Frequency of "Buddha" vs "Bhagavant" in the suttas

A heat map in the Digital Pali Dictionary shows that there are roughly 14,000 occurences of bhagavant in the suttas compared with 3,000 occurrences of buddha (when used in the titular meaning).

I.e., people referred to the Buddha as bhagavant much more than as buddha. Also, I haven’t looked at a heat map (yet) for sammāsambuddha. But it’s my understanding this isn’t a titular meaning per se.

I’m not referring to usages outside the suttas in this question, e.g. in the commentaries.

Is there a standard explanation in modern scholarship or teaching that accounts for this discrepancy?

:blush: Thanks


This thread may help:

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Thank you for your kind attention! The thread appears to be a decomposition of the meaning of bhagavant, which is not really what I’m looking for. I’m asking why people addressed the Buddha with this title – and why he is referred to this way throughout the suttas – instead of the Buddha. That is, in a comparison of the numbers in the DPD heat map. Was use of the Buddha acquired later in his life (long after his full awakening)? Why? There may not be an easy answer so that’s OK too :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi, not sure what a heat map is in Buddhism, but the term Bhagavant is much more commonly appiled to the Buddha as a title of respect.
(Those who are not followers often use ‘samana Gotama’ or ‘bho Gotama’. )

‘Buddha’ seems more of a description than an address, see G&K Lesson 6 #3 for an example. (From Majjhima 92 and somewhere in Samyutta…)

“Ghoso pi kho eso dullabho lokasmim yadidam ‘buddho’’ti.”

It’s DPD’s Frequency feature where you can see how often a particular term occurs across the tipiṭaka and in the commentaries. (DPD calls it a heat map…generic term in data analytics that maps # of occurrences to various colors.)

Ah, this makes sense. SOLVED! Thank you!

This isn’t an answer by the way but a consideration.

Could it be that the word ‘sammasambuddha’ is used by those who are ‘in the know’ and see that X-person is ‘rightfully self awakened knower of the way’ as compared to Bhagavant as a more general term or title for addressing someone.

The word Buddha means ‘one who is awake, one who knows, one who understands’.
Buddhi: intellect. The etymological root words are telling.