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I recently found a book called "A Buddhist Bible".

In it, Buddha refers to that there have been many Buddhas before him. If Buddha was the one to put the foundations of Buddhism, what "religions" did the previous Buddhas practice?

Does this question even make any sense?

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According to tradition, as in the Nagara Sutta, Buddhas all discover the path to enlightenment and teach that same path to their followers:

"It is just as if a man, traveling along a wilderness track, were to see an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by people of former times. He would follow it. Following it, he would see an ancient city, an ancient capital inhabited by people of former times, complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. He would go to address the king or the king's minister, saying, 'Sire, you should know that while traveling along a wilderness track I saw an ancient path... I followed it... I saw an ancient city, an ancient capital... complete with parks, groves, & ponds, walled, delightful. Sire, rebuild that city!' The king or king's minister would rebuild the city, so that at a later date the city would become powerful, rich, & well-populated, fully grown & prosperous.

"In the same way I saw an ancient path, an ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. And what is that ancient path, that ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. That is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessation of consciousness, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of consciousness. I followed that path.

"Following it, I came to direct knowledge of fabrications, direct knowledge of the origination of fabrications, direct knowledge of the cessation of fabrications, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of fabrications. Knowing that directly, I have revealed it to monks, nuns, male lay followers & female lay followers, so that this holy life has become powerful, rich, detailed, well-populated, wide-spread, proclaimed among celestial & human beings."

So, all Buddhas essentially practice and preach the same religion.

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According to the story which accompanies the Dhammapada Verses 183, 184 and 185,

While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verses (183), (184) and (185) of this book, with reference to the question raised by Thera Ananda regarding Fundamental Instructions to bhikkhus by the preceding Buddhas.

On one occasion, Thera Ananda asked the Buddha whether the Fundamental Instructions to bhikkhus given by the preceding Buddhas were the same as those of the Buddha himself. To him the Buddha replied that the instructions given by all the Buddhas are as given in the following verses:

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

  1. Not to do evil, to cultivate merit, to purify one's mind - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

  2. The best moral practice is patience and forbearance; "Nibbana is Supreme", said the Buddhas. A bhikkhu does not harm others; one who harms others is not a bhikkhu.

  3. Not to revile, not to do any harm, to practise restraint according to the Fundamental Instructions for the bhikkhus, to be moderate in taking food, to dwell in a secluded place, to devote oneself to higher concentration - this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.

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