A Pratyeka Buddha (Sanskrit pratyekabuddha; Pali pacceka-buddha) is one of three types of enlightened beings according to some schools of Buddhism (the others being the śrāvakas and Samyaksam-Buddhas). They are said to achieve enlightenment on their own, without the use of teachers or guides, by contemplating the principle of dependent arising. They are said to arise only in ages where the Buddhist teachings, or dhamma, are lost, and many may arise at a single time. Unlike Supreme Buddhas (see bodhi), their enlightenment is not foretold.
Some schools assert that pratyekabuddhas are not omniscient, while others say that they are the same (in realisation) as Bodhisattva Buddhas, but do not have the will to teach the Dharma.
In the Majjhima Nikaya of the Theravada Pali Cannon of Buddhist scriptures it says that offerings to Pratyeka Buddhas are superior to offerings to Arhats and also that offerings to Tathagatas are superior to offerings to Pratyeka Buddhas. This implies that Pratyeka Buddhas are superior to arhats but inferior to Tathagatas in realization.