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Buddhists, from children to monks, chant the following homage to the Buddha:

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

What does the term 'sammasambuddhasa' mean?

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Refer to Sammāsambuddha Sutta

https://suttacentral.net/sn22.58/en/bodhi

“The Tathagata, bhikkhus, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One, is the originator of the path unarisen before, the producer of the path unproduced before, the declarer of the path undeclared before. He is the knower of the path, the discoverer of the path, the one skilled in the path. And his disciples now dwell following that path and become possessed of it afterwards.

  • the title of the sutta gives a nice hint that it's about to answer the question :) Saptha's answer is really good, but always better to provide a sutta reference. – frankk Jun 2 at 14:32
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We pay homage to the Buddha by saying ”Namo tassa bhagavato arahato sammāsambuddhassa” three times. The widely practiced translations of it take the following forms:

“Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy (Exalted) One, the supremely (fully) Enlightened One!”

“Homage to the fully Enlightened One who found the truth about the existence and became free of all defilements!”

“Veneration to Him, the Most Exalted, the Purified, the Supremely Enlightened Buddha (the Rightly Self-awakened One.)”

Here the term Sammâ-sambuddho means that Buddha understood the Four Noble Truths without anyone’s help. Buddha is really the one and only Teacher who first taught the Four Noble Truths. These Truths explain the realities of life. Buddha understood the realities of life, without anyone’s help. By knowing this, we can establish an unshakeable confidence based on this quality.

There can be only one Samma Sambuddha, in the entire universe, at any given period. During most aeons (Kalpa), there are no Samma Sambuddhas. Hence they are very rare. A Samma Sambuddha is called ‘Asama Sama’, i.e. incomparable with any other being but can be compared only to other Samma Sambuddhas who had lived in the distant past. Hence it is not feasible for all to aspire to be a Buddha.

The Buddha himself said that the best way to pay homage to him is to learn Dhamma and to follow the Path. This is the more deeper meaning of the Namaskaraya, “Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa”.

Once Buddha said, “Attä hi attano nätho, kö hi näthö paro siyä”, meaning, ”One indeed is one’s own refuge; how can others be a refuge to one?”. Each one has one’s own mind. And that is what is needed to be purified in order to attain a peaceful life now, a better life in the next, or even Nibbana. But it all starts with going for refuge in the Buddha Dhamma & the Sangha. When we say the Namaskaraya with understanding and resolve, we develop citta pasada or calmness and joy of mind.

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There are two types of Buddhas, depending upon their abilities, one is Samma Sambuddha and other is named as Prakket Buddha, according to Buddhism.. To become a Buddha by doing his own sadhana without help of any Guru or spiritual master is very rare phenomenon and that is achieved by both Buddhas, But what distinguish them is that after enlightment only Samma Sambuddha has ability to teach the dhamma to world. This ability is not found in some Buddhas are called Prakket Buddha. Both are reverential, honorable. Prakket Buddha doesn't mix with world much, always live in forests, hills. But Samma Sambuddha goes village to village, city to city to teach Dhamma to the people of all walks of life . He is Guru of Devtas world and human word. He leads the Devas and humans towards Nirvana.

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What I have been understood is that Buddha is sammasm Buddha when he decided to distributes the knowledge of Dhamma to the general public and it's Gautam Buddha alone who is sammasm Buddha. No other Buddha became sammasm Buddha as they kept knowledge of Dhamma upto themselves. Hi

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