Seven Buddhas: 3 definitions


Seven Buddhas means something in Buddhism, Pali, 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.

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In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

[«previous next»] — Seven Buddhas in Buddhism glossary
Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgraha

Seven Buddhas:—A technical term in Buddhism corresponding to the Sanskrit saptatathāgata defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 6):

  1. Vipaśyī, 
  2. Śikhī,
  3. Viśvabhū,
  4. Krakucchanda,
  5. Kanakamuni,
  6. Kāśyapa,
  7. Śākyamuni.

The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (e.g., saptatathāgata, ‘seven Buddhas’). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

According to Buddhist tradition, each kalpa has 1,000 Buddhas. The previous kalpa was the vyuhakalpa (Glorious aeon), and the present kalpa is called the bhadrakalpa (Auspicious aeon). The Seven Buddhas of Antiquity (Saptatathāgata) are seven Buddhas which bridge the vyuhakalpa and the bhadrakalpa:

  1. Vipassī (the 998th Buddha of the vyuhakalpa)
  2. Sikhī (the 999th Buddha of the vyuhakalpa)
  3. Vessabhū (the 1000th and final Buddha of the vyuhakalpa)
  4. Kakusandha (the first Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  5. Koṇāgamana (the second Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  6. Kassapa (the third Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)
  7. Gautama (the fourth and present Buddha of the bhadrakalpa)

Following the Seven Buddhas of Antiquity will be Maitreya, the fifth and future Buddha of the bhadrakalpa.

India history and geography

[«previous next»] — Seven Buddhas in India history glossary
Source: History of Nepalese Buddhism: From Mythological Tradition to the Lichhavi Period

The concept of the Seven Buddhas (Saptatathagata) according to the Svayambhu Purana:

  1. Vipassi,
  2. Sikhi,
  3. Vishwabhu,
  4. Krakuchanda,
  5. Kanakmuni,
  6. Kashyapa and
  7. Shakyamuni.

The primordial Buddha or the Svayambhu (the self sprouted) is highly venerated in the Buddhist society of Nepal.  Nepalese Buddhists not only venerate the Seven Buddhas, but also the text of the Svayambhu Purana itself. The names of the Seven Buddhas mentioned in the Purana are identical to the names mentioned in the Buddhavamsha . The existence of some of the seven Buddhas has been archaeologically proved. Huen-Tsang, a famous Chinese traveller also saw Chaityas erected in the memory of Kashyapa, Kanakmuni and Kakruchhanda Buddha. His account obviously proved the existence of the Buddhas in different epochs before that of the historical Buddha. The account is not myth but the historical fact. The Ashokan pillar of Lumbini also mentions the Kanakmuni and Kakruchhanda Buddhas. It proves the existence of the Buddhas in different epochs before the historical Buddha.

India history book cover
context information

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.

Discover the meaning of seven buddhas in the context of India history from relevant books on Exotic India

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