Form of address to Gods and great rishis, example-Bhagawan Sri Krishna, Narada, Vyasa. A Sanskrit word meaning "Holy or Blessed one". It is a title of veneration, often translated as "Lord" and refers to God.
Bhagavān, is an epithet for God, particularly for Krishna and other avatars of Vishnu in Vaishnavism, as well as for Shiva in Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. In north India, Bhagavān also represents the concept of abstract God to Hindus who are religious but do not worship a specific deity.
The term Bhagavān does not appear in Vedas, nor in early or middle Upanishads. The oldest Sanskrit texts use the term Brahman to represent an abstract Supreme Soul, Absolute Reality, while using names of deities like Krishna, Vishnu, Shiva to represent gods and goddesses. The term Ishvara appears in later Vedas and middle Upanishads where it is used to discuss spiritual concepts. The word Bhagavān is found in later era literature, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Puranas.
In Bhakti school literature, the term is typically used for any deity to whom prayers are offered; for example, Rama, Ganesha, Kartikeya, Krishna, Shiva or Vishnu. Often the deity is the devotee's one and only Bhagavan. Bhagavan is male in Bhakti traditions, and female equivalent of Bhagavān is Bhagavatī. To some Hindus the word Bhagavan is an abstract, genderless God concept.
In Buddhism's Pali scriptures, the term is used with Gautama Buddha, referring to him as Bhagavān Buddha (translated with the phrase 'Lord Buddha' or 'The Blessed One') and Bhagavān Shakyamuni. The term Bhagavān is also found in other Theravada, Mahayana and Tantra Buddhist texts.
Bhagavān is generally translated as Lord or God. In modern usage, Bhagavān is synonymous with Ishvara, Devatā, Hari or Prabhu, in some schools of Hinduism. Bhagavan is alternatively spelled as Bhagvān, Bhagwan or Bhagawan. The word is, in some sects, used as an honorific title for a spiritual leader considered fully enlightened by the sect. The word is also a proper noun and used as a first name for boys.