Maitreya – The Future Buddha
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India and Nepal
Orientation 3
Display 2

ABS 088

 Code: ABS 088

  Country: India (north-west)

  Style: Kashmir Region

  Date: 900 - 1000

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 8.1 x 15.9 x 6.5

  Materials: Brass

Maitreya – The Future Buddha

Maitreya, or Champa in Tibetan, is the Future Buddha prophesised by the historical Buddha Shakyamuni to succeed him when all Buddhist teachings will have completely disappear from our world. He is said to have replaced Shakyamuni in the highest heaven, waiting for his time to come. Maitreya is also considered one of the eight principal bodhisattvas, embodying loving kindness. For this reason, he can appear as a Buddha, under the guise of an ascetic, or as a bodhisattva (see ABS 019), dressed with the royal attire.

Maitreya appears as a Buddha, sitting on a throne supported by lions, legs pendant and feet supported by lotus flowers. He wears all the marks of an Awakened One: cranial protuberance, short curly hair, elongated earlobes, etc. His two hands are held before his chest in the teaching gesture of “setting in motion the wheel of the Law.” His triple monastic garment is pleated with delicate, regular folds, leaving his right shoulder uncovered. The throne’s backrest is surrounded with an aureole decorated with rays and topped by a stupa, Maitreya’s distinctive symbol.

His eyes and urna are inlaid with silver, his lips and garment’s lower rim with red copper, a characteristic of kashmiri works of art of the 9th/10th centuries.