An epithet of the
Buddha, used by the
Buddha in referring to himself.
The Commentaries (DA.i.59-67;
AA.i.58-63; MA.39-43; UdA.128ff., etc.) give eight (sometimes
expanded to sixteen) explanations of the word, which shows that there was
probably no fixed tradition on the point.
The explanations indicate that the name
can be used for any arahant, and not necessarily only for a Buddha.
The term was evidently pre-Buddhistic,
though it has not yet been found in any pre-Buddhistic work.