List of the twenty-eight Buddhas

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Buddhist men at the Sule Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, paying homage to the 28 Buddhas described in Chapter 27 of the Buddhavamsa
Sumedha, the youth who would in the distant future become Gautama Buddha, receiving his niyatha vivarana (prediction of future Buddhahood) from the Dīpankara Buddha

In countries where Theravāda Buddhism is practiced by the majority of people (Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand), it is customary for Buddhists to hold elaborate festivals, especially during the fair weather season, paying homage to the 28 Buddhas described in Chapter 27 of the Buddhavamsa. The Buddhavamsa is a text which describes the life of Gautama Buddha and the 27 Buddhas who preceded him.[1] The Buddhavamsa is part of the Khuddaka Nikāya, which in turn is part of the Sutta Piṭaka. The Sutta Piṭaka is one of three main sections of the Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism.

The first three of these Buddhas—Taṇhaṅkara, Medhaṅkara, and Saraṇaṅkara—lived before the time of Dīpankara Buddha. The fourth Buddha, Dīpankara, is especially important, as he was the Buddha who gave niyatha vivarana (prediction of future Buddhahood) to the Brahmin youth who would in the distant future become the bodhisattva Gautama Buddha.[2] After Dīpankara, 23 more noble people (ariya-puggala) would attain enlightenment before Gautama, the historical Buddha.[citation needed]

The 28 Buddhas described in the Buddhavamsa are not the only Buddhas believed to have existed. Indeed, Gautama Buddha taught that innumerable Buddhas have lived in past kalpas.[citation needed]

Many Buddhists also pay homage to the future (and 29th) Buddha, Maitreya. According to Buddhist scripture, Maitreya will be a successor of Gautama who will appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure Dharma. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya is found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects (Theravāda, Mahāyāna, and Vajrayāna), and is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an event that will take place when the Dharma will have been forgotten on Jambudvipa (the terrestrial realm, where ordinary human beings live).[citation needed]

The 28 named Buddhas[edit]

Pāli name[3][4] Caste[4] Birthplace[4] Parents[4] Bodhirukka (tree of enlightenment)[4][5]
1 Taṇhaṅkara單罕伽羅佛 King Sunandha, and Queen Sunandhaa Rukkaththana
2 Medhaṅkara美單伽羅佛 Sudheva, and Yasodhara Kaela
3 Saraṇaṅkara沙羅難伽羅佛 Sumangala, and Yasawathi Pulila
4 Dīpankara燃燈佛(提槃迦羅佛) Brahmin[6] Rammawatinagara Sudheva, and Sumedhaya Pipphala Sumedha (also Sumati or Megha Mānava, a rich Brahman)[7]
5 Koṇḍañña孔達尼耶佛 Kshatriya[6] Rammawatinagara Sunanda, and Sujata Salakalyana Vijitawi (a Chakravarti in Chandawatinagara of Majjhimadesa)
6 Maṅgala曼伽羅佛 Brahmin[6] Uttaranagara (Majhimmadesa) Uttara, and Uttara a naga Suruchi (in Siribrahmano)
7 Sumana須曼那佛 Kshatriya[6] Mekhalanagara Sudassana and Sirima a naga King Atulo, a Naga
8 Revata[8]麗瓦陀佛 Brahmin[6] Sudhannawatinagara Vipala and Vipula a naga A Veda-versed Brahman
9 Sobhita須毘陀佛 Kshatriya[6] Sudhammanagara Sudhammanagara (father) and Sudhammanagara (mother) a naga Sujata, a Brahman (in Rammavati)
10 Anomadassi阿諾摩達西佛 Brahmin[6] Chandawatinagara Yasava and Yasodara ajjuna A Yaksha king
11 Paduma[9]婆睹摩佛 Kshatriya[6] Champayanagara Asama, and Asama salala A lion
12 Nārada那羅陀佛 Dhammawatinagara King Sudheva and Anopama sonaka a tapaso in Himalayas
13 Padumuttara[10]胜莲花佛 (跋陀無陀羅佛) Kshatriya Hansawatinagara Anurula, and Sujata salala Jatilo an ascetic
14 Sumedha善慧佛 (須美陀佛) Kshatriya Sudasananagara Sumedha (father), and Sumedha (mother) nipa Native of Uttaro
15 Sujāta須闍陀佛 Sumangalanagara Uggata, and Pabbavati welu a chakravarti
16 Piyadassi[11]毘耶達西佛 Sudannanagara Sudata, and Subaddha kakudha Kassapa, a Brahmin (at Siriwattanagara)
17 Atthadassi阿陀達西佛 Kshatriya Sonanagara Sagara and Sudassana champa Susino, a Brahman
18 Dhammadassī達摩達西佛 Kshatriya Surananagara Suranamaha, and Sunanada bimbajala Indra, the leader of the gods (devas)
19 Siddharttha悉達陀佛 Vibharanagara Udeni, and Suphasa kanihani Mangal, a Brahman
20 Tissa帝沙佛 Khemanagara Janasando, and Paduma assana King Sujata of Yasawatinagara
21 Phussa[12]普沙佛 Kshatriya Kasi Jayasena, and Siremaya amalaka Vijitavi
22 Vipassī毘婆尸佛 Kshatriya Bandhuvatinagara Vipassi (father), and Vipassi (mother) patali King Atula
23 Sikhī尸棄佛 Kshatriya Arunavattinagara Arunavatti, and Paphavatti pundariko Arindamo (at Paribhuttanagara)
24 Vessabhū毘舍浮佛 Kshatriya Anupamanagara Suppalittha, and Yashavati sala Sadassana (in Sarabhavatinagara)
25 Kakusandha拘留孫佛 Brahmin Khemavatinagara Agidatta the purohitta Brahman of King Khema, and Visakha airisa King Khema[13]
26 Koṇāgamana拘那含牟尼佛 Brahmin[14] Sobhavatinagara Yannadatta the Brahman, and Uttara udumbara King Pabbata of a mountainous area in Mithila
27 Kassapa[15]迦葉佛 Brahmin Baranasinagara Brahmadatta a Brahman, and Dhanavati nigroda Jotipala (at Vappulla)
28 Siddartha Gautama喬達摩佛 Kshatriya Kapilavastu King Suddhodana, and Maya peepal a.k.a. fig (Ficus religiosa)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Morris, R, ed. (1882). "XXVII: List of the Buddhas". The Buddhavamsa. London: Pali Text Society. pp. 66–7. 
  2. ^ "Life of the Buddha: Dīpankara's Prediction of Enlightenment". The Huntington Archive - The Ohio State University. Retrieved 2012-09-06. 
  3. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Buddha, pp. 294-305
  4. ^ a b c d e Davids, TWR; Davids, R (1878). "The successive bodhisats in the times of the previous Buddhas". Buddhist birth-stories; Jataka tales. The commentarial introduction entitled Nidana-Katha; the story of the lineage. London: George Routledge & Sons. pp. 115–44. 
  5. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Bodhirukka, p. 319
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Beal (1875), Beal S, Chapter III: Exciting to religious sentiment, pp. 10-17
  7. ^ Ghosh, B (1987). "Buddha Dīpankara: twentyfourth predecessor of Gautama". Bulletin of Tibetology. 11 (new series) (2): 33–8. ISSN 0525-1516. 
  8. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Revata, pp. 754-5
  9. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Paduma, p. 131
  10. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Padumuttara, pp. 136-7
  11. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Piyadassi, p. 207
  12. ^ Malalasekera (2007), Malalasekera GP, Phussa, p. 257
  13. ^ Prophecies of Kakusandha Buddha, Konagamana Buddha and Kassapa Buddha
  14. ^ Barua, A (2008). Dīgha-Nikāya: romanize Pāli text with English translation 2 (1st ed.). Delhi, India: New Bharatiya Book Corporation. p. 6. ISBN 81-8315-096-9. 
  15. ^ Cunningham, A (1880). "XVIII: Tandwa". Report of Tours in the Gangetic Provinces from Badaon to Bihar, in 1875-76 and 1877-78. Calcutta, India: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. pp. 70–8. 

References[edit]