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Maitreya

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Maitreya Buddha
Maitreya Buddha (Tibetan Image)
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Maitreya Buddha (Tibetan Image)
Sanskrit Name
Sanskrit Maitreya
Pāli Name
Pāli Metteyya
Chinese Name
Hanyu Pinyin M L F
Wade-Giles Mi Le Fo
Chinese characters 彌勒佛
Japanese Name
Romaji Miroku
Kanji 弥勒

In Buddhism, Maitreya Buddha is the future Buddha.

Maitreya is a bodhisattva who Buddhists believe will eventually appear on earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. The Maitreya Buddha is predicted to be the successor of the Gautama Buddha or Shakyamuni Buddha. He is predicted to be a world-ruler, uniting those who he rules over. Maitreya is comparable to second coming prophecies in other religions, such as the coming of Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu, in Hinduism, the return of Jesus in Christianity, or of Saoshyant in Zoroastrianism.

The Maitreyas coming coincides with a new school of teaching to surpass that of the original Gautama Buddha. The Maitreya is predicted to attain Bodhi in a single year rather than other prolonged pursuits of enlightenment, which take a minimum commitment of years.

The Maitreyas coming is characterized by a number of physical events. The oceans are predicted to decrease in size, allowing the Maitreya to traverse them freely. The event will also allow the unveiling of the true dharma to the people, in turn allowing the construction of a new world. The coming also signifies the end of the middle time in which humans currently reside (characterized as a low point of human existence between the Gautama Buddha and the Maitreya).

In order for the world to realize the coming of the Maitreya, a number of conditions must be fulfilled. Gifts must be given to monks, moral precepts must be followed, and offerings must be made at shrines.

Some of the events foretold at the coming of the second Buddha include an end to death, warfare, famine, and disease (and ostensibly rebirth) as well as the ushering in of a new society of tolerance and love. While a number of persons have proclaimed themselves the Maitreya over the years following the Shakyamuni Buddhas death, none has been officially recognized by the sangha and the Buddhist peoples.

Indo-Tibetan art typically depicts Maitreya sitting on an altar with both feet on the ground, indicating that he has not yet completed ascending his throne. Chinese art typically shows him as the monk Hotei - the familiar smiling, shaven-headed, big-earlobed figure with a pot-belly suggesting prosperity.


See also

External link

de:Maitreya eo:Majtrejo id:Maitreya ja:弥勒菩薩 pt:Maitreya sl:Maitreja sv:Maitreya

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