Maitreya Bodhisattva


Praise of Maitreya Bodhisattva:

In the past he was the immortal Wisdom Light,
His samadhi of great kindness is wonderful beyond expression.
Born in the south, in a country of adornment called sea shore,
He ascends to the Tushita heaven, and Buddha in his next life he'll be.
With perfected mind and consciousness whose brightness spans the realms of the ten directions,
The merit and virtue cultivated in his nature he simultaneously fulfilled.
Many are those who obtain rebirth in the inner courtyard,
As they assemble at the dragon-flower assembly and first receive a prediction.

Homage to Maitreya Honored Buddha who dwells in the inner courtyard of the Tushita heaven, who with ten thousand virtues replete, waits to become Buddha in his next life.

"Maitreya" means "compassionate clan." He is also known as "Ajita" which means "invincible." He regards all living beings with compassion and is foremost in the perfection of patience. He will be the next Buddha in the future. He is the founder of the Consciousness-Only School in Mahayana Buddhism.

His images are placed in the dining halls in Buddhist temples.

The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua explains:

If someone strikes him, he lies down and goes to sleep, letting them beat him as they please. He doesn’t lose his temper. If someone spits on his face, he simply lets it dry by itself, without bothering to wipe off. Since he doesn’t fight back, the other person cools off too. This kind of paramita/method for reaching the other shore is a treasure among wonders. Once you know this news, how can you fail to attain the Way?

A verse in praise:

The mind gives rise to all things;
All things are created from mind alone.
With no afflictions or worries,
He is perpetually laughing.
In the samadhi of happiness,
He brings forth people’s good roots.
Since he never forgets to have fun,
Spring returns to the Dharma Realm.

…With the “happy samadhi,” he causes people to plant good roots. Probably he made a vow that anyone who set eyes on him would be inspired to bring forth the Bodhi Resolve.

Another verse says:

If you ask me what I’m laughing about,
First let me ask you what you are crying for.
Neither crying nor laughing is the Middle Way.
Why get attached to either side?
In a single gulp, swallow your worries & grief.
With two eyes, see through those who pursue fame and profit.
No one recognizes the Bodhisattva;
Everyone misses him at close range.

…If you know why you are crying, you’ll understand why I’m laughing…Crying is not the Middle Way, nor is laughing. However, the Bodhisattva uses laughter as a means to save those who are sad or afflicted. Why get attached to either side? Crying and laughing are extremes; they are not the ultimate principle of the Middle Way. They fall to one side or the other, and are not the path of cultivation that we should take…

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