Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Samyaksambuddha Mean?

In Buddhism, a samyaksambuddha is someone who has attained enlightenment (or a state of being fully awakened) and has chosen to teach others how to reach this state. The term comes from the Sanskrit samyak, meaning “perfectly” or “exactly”; sam, meaning “fully”; and buddha, meaning “awakened one.”

A samyaksambuddha gains enlightenment – also known in Buddhism as nirvana – on his own without the assistance of a teacher. Siddhartha Gautama, better known simply as the Buddha, was considered a samyaksambuddha.


Yogapedia Explains Samyaksambuddha

Because the samyaksambuddha does not rely on a teacher or a tradition, he discovers the path to achieving the state of being fully awakened. He, therefore, focuses on teaching the dharma where it has not been taught or has been forgotten. This type of buddha may form a community of disciples who spread the teachings.

Becoming a samyaksambuddha is achieved through prajnadhika (more wisdom), viryadhika (more effort) or sraddhadhika (more faith).

Another type of enlightened buddha is the pratyekabuddha, who also achieves nirvana without a teacher, but chooses not to teach.

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