Buddho vs. Buddha

I understand taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha are referring to proper nouns so what is buddho, Dhammo Sangho mentioned in meditation practice and is it tradition specific because I never hear of it amoung the Thai forest teachings.

Perhaps what you are asking is why Pāli words have different endings sometimes?
This is because in Pāli the role of the word within a sentence or phrase determines the ending of the word. For instance, whether it’s the subject of a sentence or the object of a verb.

In the ‘Iti pi so bhagavā’ recitation, there is ‘buddho’ the subject.
When going for refuge, “Buddhaṃ saraṇaṃ gacchāmi”, it’s the object.


@JoeL I think Stephen summed that up!

buddho is also sometimes used a recitation in the mind during meditation, and was taught by some in the Thai Forest tradition. See: Buddho

The mechanics of using a mantra during meditation are such that the word/s used should have a strong consonant followed by a drawn out sibilant. The strong consonant helps to focus the Mind on the meditation object, the drawn out sibilant brings about a sense of calm.

The actual word used need not mean anything at all. Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation for example uses a list of semi nonsensical words from which one is given by the Guru to the Student.

That said, using a word that resonates with one’s cultural mileu can bring about additional benefits. Buddho, Dhammo, Sangho elicits the memory of the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha for Thais. That might not be true for Westerners. Ajahn Brahm therefore, recommends the use of the word “Peace”.


I asked this same question some years back; this thread might be of interest: What is Buddho – vs. Buddha?

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I think there is a good argument for experimentation and exploration when it comes to the use of mantras.
Finding out what really resonates. Also recognising that they can be used in different ways.