A Non-Teaching Buddha

What is a Buddha who is unable to teach the full path called and why is it that such a Buddha comes into being?

Also how come when a being becomes enlightened and reach nirvana not all of them become Buddhas?

One more… and how does a being to choose what kind of enlightenment they will achieve? Like some become Tathāgata some just don’t?

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How many beings may become Buddha?
Theravada: Very few. And there is no need for all the beings to become Buddha. Because Buddha’s wisdom is higher than an Arahant, but their liberation are the same.
Early Mahayana: Most beings may become Buddha, excluding the icchantikas.
Later Mahayana: All the beings may become Buddha, including the icchantikas.

Are there any Buddha who was not teaching?
Theravada: No.
Mahayana: Yes.

Alright so why does someone become an arahant and not a Buddha? Is this by choice?

Also there is a specific name for a being that becomes a Buddha, but doesn’t teach. What is the name of that type of Buddha?

I had never heard of Icchantikas before. The idea that there are beings that cannot eventually reach enlightenment is terrifying. It also seems to go against the teachings as it suggest a kind of permanent unchanging state. That wording is probably not the correct, but it conveys the idea. Even the most “evil” of being over incalculable eons can eventually come to the teachings. At least as far as I understand, perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think so on this topic.

So in Theravada, anyone who becomes a Buddha is capable of dispensing the knowledge of the whole path to other beings.

In Mahāyāna though there are beings that become Buddhas, but are unable to teach the full path? What are they called?
(I’m asking because I can’t seem to get it to some up on Google)

And again sorry… why does someone become an arahant and not a Buddha? Is this by choice?

The different Buddhist theories are like multiple universes in the quantum mechanics.
Each of the universes has its own paradoxes.
If you mix them up, you are making more paradoxes.

There were lots of great names in the Buddhism history, such as Buddhaghosa, Nagasena, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu…a quite long list.
Each of them had greater wisdom than ordinary people like us, and was trying to solve the previous questions by making new theories.
Then guess what? Many more paradoxes which may not be solved came out.

So The Buddha (in the history, not fairy tales) said that these were avyakatas (unanswerable questions).
Of course, you may choose an answer, from yourself or any other person, for an avyakata.
But at the same time, you are making more avyakatas, and more avyakatas mean more paradoxes.

So the Buddha told his followers not to answer those metaphysic question. (Such as the ones you are asking now.)
But unfortunately, there were lots of free-debating meetings in the ancient India.
In those meetings, the Buddhist monks had to answer those meaningless questions in order to keep their religion.
That’s why all the avyakatas and paradoxes kept coming out in the Buddhist history.

So what I am doing is simply giving them up.
I am focusing on the oldest suttas, and trying to find out what was truly said by the Buddha.
Except this, what else should be done?


Thank you for your input my questions still stands.

Perhaps they are able to teach, but choose not too. There is a special name for them and I ask for the name so I can read up.

‘Pacceka Buddha’ means something like ‘solitary realiser’. Gotama the Buddha was a ‘wheel turning’ Buddha. This kind of Buddha rediscovers the Dhamma by themselves. They then teach their discovery to others. All fully awakened beings can be referred as ‘arahants’. Therefore, all Buddha’s are also arahants (stainless ones). All arahants are also ‘buddha’s’ (awakened ones). There are ‘wheel-turning’ Buddha’s who arise only when the need is there. When the Dhamma is lost someone rediscovers it and shares their discovery with others. There is the ‘Pacceka Buddha’ - they can arise at any time and they also discover the truth without the need to receive teachings from others. Unfortunately, they cannot teach the Dhamma in all its aspects and particulars. They don’t make good teachers as in the ‘wheel turning’ variety of Buddha’s. There are also many beings who attain arahantship through hearing the teachings of a ‘wheel-turning’ Buddha - a teaching Buddha like the one that appeared circa 2600 years ago here on Earth. This is called ‘hearer’ (savaka) awakening. Those who wake up through hearing - and practicing - the ‘Buddha Dhamma’ (the teachings of a Buddha). Do you know about the 3 stages of awakening before Arahantship?


Thank you! I kept typing in something like “Pikku Buddha.” So silly, thanks again.

Do you mean the Four Stages of Enlightenment?

So one does sort of get a choice on what kind of enlightenment they receive, but it’s like a single moment decision.

So a Savaka buddha, would rise from those who listen to a Buddha.

A Paccekabuddha, would rise from those of solitary practice, without hearing a Buddha.

A Sammasambuddha, would rise from a more social practice, without hearing a Buddha.

All Buddhas are Arahants.

The terms are dependent on final life.

I’ve heard that a paccekabuddha cannot arise during the time a Sammasambuddha’s teaching is alive in the world -like now. I wonder where this idea comes from?

with metta

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