As Lord Buddha was the Supreme Lord Himself, many people resolved to follow ahimsa-dharma-the path of non-violence, due to His influence. As a result of non-violence, the hearts of human beings became pious and their qualifications gradually increased, so Lord Siva appeared as Sankaracarya. He re-established the supreme authenticity and decorum of the Vedas, and founded the philosophy of ‘brahmakarana-vada’ (Brahman as ultimate cause). In later ages, the Vaishnava stalwarts built the philosophy of bhakti upon this same foundation stone. From the personal and aggregate point of view, these are the steps of progress.
Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is the Lord Himself, removed the incompleteness of the previously propagated philosophies through His ‘acintya-bhedabheda-tattva’ philosophy (the principle of inconceivable simultaneous distinction and non-distinction).
It is said that Sakyasimha Buddha, the son of Suddhodana and Maya, and Buddha-avatara, the Vaishnavas’ object of adoration, are not one and the same person. Our Most Revered Nityalilapravishta Om Vishnupada 108 Sri Srimad Bhakti Siddhanta Sarasvati Gosvami Prabhupada has clearly said, “Sakyasimha Buddha was merely a vastly learned person, so we cannot call him the original Buddha or Lord Buddha.”
Acarya Sri Sankara has by mistake referred to Maya’s son, Buddha, as ‘Sugata Buddha’ in the following commentary:
sarvatha api anadaraniya ayam sugata-samayah sreyaskamaih iti abhiprayah Amarakosha-grantha (Sanskrit dictionary) states:
sarvajnah sugato buddho dharmarajastathagatah“All-knowing, transcendental, buddha, king of righteousness, he who has come, beneficent, all-encompassing, lord, conqueror of the god of love-mara, victorious of three worlds, he who controls his senses, protector from the six enemies, possessor of the ten powers, speaker of monism (one absolute), teacher, lord of the sages, embodiment of splendor and eminent saint.” In his commentary on the above verse, Srila Ragunatha Cakravarti has written:
samastabhadro bhagavan marajillokajijjinah
shadabhijno dasabalo ’dvayavadi vinayakah
munindrah srighanah sasta munih sakyamunistu yah
“All eighteen names of Buddha from ‘sarvajna’ (omniscient) to ‘sakyamuni’, refer to Vishnu-avatara Buddha. Therefore, ‘Sugata’ clearly refers only to Vishnu-avatara Buddha.
sa sakyasimhah sarvarthasiddhah sauddhodanisca sahHere, Srila Ragunatha Cakravarti has written:
gautamascarkabandhusca mayadevisutasca sah
“teacher of the sakyas, lion of the sakyas, accomplisher of all goals, son of suddhodana, of gautama’s line, friend of scholars, son of mayadevi.”
ete sapta shakyabangshabatirneh buddhamuni bishesheThus, Sugata Buddha and Sunyavadi (Sakyasimha) Buddha are not the same person. Further evidence is found in Mr. H.T.Colebrooke’s Amarakosha, published at Ramapura in 1807. It is written in Chapter 21, Page 178 of Lalitavistara-grantha that Gautama Buddha performed penances at the same place as the previous Buddha (Vishnu-avatara Buddha). Maybe it is for this reason that in later ages he and Lord Buddha are considered as being one:
“The seven aliases from ‘sakyasimha buddha’ down to ‘mayadevisuta’ (the son of mayadevi) refer to monks belonging to the sakya dynasty.”
esha dharanimunde purvabuddhasanasthahCurrently this place is known as Buddha Gaya but Srimad-Bhagavatam refers to it as Kikata Pradesa:
samartha dhanurgrihitva sunya nairatmavanaih
klesaripum nihatva drishtijalanca bhitva-siva
virajamsokam prapsyate bodhimagryam
tatah kalau sampravritte sammohaya sura-dvisham“Thereafter, in the twenty-first manvantara at the beginning of Kali-yuga, the Lord will appear as Lord Buddha, the son of Anjana, in Kikata Pradesa (the province of Gaya-Bihar), just for the purpose of deluding those who are envious of the faithful demigods.”
buddho namnanjana-sutah kikateshu bhavishyati
According to Sri Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura’s commentary:
anjana suto ’jina sutasceti pathadvayamSrila Sridhara Svamipada has written in his commentary:
kikateshu madhye gayapradese
“The names anjanasuta and ajinasuta can both be found in the above verse. the province of Gaya has been called Kikateshu.”
buddhavataramaha tata itiIt is written in the 29th Verse, 36th Chapter of Sri Nrisimha Purana:
ajinasuta iti pathe ajino ’pi sa eva
kikateshu madhye gayapradese
“Buddha-avatara refers to buddha who is the son of Anjana, and also in another reading, the son of Ajina. in the above verse, the name is written as Ajina or Anjana, and Kikata refers to Gaya Pradesa.”
kalau prapte yatha buddho bhavennarayana prabhuh
“Lord Narayana appeared as Buddha when the age of Kali started.”
This clearly implies that Lord Buddha appeared five thousand years ago. The following verse can be found in the second paragraph of Nirnaya-sindhu:
jyaishtha sukladitiyayam buddhajanma bhavishyati “Buddha will take birth on the 2nd day of the sukla-paksha of the month of Jyaishtha .”
Another part of this book describes the mode of worshipping Buddha:
pausha suklasya saptamyam kuryyat bhuddhasya pujanam
“Worship Lord Buddha on the 7th day of the sukla-paksha of the month of Pausha.”
This is the prescription for the worship of Buddha, the avatara of the Supreme Lord. The full moon day of the month of Vaisakha, known as ‘Buddha-purnima’, is to be celebrated for both Buddhas, subject to consideration of both Buddhas together.
In Sri Madhvacarya’s commentary on Verse 1.3.24 of Srimad-Bhagavatam, from his book Bhagavata-tatparya, the following quotation from Brahmanda Purana has been referred to:
mohanartham danavanam balarupi pathisthitahThere is an authentic Buddhist book, Lankavatara-sutra, in which Ravana, the king of Lanka, prays to Jina’s son, the ancient Lord Buddha, and to all the Buddhas and Buddhas’ sons who would appear in the future, via this eulogy (stava):
putram tam kalpayamasa mudhabudhirjinah svayam
tatah sammohayamasa jinadyana suramsakan
bhagavan vagbhirugrabhirahimsa vacibhirharih
“In order to delude the demons, he (Lord Buddha) was present in the form of a child on the way while the fool, jina (a demon), imagined him to be his son. later on, Lord Sri Hari (as avatara-buddha) expertly deluded jina and other demons by his strong words of non-violence.”
atha ravano lankadhipatih gathagiten anugayati smaTherefore, this source leaves no doubt that the ancient avatara-Buddha and the modern Gautama Buddha are not the same person.
lankavatarasutram vaih purvabuddhanuvarnitam
smarami purvakaih buddhairjinaputra-puraskritaih
putrametannigadyate bhagavanapi bhashatam
bhavishyantyanapate kale buddha buddhasutasca ye
---From the book "Dasavatara-The Ten Manifestations of God"