1002 buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon
1002 buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon (Tib. སངས་རྒྱས་སྟོང་རྩ་གཉིས་, sangye tong tsa nyi, Wyl. sangs rgyas stong rtsa gnyis) — the supreme nirmanakaya buddhas to appear during this Fortunate Aeon. At the end of the previous kalpa, when the world was engulfed by flood, one thousand golden lotuses arose from the great ocean. Beings residing in the heavens understood that this auspicious sign was an indication of the one thousand buddhas who would brighten the coming aeon.
They are enumerated in detail in the Fortunate Aeon Sutra.
According to the Mahayana, the first fourteen are:
- Shakyamuni (aka the Buddha of the present)
- Maitreya (aka the Buddha of the future)
- Singha (Skt. Siṁha; Tib. སེང་གེ་, Wyl. seng ge)
- Pradyota (Skt.; Tib. རབ་གསལ་, Wyl. rab gsal)
- Muni (Skt.; Tib. ཐུབ་པ་, Wyl. thub pa)
- Kusuma (Skt.; Tib. མེ་ཏོག་, Wyl. me tog)
- Kusuma (Skt.; Tib. མེ་ཏོག་གྱིས་པ་, Wyl. me tog gyis pa)
- Sunetra (Skt.; Tib. སྤྱན་ལེགས་, Wyl. spyan legs) or Sunaksatra (Skt. Sunakṣatra; Tib. རྒྱུ་སྐར་བཟང་།, Wyl. rgyu skar bzang)
- Sarthavaha (Skt. Sārthavāha; Tib. སྡེ་དཔོན་, Wyl. sde dpon)
- Mahabahu (Skt. Mahābāhu; Tib. ལག་ཆེན་, Wyl. lag chen)
- Mahabala (Skt. Mahābala; Tib. སྟོབས་ཆེན་, Wyl. stobs chen)
- Adhimukta (Skt.; Tib. མོས་པ་མཐ་ཡས་, Möpa Tayé; Wyl. mos pa mtha yas) will be the last supreme nirmanakaya buddha of this Fortunate Aeon. He will live for as long as all the other thousand buddhas of this Fortunate Aeon put together. His activities for beings' welfare, too, will match all of theirs put together. It is said that this buddha is a manifestation of Dudjom Rinpoche.
Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche says: "In the world period that we are now in, one thousand buddhas will appear. In the same way, for each of these buddhas there will be one thousand Guru Rinpoches to carry out their activities. In the present age of Buddha Shakyamuni one such emanation appeared in the person of Padmasambhava, the Lotus-born One." And Jamgön Kongtrul writes: "In the future, when Buddha Maitreya appears in this world, Padmakara will emanate as the one known as Drowa Kundul and spread the teachings of Secret Mantra to all worthy people."
The names and other details related to the thousand buddhas do not all correlate perfectly across different Buddhist texts. Even the three lists of buddhas within the Fortunate Aeon Sutra do not match with full precision. In the literature of different Buddhist traditions there are a number of sutras and text passages that focus on detailing the lives of numerical sets of past buddhas, usually following a framework of standard features similar to that used in the second enumeration of the Fortunate Aeon Sutra.
Other texts mentioning the thousand buddhas are:
- the White Lotus of Compassion Sutra
- the Sutra on the Inconceivable Secret
- the Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra
- Skilling and Saerji have published Sanskrit names of all the one thousand and four buddhas of the current eon by relying in part on the names published by Friedrich Weller in 1928 (based on Manchu, Chinese, Sanskrit, Tibetan, and Mongolian sources) as well as on the names listed in the so-called Khotanese Bhadrakalpika-sūtra (which generally differs in content from Toh 94). However, as Skilling and Saerji note, many names cannot be conclusively established in Sanskrit, and a number of uncertainties remain. See Skilling and Saerji 2014: p. 246.
- Reference needed.
- In Padmasambhava, Dakini Teachings—Padmasambhava's Oral Instructions to Lady Tsogyal (Boudhanath, Hong Kong & Esby: Rangjung Yeshe Publications, 1999), page xxv.
- Id., page xxiv.
- The Fortunate Aeon: How the Thousand Buddhas Became Enlightened (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1986), volumes 2-4.
- Vimalakirti Nirdesha Sutra, Ch. 13