The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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You may know Amitabha Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha / Shakyamuni Buddha, and Medicine Buddha. But not many will know Dipankara Buddha (also spelled as Dipamkara Buddha), however, serious students will most likely have an inkling as to which Buddha Dipankara is and or at the very least would have read about Him in some of the sutras.
Theoretically, the number of Buddhas having existed is enormous and they are often collectively known under the name of "Thousand Buddhas".
Each was responsible for a life cycle.
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
Since about the 17th century his cult has been popular with Nepalese Buddhists who consider him a protector of merchants and associate him with alms-giving
Dipankara Buddha is a deity of Mahayana Buddhism.
He is the "Enlightener" and one of the earliest of the many predecessors of Gautama Buddha added as the twenty fifth.
He said to have come from Deepavati, a mythological city. At the moment of his birth there was a miraculous manifestation of a large number of bright lamps [Dipa], hence he was named Dipankar.
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.
Since there is no archeological evidence for the existence of Dipankara, he is placed in the Legendary figures category.
In fact, if you follow one of my suggestions to recite – a – sutra, especially “The Diamond of Perfect Wisdom Sutra” (also called The Diamond Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, The Vajra Sutra, The Vajra Cutter Sutra) mentions Buddha Dipankara several times. In the said sutra, Buddha Sakyamuni told his followers that Dipankara Buddha was His teacher in a previous life.
Buddha Dipankara is a very powerful protector, and is considered as the patron protector Buddha for sailors. According to my Guru Lama, Dipamkara Buddha is also the patron protector Buddha of all seamen and sea women. Practically anybody who works on a ship or in the sea.
You have to note that during early times major traders or major trading involves sailor and the sea, thus Buddha Dipankara is considered as a powerful wealth enhancing and wealth protecting Buddha. Not only will he protect your wealth, but he will also help enhance your wealth luck.
Dipankara / Dipamkara Buddha is called as on the Buddha of the Past. Most of you would know that there have been a lot of Buddha in the past, and Buddha of the Present is Sakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddha of the Future is going to be Bodhisattva Maitreya (otherwise known as “The Happy Fat Buddha”).
Dipankara Buddha is one of the Buddha of the Past, but since he plays a prominent role in the life and eventual enlightenment of the Buddha of the Present, the Historical Buddha – Sakyamuni Buddha, Dipankara Buddha is considered as THE Buddha of the Past in the Buddhas of the Three Times.
In Buddhism, it is estimated that Dipankara Buddha lives on Earth about one hundred thousand years ago. While there no archeological proof of Buddha Dipankara’s existence, he was prominently mentioned by Shakyamuni Buddha himself in several of the sutras.
Dipankara means “Lamp Bearer”, and he was accorded this name because he was the one who showed and predicted that Sakyamuni Buddha is going to be a Buddha, and this happened even before Sakyamuni Buddha was born in his latest physical body as Siddhartha Gautama.
Dipamkara Buddha is usually depicted as a sitting Buddha, although there a few one’s that shows him as a standing Buddha these are usually found in Laos, Nepal, and some parts of China. The most common images of Dipankara Buddha depict him together with Bodhisattva Manjushri and Bodhisattva Vajrapani.
This is because it is stated in the sutras that Vajrapani Bodhisattva is also one of the most powerful protector amongst the Bodhisattvas and Bodhisattva acts as his ‘assistant’ (for the lack of an appropriate term) when it comes to protecting people, and Manjushri Bodhisattva because we all need wisdom even when we are protected.
Another image of Dipankara Buddha is with Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (also known as Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Yin Bodhisattva, Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva) and still Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara is to represent compassion.
If you notice Bodhisattva Vajrapani is present at both times because Vajrapani Bodhisattva is one of the most powerful protective Bodhisattva, but like Buddha Dipankara he is also great wealth enhancing Bodhisattva.
Both Dipankara Bodhisattva and Vajrapani Bodhisattva have very similar qualities that they usually go together. In fact, in making with what is regarded as the most powerful amulet in the Buddhist pantheon, the Vajrapani Ruel, the high-ranking monks usually also call on Buddha Dipankara (this was shared with me by my Guru Lama).
The secondary depiction of Buddha Dipamkara is with Buddha Sakyamuni (Buddha Shakyamuni) and Buddha Maitreya. This is to represent their stature as the Buddha of the Three Times.
One of the greatest manifestation of Buddha Dipankara is when he predicted the enlightenment of Buddha Sakyamuni, furthermore, it is said that he also predicted that Mahakasyapa and Ananda would be Shakyamuni Buddha’s acolytes.
To be able to tap into the power or energies of Buddha Dipankara, you can wear his image, prominently display his image in your home or office, and more importantly honor him by chanting Namo Rándēng Fo or Namo Dipankara Buddha. Do it 108x under deep meditation.
According to my Guru Lama, chanting the Namo Rándēng Fo and Om Vajrapani Hum while holding the Vajrapani Ruel will make
see also:Dīpankara Buddha