Reply To: Why Can't A Paccekabuddha Teach Dhamma?


   378. Darimukha Jātaka.

A completely ordinary person can become a paccekabuddha. Most of the time, it happens following shocking or mundane events. A person can become paccekabuddha, realizing the futility of performing unwholesome acts to satisfy one’s desires. The Jātaka I just sent talks about the story of the paccekabuddha Darimukha. Venerable Darimukha was Lord Gautama Buddha’s best friend when he was a bodhisatta. Venerable Darimukha became paccekabuddha, upon seeing a flower wither. It is said that all paccekabuddhas attain the 8 jhanas, all abhinnas and Nirodha Samapatti. They can do it, while being secular. However, after achieving enlightenment, the signs of house master disappear, instantly. A bowl and a renouncer’s robe appear to them. Paccekabuddhas appear in the same kappa as sammasambuddhas. They never meet. It is wrong to say that paccekabuddhas do not teach. They teach the mundane eightfold path. The laws of kammas and how to develop kamma kusulas and jhanas. Venerable Darimukha taught our bodhisatta the futility of chasing sensual pleasures. After his teaching, our Bodhisatta became an ascetic with jhanas and took rebirth in the brahma worlds. Arahant Maha Kassapa is another example of the teaching of the paccekabuddhas. Arahant maha Kassapa, before being reborn for the last time, was a brahma. Before his life as a brahma, he was a king who took care of 500 paccekabuddhas. He had observed their way of life and their nobility. All 500 paccekabuddhas reached parinibbãna at the same time. The future Arahant Maha Kassapa, renounced her throne and became an ascetic. He took rebirth in the brahma world. In his last life, as a human, Arahant Maha Kassapa had an aversion to sensual pleasures, long before he meet Lord Buddha and became monk. Among the arahants, he was the one who practiced the 13 dhutaṅgas, perfectly. He was very austere. The paccekabuddhas meet in the holy mountain isigili. Lord Buddha recited the names of these paccekabuddhas. They get together and discuss how they became awakened. The teachings of the paccekabuddhas do not give direct results in this life. However, those who benefit from their sermons and take good care of themselves develop kusalas kammas. These kusala kammas will help them to easily attain magga phala when a sammasambuddha appears. There is the story of a dog who followed a paccekabuddha.The dog took rebirth as a deva and then human during the time of Lord Gautama Buddha. He became sotāpanna by listening to a discourse from Lord Buddha



At Isigili Isigilisutta





“According to Buddhist literature, an aspirant to become a Pacceka Buddha is supposed to perfect these ten qualities over an extensive period described as two incalculables (asankeyyas) and one hundred thousand eons or kalpas (consisting of innumerable numbers of years). An aspirant to become a Samma Sambuddha has to perfect these qualities to a higher degree and for a longer period of time while an aspirant to become an Arahant has to perfect them to a lesser degree and for a lesser period of time.”


Arahant Maha Kassapa’s past lifes 

Maha Kassapa Father of the Sangha

“Two lives before her present existence, Bhadda was queen of Benares and used to support several Paccekabuddhas. Deeply moved by their sudden death, she renounced her worldly life as a queen and lived a meditative life in the Himalayas. By the power of her renunciation and her meditative attainments, she was reborn in a Brahma-world, and so was Kassapa. After the end of the long life-span in the Brahma-world, both were reborn in the human world, in a brahman family, and were named Pipphali Kassapa and Bhadda Kapilani.


From these accounts we gather that in their former existences both had lived a life of purity in the Brahma-worlds and that both had repeatedly been ascetic renunciates. Hence, in their final existence, it was not difficult for them to keep to a life of celibacy, to give up all possessions, and to follow the Buddha’s teaching up to its culmination in Arahatship.”