BUDDHAS PROJECT of MAITRIYANA
Seek the virtues of 1 Buddha is the same as seeking the virtues of all Buddhas, since all the Buddhas have a single and common Dharmic Nature.
Buddhas in the Theravada
There are three variations of Awakened Beings (Buddhas) according to the Theravada Buddhism:
- Samyaksambuddha (Samasambuddha). This is the one who wakes up by himself and teaches to all of humanity to attain the Awakening.
- Pratyekabuddha (Paccekabuddha). This is the one who wakes up by himself but he does not have the oath to teach to everyone.
- Catusaccabuddha or Arhat (Arahant). This is the apprentice who wakes up after the contact with an Awakened Being. The Bodhisattva can be found in this category.
(There is a fourth possible variation: the Bahussuta Buddha, the Awakened Erudite, but in reality it has been applied to both the second and the third category).
Buddhism has lost this categorization, since it usually recognizes as a Buddha (Awakened Being) only to Siddhartha Gautama, a Samyaksambuddha (Self-enlightened) thus forgetting that there have been many others who have achieved by themselves this same spiritual level. Therefore, the Theravada remembers that there are three types of Samyaksambuddhas: with a greater wisdom (prajñādhika), with a greater effort (vīryādhika) and with a greater faith (śraddhādhika). Gautama was a Prajñādhika Buddha (through greater wisdom). But later there were other great masters, such as Nagarjuna and Jesus, who are respectively recognized by the Maitriyana as a Vīryādhika Buddha and a Sraddhādhika Buddha.
The Sammasambuddha is also called Sabbanu Buddha (Omniscient Buddha), having the mission of Saving the Spiritual Truth for the Cure (Nirvana) and the Awakening (Bodhi) of all beings. By such reason, a Self-enlightened is a Medic (bhisakko) and Master (Sattharo), although his function of spiritual leadership grants him the title of Lord (Bhagava) and even of Universal Monarch (Raja Chakkavatti) or Descendent from the Sun (Adiccha-Bandhu’).
In order to purge the Buddhist Spirituality from every possible religious nuance, the Maitriyana claims that in the verses of the Jataka stories, the tenth book of the Khuddaka-Nikaya (Sutta Pitaka), is described that Siddharta Gautama himself is only one appearance within a long chain of Samyaksambuddhas. In fact, in the Jataka Atthakatha and the Lalitavistara, a list of more than two dozen of Samyaksambuddhas is submitted, while the Mahavastu has a list of about a hundred Samyaksambuddhas. Furthermore, regarding the Buddhavamsa text which is part of the Khuddaka Nikaya (Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon), it provides a particular description of the sermons and auras of these twenty eight Samyaksambuddhas (Samasambuddhas), who taught Spirituality to people. The last one of this list was Siddhartha Gautama, however he obviously was not the first Buddha nor does the latest. In countries -such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Thailand, where Theravada Buddhism predominates, it is effectively a custom to celebrate festivals in order to pay tribute to the twenty eight Samyaksambuddhas. In Theravada Buddhism, the first Samasambuddhas are considered as primordial, especially the first three (Taṇhaṅkara, Medhaṅkara, y Saraṇaṅkara) because they lived before the fourth Samasambuddha called Dipankara, who is very important in both the Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. But obviously the twenty eight Samyaksambuddhas are not the only ones who have existed, since Siddharta Gautama himself taught that have appeared countless amount of Samyaksambuddhas or Sabbanubuddhas in the past. In the current era, called Bhadrakalpa (Bhaddakappa), it is expected that 1000 Samyaksambuddhas appear, although a single Samyaksambuddha usually appears one at a time.
Below, the list in Pali and Sanskrit of the twenty eight Samyaksambuddhas is presented according to Theravada, at the same time future Samyaksambuddhas are listed who are expected after Siddharta Gautama Buddha.
Buddhas from other ages
- Buddha Taṇhaṃkara (p)
- Buddha Medhaṃkara (p)
- Buddha Saraṇaṃkara (p)
- Buddha Dīpankara (p) Buddha Dīpankara (s)
5. Buddha Koṇdañña (p) Buddha Kauṇḍiya (s)
6. Buddha Mangala (p) Buddha Mangala (s)
7. Buddha Sumana (p) Buddha Sumana (s)
8. Buddha Revata (p) Buddha Raivata (s)
9. Buddha Sobhita (p) Buddha Śobhita (s)
10. Buddha Anomadassa (p) Buddha Anavamadarśin (s)
11. Buddha Paduma (p) Buddha Padma (s)
12. Buddha Nārada (p) Buddha Nārada (s)
13. Buddha Padumuttara (p) Buddha Padumottara (s)
14. Buddha Sumedha (p) Buddha Sumedha (s)
15. Buddha Sujāta (p) Buddha Sujāta (s)
16. Buddha Piyadassi (p) Buddha Priyadarśin (s)
17. Buddha Aţţhadassi (p) Buddha Arthadaśin (s)
18. Buddha Dhammadassi (p) Buddha Dharmadarśin (s)
19. Buddha Siddhattha (p) Buddha Siddhārtha (s)
20. Buddha Tissa (p) Buddha Tiṣya (s)
21. Buddha Phussa (p) Buddha Puṣya (s)
- Buddha Vipassi (p) Buddha Vipaśyin (s)
- Buddha Sikhī (p) Buddha Śikhin (s)
24. Buddha Vessabhu (p) Buddha Viśvabhuj (s)
Buddhas from the current Bhadrakalpa era:
25. Buddha Kakusandha (p) Buddha Krakucchanda (s)
26. Buddha Koṇāgamana (p) Buddha Kanakamuni (s)
27. Buddha Kassapa (p) Buddha Kāśyapa (s)
28. Buddha Siddhattha Gotama (Sakiyamuni) (p) Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama
Future Buddhas from the Bhadrakalpa era according to some Sinhalese sources
- Buddha Dhammaraja (king Pasenadi of Kosala)
- Buddha Dhammassami (Abhibhu king of devas)
- Buddha Narada (Dighasona)
- Buddha Ramsimuni (Canki)
- Buddha Devadeva (Subha)
- Buddha Narasiha (Todeyya)
- Buddha Tissa (elephant Dhanapala)
- Buddha Sumangala (elephant Parileyya)
Many Buddhists pay homage to the Samasambuddha 29, Metteyya, as the spiritual successor of Siddhartha Gautama, appearing on the Earth to teach pure Spirituality. The prophecy of this event is found in the canonical literature of both the Theravada and the Mahayana, considering that this would happen before the eventual loss of the True Buddhism. The Chakkavatti Sihanada and the Anagatavamsa Sutra describe the features of this advent. However, Dasabodhisattuppattikatha (The Birth Stories of the Ten Bodhisattas) may describe even the next nine successors of Metteyya. This clearly demonstrates the spirit of Maitriyana in its attempt to recognise the different Samasambuddhas who have appeared after Siddhartha Gautama.
Buddhas in Mahayana
However, this tradition of the 28 Samasambuddhas has lost within Mahayana Buddhism, remaining symbolically preserved in Chan with the 28 indian patriarchs.
Concordantly, with regard to Mahayana Buddhism, theoretically is considered that the quantity is enormous, so it is affirmed that there are a Thousand Buddhas. Some of them are Vessabhū Buddha, Kakusandha (Krakucchanda) Buddha, Konagamana (Kanakamuni) Buddha and Kassapa (Kashyapa) Buddha. This implies that there has been a timeless succession of numerous Samasambuddhas who appeared in the past and they will also appear in the future. Nevertheless, traditionally it is spoken of a holy trinity composed of Dipankara, Gautama and Metteyya, who are considered as the Buddhas of the Three Times: from past, present and future. Popularly, Budai (Hotei) has been recognised as the incarnation of Metteyya, while some Buddhist groups consider that Nichiren was.
As regards the Vajrayana, it is considered that there are five heavenly figures called Dhyani Buddhas.
At the same time, these five figures correspond respectively to the five human Buddhas: Krakuchandra, Kanakamuni, Kashyapa, Gautama and Maitreya.
Furthermore, there is a veneration to a list of 18 Arhats (Lohans) within the Chinese Buddhism, a group that supposedly has the Purpose (Dharma) of caring the Buddhist Spirituality and wait for the advent of Metteyya.
- Pindola Bharadvaja
- Kanaka Vatsa
- Karaka Bharadvaja
- Maha Panthaka
Buddhas in Maitriyana
Throughout the history of humanity there have been both Buddhists and non-Buddhists who have achieved a sort of a similar Enlightment and Liberation to that of Siddhartha Gautama, thus developing the unique qualifications to convert someone into an Awakened Being (Buddhakarakadhamma). In this way any human being can become an Awakened Being (Buddha) as long as he follows the Path of generosity (dana), ethics (sila), detachment (nekkhama), wisdom (panna), tenacity (viriya), patience (khanti), truthfulness (Saccha), engagement (adhitthana), spiritual love (metta), and equanimity (upekkha). In this way there are 18 unique qualities which characterise the Awakened Beings (Buddhas): rectitude in action, discourse and mind; non-dualistic thinking; concentration and discernment without fail; will and unlimited vigour; mindfulness, wisdom and infinite liberation; free vision and knowledge; right speaking; balanced thoughts; clear insight about the past, present and future.
Just as the 28 Buddhas of Theravada and the 28 Indian Patriarchs of Zen, the Maitriyana makes a list recognising 28 Buddhas that have appeared throughout the entire history. Many of them are Buddhists, while others are not. While the vast majority of them attained Awakening (Bodhi) for their own spiritual merit, others were able to go beyond the conventional system of lineages and they developed a Reconciliatory Spirituality. The Maitriyana pays tribute to these supreme human beings.
- Siddharta Gautama
- Jesus of Nazareth
- Garab Dorje
- Hui Neng
- Guifeng Zongmi
- Francis of Assisi
- Meister Eckart
- Hakuin Ekaku
- Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
By considering these 28 Buddhas as Precursors of Maitriyana, it is clear that this movement has the Supreme Purpose (Dharma) of leading humanity towards a global spiritual evolution. This will allow that many more Buddhas may emerge in the future.