Maitreya (Sanskrit, मैत्रेय, Maitreya, Pali: Metteyya, Chinese弥勒 佛, Pinyin Mí le pho, Vietnamese: Phat Di Lac, Tibetan: byams pa, Japanese :弥勒 菩萨Miroku - bosatsu, also: Kubira by skr Kumbhīra, sino Japanese Syn :迷 谛 隶;梅 低 梨;梅 怛 丽,弥勒 菩萨,梅 怛 药,梅 怛 邪;每 怛 哩) is considered in Buddhism as the Buddha of the future and the great coming world Teacher. The name is probably derived from the Sanskrit word " maitri " which can be translated as universal love, kindness, friendship or friendliness.


His coming is according to some sources, 3,000, 5,000 and 30,000 years after Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha ( Siddhartha Gautama ), predicted. However, such a " speedy " Come contradicts the related statements Suttapitaka the Pali Canon. There ( Digha Nikaya, Sutta Cakkavatti ) states Metteyya will appear when people are eighty thousand years old (again), which did not appear suddenly but accomplish through many intermediate stages should. Accordingly, the forecasts for the coming of the " Laughing Buddha" can also than indefinite predictions in the sense of: " in the distant future ... " should be understood. At the time of ( 4 ) "historic" Buddha Maitreya, Gautama is said to be incarnated as a Bodhisattva disciple.

Coming fifth Buddha of this aeon

Maitreya is the only one mentioned in the Pali Canon Suttapitaka of Theravada Buddhism coming Buddha. He is also known in the Mahayana, and particularly in Tibetan Buddhism of great importance. He is one of the so-called Eight Great Bodhisattvas, which are also called the eight great sons of the Buddha. In the first monastery in Tibet Samye one of the four great temples to sides of the main temple is dedicated to Maitreya. According to the Pali Canon Maitreya is currently and up to his appearance on the earth in the Tushita Heaven, the fourth highest of the six within the world of the senses ( kama - loka) located ligand deva worlds in which all Buddhas live before their last rebirth.

The illustrations show Maitreya sometimes standing, but mostly sitting. Here, touch his feet, in contrast to other Buddha or Bodhisattva images, the ground, which is meant to symbolize that he has not yet fully taken his place. In his left hand he holds a water vessel in many representations.

Much of the teaching of Maitreya goes back to Asanga: , founder of Vijnana - vada - school [ Japanese: Yogacara, " pure spirit," " mind-only " ] - and his younger half-brother [= Āryāsanga, jp Mujaku. ] Vasubandhu - sons of a distinguished Brahmin family, the (now Peshawar ) were born in the 5th century in Purusharpura, in the northern Indian state of Gandhara.

In China and Japan Maitreya is also revered in the figure of Budai ( Hotei Japanese ).

" Some scholars also believe that Maitreya is originally associated with the Iranian savior - figure Mithra, and that his subsequent importance for Buddhists as a future Buddha who resides in the Tushita Heaven and the Shakyamuni Buddha follows, comes from this source. " This view contradicts but the ( post-canonical ) Buddhist tradition that Maitreya will be the fifth of 1000 Buddhas will appear in this aeon.

Reception in the West

In the West, has studied under other Rudolf Steiner with the Maitreya phenomenon, as well as the Turkologin Anne Marie of Gabain and religious philosopher Volker Zotz.

The belief in the appearance of a future World Teacher is available in various religions and religious movements. In the West, the myth has been widely taken up by the appearance of a future Buddha in theosophy and esoteric and treated ( historically: Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Alice Bailey, currently: Benjamin Creme ), where the relevant original Buddhist teachings partly rejected and partly in terms of the respective motion were reinterpreted.