這個「佛」字，是梵語Buddha，不是中國話，我們中國人願意省文，願意簡單，Buddha 就不說Buddha，就說「佛」。所以「佛」是半梵語。這個 Buddha 聽上來就是「不大」，佛並不是比人大，也不比人小，所以不大不小就是佛。不大，就沒有貢高我慢的思想；不小，就沒有自卑感，沒有自暴自棄的這種思想，沒有這種心理。不大，不比眾生怎麼樣高超；不小，不比眾生低賤。所以才成為佛。
We all want to understand the teachings of Buddhism. In order to do that, we must first understand the Buddha. In his past lives, the Buddha cultivated blessings and wisdom for three asamkhyeyas (an infinite number) of eons, and planted the causes for his hallmarks and features for a hundred eons. After a long, long time of cultivating various practices, he became a Buddha.
The word Buddha is Sanskrit, but in Chinese it sounds like the words "not big." So the Buddha isn't bigger than people. Nor is he smaller than people. Neither big or small, that's the Buddha. Not big means he doesn't have any arrogance. Not small means he doesn't have an inferiority complex. He doesn't give up on himself or think that he's not worth anything. He doesn't have that kind of attitude. He is neither loftier than living beings, nor is he lower than living beings. That's why he's called a Buddha.
What's the meaning of Buddha? We study the Buddha, believe in the Buddha, and recite the Buddha's name, but we don't know what the word Buddha means. Isn't this regrettable?
Buddha includes three meanings: one who is self-enlightened, one who enlightens others, and one who is perfect in enlightened conduct. He has completed these three kinds of enlightenment. He himself is enlightened, and he has taught living beings to become enlightened. When he has perfected his own enlightenment and the enlightenment of others, that's called the perfection of enlightened conduct. So he has realized Buddhahood. The Buddha is perfect in the three enlightenments, and replete with the myriad virtues. One who is self-enlightened belongs to the Two Vehicles, while one who enlightens others is walking the Bodhisattva Way. One who is perfect in enlightened conduct has perfected both self-enlightenment and the enlightenment of others, and is a Buddha replete with the myriad virtues. He certifies to the Wisdom of the Great Perfect Mirror, the Wisdom of Equal Nature, the Wisdom of Wonderful Contemplation, and the Wisdom of Accomplishment. The Buddha has perfected the three kinds of enlightenment, and also has the four kinds of wisdom. He has great wisdom, and completely understands all worldly and transcendental dharmas; thus he is called the Buddha.
After he became a Buddha, he wanted everyone to become a Buddha, so he spoke the teachings. The Buddha's teachings include the Three Treasuries and Twelve Divisions. The Three Treasuries are the Sutras, the Vinaya, and the Shastras. The Twelve Divisions are prose, verses, predictions, interjections, unrequested teachings, causes and conditions, analogies, past lives, lives of disciples, extensive teachings, previously inexistent teachings, and commentarial literature. The Twelve Divisions are not different sutras. Every sutra includes these Twelve Divisions. In studying Buddhism, we must study the Sutras. The Sutras are a path to Buddhahood. If we want to become Buddhas, we must follow the path of cultivation. So that's why the Buddha spoke the Sutras, which make up the Buddhist teachings.