Pratyekabuddha, aka: Pratyeka-buddha; 4 Definition(s)


Pratyekabuddha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, Hinduism, Sanskrit, the history of ancient India. 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)

Pratyekabuddha in Mahayana glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

1) Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) or Pratyekabuddhabhūmi refers to the “ground(s) of the solitary Buddhas” and represents one of the ten grounds shared by adepts of the three vehicles (sādhāraṇabhūmi) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XX).—In an earlier existence, he has planted the causes and conditions for the bodhi of the Pratyekabuddhas; in the present existence, because of a minor event (see above, p. 1068–68F), he has left home (pravrajita) and, having found the profound doctrine of the nidānas (= pratītyasamutpāda), he has realized the bodhi of the Pratyekabuddhas. In the language of the Ts’in, Pi-tche-fo is also called Pi-tche-kia-fo.

2) Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) according to the 2nd century Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (chapter XXX).—Accordingly, “there are two kinds of Pratyekabuddhas: the one who is enlightened by himself and the one who is enlightened as the result of an event (nidāna)”.

The text distinguishes two kinds of Pratyekabuddhas, namely,

  1. those who live in a group (vargacārin),
  2. those who live alone, like a rhinoceros (khagaviṣāṇakalpa).

The Vargacārins Pratyekabuddhas are former Śrāvakas who have attained the fruits of srotaāpanna or sakṛdāgamin under the reign of a Buddha at a time when the holy Dharma still existed. Later, at a time when the Buddha and the holy Dharma have disappeared, they realize the quality of Arhat by themselves.

The Khaḍgaviṣanakalpa Pratyekabuddhas has practiced the preparatory practices of bodhi for one hundred kalpas. He attains enlightenment alone, without help from any teaching. He works for his owns salvation without converting others.

Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana book cover
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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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In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Pratyekabuddha in Jainism glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) refers to “self-owned intellect” and represents one of the eighteen types of extraordinary intellect (buddhi), which itself is a subclass of the eight ṛddhis (extraordinary powers). These powers can be obtained by the Ārya (civilized people) in order to produce worldly miracles. The Āryas represent one of the two classes of human beings according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 3.46, the other being Mleccha (barbarians).

What is meant by extraordinary self developed intellect (pratyekabuddha-riddhi)? It is the capability which enables its owner to observe self restraint to perform austerities and hence knowledge without any external help/assistance.

Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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India history and geogprahy

Pratyekabuddha in India history glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pratyeka-Buddha.—cf. Prakrit Pracega-Budha (CII 2-1), Buddhist; name of certain Buddhas. Note: pratyeka-buddha is defined in the “Indian epigraphical glossary” as it can be found on ancient inscriptions commonly written in Sanskrit, Prakrit or Dravidian languages.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary
India history book cover
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The history of India traces the identification of countries, villages, towns and other regions of India, as well as royal dynasties, rulers, tribes, local festivities and traditions and regional languages. Ancient India enjoyed religious freedom and encourages the path of Dharma, a concept common to Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.

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Languages of India and abroad

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Pratyekabuddha in Sanskrit glossary... « previous · [P] · next »

Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) or Pratyeka-khaḍgin.—; see kha- ḍgin.

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Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध).—m. (= Pali pacceka-; also °ka- khaḍgin, -jina, and pratyaya-bu°, see pratyaya 3), a Buddha for himself alone, who has won enlightenment but lives in solitude and does not reveal his knowledge to the world; in Mahāyāna-texts often mentioned with śrāvakas (followers of Hīnayāna) and bodhisattvas (Mahāyānists), between the two: when there is no Buddha in the world, Pra° Buddhas arise, Mv i.301.3; iii.27.1; Divy 132.20 ff.; exceptionally, future Pra° Buddhas are predicted by name, Av i.99.17; 167.1; stories involving them are numerous, e.g. Mv i.301.5 ff. (loosely called saṃbuddha 303.12; 304.5, 11, in verses); Divy 70.3; 73.17; pratyekabuddha- yānam Mvy 1251; SP 80.10, or simply pratyeka-yāna SP 10.4; a (corrupt and obscure) list of names of pra° bu°, described Mmk 13.4 ff., listed 13.11 ff. (not included in this Dict.).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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