EA38.7 (MN116), Paccekabuddhas, by Anālayo

Anālayo, “Paccekabuddhas in the Isigili-sutta and its Ekottarika-āgama Parallel”, Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, 2010, vol. 6 pp. 5–36.

analayo EA38.7 [MN116] paccekabuddhas.pdf (260.6 KB)

EA38.7, MN116


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This doesn’t make sense.

At that time, the Paccekabuddhas cremated their bodies while they were up in space and attained final Nirvā􏰃a. Why? There cannot be two [persons] called Buddhas in the world [at the same time]. This is the reason they attained Nirvā􏰃a. [Just as] among travelling merchants there cannot be two leaders, or in one country there cannot be two kings, so in one Buddha-field there cannot be two [persons] called ‘Supreme One’.

Because that means Hermit Buddhas are Supreme Ones. But the story is 500 Hermit Buddhas on Earth. It’s shows they where trying to introduce the new believe of one Buddha at a time. But EBT probably believed before in any amount at one time.

Interestingly Paccekabuddhas were described as solitary or individual Buddhas, yet in Isigili sutta they were living in a group of 500 much like Arahants. They do not teach, yet they are almost equal to Buddha, if they cannot co-exist with a Buddha or perhaps the Sammasam-Buddha.

"Another discourse in the Ekottarika-āgama goes further, as it
indicates that the whole aeon in which a Buddha arises will be without
Paccekabuddhas.77 Since this stands in direct opposition to the description in the Ekottarika-āgama parallel to the Isigili-sutta, where five hundred Paccekabuddhas live in the same aeon as the Buddha Gotama and only pass away shortly before his birth, this passage seems to reflect a further development of the idea that the co-existence of Paccekabuddhas with a Buddha is a sheer impossibility. "

Paccekabuddhas could be at least a once returner, or a bodhisattva or stream-enterer in their last life, or a seer with mindfulness established at birth.