Shakyamuni is a Sanskrit word. Shakya, the Buddha's clan name, means "able to be humane." Muni means "sage." Thus Shakyamuni means "Sage of the Shakyas." Shakyamuni Buddha is the most recent Buddha to appear in our world. He realized perfect enlightenment (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) and then taught in India.
Buddha means "the enlightened one." It is a title which is applied to those who have realized anuttara-samyak-sambodhi and who have perfect wisdom and universal compassion.
Praise of the Buddha:
In the heavens above, in all that is on earth below,
There were other Buddhas in the past and in other world systems and there will be Buddhas in the future.
Living beings have the potential to cultivate and become Buddhas.
For three asamkhyeya kalpas the Buddha
For a simple introduction to the Buddha's life and what he taught, please visit: Introduction to Buddhism
The Venerable Ananda was one of the great disciples of the Buddha. He was the Buddha's cousin and attendant who had a photographic and flawless memory. His name means rejoicing. He was foremost in erudition and he remembered all the Sutras the Buddha spoke.
The Venerable Mahakasyapa is the First Patriarch who inherited the Buddha's name and bowl. He was foremost in ascetic practices.
"Maha" means "great, many, and victorious." "Kasyapa" means "great turtle clan."
In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha bestowed upon Mahakasyapa, the prediction of Buddhahood.