Pratyekabuddha, aka: Pratyeka-buddha; 2 Definition(s)


Pratyekabuddha means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit. 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)

1) Pratyekabuddha (प्रत्येकबुद्ध) or Pratyekabuddhabhūmi refers to one of the ten grounds shared by adepts of the three vehicles (sādhāraṇabhūmi) according to the 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 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, those who live in a group (vargacārin), 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
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.

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

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
context information

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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