By Toshiichi Endo
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Extra info for Buddha in Theravada Buddhism: A Study of the Concept of Buddha in the Pali Commentaries
The antecedent history of the term devatideva may be traced to the PaIi Canon itself. We fmd similar ideas expressed in different terms. 218 These show that the Buddha was regarded as a supreme god or as one who is above gods. This concept has its ground in the fact that the Buddha is the teacher of both gods and men (satthii devamanussiinarp). '19 It represents an important stage in the process of the exaltation of the Buddha. It can therefore be maintained that even at an early stage, the Buddhists were acquainted with the idea of regarding the Buddha as one superior to gods or above gods.
I68 An underlying objective in giving sabbaiiiiutii as one of the two criteria for determining whether one is a sammasambuddha or a paccekabuddha is obviously because of the compassionate nature of Buddhahood. A Buddha is motivated by compassion for the world to preach his teach ings. This aspect of compassion in sabbaiiiiuta is the key-factor that prompted the Buddhists to draw a clear-cut demarcation between sammffsambuddha and paccekabuddha. OnCe such a distinction is made, it is a matter for later Buddhists to widen it further.
C. as suggested by Iwamatsu. In other words, the fonnation of the word devatideva with its attendant concepts would not be necessarily the result of a direct contact with the Sakas or the Ku��as. For, the Buddhists had known it much earlier than the time of the Saka Empire. Similarly, the notion of riijiitiriija may have come from Iran, but the Buddhists borrowed or copied not only its notiou, but also the word itself from very early days in the history of Buddhism. On the other hand, the fact that the teon is found only in the Sela sutta repeated in the Suttanipata, Theragatha and Majjhima Nikaya, suggests that it was not at all a popular epithet of the Buddha.
Buddha in Theravada Buddhism: A Study of the Concept of Buddha in the Pali Commentaries by Toshiichi Endo