Pratyekabuddha, Pratyeka-buddha: 11 definitions


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)

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in Mahayana glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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: A Study and Translation of the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā

Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) refers to the “isolated Buddhas”, according to the Gaganagañjaparipṛcchā: the eighth chapter of the Mahāsaṃnipāta (a collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sūtras).—Accordingly, “How then, son of good family, does the Bodhisattva know the essential character of behaviour of all living beings? There, son of good family, are eighty-four thousand kinds of behaviour of living beings, and these are the basic words of a summary. The behaviour of all living beings, which is immeasurable, unthinkable, and ineffable, is known by the knowledge of a Buddha, but not by the knowledge of the disciples, the isolated Buddhas (pratyekabuddha-jñāna), or the knowledge of Bodhisattva. Thus the Bodhisattva penetrates the characteristics of behaviour of all beings through the presence of the Buddhas and his own knowledge. [...]”.

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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General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Buddhism

Pratyekabuddha:—One who understands cause and effect, also someone who understands the true nature of things by observing the natural environment.

Source: The Indian Buddhist Iconography (b)

Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) or simply Pratyeka refers to an adherent of the Pratyekabuddhayāna, one of the various Buddhist paths (yāna).—Lord Buddha prescribed Yānas in the beginning, namely, the Śrāvakayāna and the Pratyekabuddhayāna. [...] The Śrāvakas were to near IFom a Buddha but they had to wait till the advent of another Buddha for their emancipation. In the meanwhile the Śrāvakas could teach, but they could neither attain Nirvāṇa themselves nor help others to attain it. The Pratyekas were eminent men; they could attain Nirvāṇa by their own efforts, without the help of a Buddha but they could not impart Nirvāṇa to others.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in Jainism glossary
Source: Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 3: The Lower and middle worlds

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.

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 geography

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in India history glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Indian Epigraphical Glossary

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.

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 mythology, zoology, 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 dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in Sanskrit glossary
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

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, Mahāvastu i.301.3; iii.27.1; Divyāvadāna 132.20 ff.; exceptionally, future Pra° Buddhas are predicted by name, Avadāna-śataka i.99.17; 167.1; stories involving them are numerous, e.g. Mahāvastu i.301.5 ff. (loosely called saṃbuddha 303.12; 304.5, 11, in verses); Divyāvadāna 70.3; 73.17; pratyekabuddha- yānam Mahāvyutpatti 1251; Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 80.10, or simply pratyeka-yāna Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 10.4; a (corrupt and obscure) list of names of pra° bu°, described (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 13.4 ff., listed 13.11 ff. (not included in this Dict.).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध):—[=praty-eka-buddha] [from praty-eka > praty > prati] m. a Buddha who lives in seclusion and obtains emancipation for himself only (as opp. to those Buddhas who liberate others also), [Buddhist literature] (cf. [Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 134 etc.])

[Sanskrit to German]

Pratyekabuddha in German

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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Nepali dictionary

[«previous next»] — Pratyekabuddha in Nepali glossary
Source: unoes: Nepali-English Dictionary

Pratyeka-buddha (प्रत्येक-बुद्ध):—n. a solitary Buddha; one who has achieved Awakening through insight into the dependent origination of mind and body;

context information

Nepali is the primary language of the Nepalese people counting almost 20 million native speakers. The country of Nepal is situated in the Himalaya mountain range to the north of India.

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