In early Buddhism paccekabuddhas are liminal figures in two senses: they appear between Buddhist dispensations, and they are included as a category of awakening between sammāsambuddha and arahat. Because of their appearance in times of no Buddhism, paccekabuddhas feature regularly in jātaka literature, as exemplary renouncers, teachers, or recipients of gifts. This article asks what the liminal status of paccekabuddhas means for their interactions with the Buddha and his past lives as Bodhisatta.

This article looks at the various narrative uses of Paccekabuddhas in the Jataka, Apadna, and also the Pali canon and its commentarial tradition. In particular, Appleton highlights the tension between the bodhisatta and paccekabuddha.