Maitreya 弥勒佛


Maitreya is a widely-believed bodhisattva in Chinese culture. Ordinary people worship him for his benevolence. According to Buddhist sutras, Maitreya was born in ancient India, a contemporary of Sakyamuni. He later took vows with Sakyamuni, becoming a Buddhist.

Being a Buddha after Sakyamuni, Maitreya began to deliver all living creatures from torment. In folk culture, the image of Maitreya is a person with a full figure, a benign countenance and a smiling face.

The belief in Maitreya has a long history in China. Way back in the Western Qin Dynasty, there appeared murals of Maitreya in the Bingling Temple Grottoes in Gansu. As Maitreya held a lofty position in the hearts of his worshippers, gigantic images of him were built in many places by later generations.


 The Maitreya Figure in the Yonghe Temple

 The Giant Buddha Soaring into the Sky

 The Maitreya Figure in Tashilhunpo Monastery

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