Maitreya – The Future Buddha
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Chapel
Orientation 2
Display 3

ABS 140

 Code: ABS 140

  Country: India (north-east)

  Style: Late Pala Style

  Date: 1050 - 1150

  Dimensions in cm WxHxD: 11.5 x 14.5 x 10.5

  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.

On this refined Indian statue, Maitreya appears as a Buddha, wearing the renunciant’s robes. Sitting legs crossed in meditation on a double lotus pedestal, 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.” They hold the stalk of a twig with nagapushpa flowers blossoming above his right shoulder, and that of a lotus supporting a ewer to his left. Some discrete silver inlays are visible on the shawl’s rim on his left shoulder, on the sole of his feet and for the stalks held in his hands.