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The Maitreya Project

A friend yesterday sent me a link to the Maitreya Project. I had heard before about the initiative to build a 500 ft / 152m bronze statue at Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh in northern India. Kushinagar is the place, where Lord Buddha passed away, and it is one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India.

The idea of a huge Maitreya statue for the project is from Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84) and its realisation is under the guidance of Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche.

According to Buddhist scriptures, Maitreya is considered to be the next Buddha who will teach the path of loving-kindness to the world. “The very name ‘Maitreya’ means loving-kindness – in today’s world, we really need loving-kindness,” says the Dalai Lama.

About the purpose and vision behind the project they say:

“For thousands of years the world’s enduring monuments have provided powerful symbols, reminders of society’s most treasured values. During the 20th century most of the world’s great buildings and public development projects have been ‘monuments’ to commercial interests: high-rise business buildings, airports, shopping malls, theatres and theme parks. The Maitreya Buddha statue will provide the world with a much-needed and enduring monument to spiritual values, a reminder of the benefits of creating peace at every level through practicing loving-kindness.”

The Maitreya Buddha statue and its throne-building will provide the public with temples, exhibition halls, a museum, library, audio-visual theatre and hospitality services. All will be set in beautifully landscaped parks with meditation pavilions, beautiful water fountains and tranquil pools. The buildings and grounds of the Project will contain a remarkable and inspiring collection of sacred art.
Thus the vision of the Maitreya Project combines charitable, educational and medical facilities along with the enduring spiritual focus of the Maitreya Buddha statue, to directly and indirectly foster whole-community economic and civic development,
both now and for generations to come.

The statue is designed to stand for at least 1,000 years, supporting the Project’s spiritual and social work for at least a millennium. So may the people be guided from seeing a huge beautiful outer statue to experience inner beauty, beyond decaying forms.

maitreyaproject.jpg
(c) Maitreya Project

You might like to read about Lord Maitreya as seen from the wisdom teachings coming from the Puranic tradition, in a booklet from Sri K. Parvathi Kumar. See also the beautiful Maitreya-statue at the Planetary Healing Centre near Visakhapatnam, India

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