understanding the basics is a great place to start.

So, what does Buddha mean? The word itself is Sanskrit and means, “The Awakened One.”

A Buddha is a person that sees the world as it is without bias or clouded perception. A Buddha has reached a state of enlightened understanding. With this understanding, a Buddha becomes free from human suffering and breaks the cycle of death and rebirth.

Did you know that under the right circumstances, anyone can become a Buddha? Yes, that means you! Now, don’t get us wrong. Becoming a Buddha is far from easy and it requires a lot of dedication. But anyone can become a Buddha, no matter your age, gender, or spiritual beliefs.

Greater self-awareness is always a great first step. As Deborah King, Author of Mindvalley’s Be A Modern Master Program says, “All spiritual progress is born out of self-awareness.”

Who Was The Buddha?


When you think about the word Buddha, one of the figures that likely springs to mind is that of The Buddha.

Siddhārtha Gautama, or Gautama Buddha, was the founder of Buddhism. Born in Lumbini, Nepal between 563 – 480 BCE. Siddhārtha was born a prince and lived a life of luxury for many years. He was married to a woman named Yasodhara and together they had a son.

It wasn’t until Siddhārtha was 29 years old that he decided to leave the palace in search of something more. He traveled the surrounding land and for the first time in his life, he was confronted with human suffering, sickness, and death.

who was buddha

How Siddhārtha Became The Buddha

Siddhārtha was heartbroken by the human suffering he encountered. He knew there must be a better way.

He left his royal responsibilities behind to study under the great aesthetics and sages of the age. For six years, he mastered meditation, yoga, and studied the mind. But Siddhārtha was not fully satisfied by the techniques of his gurus. He left them to meditate in isolation.

Underneath a Bodhi tree, he meditated for 49 days before he reached Enlightenment. It was at this time that Siddhārtha became the Buddha.

Siddhārtha established the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism and the Noble Eightfold Path that became the basics of Buddhism. He spent the rest of his life traveling in the Gangetic Plain, teaching all he met. He died at the age of 80 in Kushinagar, India.

5 Famous Buddha Quotes For Personal Awakening

Anyone can become a Buddha. Siddhārtha Gautama was just a regular man who gave up his life of luxury to pursue something more.

While becoming a Buddha might not be at the top of your to-do list, you can choose to step a little closer to your personal bliss each and every day.

Here are five of the Buddha’s most famous quotes on ending suffering and achieving personal awakening:

“Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves.” — The Buddha

“Conquer anger with non-anger. Conquer meanness with generosity. And conquer dishonesty with truth.” — The Buddha

“There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.” — The Buddha

“Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another.” — The Buddha

“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.” — The Buddha


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So, which of these Buddha quotes speaks to you most? Tell us in the comments below.

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. She revels in the thrill of exploration, whether it be new cultures, new landscapes, or new ways to bring on the happy. If she’s not hiking or practicing yoga, she probably has her nose in a book.

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