Jataka Stories and Paccekabuddhas in Early Buddhism
Keywords:Apadāna, Bodhisatta, Buddha, jātaka, paccekabuddha, Sutta-nipāta
This article explores the role of paccekabuddhas in stories of the Buddha’s past lives (jataka tales) in early Buddhist narrative collections in Pali and Sanskrit. In early Buddhism paccekabuddhas are liminal figures in two senses: they appear between Buddhist dispensations, and they are included as a category of awakening between sammasambuddha and arahat. Because of their appearance in times of no Buddhism, paccekabuddhas feature regularly in jataka literature, as exemplary renouncers, teachers, or recipients of gifts. This article asks what the liminal status of paccekabuddhas means for their interactions with the Buddha and his past lives as Bodhisatta.
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