If you believe in Shakyamuni Buddha the answer is No, because Buddha was clear about the previous Buddha Kassapa and the next Buddha Maytreia

If that's the case, then buddha must be very few in numbers. Why so many want to be a buddha and reach nirvana if only very few would win the lotery?

I've heard that there are many buddhas. Sidartha is buddha sankyamuni. That there are many buddha that are simply less famous.

If that's the case, is there any living buddha in the world now?

  • 2
    Nirvana can be reached without being a Buddha. Practising the teaching of the Buddha leads to Nirvana.
    – user4878
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 13:19
  • what is so cool about nirvana anyway?
    – user4951
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 10:45
  • So many reach Nirvana without reaching buddha hood. Is that a good idea?
    – user4951
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 16:15

6 Answers 6


There had been infinite number of Buddhas before and there will be many more.

In this Kalpa, We already have four Buddhas and there will be one more Buddha. That's why this Kalpa is called Bhadda-kappa.

Extracted it from here.

In the current kalpa, it is said we are fortunate to have experienced five Buddhas. Kusanda Buddha, Konagamana Buddha, Kasyapsa Buddha and Buddha Shakyamuni. The Buddha of the future is called Maitreya Buddha.

Read more about Bhadda-kappa from here. At Page 12


According to the Mahayana text the Lotus Sutra, the number of Buddhas are innumerable. In fact a significant proportion of the text is spent emphasising just how many Buddhas (and Bodhisattvas) there are and just how many world systems they cover.

This is just from the introduction

and the nun Yasodharâ, the mother of Râhula, along with her train; (further) with eighty thousand Bodhisattvas, all unable to slide back, endowed with the spells of supreme, perfect enlightenment, firmly standing in wisdom; who moved onward the never deviating wheel of the law; who had propitiated many hundred thousands of Buddhas; who under many hundred thousands of Buddhas had planted the roots of goodness, had been intimate with many hundred thousands of Buddhas, were in body and mind fully penetrated with the feeling of charity

The text goes on for another twenty eight chapters drilling that message home.

NOTE - even though it is highly repetitive I love this text. If you want a flavour of the cosmic vastness of Mahayana Buddhism then I recommend. It's a mind blowing read.

  • The "White Lotus Sutra" (悲華經) is a fake Sutra, it is suspected made up by certain person with ill-intend, it's not sure how it slipped into the collection of Sutras. Don't confuse it with the Lotus Sutra 《妙法蓮花經》. I read that White Lotus once, doesn't taste right. Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 11:46
  • @Bhumishu米殊 I actually meant the Lotus Sutra. I haven't read the White Lotus Sutra - a typo. Thanks for pointing it out Commented Jun 16, 2017 at 13:02

There are many people that are technically buddhas in this world right now (having removed the four veils, as described in "the luminous mind: the way of the buddha" by Kalu Rinpoche), however, according to the buddhist traditions, there are "founder" buddhas only from time to time. Each "founder" buddha guides many beings to buddhahood, that in turn will guide many beings to buddhahood. By many I don't mean millions, but I guess, without proof, that there are several thousand buddhas right now in this world.

  • Hi Gezim and welcome to Buddhism SE. We have put together a Guide and a Resource section for new users that you might find useful.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 19:16

In one Buddha Sasana period there can be only one Buddha. Buddhas are indeed few if you look at the gap between Buddhas. But time into the past is infinite hence there are infinite number of Buddhas. Our Buddha got definite prophecy from 28 Buddhas Dipankara Buddha.


It will vary according from school to school, in Theravada tradition there are 6 Buddhas, 4 before Shakyamuni Buddha, Himself and Maytrea (Next Buddha). This is what Buddha saw when he contemplate this world and past lifes while meditating.

In Tibetan Buddhism they talk about 35 Buddhas, Chinese Buddhism will probably give you a different number and so on, but answering strictly from a Suttas' perspective I believe 6 is the answer, at least that is what Shakyamuni was able to see we cannot know if Maytrea will look into the future and see more Buddhas.

Bear in mind I am talking about full enlighted Buddhas that teach the Dhamma, not private Buddhas, most of Buddhas are private Buddhas and they can go on unnoticed by regular people.

  • Can you give a source where you found 35 Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism? Never heard of such a statement.
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 11:21
  • Hi, it is very common im Tibetan Buddhism to prostate to the 35 Buddhas, there are also pictures of them, more info here en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/35_Buddhas
    – konrad01
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:02
  • Ok, but they are not ALL the Buddhas in Tibetan Buddhism. Those 35 Buddhas are used in some prostration practices, but in different practices other Buddhas appear as well.
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:27
  • That is what I said: they talk about 35 Buddhas, just to illustrate that Tibetan Buddhism believe in many Buddhas, while Theravadins talk about 6 Buddhas usually (maybe more to come, but 6 is the number seen by Shakyamuni)
    – konrad01
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:30
  • My point is that for some readers it might seem that whole Tibetan Buddhism talk about 35 Buddhas although in fact it is only used in a very specific practice (but you didn't mention that). I practise Tibetan Buddhism and such a statement looks inappropriate and misleading to me.
    – Rabbit
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:36

Buddhas are born once in a Kalpa. Altogether there are 28 buddhas.

Kalpa is a time period which is described as when deva(similar angel) flys among the skys once a hundred years when her clothe brush against himalayas a little of himalayas will fall. like that one day it will come to the ground level. That period is know as kalpa.

There is no famous in famous in Buddhism. Every buddha's story is given as example in buddha's preaching. Maybe you have heard of few. Because Every bodhisatwa(one who travel's in the path of buddha) have to get niyatha wiwarana(prediction from buddha).
In that case on one got prediction from buddha to be Maytree in next kalpa.

No he is not living in this world now. Maybe there are one bodhisatwa.
Once he got predictions he will live in thawsitha diwya(like a heaven) waiting for his time.

  • Although there are many pase buddha.(Who discover nirwana by them selves and not telling to anyone)
    – TanJay
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 7:42

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