Dipankara, aka: Dipamkara, Dīpaṃkara, Dīpaṅkara; 4 Definition(s)


Dipankara means something in Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

[Dipankara in Mahayana glossaries]

Dīpaṃkara (दीपंकर) is the name of a Buddha according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XV).—Accordingly, “The Buddha Dīpaṃkara was called Dīpaṃkarakumāra, “prince, lighter of lamps” because when he was born, all the extremities of his body were like lamps. When he became Buddha, he was still called Dīpaṃkara”.

According to Chapter LI, “for twelve years after he had attained abhisaṃbodhi, the Buddha Jan-teng (Dīpaṃkara) only emitted light rays (raśmi) and, as there was no one to understand him, did not preach the Dharma”.

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

[Dipankara in Theravada glossaries]

The first of the twenty four Buddhas.

He was born in Rammavati,

his father being King Sudeva (v.l. Sumedha) and

his mother Sumedha.

For ten thousand years he lived in the household, in three palaces, Hamsa, Konca and Mayura.

His wife was Paduma and his son Usabhakkhandha (Samavatakkhandha).

He left home on an elephant and practised austerities for ten months.

His Bodhi tree was the Pipphali and grass for his seat was given by an Ajivaka named Sunanda.

His first sermon was preached at Nandarama (Sunandarama) at Sirighara, where he converted the heretics.

He had three great gatherings of his followers.

He was always attended by eighty four thousand arahants, and his body was eighty cubits in height.

He died at Nandarama at the age of one hundred thousand years and his thupa was thirty six yojanas high.

Sumangala and Tissa were his chief monks,

Nanda and Sunanda his chief nuns, while

Sagata (v.l. Nanda) was his constant attendant.

Tapassu and Bhallika were his chief lay patrons among men and Sirima and Sona among women.

It was during the time of Dipankara Buddha that the ascetic Sumedha (q.v.), who later became Gotama - Buddha, first declared his intention of becoming an aspirant for Enlightenment (a Bodhisatta).

After Dipankaras death, his doctrine lasted for one hundred thousand years. Bu.ii.207ff; BuA.104f; J.i.29; Mhv.i.5; Dpv.iii.31; DhA.i.69; but see Mtu.i.193ff., where the details differ from those given here.

2. Dipankara - See Buddhappiya.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
context information

Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).

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General definition (in Buddhism)

[Dipankara in Buddhism glossaries]

Dipankara one of the Buddhas of the past, said to have lived on Earth one hundred thousand years.

Theoretically, the number of Buddhas having existed is enormous and they are often collectively known under the name of "Thousand Buddhas". Each was responsible for a life cycle. According to some Buddhist traditions, Dipankara (also Dipamkara) was a Buddha who reached enlightenment eons prior to Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Generally, Buddhists believe that there has been a succession of many Buddhas in the distant past and that many more will appear in the future; Dipankara, then, would be one of numerous previous Buddhas, while Shakyamuni was the most recent, and Maitreya will be the next Buddha in the future.

(Sanskrit and Pali Dipamkara, "Lamp bearer"; Chinese (pinyin Randeng Fo); Tibetan mi slob; Mongolian Jula yin Jokiya and gamma;ci, Dibangkara, Nepal Bhasa: Dipankha)

(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism

Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

[Dipankara in Pali glossaries]

dīpaṅkara : (adj.) one who lights a lamp; name of the former Buddha.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Relevant definitions

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