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In Buddhism, the Sanskrit word buddha, "awakened one," is used in several different ways.

First, a Buddha is someone who has realized the enlightenment (bodhi) that ends the cycle of birth and death (samsara).

Sometimes Buddha is used specifically to refer to the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, whose teachings founded the religion of Buddhism.

In Mahayana Buddhism, the word is sometimes used in the context of the Trikaya. In this usage, "Buddha" might be thought of as a principle that is both manifested and unmanifested.

Finally, also in Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha is used to mean "Buddha-nature." Buddha-nature is the absolute, unconditioned nature of all things.

Read More: What's a Buddha?

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