According to the dictionary, Buddha means enlightened one. This source says that there were buddhas before Guatama, but that he was the last Buddha.
This site has a different point of view -- claiming many buddhas.
Okay I am just getting more confused instead of understanding Buddhism.
There are many different beliefs in Buddhism, and nearly impossible for us Westerners to understand it without a great deal of study.
I guess what I am trying to figure out is what are the basic beleifs if Buddhism. nI have not been able to find this answer.
Thank You, I found the first sight to be very intresting, becuase they broke down the information so I could understand it easliy. I also like the second sight becuase this will give me a little more deatiled information.
You're very welcome.
Speaking as a westerner who is studying Buddhism, as a mode of living not necessarily a religion, I also find myself wondering whether or not there was only one Buddha. This question occurred to my while reading "Alone with Others an Existential Approach to Buddhism" by Stephen Bachelor. Many times before but most recently while reading and rereading this book I have wondered why hasn't the Buddhist way of life dominated the world, why are there so many divergent and conflicting schools of Buddhist thought, why have I never met anyone who appeared to be even remotely enlightened? After 2500 years it doesn't seem like this should be the case. So I ask is it possible there has only been one Buddha? Did the linguistic and cultural constraints of his time make it impossible for him to adequately convey his experience, which I believe all Buddhist agree was something that could not be conceptualized, to others to the degree necessary so that they could duplicate it? I realize that last posting to this forum was over a year ago but I hope someone responds I would love to hear someone else’s thoughts on this.