Ancient prophecies of many people tell us about the coming of the “Golden Age”. The coming of this Age is associated with the arrival of the Messiah – a Savior who with His Knowledge of the Divine Laws will enlighten people and regain the lost justice on the Earth. This coming Savior is known to the world under different names: in India he is called Kalki Avatar, in China – Milè, in Japan – Miroku, in Lamaist mythology – Maidari, but the Name Maitreya is mentioned most often.
The Coming Buddha
Maitreya - “The Loving One”, “Loving kindness”, “Invincible”, “The Compassionate Honored One” and “The Coming Teacher of mankind” - are the names given to Him by faithful people.
Maitreya is the only Bodhisattva recognized by all directions of Buddhism. A Bodhisattva – is the one who vows to become a Buddha, i.e., a human being, achieving the highest level of spiritual development, so as to help other human beings to come out of the “Wheel of Samsara”, the endless circle of reincarnations and sufferings.
Maitreya is the coming Buddha and the successor of the Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha). This is narrated in the “Digha Nikaya”, one of the ancient texts of “Tipitaka” (“Basket of instruction”), containing more than 17,000 sutras, attributed to the Buddha and his closest associates. The fifth chapter of the “Lalita Vistara”, one of the most popular biographies of Buddha in the Buddhist literature, written in the III-IV centuries, states that the Perfect One, before descending to earth from the Tushita heaven in order to become a Buddha, pointed out the Bodhisattva Maitreya as His successor and set His own crown of Bodhisattva on his head.
The book “Foundations of Buddhism” by N. Rokotoff (pseudonym of H. I. Roerich) presents a dialogue of Gautama Buddha and his disciple Ananda: “And the Blessed One replied to Ananda: ‘I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth, nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax, and, glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousand, while mine number many hundred.’
Ananda said, ‘How shall we know him?’
The Blessed One replied, ‘He will be known Maitreya’
H. P. Blavatsky states in the “Theosophical glossary”: “that Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha) visited him [Maitreya] in Tushita (a celestial abode) and commissioned him to issue thence on earth as his successor at the expiration of five thousand years after his (Buddha's) death. This would be in less than 3,000 years hence. Esoteric philosophy teaches that the next Buddha will appear during the seventh (sub) race of this Round. The fact is that Maitreya was a follower of Buddha, a well-known Arhat, though not his direct disciple, and that he was the founder of an esoteric philosophical school”.
About the coming of Maitreya
Maitreya's coming has been predicted in many Indian and Buddhist texts: in the “Visuddhimagga” by Buddhaghosa, in the earliest texts of Mahayana, in the “Maitreya-vyakarana” and others.
One of the earliest mention of Maitreya is a Sanskrit text, the “Maitreya-vyakarana” (“The Prophecy of Maitreya”) stating that gods, men and other beings will worship Maitreya and will lose their doubts, and the torrents of their cravings will be cut off: “free from all misery, they will manage to cross the ocean of becoming and, as a result of Maitreya's teachings, they will lead a Holy life. No longer will they regard anything as their own, they will have no possession: no gold or silver, no home, no relatives. But they will lead the Holy life of chastity under Maitreya's guidance. They will have torn the net of the passions, they will manage to enter into sacred trance, and theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness, for they will lead a holy life under Maitreya's guidance. ”
Maitreya's coming is characterized by the decreasing of the oceans in size, allowing Maitreya to traverse them freely. The event will also allow the unveiling of the true dharma (Law, Teaching) to the people, in turn allowing the construction of a new world.
Some of the events foretold at the coming of the last Buddha include an end to death, warfare, famine, and disease, as well as the ushering in of a new society of tolerance and love.
The essay “Maitreya – the Buddha of the Future” by Y. N. Roerich, a well-known orientalist and ethnographer, tells us of the legends connected with the arrival of Maitreya: “Fa-hsien, the Chinese pilgrim of the 5th century AD, gave us the legendary story of the monastic bowl of Shakyamuni, which is hidden until the time of Maitreya's incarnation; but not only the bowl awaits the time of arrival of the coming Buddha: and there is the body of Kasyapa, preserving the monastic robes of Gautama Buddha in the Kukkutapada mountains, near Gaya. When Maitreya appears in this world, he will miraculously split the mountain and receive the Holy robes of the last Buddha from this Saint. These legends clearly reflect the belief that the future Buddha will come to continue the teaching of Shakyamuni.”
Images of Maitreya
Statue of Buddha Maitreya near Lesane.
China. IX century.
Many centuries have passed and Buddhists of all schools are waiting for the arrival of the Coming One. This is evidenced by the numerous statues of Maitreya in temples in the form of a Bodhisattva or a Buddha, as well as His giant sculptures, carved out of the rocks near the villages, which were constructed as early as 350 B.C.
Thus, one of the tallest statues of the Buddha Maitreya on Earth (71 m) and for more than a millennium the highest sculptural work in the world is the statue in China. It was carved out of the rock mass at the confluence of three rivers in China's Sichuan province, near the city of Leshan. The head of Buddha Maitreya stands on a level with the mountain, and his feet rests on the river. The work of creation of the statue took place during the reign of the Tang dynasty, starting from 713, and lasted for ninety years.
According to the ancient tradition, Maitreya is often depicted with his legs crossed, making the sign of exhortation. The Bodhisattva is often dressed in a monk's robe of Buddha. In the school of Gandhara (an ancient Kingdom located on the territory of modern Pakistan) the Bodhisattva appears crowned and dressed in Royal robes, holding a vase full of Amrita, the nectar of immortality. In the other form Maitreya is pictured standing and dressed in the robe of Bodhisattva, and his head crowned with a crown with a small stupa in it. According to legends, when Maitreya meditated on the image of the Teacher, the disciples saw the stupa of Enlightenment on the top of his head. That is why Maitreya is often depicted with the stupa on his head. In later tradition, Maitreya is no longer depicted as seated in an Eastern posture, but in a Western posture, with feet placed on the ground, demonstrating his readiness to Come.
In the Buddhist art of China, Korea and Japan of VI-XIX centuries Maitreya is depicted half-naked, as the open chest is a symbol of strength, and crowned, sitting on a Lotus throne as the symbol of heavenly purity. The compassionate gesture of his right hand, touching his cheek means his fondness for the people, and the movement of his feet, descending from the throne expresses his readiness to help suffering and weak people.
There are numerous images of Maitreya on Buddhist thangka. The thangka is a type of Buddhist portraiture, executed in a special way. Maitreya is often depicted in the Tushita Heaven, accompanied by Atisha and Tsongkhapa (the two prominent thinkers and preachers of Buddhism).
The cycle of works painted by N. K. Roerich, an outstanding Russian artist, is the most widely-known among modern paintings devoted to Maitreya. In his painting “Maitreya the Winner” the artist captured a magnificent mountain panorama with the giant image of Maitreya. N. K. Roerich described the ancient figure of Maitreya, carved out of a rock near Mulbekh, in his words: “Two hands reach toward the sky, like the summons of far-off worlds. Two hands reach downward like the benediction of earth. They know that Maitreya is coming.”
The Power of Compassion
Here is a fragment from the book “The Light of the Three Jewels” by two authors, the Tibetan lamas Khenchen Palden Sherab Rinpoche and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. The fragment relates the story about the man who was a great Indian scientist, and it was only through true compassion that he was able to come directly into contact with the Teacher Maitreya.
“Pure compassion has the power to remove all the karmic obscurations and obstacles to enlightenment. As inner wisdom is uncovered your understanding of relative and absolute truth increases as you progress toward enlightenment. The Buddha said many times that compassion is the most powerful tool for removing ignorance and increasing wisdom.
Maitreya in Tushita Heaven.
This is illustrated in a story about Asanga. He was an important Indian scholar born about five hundred years after Buddha, around the beginning of the Christian era. When Asanga was a young man, he went to Nalanda University, a famous monastery in ancient India and the first real university in the world. Although Asanga became a great scholar, he still had doubts about some of the teachings. He questioned many learned and accomplished masters, but none of them could remove his doubts. He decided to practice the visualization of Maitreya, the future Buddha thinking that once he could see Maitreya he would obtain answers to his questions. After receiving the empowerment and instructions, he went to a mountain in India and meditated on Maitreya for three years.
He thought that after three years he would have enough power to meet Maitreya and ask his questions, but throughout that time he did not receive any signs. After three years he became tired and discouraged, so he left his retreat. On the way down the mountain he came to a village where people were gathered watching an old man making a needle by rubbing a huge iron stick with a piece of silk. Asanga found it hard to believe that someone could make a needle by rubbing an iron rod with a piece of silk, but the old man assured him that it was possible, showing him three needles he had already made. When Asanga saw his example of great patience, he decided to persevere in his practice and he went back to his retreat for another three years.
During the second three years he had some dreams about Maitreya, but he still could not see Maitreya. After the second three years he felt bored and tired, and once again he decided to leave. As he came down the mountain he saw a place where water was dripping on a stone. It was dripping very slowly, one drop an hour, but that drip had made a big hole in the rock. When he saw this, it renewed his courage and he decided to go back into retreat for another three years.
This time he had good dreams and other signs, but he still did not see Maitreya clearly enough to ask his questions. Once again he left. On the way down the mountain he saw a small hole in a rock. Around this hole was a shiny mark made by a bird brushing its wings against the rock. This made him renew his resolve to return to his cave for another three years. But after this three-year period he still could not see Maitreya. After twelve years he had no answers, so he left his retreat and went down the mountain.
Along the way he came upon an old dog outside a village. When it barked angrily at him, he saw that the lower part of its body was wounded and covered with fleas and maggots. When he got closer he could see that the dog was suffering terribly and he felt great compassion for it. He thought about all the stories of the Buddha Shakyamuni dedicating himself to sentient beings, and he decided that it was time to dedicate his body to this dog and these insects.
He went to the village and brought a knife. With the knife he cut the flesh on his thigh, thinking that he would remove the worms from the dog and put them on his flesh. Then he realized that if he removed the insects with his fingers, they would die because they were so tender. So he decided to remove them with his tongue. He did not want to look at what he was doing, so he closed his eyes and reached out his tongue toward the dog. But his tongue landed on the ground. He tried again and again, but his tongue continued to touch the ground. Finally, he opened his eyes and saw that the old dog was gone and Buddha Maitreya was there in its place.
When he saw Buddha Maitreya he was overjoyed, but at the same time he was rather upset. After practicing for so many years, it was only when he saw an old dog that Maitreya could appear to him. Asanga began to cry and asked Maitreya, why he did not reveal himself before. Maitreya replied: “I was not uncompassionate to you. I was always near you from the first day, when you came into the cave; but until now delusions had veiled your vision. Now you see me because of your great compassion for the dog. That compassion removed your obscurations to the point that you are able to see me.” After that, Maitreya personally taught Asanga the Texts known as the Five teachings of Maitreya, which are very important texts in the Tibetan tradition.
Asanga's contact with Maitreya was born of compassion. It was only through compassion that his obscurations were dissolved. For this reason, Guru Padmasambhava taught that without compassion, the Dharma practice will not bear fruit, and in fact, without compassion your practice will become rotten.”
About Maitreya in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky
Kalki Avatar on a white horse.
In Buddhism, Maitreya is the Fifth Buddha, in Hinduism - Kalki Avatar, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. “The Secret Doctrine” states that “Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins - the last Messiah, who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle.” “The only difference lies in the dates of their appearances. Thus, while Vishnu is expected to appear on his white horse at the end of the present Kali Yuga age “for the final destruction of the wicked, the renovation of creation and the restoration of purity,” Maitreya is expected earlier,” – supplemented by H. P. Blavatsky in the “Theosophical glossary.” “The Secret Doctrine” teaches that “the simple secret is this: there are cycles within greater cycles, which are all contained in the one Kalpa of 4,320,000 years. It is at the end of this cycle that the Kalki Avatâra is expected.”
The “Theosophical glossary” provides the following description: “Kalki Avatar (Skt.) – the “White Horse Avatar”, which will be the last manvantaric incarnation of Vishnu, according to the Brahmins; of Maitreya Buddha, agreeably to Northern Buddhists; of Sosiosh, the last hero and Savior of the Zoroastrians, as claimed by Parsis; and of the “Faithful and True” on the white Horse (“Revelation”. XIX., 2).
In his future epiphany or tenth avatar, the heavens will open and Vishnu will appear “seated on a milk-white steed, with a drawn sword blazing like a comet, for the final destruction of the wicked, the renovation of ‘creation’ and the ‘restoration of purity’”… This will take place at the end of the Kali Yuga 427,000 years hence.
The latter end of every Yuga is called “the destruction of the world”, as then the earth changes each time its outward form, submerging one set of continents and upheaving another set.
In “Isis Unveiled”, H. P. Blavatsky tells that the Messiah is the fifth emanation, so in the Jewish “Kabbalah”, the Gnostic system, “and the Buddhistic, in which the fifth Buddha (Maitreya) will appear at his last advent to save mankind before the final destruction of the world. If Vishnu is represented in his forthcoming and last appearance, as the tenth avatar or incarnation, it is only because every unit held as an androgyne [the whole, further divided into two opposite Principles], manifests itself doubly; the Buddhists who reject this dual-sexed incarnation reckon but five. Thus, while Vishnu is to make his last appearance in his tenth, Buddha is said to do the same in his fifth incarnation.”
The author further presents ten legendary avatars of Vishnu, including his seventh incarnation, Rama-Chandra (approximately the 7th millennium B.C.), the hero of ancient Indian epic “Ramayana”, and his eighth incarnation, Krishna (the 4-3rd millennium B.C.), one of the most popular Indian gods. As stated above, the incarnation of Vishnu as Maitreya will be the tenth.
In “The Secret Doctrine”, Maitreya is also referred to as a disciple of Parāśara. Thus, in one of the most ancient scriptures, the “Vishnu Purana” (“Folk Tales of Vishnu”), Parāśara reveals the secrets of the universe to his disciple Maitreya. “Parāśara says to Maitreya, his disciple: “I have thus explained to you, excellent Muni, six creations... the creation of the Arvaksrotas beings was the seventh and was that of man.”
Parāśara received the “Vishnu Purana” from his Teacher Pulastya, one of the seven mind-born Sons of Brahma. Brahma is an Indian god of creation, and one of the gods of the Triumurti (Hindu “Holy Trinity”) along with Vishnu and Shiva. Through the dialogue of Parāśara and his disciple Maitreya, “The Secret Doctrine” highlights the foundations of ancient cosmogony and its conformity to the Secret Teaching.
“Isis Unveiled” describes the coming of Maitreya: “When Maitreya Buddha comes, then our present world will be destroyed; and a new and better one will replace it. The four arms of every Hindu Deity are the emblems of the four preceding manifestations of our Earth from its invisible state, while its head typifies the fifth and last Kalki Avatar, when this world will be destroyed, and the power of Budh, Wisdom (in Hinduism - Brahma), will be again called into requisition to manifest itself as a Logos to create the future world.”
About Maitreya in the Teaching of Agni Yoga
The first secret knowledge was disclosed through H.P. Blavatsky, a disciple of the Mahatmas of Shamballa, and the Theosophical Society, but afterwards the teaching was enhanced and published in the books of Agni Yoga (Living Ethics) by H. I. Roerich. The Teaching of Fire as the New Testament to Earth was given by the “Great Master M.” on the threshold of the transition to the Epoch of Fire.
In the books of Agni Yoga it is said:
“Maitreya is coming, radiant with all fires. His Heart is aflame with compassion for destitute humanity. His Heart is aflame with the affirmation of the new Covenants” (Hierarchy, par. 3).
“The Ruler of Shambhala reveals three Doctrines to humanity: the Teaching manifested by Maitreya summons the human spirit to Our creative world; the Teaching of Maitreya ordains the infinite in Cosmos, in life, and in the attainments of the spirit; the Teaching of Maitreya guards the knowledge of the Cosmic Fire as the unfoldment of the heart that embraces the manifestation of the Universe.
The ancient legend that affirms the manifestation of Maitreya as a resurrection of the spirit is correct. We will add that the resurrection of the spirit as the conscious acceptance of the Teaching of Lord Maitreya may be precursor of the Advent. Verily, the resurrection!” (Hierarchy, par. 7)
The Mother of the World
by N.K. Roerich.
“Banners of the East” series, 1925.
The Epoch of Maitreya is also the Epoch of the Mother of the World in the Teaching of Living Ethics.
“The Epoch of Maitreya proclaims woman. The manifestation of Maitreya is linked with the confirmation of the Mother of the World, in the past, present, and future” (Hierarchy, par. 13).
“It will be asked, “Why this time is called the Era of the Mother of the World?” Truly, it must be so named. Woman will bring great help, not only by bringing enlightenment, but also by affirming equilibrium. At times of confusion, the magnet of equilibrium is disturbed, and free will is needed to reunite the broken whole. Maitreya, the Compassionate One, needs co-workers. He who sacrifices himself for the Great Era will reap an abundant harvest.
The Thinker said, “Learn how to labor for all humanity” (Supermundane, par. 772).
Thus, among the signs of the Age of Maitreya, the balance of male and female principles has been designated.
Cooperation is the other sign of the New Epoch. “Cooperation in all” will be added to this in the Age of Maitreya. “Not only by command, not just by harmony, but by the lightning-bolt of directed thought are the co-workers united” (Signs of Agni Yoga, par. 101).
Maitreya has come to learn to act, bringing Light into his every action. “All preceding Yogas, given from the highest Sources, took as their basis a particular aspect of life. Now, at the dawn of the age of Maitreya, there is needed a Yoga comprising the essence of the whole of life, all-embracing, evading naught. One remembers the example of those unignitable youths in the biblical legend who valiantly sacrificed themselves to the fiery furnace and thereby acquired power… where there is fire, there is clear evidence of progressive perfectment” (Signs of
Agni Yoga, par. 158-159).
New Message from Maitreya
In the XXI century Maitreya is at our doorstep again and knocks on the door. His appeals to humanity of the Earth have become possible thanks to a new mediator between the Great Teachers and people. That is the mediator T.N. Mickushina – the Messenger of the Great White Brotherhood who has been receiving the Messages from more than fifty Beings of Light, including Lord Maitreya since 2005.
The main purpose of the Messages in the period of Transition into the Divine Reality is to give people simple and concrete recommendations, and to help as many souls as possible to get free from the energies of the old world and accept the upcoming new energies of the Divine World.
In the first cycle of the Messages, Lord Maitreya has given a basic knowledge of the Epoch of Maitreya and the only right Path which leads humanity to the heights of the Divine consciousness:
“You have heard the prophecies and you know that the epoch of Maitreya is approaching. Everybody is waiting for the coming of Maitreya. And the time has come to give you the knowledge concerning my advent.
Together with my disciples I must prepare my future incarnation on Earth.
I come through my disciples, through those who allow me to reside in their temples, and I pave the way to my incarnation on Earth.
I cannot come when you are not ready to accept me in your consciousness. Therefore, the only thing preventing my incarnation on Earth is the level of your consciousness.
That is why I gladly come to Earth through those who let me stay in their temples at least for a short time. I become familiar with the situation on Earth through their bodies.
Many years will pass before I am able to be fully incarnated on Earth and to appear before the people of Earth in all the glory of my might. The term of my incarnation and the term of my coming depend on each of you who are embodied now” (May 6, 2005).
“…your task is to learn to distinguish in yourselves everything that is from God from the things of this world that you have created yourselves. Your physical world is like your parental nest where you feel comfy. But sooner or later the moment comes for you to leave your nest since you have grown up and become ready to spread your wings and fly” (June 17, 2005).
Maitreya teaches the Path of Initiation - the path allowing us to return Home to the true Divine Reality, and reveals the facets of the Teaching about the Path of Initiation.
“There is a moment in the life of every being when it realizes its connection with the Highest, and that it should consciously start to follow the Path of Initiations. The state of the society has made conscious passing of the Initiations impossible for the last centuries, especially in the West. People forgot about the Schools of Mysteries and about the knowledge that was given at those Schools.
Therefore, our task and the task of our messenger, is to remind you of the Path of Initiations and to recommence the traditions of the ancient Path of Initiations. We will try to give you the necessary knowledge concerning the Path of Initiations, but each of you will pass his own initiations individually, without leaving your usual life; and that will be a distinctive feature of our new actions” (April 19, 2006).
Maitreya invites disciples to enter his School of Mysteries and does not promise that the Path of Initiation will be easy.
“…the Path of Initiations is in fact the fastest and the shortest way that leads you to God. That is the Path of ego rejection. That is the Path of your willing consent to go through certain tests, even the hardest ones, to make your way Home shorter…
“…your way along that Path will require all your strength. You will have to sacrifice much that you have” (April 23, 2006).
The Messages of Lord Maitreya, given in this book, are the landmarks and guidelines on the Path to the Divine Wisdom. They contain both knowledge and the energy of the Great Teacher, calling us to action. Only we ourselves can show our ability for further evolution with our own achievements and our own efforts.
“Your level of consciousness is determined by those Divine qualities which you acquire on your Path. It is impossible to play at Service, self-sacrifice, unselfishness or Love.
You must master these qualities, and they must become inherent in you” (June 25, 2009).
As Lord Maitreya states, it is exactly our efforts on the transformation of ourselves that will allow us to exist in the upcoming world.
1. Agni Yoga, in 3 vol., Agni Yoga Society, Inc., 1977(Hierarchy, 3rd ed.), 1997(Signs of Agni Yoga, 6th ed.), 2004(Supermundane, 1st ed).
2. H. P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary. A photographic reproduction of the original edition, as first issued at London, England. Los Angeles, CA, USA: The Theosophical Publishing House, 1930, p. 170
3. Khenchen Palden Sherab and Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal, The Light of the Three Jewels, Dharma Samudra Publication, 1st ed., 1998 http://www.amazon.com/Jewels-Khenchen-Palden-Sherab-Rinpoche/dp/0965933903
4. H. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled: A Master-key to the mysteries of ancient and modern Science and Theology, vol. 2:“Theology”. Pasadena, CA, USA: Theosophical University Press, 1999, p. 260
5. Y. N. Roerich. Tibetan paintings. Maitreya - the Buddha of the Future. Paris: Librairie orientaliste P. Geuthner, 1925
6. N. Rokotoff, Foundations of Buddhism. Agni Yoga Society, Inc., 1971, p. 57
7. T. N. Mickushina, Words of Wisdom. The Messages of the Masters, in 3 vol. Omsk: Publishing House “SiriuS”, 2011
8. H. P. Blavatsky. The Secret Doctrine: The Synthesis of Science, Religion, and Philosophy, vol. 1:“Cosmogenesis”. Theosophy Trust memorial library, 2010, p. 384, 445