There are occasions when the coincidences of history and language point to an overwhelming conclusion. It is as if thousands of years and millions of people are all conspiring to one end. And the problem is not that that conclusion is problematic. No: the problem is that it’s just so good that no-one will believe you.
Case in point. There’s an occasional term found in Pali, durāsada. It’s usually found in verses, such as AN 4.42, or poetic passages such as Snp 3.2 = MN 92 Sela Sutta. The general meaning of the term is that it describes someone who is powerful, hard to get close to, perhaps “intimidating”. In the Sela Sutta, it’s used to describe the Buddha:
Then Sela with his three hundred students approached the Buddha. Sela addressed his students, saying, “Come quietly, sirs! Place each step one after the other! For the Buddhas are hard to approach, like lions living alone. And when I am conversing with the ascetic Gotama, don’t interrupt our discussion, but wait until we have finished.”
The PTS dict. says:
hard to sit on, i. e. hard to get at, unapproachable, difficult to attack or manage or conquer
Thus deriving it from āsana. But here’s the thing.
Āsana is from root ās, ultimately from the Primitive Indo-European root ors, meaning “buttocks or backside”. It is thus a direct cousin of the English “arse”.
The prefix dur has a variety of meanings, but the basic sense is “bad”.
You see where I’m going with this.
Now, what word in English could possibly be used to describe someone who is just overwhelmingly, intimidatingly awesome?
So, next time someone complains when you describe the Buddha as “badass”, tell them you’re just quoting the Pali.