Buddha is a title meaning `Awakened One' which Siddhattha Gotama called himself and was called by others after he attained enlightenment. More than an individual, a Buddha is a type, a human being who has reached the apex of wisdom and compassion and is no longer subject to rebirth.  Buddhas attain enlightenment entirely on their own, whereas an arahats do so as a result of listening to and practising the teachings of a Buddha. The Buddha of our present era is Siddhattha Gotama, but tradition says that there were other Buddhas in previous eras, just as there will be Buddhas in the distant future. When the truth of the Dhamma becomes lost or obscured, someone will sooner or later rediscover it and such a person will be called a Buddha. A Buddha is described as one who `draws back the veil of ignorance from the world' (loke vivattacchaddo, D.II,19). See Silent Buddha.