posted on Jun, 19 2007 @ 12:24 PM
Tathagata is a general term in devotional Buddhism, not wholly unlike Saint in Christianity. For example, there are directional Tathagatas associated
with different colors, virtues, and powers. They are Vairocana, Aksobhya, Amitabha, Ratnasambhava, and Amoghasiddhi.
The idea of a "return of Buddha" is not pure novelty. In eschatological Buddhism, the historical Buddha was not THE BUDDHA, but was the fourth in a
series of "cosmic monarchs," an idea with roots going back to the earlier religion of Chakravarti. The historical Buddha, who was Siddhartha
Gautama, is identified as Buddha Sakyamuni. The next Buddha will be Maitreya.
There is, of course, a very important philosophical sense in which we are all Buddha, similar to the idea of the Monad put forth by Leibniz, but I
don't think that's what this guy is getting at.
[edit on 19-6-2007 by America Jones]