Feb 12, 2023
Martin Goodson

Maitreya: Sumatra 9th Century

Images of Truth

The bodhisattva Maitreya is the Buddha in waiting who will teach the Buddha’s way once the Dharma has been forgotten again.


John Eskenazi

Standing bodhisattva

Srivijaya, Malay Peninsula or Sumatra

9th century


Height 29.5cm

His name derives from maitri which means ‘goodwill’, the first of the Four Divine Abodes and the fruit of selflessness. At present he resides in the Tushita heaven which is the highest heaven and the abode of the next Buddha-in-waiting. Shakyamuni Buddha foretold of his coming in the Digha Nikaya, in a sutta that the Buddha gives to show that quality and duration of life is extended by wholesome activities by kings and rulers and reduced by their omission. When Maitreya appears, the length of life of the ordinary human will be 80,000 years and Maitreya will attain to Complete and Perfect Enlightenment after just 7 days training.

May the fire of great good will (maitri)

 Burn away the fuel of anger and hatred;

 May the radiance of the transcendental wisdom

 Illuminate the darkness of ignorance;

 May the holders of the Dharma enact the deeds

 Of protecting transmigratory sentient beings.

 I prostrate to you who is residing

 In the blissful realm heaven of Tushita. (Tsongkhapa)

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