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A class of beings that form part of the Hierarchy of Compassion. The Secret Doctrine speaks of seven Buddhas that will appear on earth, five of whom have already manifested, while the last two will appear during the sixth and seventh root races. They are technically referred to as Manushya-Buddhas or Manushi Buddhas. Gautama Buddha was the fifth one, while in the Hindu tradition, he is considered as the ninth avatara (incarnation; lit. descent) of Visnu, a medieval addition to the list inserted between Krishna, the eighth avatara, and Kalkin (or Kalki), the ninth and final avatara to appear at the close of the Kali Yuga. The next Buddha, Maitreya, is also equated with this Kalki-Avatara.

Helena P. BLAVATSKY wrote that of the five Buddhas, four became Buddhas through enlightenment, whereas the first one was a Dhyani-Chohan, hence higher than a Buddha. Thus Gautama was referred to as the fourth Buddha in Alfred P. SINNETT’S Esoteric Buddhism. HPB further wrote that the last Buddha at the end of the seventh race will be another Dhyani-Chohan (CW VI:267). See HIERARCHY.


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