This short list of Buddha claimants is a list of people who claimed to have attained enlightenment and became Buddhas, claimed themselves to be manifestations of Bodhisattvas, or have been honored as a Buddha or Bodhisattva due to popularity or proof of auspicious signs.
Many, in recent times, have also claimed themselved to be Maitreya, the next Buddha to succeed the historical Sakyamuni Buddha.
An asterisk (*) indicates a significant number of followers, while a double dagger (‡) marks those referring to a royal line of deification rather than an individual.
|Hogen Fukunaga||1951-||In 1987 after an alleged spiritual event he claimed to realize he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and the Buddha.|
|Jim Jones||1931–1978||Also claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus and Buddha. Further he added that he was the reincarnation of Akhenaten, Father Divine, and Vladimir Lenin|
|*Lu Sheng-yen||1945-||Founder of the True Buddha School. Professes to be the incarnation of Padmakumara, a deity in Sukhavati, calling himself “Living Buddha Lian Shen”|
|*Ching Hai||1950s||A meditation master who professes to be an incarnation of God, the Buddha, and the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, popularly known as Guan Yin, for which her meditation method is named after|
|Ruth Norman||1930s||Leading member of the Unarius Academy of Science. She claimed to have had 55 past lives. One of these was as Sakyamuni Buddha. Others included Socrates, King Arthur, Confucius, and a King of Atlantis.|
|*Guan Yu||160-219||Legendary military warrior during the late Eastern Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms period in ancient China. Today, many people, including both police and mafia, consider him to be a divine object of reverence. In certain schools of Taoism and Chinese Buddhism he has been deemed divine or semi-divine status. The reverence for him may date back to the Sui dynasty. He is generally believed by many Buddhists as a Bodhisattva that guards the Buddhist faith and the temples. He is known as Sangharama in Sanskrit. He is the most recent person to be considered a Bodhisattva.|
|Maitreya||Unknown||A man who calls himself Maitreya is professed by Benjamin Creme|
|‡Nurhaci||1559-1626||Also known as Emperor Tai Zu. Founder and leader of the Qing Dynasty, believed he was a manifestation of Manjushri Bodhisattva.|
|Samael Aun Weor||1917-1977||Claimed to be Maitreya Buddha, as well as the avatar Kalki|
|L. Ron Hubbard||1911-1986||Founder of Scientology. Claimed that he was the fulfillment of Maitreya in a prophecy he wrote|
|Lu Zhong Yi||1849-1925||The 17th patriarch of the I-Kuan Tao, proclaimed himself as an incarnation of Maitreya.|
|*Li Hongzhi||1951-||Founder of Falun Gong who proclaimed himself as a Buddha ()|
|*Ram Bamjan||1989-||A 15-year old Nepalese Buddhist monk who many have hailed as a new Buddha, with some to have seen light emanating from the teenager’s forehead. Despite his protestations of not attaining enlightenment, many continue on insisting he is a Buddha.|
|*Peter Deunov||1864-1944||Also known as Master Beinsa Douno. Spiritual teacher, founder of a teaching and school of Esoteric Christianity. Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, identified Master Beinsa Douno as manifestation of Maitreya in the late 20th century|
- List of bodhisattvas
- List of people considered to be deities
- List of people who have claimed to be Jesus
- List of people considered to be avatars
- Hogue, John Messiahs: The Visions and Prophecies for the Second Coming (1999) Elements Books ISBN 1862045496