Seven successive buddhas

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The seven buddhas enumerated here are the set usually known in the commentarial literature as the seven successive buddhas (Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་རབས་བདུན་ , Wyl. sangs rgyas rabs bdun), and less often (especially in Vinaya works) as the seven heroic buddhas (Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་དཔའ་བོ་བདུན་, Wyl. sangs rgyas dpa’ bo bdun). Named buddhas of the past are a regular feature of the Jataka literature, as well as of the episodes in many sutras and vinaya texts in which the Buddha Shakyamuni recounts his own and others’ past lives. This set of seven is perhaps the most consistent, and may possibly be the earliest. Its classic presentation is in the various Pali, Sanskrit, and Chinese recensions of the Mahāvadānasūtra. While the names of these seven buddhas, both as a group and individually, are mentioned in a large number of Kangyur texts in all sections, there is only one other Kangyur work of which they are the main theme, The Auspicious Verses of the Seven Successive Buddhas, a prayer to them in which the caste, birthplace, and tree under which each attained awakening are all mentioned. The text is included in the Tantra section of the Derge Kangyur (Toh 821) and the Miscellaneous section of the Tengyur (Toh 4412).

The last four, starting with Krakucchanda, are the first four of the buddhas of the present bhadrakalpa or Fortunate Aeon, and the first three, starting with Vipaśyin, are the last three buddhas of the preceding eon. [1]

  1. Vipaśyin (Skt.; Tib. རྣམ་གཟིགས་, Wyl. rnam gzigs).
  2. Śikhin (Skt.; Tib. གཙུག་གཏོར་ཅན་, Wyl. gtsug gtor can).
  3. Viśvabhū (Skt.; Tib. ཀུན་སྐྱོབས་ , Wyl. kun skyobs).
  4. Krakucchanda (Skt. ; Tib. ལོག་པ་དང་སེལ་ , Wyl. log pa dang sel).
  5. Kanakamuni (Skt.; Tib. གསེར་ཐུབ་ , Wyl. gser thub).
  6. Kāśyapa (Skt.; Tib. འོད་སྲུང་ , Wyl. ’od srung).
  7. Śākyamuni (Skt.; Tib. ཤཱཀྱ་ཐུབ་པ་ , Wyl. shākya thub pa).

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  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.