Dipankara

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Dipankara (Sanskrit and Pali Dīpaṃkara) one of the Buddhas of the past, said to have lived on Earth one hundred thousand years.

There have been 28 Buddhas known in this world system, with the Buddha of our time being the most recent. Each was responsible for a life cycle. According to some Buddhist traditions, Dipankara (also Dipamkara) was a Buddha who reached enlightenment eons prior to Gotama, the historical Buddha. Generally, Buddhists believe that there has been a succession of many Buddhas in the distant past and that many more will appear in the future; Dipankara, then, would be one of numerous previous Buddhas, while Gotama was the most recent, and Metteyya will be the next Buddha in the future.

Chinese Buddhism tends to honor Dipankara as one of many Buddhas of the past, which forms with Shakyamuni (Buddha of the present) and Maitreya (Buddha of the future), the Buddhas of Three Times.

Since there is no archeological evidence for the existence of Dipankara, he is placed in the Legendary figures category. But for Theravada Buddhists and most other Buddhists, Dipankara was a real person who became a Buddha.