From this list of previous Buddhas it looks like all were Indians.( I mean from their names).

Ancient Greece or Egypt were also developed enough to have understood the Dhamma.

We can consider Socretes and Moses from that part, but India(Nepal) was chosen for the Buddha.

What's the reason?


6 Answers 6


There is no reason. Instead, if we actually use "reason" or "intelligence" ("yoniso manasikara"), we will conclude this is totally improbable, which is why the teachings about past Buddhas found in the DN are probably fake propaganda composed after the Buddha when Ashoka and the Buddhist clergy were undermining Brahmanism/Hindism. Theravada teaches to wisely reflect on any teaching heard or read. Theravada Buddhism is not about blind faith in every sutta but the verification of a sutta via meditative insight. To believe Buddhas only arise in India is like believing the Messiah only comes to the Chosen People (Jews) in Israel. Its non-sense religious political propaganda.

  • 1
    From your answers, you seem to always have an opinion about the authenticity of account and Theravada interpretation. Where can I get to read this?
    – user13135
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 3:48
  • Sorry. All I posted was my personal opinion (apart from saying all sutta must be reflected on with wisdom, which the suttas teach). Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 3:53

Just as fishes are found in water and monkeys are found on trees. Different races are found in different regions of the world. They differ in their skin color, language , necessities , dominating elements and philosophies. Out of this segregated reality Jesus , Ram , Buddhas are born. Nothing happens without reason. Jesus manifested because of the conditions around him. Ram or Krishna manifested because of the conditions around them. Similarly Buddha manifested because of the conditions around him. It is no surprise that Buddha came from Indian subcontinent because he came up with a theory of Anatta which was opposite to what was preached by Hindus. That insight required conditions created by Hindus. Similarly we can say Jesus came up his theory to resolve the issues faced by middle east people. Ram and Krishna also had a purpose which was relevant to their surroundings. No one was taught to be Buddha or Ram or Jesus, they were the product of Life and its environment. There should be no shame in saying that Indian subcontinent has been a place from where great sages and Buddhas came into being. If Buddha arises again then most probably he will arise in the East because East has the conditions for his growth.


We have to keep in mind the fact that general knowledge and education level of folks 2500 years ago was way different from modern time people. It was an age without internet and without any effective communication means. Geography wasn't a standardized formal academic discipline in schools, and majority of the population were un-educated folks. To them the concepts of Ancient Greece, Egypt, China, their cultures and languages were virtually non-existent. So if there was an ancient Buddha in China with a name "Chong", or Europe with a name "Kon", or Africa with a name "!Non", it would be much easier to be rendered as "John" by an American Buddha when He teaches His disciples in a subsequent period. The Dhamma would be much easier propagated to everyone once its ideas, concepts, and names were translated to the dialect local people back then could understand.


You surmised that the previous Buddhas were all born in the Indian subcontinent, simply because they had names that sounded Indian.

If you look at the excerpt from an academic paper below, certain Greek and Egyptian kings had Indian-sounding names in Emperor Ashoka's edicts, but this did not mean that they were Indian. Turamaya was Ptolemy, Maka or Maga was Magas, Alikasudara or Alikyasudala was Alexander. In fact, Greece was known as Yavana in Sanskrit (from Ionia). So, just because previous Buddhas had Indian-sounding names, it does not mean that they were Indian or that they resided in the Indian subcontinent. It only shows that they had Prakritized or Sanskritized names.

From the paper entitled "Antiochus, King of the Yavanas" by Jarl Charpentier :

As concerns Turamaya there can happily be no doubt. That it denotes one of the Ptolemies has been taken for granted ever since the days of Prinsep; and it seems quite obvious that none but Ptolemy II Philadelphus, whose long reign covered nearly four decenniums (285-247 B.C.) , would fit into the chronology of Asoka's reign." As for Maka or Maga there existed, no doubt, more than one princeling of the name of Magas; but there can be little doubt that we hare to do here with that Magas of Cyrene whose regnal years fall between c. 300-250 B.C. Already Buhler(3) remarked that Amtekina (G., K.) or Amtikini (Sh.) would rather render a Greek Avtigenes than Avtigenes. However, although we know of at least one Antigenes," he, for obvious reasons, cannot come in here. The old Antigonos who met his fate at Ipsus (301 B.C.) seems to be Out of the question; and thus there remains only his grandson, surnamed from the place of his birth Gonatas, whose reign extended between 276 and 239 B.C. Finally, Alikasudara (or Alikyasudala, K.) has long been taken to be Alexander of Epirus(5) who was the son of Pyrrhus and Antigone.

  • That is an interesting take on the subject...it would have been so much mysterious if any of the dhamma sutra...e.g. the heart sutra would have found in the sarcophagus... the world would have become so much mystery to live in...
    – user13135
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 17:17
  • This can be an entirely different question altogether, but given what you say, will you call Socrates or Jesus as enlightened masters trying to explain the Dhamma, to the respective audience in respective culture and language...in that case case it would nullify the argument that Buddhas will only be born in India.
    – user13135
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 17:51
  • The Buddhavaṁsa gives the birthplaces too. I'd guess these were known (places) and in India.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Aug 3, 2018 at 19:07
  • @FriedrickNietzsche Jesus and Socrates cannot be Buddhas. The Buddhas have to teach the Four Noble Truths, the three marks of existence (including anatta), the Eightfold Noble Path and dependent origination.
    – ruben2020
    Commented Aug 4, 2018 at 0:43

It's Universal law. Which we cannot simply understand why.

  • Please add a reference to that statement.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 13:01
  • I cannot remember exactly which sutta it is, if im not mistaken in that sutta, says there are some inccidents related to buddhas life, will be confusing to ordinary people. And its all depends on the way we looking at it. If we look it through scientific way those will be just rumor, else we look it with faith on buddhas teaching it'll not be problem at all.
    – PL_Pathum
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 3:39
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    Thanks. I will try to look for it as well.
    – user2424
    Commented Aug 6, 2018 at 11:31

Yes all buddhas were from india, that's a certain of world..In future also buddhas'll be born only in india..When a Bodhisathwa(buddha before enlightenment)looking for feasibility to be born, country and place are among major five factors, and always the country selected was india.. With the geographical positioning of india ,it has a special energy that is needed to make a buddha..As you mentioned in the same time greece,egypt...those countries also were developed but they didn't have that geographical factor which india had..And also otherwise buddha needed wise people who could understand the buddha serments, For that they needed to had spiritual and mental development, I think those western countries only had physical development more than mental development in that time..So buddha had to choose india to plant the seed of buddhism


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