28 Buddhas

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Coyote
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28 Buddhas

Post by Coyote » Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:32 pm

I am just interested to read about other peoples take on the previous Buddhas mentioned in the Pali Canon.
As I understand it many are described as living is societies similar to India at the time of the Buddha - so many of the places, castes ect are the same. I'm not exactly sure how much information is given in the Canon regarding when exactly they lived - but taking this into account do you take the accounts literally? Do you think it is possible human life has arisen before on earth, to account for the dates that they were supposed to have lived? Are they just stories? Are the dates exaggerations, and if so, is there any evidence that Buddhism may have existed before the historical Buddha on earth, in other eras? Are they incompatable with scientific evolutionary theory?
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

santa100
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by santa100 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:03 pm

Actually, modern physics no longer believes that the Big Bang is one single unique event. The mathematics of Inflation and String theories not only suggest multiple "Bang" events, but also multiple dimensions (other than the 3 spatial and 1 time dimensions), and most interesting of all, multiple universes (multi-verse) where there're just as many Earths as the sand grains of the Ganges! So, with this aspect of an infinite boundless spacetime, it should has no trouble whatsoever supporting the existence of 28 Buddhas..

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Zom
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by Zom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:13 pm

Are the dates exaggerations, and if so, is there any evidence that Buddhism may have existed before the historical Buddha on earth, in other eras? Are they incompatable with scientific evolutionary theory?
Time has incredible power to destroy all evidences of human activity on earth. In some cases even 1000 years is enough for the nature to totally wipe out once mighty and prosperous cities. Consider what will happen if 3000 years will pass? And if 10.000? And if 50.000?? 100.000? 300... 500.. 1.000.000 years will pass? 2.000.000? 3... 4.. 7.. 10.000.000 ??? :shock: 20.... 30... 50 ... 100.000.000 :shock: 200... 300.... 500.000.000 !!!! And the earth's age is 4.000.000.000 years. Incredible period of time which is capable to totally destroy any evidence not only of some human civilazition - but perhaps several thousands of them ,)

8-)

Coyote
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by Coyote » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:23 pm

santa100 wrote:Actually, modern physics no longer believes that the Big Bang is one single unique event. The mathematics of Inflation and String theories not only suggest multiple "Bang" events, but also multiple dimensions (other than the 3 spatial and 1 time dimensions), and most interesting of all, multiple universes (multi-verse) where there're just as many Earths as the sand grains of the Ganges! So, with this aspect of an infinite boundless spacetime, it should has no trouble whatsoever supporting the existence of 28 Buddhas..
I don't necessarily think that we would need to go as far back as the big bang, I am thinking more on the timescale that life has arisen on this earth. Nevertheless it is my understanding that the Buddha described existence as without a beginning, in that case I have doubt that universes could have existed before our own, with thier own Buddhas.
Zom wrote:Time has incredible power to destroy all evidences of human activity on earth. In some cases even 1000 years is enough for the nature to totally wipe out once mighty and prosperous cities. Consider what will happen if 3000 years will pass? And if 10.000? And if 50.000?? 100.000? 300... 500.. 1.000.000 years will pass? 2.000.000? 3... 4.. 7.. 10.000.000 ??? :shock: 20.... 30... 50 ... 100.000.000 :shock: 200... 300.... 500.000.000 !!!! And the earth's age is 4.000.000.000 years. Incredible period of time which is capable to totally destroy any evidence not only of some human civilazition - but perhaps several thousands of them ,)
This is very true. I am interested in what you think. Archaeological evidence suggest that modern humans evolved 200,000 years ago - do you think the previous Buddhas were in human civilisations that had arisen even before current modern humans evolved, or maybe in civilisations just before the period that the current Buddha was born into - so still part of modern human species? All speculation of course.

Just out of interest have any of you heard the theory that groups of humans evolved independantly of each other, rather than the idea that humans evolved from one single ancestor? If this is the case, then I see no reason why it could not have happened before, at other times before current modern humans evolved.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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Zom
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by Zom » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:27 pm

I am interested in what you think. Archaeological evidence suggest that modern humans evolved 200,000 years ago - do you think the previous Buddhas were in human civilisations that had arisen even before current modern humans evolved, or maybe in civilisations just before the period that the current Buddha was born into - so still part of modern human species? All speculation of course.
My view is that all 3 previous buddhas of our kappa (I think that kappa lasts several billions of years - from the point when Earth has formed till its destruction) - Kakusanda, Konagamana and Kassapa - lived on our planet Earth long-long time ago. The previous Buddha Kassapa, perhaps, lived about half a billion years ago. The future Buddha Metteya, perhaps, will appear after many millions of years (perhaps even a billion) since present moment. As texts say, he will be the last buddha in our kappa. Total 5 buddhas in our kappa. Very fortunate kappa -)

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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by santa100 » Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:07 pm

Then chances are that the three previous Buddhas' home was on a different Earth within a different Solar System. And the Solar System could be within the Milky Way galaxy or on a different galaxy. Notice on "our" Earth, the dinosaurs reign ended about 65 millions years ago. Homo-sapiens originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. And batches of them only started migrating to Europe and Asia around 80,000 years ago. Human then switched from hunter-gatherer society to agricultural society at about 10,000BC. All these numbers are too small to fit into the kalpa model described for the three Buddhas in DN. 14, Mahapadana Sutta. Extend the logic to other even-more ancient Buddhas, they must've existed in previous universes before our current 14-billion-year-old universe. Then I'll have to stop there before my head explodes... :tongue:

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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by chownah » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:34 am

Coyote wrote: Are they just stories? Are the dates exaggerations, and if so, is there any evidence that Buddhism may have existed before the historical Buddha on earth, in other eras?
No evidence has been found to support any kind of Buddhism or other Buddha having existed before the historical Buddha.
"Just stories" is a definite possibility.
chownah

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DarwidHalim
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by DarwidHalim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 2:41 am

I am quite curious with the title.

what does it mean with 28 Buddhas?
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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bodom
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by bodom » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:08 am

DarwidHalim wrote:I am quite curious with the title.

what does it mean with 28 Buddhas?
See this:
28 Buddhas

There have been 28 samma-sam-buddhas (teaching Buddhas who rediscover the Dhamma and teach the masses when the Dhamma has died-out), ending in the historical Buddha of our time. The Buddha was not the first Buddha, nor the last.

In most Theravada countries it is the custom for Buddhists to hold elaborate festivals to honor 28 Buddhas. For example, in various parts of Myanmar, festivals are held to pay homage to 28 Buddhas, especially in the fair weather season. The twenty eight Buddhas are said to have attained enlightenment from the time Gotama Buddha attained his first definite prophecy (assurance that one will definitely become a Buddha one day) from Dipankara Buddha. According to most Buddhist traditions, Metteyya (Maitreya, in Sanskrit) is expected to be the next Buddha.

The names of the 28 Buddhas

1. Taṇhaṃkara
2. Medhaṃkara
3. Saraṇaṃkara
4. Dipankara
5. Koṇḍañña
6. Maṃgala
7. Sumana
8. Revata
9. Sobhita
10. Anomadassi
11. Paduma
12. Nārada
13. Padumuttara
14. Sumedha
15. Sujāta
16. Piyadassi
17. Atthadassi
18. Dhammadassi
19. Siddhattha
20. Tissa
21. Phussa
22. Vipassi
23. Sikhi
24. Vessabhū
25. Kakusandha
26. Koṇāgamana
27. Kassapa Buddha
28. Gotama Buddha

(from the Khuddaka Nikaya, Buddhavamsa)
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=28_Buddhas" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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DarwidHalim
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by DarwidHalim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:40 am

I read the link, but I am not very clear.

Are these 28 buddhas the total buddha who have realized his buddhahood up to now or it means something else?

I dont see for example Buddha Amitabha.
The name of Boddhisattva Maitreya is also not in.

Btw, any Pali information regarding how many Buddha will come to this earth before this earth destroy?

From the sutra tradition, it is mentioned 1001 Buddhas will appear before this earth destroy, and Buddha Sakyamuni is No. 4 who has come to this earth.

This is for comparative study.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

fabianfred
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by fabianfred » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:49 am

Since the past and future are both infinite...there have been an infinite number of Buddhas ......and will be....
The Buddha Gotama was the fourth in this Aeon (Mahakappa)...meaning on this very Earth planet as we know it now.
The Fifth and final buddha in this aeon will come before the eventual destruction of the planet and end of the aeon.
An aeon is the length of time from one big-bang ..to the next...(everything in nature is cyclic). What ever is born will be destroyed and reborn...people, planets, universes, galaxies, etc.
The only thing not subject to this is Nibbana.

The 24 buddhas before this aeon were upon earlier Earths....in earlier universes..... before this aeon...before this big-bang.

Four asongkaya and 100,000 aeons ago 4 to the power of 140 = 4 followed by 140 zeros; plus an extrra 100,000 thrown in for good luck............... aeons we are talking about here, not years or lives.....aeons= big-bangs...... there once was a city called Amaravati...where lived a Brahmin called Sumedha.....this is when the Buddha of that time was Dipankara ...the fourth Buddha in that aeon which had four Buddhas. Making the aspiration to become a future Buddha in the presence of Dipankara Sumedha had it confirmed that he would become a Buddha....4 asongkaya and 100,000 aeons hence...the present buddha Gotama.
The three Buddhas in that aeon before Dipankara, Sumedha did not meet...but are counted as relevant because they were in that aeon.....he then, whilst a Boddhisatva, met 24 other Buddhas in that long time practicing the ten perfections.
3 Buddhas before Dipankara+ Dipankara+ 24 more= 28 buddhas ...relevant to the time the Buddha Gotama spent practicing as a Boddhisatva.
Only 28 buddhas in all those billions of aeons......they are very rare and precious indeed!!!
Do not waste this precious chance you have now!!!!

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DarwidHalim
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by DarwidHalim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:11 am

In Pali Canon, do you have a sutta that tell us this kind of history or background?

In Mahayana, they have Lotus Sutra, which tell all these stories. The name of Dipankara is also there.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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bodom
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Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by bodom » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:21 am

DarwidHalim wrote:In Pali Canon, do you have a sutta that tell us this kind of history or background?

In Mahayana, they have Lotus Sutra, which tell all these stories. The name of Dipankara is also there.
Buddhavamsa
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhavamsa" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
The heart of the path is so simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle.

- Ajahn Chah

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DarwidHalim
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Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by DarwidHalim » Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:25 am

Thank you.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

Coyote
Posts: 845
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:42 pm
Location: Wales - UK

Re: 28 Buddhas

Post by Coyote » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:44 pm

santa100 wrote:Then chances are that the three previous Buddhas' home was on a different Earth within a different Solar System. And the Solar System could be within the Milky Way galaxy or on a different galaxy. Notice on "our" Earth, the dinosaurs reign ended about 65 millions years ago. Homo-sapiens originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. And batches of them only started migrating to Europe and Asia around 80,000 years ago. Human then switched from hunter-gatherer society to agricultural society at about 10,000BC. All these numbers are too small to fit into the kalpa model described for the three Buddhas in DN. 14, Mahapadana Sutta. Extend the logic to other even-more ancient Buddhas, they must've existed in previous universes before our current 14-billion-year-old universe. Then I'll have to stop there before my head explodes... :tongue:
The thing is, they are described in the terms of ancient India - coming from Brahmin and Khattiya caste ect. - Maybe the Buddha was putting it all into terms that the people at the time could understand - so Brahmin means the ruling group and so on. Saying that, as far as I can see there is no time scale stated in the Sutta, it just says that the 3 previous Buddhas arose in "our aeon", so I don't see why they could not have come from earliar civilisations.
"If beings knew, as I know, the results of giving & sharing, they would not eat without having given, nor would the stain of miserliness overcome their minds. Even if it were their last bite, their last mouthful, they would not eat without having shared."
Iti 26

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