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In Buddhism, one who attains enlightenment through his own efforts rather than by listening to the teachings of a buddha. The way of the self-enlightened buddha was retained only in the Theravada tradition. Mahayana Buddhism rejects the path of self-enlightenment as too limiting and embraces the ideal of the bodhisattva, who postpones final enlightenment to work for the salvation of others.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on pratyeka-buddha, visit Britannica.com.
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