Here's a reply in a thread in SC forum from bhante Dhammanando about Pacceka Buddha .
Well, perhaps, though in the earliest texts texts referring to paccekabuddhas we’re left so much in the dark that it’s hard to draw any strong conclusions about this. Basically all we’re told is:
The names of certain paccekabuddhas of yore.
That they possess the special qualities of ariyans: āhuneyyo, pāhuneyyo, etc.
That a gift of food to a paccekabuddha is a hundred times more meritorious than such a gift to an arahant, but only a hundredth as meritorious as one to a Tathāgata.
That like Buddhas, arahants and cakkavattī rājās they deserve a stūpa after death.
That it’s not a good idea to insult one:
" When that was said, a certain monk said this to the Gracious One: “What was the reason, reverend Sir, what was the cause, through which the leper Suppabuddha became a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man?”
“Formerly, monks, the leper Suppabuddha was a son of a wealthy merchant in this very Rājagaha. While going to his pleasure park he saw the Pacceka Buddha Tagarasikkhī entering the city for alms, and having seen him, this occurred to him: “Who is this leper roaming around with his leper’s robe?” And having spat, and circumambulated him disrespectfully on the left side, he went away.
As a result of that deed of his for many years, for many hundreds of years, for many thousands of years, for many hundreds of thousands of years, he boiled in the nether regions. And as a result of the remaining part of that deed of his he became a leper in this very Rājagaha, a poor man, a wretched man, a miserable man. " Ud.5.3
And so far as I understand, you cannot really be a paccekabuddha if you are Buddhist anyway, since, being a Buddhist, enlightement would make you an arahant, not a buddha, right?
In the fully-developed conception of paccekabodhi, arrival at this kind of awakening is said to always occur either in an “empty aeon” (suññakappa, i.e., one in which no sammāsambuddhas appear) or in a non-empty aeon (asuññākappa) during the dark period in between the dispensations of two sammāsambuddhas. Within this scheme I think that a paccekabuddha would count as a “Buddhist” in the sense that to awaken is by definition to have gone to the Dhamma for refuge. Also by virtue of the fact that the preparatory work for paccekabuddhahood is done during non-empty aeons through exposure to the Dhamma by repeated encounters with sammāsambuddhas, their disciples and their dispensations. It’s only in his final life that the Private Buddha is truly private.
So even if an arahant doesn’t teach, he’s still an arahant if he got there from Buddhist practice. And so vowing to become a paccekabuddha is actually vowing to be reborn in a place/time where there is no Buddhism, and then attain enlightenment, and not teach! So that, is why I believe it is totally absurd for any Buddhist to want to become a paccekabuddha.
The all-too-common statement that “paccekabuddha don’t teach” is not quite accurate. In fact they do (or at least may) teach. What they don’t do is establish a dispensation with a fourfold assembly, etc. But if one didn’t teach, just by virtue of his existence he would be serving as an “incomparable field of merit to the world” in a dark age when few such are to be found.
So why would anyone choose to be born in a place that doesn’t even have teachings to guide you to the fruit you want to acquire?!
Who knows? Perhaps a person may have such a strong preference for his own company that he just doesn’t fancy being part of any club.
It’s only in his final life that the Private Buddha is truly private.
I mean “private” in the sense that they arrive at awakening in their last birth without being under anyone’s tutelage. In other respects they’re not necessarily very private at all. For example the Pali commentaries and certain Tibetan texts like to depict them as dwelling or roaming about in gangs of five hundred.