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Gautama Buddha died and had attained final Nirvana. His cleaving to existing objects had ceased. His ignorance was destroyed. He had no upadana or karma left. Yet Buddha said that he will take rebirth as Metteyya.

And the Blessed One replied: "I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth, nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a Holy One, a supremely enlightened One, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax, and glorious at the goal, in the spirit and in the letter. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure; such as I now proclaim."

Ananda said: "How shall we know him?" The Blessed One said: "He will be known as Metteyya, which means 'he whose name is kindness.'"

In above quote it is clear that Buddha says another Buddha will rise. Is it not the rebirth of Buddha ? (I am not saying rebirth of Gautama but Buddha) My question is if Nirvana means cessation of birth then how is it possible for Buddha to take rebirth?

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He never said that! Buddha Metteya is a different person. There have been many Buddhas in the past and all of them are different persons.

Buddha is a title. Think of it as king of a country. How many kings there have been? Are they all one person?

This is another good example for how easily people misinterpret the suttas. Just because one is able to read the Suttas(either Pali or English) one may not be able to grasp the true meaning without a proper teacher.

  • I will just update the links. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 17 '17 at 11:43
  • Updated the answer – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 17 '17 at 11:58
  • ok fine. Now please finally tell me how was the Gautama Buddha able to recall past Buddhas and the future Buddha? Suppose I am able to recall the previous existences of Dheeraj and the future existence of Dheeraj then would you call Dheeraj a title? – Dheeraj Verma Aug 17 '17 at 12:50
  • Dheeraj is a name. Dheeraj is not a title even in this life :) – Sankha Kulathantille Aug 17 '17 at 12:59
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Firstly, "Buddha, the Gospel" is not a canonical text.

Secondly, the Buddha is a like a position, just as a King or a President is a position. Usually there can only be one Sammasambuddha at a time, just as there can only be one King or President at a time in a country.

Thirdly, the Buddha has the omniscience to look into the past and, to some extent, to the future. So, he is able to tell the stories of the Buddhas of old times and foresee the coming of the next Buddha.

For e.g. if your country follows the same political system as the UK where the head of the ruling political party would become the Prime Minister - if you have the same party in power for many decades (just like in Singapore or Malaysia today), then the current Prime Minister would surely know the previous Prime Ministers, and could predict who would become the next Prime Minister (from his party).

Lastly, the Buddha is not reborn anymore after the end of his life, in any way.

  • I think I understood the problem. I will like to rephrase the question and post it again because editing this question will make it messy. – Dheeraj Verma Aug 17 '17 at 14:14

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