• Many sites claim that there were Two buddhas and both were different.

  • It is said that Adi buddha was the real avatar of lord vishnu.

  • Gautama buddha was only a enlightened one but not an avatar of lord vishnu.

  • Puri Shankaracharya’s view

Puri’s Shankaracharya too sheds some light in this regard as he goes on to say that though both’s gotra was the same i.e. Gautama Gotra, there were the below mentioned differentiating factors, indicating two Buddhas. These factors are:

  1. Buddhavatara was born as a Brahmin whereas Gautama Buddha was born in the Kshatriya lineage.
  2. As per ŚB 1.3.24, the Buddhavatara would be born in Kikata (Magadha South Bihar) whereas Gautama Buddha was born in Nepal.

According to him, the reasons for the confusion between both the Buddhas are:

  1. The iconography of Buddha and that has been given in the Agni Purana, Chapter 49, was confused with that of the Buddhists. (When as per another site Buddhists were Shunyavadis and never believed in idol worship)
  2. The Amarakosha written by Amar Singh, a Buddhist mentions the names of the two Buddhas in close proximity to each other which leads to the merger of the two. (Refer: this site for which names indicate which Buddha)
  • Puri’s Shankaracharya gives another very interesting point that while taking sankalpa, the words that are spoken include a term ‘Bauddhāvatāre’ meaning in the era of Bhagwan Shri Vishnu’s avatara named Buddha (जम्बूद्वीपे भारतवर्षे भरतखण्डे ... बौद्धावतारे...).

  • Also as per another account (can’t find it), one purpose of this avatara born in the Brahmin lineage, was to give the devatas their rightful share and conceal those mantras by which asuras could be invoked and mantras misused.

Question :

  • Is this concept of two Buddhas real ?
  • Which Buddha is the real incarnation of Lord Vishnu and what is his entire story and purpose of the avatara, comprising all his leelas (have any incidents in Buddhavatara’s life been merged with that of Gautama Buddha) ?

Note: as for the story, some Puranas try to confuse the two and try to show the two as same, I.e. Lord Vishnu deluding some people from the path of the Vedas, which as per Puri Shankaracharya isn’t true. He says it was for proper Yajnas etc too.

  • 6
    @SreeCharan the above question was about whether lord buddha was an avatar or not but in this question i am asking that which one of the two buddha's is the incarnation of lord vishnu. So the question differs from above one
    – Sakthi
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 4:33
  • I think hindus don't believe in multiple buddhas theory. So the only buddha avatara is kaliyuga avatara.
    – Yogi
    Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 10:19
  • There might have been a Buddha who was a Vishnu avatara before Gautama Buddha but He definetly wasn't "Adi Buddha". Because in Buddhism, there have been Buddhas millions of years ago as well i.e. long before Kali-Yuga.
    – user9969
    Commented Feb 21, 2018 at 4:42
  • Simple and honest answer - Adi Buddha is Pauranik fabrication of Buddha after he died. There were no Puranas during his time. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 12:26

6 Answers 6


I think Buddha is mentioned in many Puranas like Agni,Padma,Vayu,Vishnu and few others.In all of them simply Buddha is mentioned or the term "Bauddha" is used.Although not sure if by "Bauddha" is meant the followers of Tathagata Buddha or simply those sects who don't follow Sruti and Smriti texts.

The Agni Purana ,however,mentions Buddha as one of the ten avatars of Lord Vishnu.

Buddha Avatar:

As there was an ongoing battle of Devas and Asuras for long time, Devas approached Lord Vishnu to revive ‘Dharma’ and ‘Nyaya’ and beseeched Him to take human form once again. The Lord said that ‘Mayamoha’ would soon take birth as Buddha to one Sudhodana. But the illusions that would be created in the name of Buddha would be such that many evil persons would call themselves as Buddhists and undo all the Golden Traditions established in Vedas and other Scriptures. The misleading ways would advocate materialism in detestable manner and finally end up in the last phase of ‘Kali Yuga’

In Bhavishya Purana,Goutama Buddha is mentioned but not as an incarnation:

In the initial years of Kali Yuga, the survivor Mlecchas gradually adopted responses to the new environs, new ways of life and even new language styles.For instance, earlier languages got corrupted and new expressions emerged; Vraja Bhasha, Prakruti, Sanskrit etc. got adapted from Gurundika (English) which was also different from Mleccha Bhasha/ Yavani and new corruptions of various languages both in spoken and written scripts got adapted..........

Magadha Kingdom was segregated from Arya desha and was surrounded by Kalinga (Orissa) in Agneya or South East, Avanti in South, Aanart (Gujarat) in Nirruti or South West, Sindhu to the West, Kaikadesha in Vayavya or North West, Madra Desha in North and Kulinda in Ishaanya or North East. In the lineage of King Magadha was the famed Ajata Shatru.

The contemporary times of the Magadha Kings witnessed the emergence of Buddha Dharma set up by Goutama Buddha at Kapilavastu.The emphasis of Buddhism was on Truth, Virtue and Non-Violence which are already part of the traditional Vedic Dharma but were against the consequential Rituals. Goutama's philosophy created high waves and eventually secured wide spread acceptance especiallly supported by Kings and large sections of common persons. It was in this lineage of Kings were Sakya Muni-Shuddhodana-Sakyha Singha-Buddhi Simha-Chandra Gupta.

In any case, there some people who consider that Bhavisya Purana has been interpolated.


Adi Buddha

Adi Buddha is an avatar of Vishnu lived from 1887 BC to 1807 BC born to Mother Anjana and Suddhodana in (Bodh Gaya). He born in the Same Ikshvaku dynasty in which Rama also born. The Adi Buddha Established the Philosophy of Ahimsa, Non Violence. He preached against ritual Animal Sacrifices that has crept into Vedic Hinduism.

Gautama Buddha

Siddhartha was born in 6th century BC in Royal Family of Suddhodana and Mayadevi in Lumbini in Nepal. Siddhartha received his name Gautama from his Guru Gautama Muni, who belongs to Kapila dynasty. He renounced his palace comforts to find enlightenment. He went to Bodh Gaya to meditate and got enlightenment. He meditated at the birth place of Adi Buddha.

If you look at the various arguments, you can say there were two Buddhas. Adi Buddha is the founder of Buddhism with Hindu philosophy. Gautama Buddha is not an avatar of Vishnu and who rejected Vedas and established modern(Neo) Buddhism.That's why you can still find remnants of Hindu thoughts in Buddhism.

Because Adi Shankara, who revived Hinduism after destroying the spread of Buddhism, gloried the path of Buddha.

I worship the spiritual radiance manifested as Buddha, who was all-knowing, who was the conqueror of Mara, who was full of mercy, who was of the nature of Buddhaand who was the adored of those who were opponents of Yajnas.

Reference: Were There Two Buddhas? By Stephen Knapp


For the most part, I think it is Gautama Buddha who is the incarnation. This is because of the fact that Swami Vivekananda mentioning it in his famed lectures at the Parliament of religions at chicago. Again, Jayadeva mentions it in his Gita-Govinda. You can also see the Wikipedia post for pictures of Lord Buddha as an avatar.


The 21st incarnation of Vishnu is Janardan/Adi Buddha. He was the son of Jin. Jin was a famous king of Magadh. At the time of the starting period of Kali yuga Narayana decided to come to the earth for protecting the people who was suffering from fainted and foolish knowledge..

(Source: First chapter of Garuda Purana edited by Dr. Gourinath Shastri. Published by Nabapatra Prakashana Bengali Version).

  • 2
    Welcome to Hinduism StackExchange! You should cite some sources.
    – Pandya
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 14:13
  • 1
    It would be better if you give exact verses from Garuda Purana Chapter 1.
    – The Destroyer
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 14:35
  • Garur puran.. Editor Dr. Gourinath shashtri.. Nabapatra prakashana.. Bengali version.. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 15:57
  • Bro Pritam does this book contain Sanskrit slokas as well? or only translation in Bengali? also this publisher is new for me..is it good? @PritamBanerjee
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 16:46
  • It does not contain any sanskrit sloke.. I hv no ida.. Bt If u want to my opinion it is enough for the beginner like me.. Commented Mar 2, 2018 at 17:11

Shakya clan born Buddha was real one....

रक्ष रक्षेति शरणं वदन्तो जग्मुरीश्वरम् मायामोहस्वरूपोऽसौ शुद्धोदनसुतोऽभवत् ॥ मोहयामास दैत्यांस्तांस्त्याजिता वेदधर्मकम् । ते च बौद्धाबभूवुर्हि तेभ्योऽन्यो वेदवर्जिताः ॥

(Agni Puran: Chapter-16, Verse 1- 3)

Translation — All the Devas request Lord Vishnu to protect them! The the Lord says that he will incarnate as the son of Suddhodana, taking on a form that was enchanted by Maya. He enchanted the demons and got them to get rid of the practice of Vedic religion. All those Demonic peoples later became Buddhists and others also started abandoning the Vedas from them.

एतस्मिनैव काले तु कलिना संस्मृतो हरिः | काश्यपादुद्भवो देवो गौतमो नाम विश्रुतः | बौद्धधर्मं समाश्रित्य पट्टणे प्राप्तवान्हरिः |

(Bhavishya Purana- Pratisarga Parva: Chapter 6 :Verse 36)

English translation - On the request of Kaliyuga, Lord Vishnu in the Kashyap gotra took an incarnation in the name of Gautam Buddha and went to Patna for expanding Buddhism.

काषायवस्रसंवीतो मुण्डितः शुक्लदन्तवान्। शुद्धोदनसुतो बुद्धो मोहयिष्यामि मानवान् ।।४३।

(Gita press - Mahabharat: Shanti Parva :Chapter-348 verse 43)

English translation - He will wearing light yellow clothes. He is knows as Buddha, the son of King Shuddhodhana, who will enchant the people.

ततः कलियुगे घोरे सम्प्राप्तेऽब्जसमुद्भव शुद्धोदनसुतो बुद्धो भविष्यामि विमत्सरः ॥ बौद्धं धर्ममुपाश्रित्य करिष्ये धर्मदेशनाम् नराणामथ नारीणां दया भूतेषु दर्शयन् ॥

(Vishnudharma Purana, Chapter 66, Verse-68-71)

Translation - Then, in the terrible Kali-yuga, I appeared. I shall become the son of Śudddhodana and I will preach the Buddhism, I will preach Dharma, I will preach kindness to men and women in beings.


By logic they both can be "The" Buddha, since Lord Vishnu's eternal promise to humanity is that he will manifest himself whenever humanity are in great need.


stated in the Bhagavad gita, whenever evil gains ascendance, God incarnates on earth to restore dharma, punish the evil and protect the weak and the righteous

  • Yes, God incarnates when needed. Do you mean both the buddhas are the incarnations of Vishnu? There has been debates on who the real buddha was. If you are saying that they both are, cite some sources for that claim and make it clear in the answer. That shloka doesn't mean everyone are Lord's incarnations. Commented Jul 15, 2017 at 8:54
  • I have no sources, only logic and philosophy. I know very little about hinduism, I've only read some hinduistic stuff because I read about end times of christianity and islamism. Then I read about Kalki which I have some matches on.
    – 2 - 10
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 4:00

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