According to the scriptures, Maitreya Buddha is a future Buddha who will be rebirth in the Saha realm to teach the Dharma and bring much joy and happiness to all sentient beings in the whole realm. Therefore, many Buddhists regularly chant Maitreya Buddha mantra to welcome Him, hoping for a life of good luck and happiness in the future.
This powerful mantra is said to evoke the presence and blessings of Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha who will bring peace and harmony to the world. With its soothing melody and profound meaning, the Maitreya Buddha mantra is a powerful tool for spiritual growth and transformation.
Who is Maitreya Buddha?
Maitreya Buddha is considered the future Buddha, currently residing in the Tusita heaven. This realm is believed to be where all bodhisattvas, including Shakyamuni Buddha, have lived before being reborn on Earth as a Buddha. Often referred to as the “Happy Buddha” or “Smiling Buddha,” Maitreya is said to constantly smile as he takes delight in relieving the suffering of all sentient beings.
As a bodhisattva, Maitreya is expected to appear on Earth in the future, attain complete enlightenment, and teach pure dharma. The prophecy of his arrival pertains to a time when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have been forgotten in the world, and is found in the texts of various schools of Buddhism, including Theravada Buddhism. Maitreya is a symbol of harmony and infinite joy, and his teachings are centered on love, compassion, and the virtuous path to enlightenment.
In Chinese feng shui, Maitreya Buddha is considered to be a symbol of good luck, fortune, and happiness, and many business establishments worship his smiling statue to attract good fortune and prosperity. It is also believed that rubbing the belly of the Maitreya statue can bring good luck and wealth. On the first day of the Lunar New Year, Buddhists go to the temple to pray and touch Maitreya Buddha statues in hopes of achieving good luck and happiness in their lives.
Building statues or reciting the Maitreya Buddha mantra are common practices believed to shorten the time interval between Shakyamuni Buddha and Maitreya. Those who participate in these practices are said to receive teachings directly from Maitreya when he arrives on Earth, after the teachings of Gautama Buddha have ceased to exist.
The Origin of Maitreya Buddha
Maitreya Buddha has a rich history and mythology that spans across various Buddhist traditions. According to Buddhist texts, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who has been on the path of enlightenment for countless lifetimes.
The origins of Maitreya can be traced back to early Buddhist scriptures, where he was first mentioned as a bodhisattva who had taken a vow to become a Buddha. However, it was not until the Mahayana tradition that Maitreya became more prominent. In Mahayana Buddhism, Maitreya is considered to be one of the most important bodhisattvas, second only to Avalokiteshvara.
The concept of Maitreya Buddha gained widespread popularity during the decline of Buddhism in India. Many Buddhists believed that the coming of Maitreya Buddha would restore the glory and vitality of Buddhism in the world. This belief spread to other parts of Asia, including China, Japan, and Korea, where Maitreya Buddha was worshipped and revered.
The mythology of Maitreya Buddha is also present in other religious traditions, including Hinduism and Jainism. In Hinduism, Maitreya is considered to be a future avatar of Vishnu, while in Jainism, he is seen as the last of the 24 Tirthankaras, or spiritual leaders.
Regardless of the tradition, Maitreya Buddha is a symbol of hope, compassion, and wisdom. His teachings inspire people to follow the virtuous path to enlightenment and to relieve the suffering of all sentient beings.
The Meaning of the symbols of Maitreya Buddha
– Maitreya Buddha playing with children: This image symbolizes wealth, joy, luck, and positive energy.
– Maitreya Buddha holding a bowl: This image symbolizes “letting go,” freedom, and carefree happiness, joyfully accepting all the changes of impermanence.
– Maitreya Buddha holding a fan: This image symbolizes health, peace, and happiness. It is said that when he waves the fan, it will dispel all misfortunes in life.
– Maitreya Buddha carrying a bag or sack: For many people, the Happy Buddha carrying a bag or sack symbolizes good luck, wealth, or prosperity that he will bestow upon his followers. However, others interpret the bag as a tool for gathering and carrying the worries and sorrows of all sentient beings.
– Maitreya Buddha holding a pearl: This image symbolizes wisdom, wealth, and prosperity built on wisdom that will endure. Others believe that the pearl held by the Happy Buddha is the Mani pearl, which means “whatever is wished for will be granted.”
The Appearance of Maitreya Buddha in the future
The appearance of Buddha Maitreya occurred after the teachings of Gautama Buddha were no longer present on Earth. He was predicted to achieve enlightenment within 7 days, thanks to the virtue of many prepared lifetimes.
When Buddha Maitreya appears, there will be some mysterious phenomena accompanying him. The oceans will shrink, allowing him to pass through them freely. This is also a sign to recognize the true arrival of Buddha Maitreya and it is synonymous with the end of the cycle of “Birth – Existence – Decay – Death” of this planet, to build a new world.
The Benefits of chanting Maitreya Buddha mantra
In addition to building statues and worshiping Maitreya Buddha, people can recite Maitreya’s name or chant the Maitreya mantra to receive his blessing.
Start with the motivation to develop Bodhichitta and while reciting the Maitreya Buddha mantra, visualize the love within and out towards all sentient beings. After that, you have to actualize it with specific actions to bring happiness to others (liberation, charity, and being active in Buddhist affairs).
Singer Imee Ooi chants Maitreya Buddha mantra very peacefully
Namo Ratna Trayaya – Namo Bhagavatay Shakyamuniyay
Tatagataya – Arhatay Samyak Sambuddhaya – Tayata
Om Ajitay Ajitay Aparajitay – Ajitanchaya
Hara Hara Maitri Avalokitay
Kara Kara Maha Samaya Siddhi
Bara Bara Maha Bodhi Menda Bidza
Mara Mara Ayma Kam Samaya
Bodhi Bodhi Maha Bodhi Soha
Maitreya Buddha mantra short version:
Om maitri maitreya maha karuna ye
Oṃ maitri mahāmaitri maitriye svāhā
Zong Sha Lei Ha Mo la Dou
Although Maitreya is a Bodhisattva, he is often worshiped as a Buddha in anticipation of becoming a future Buddha. Many Mahayana Buddhists, especially the Chinese, regularly pray and recite the Maitreya Buddha mantra to bring luck, wealth and happiness in life.
However, the main benefits of reciting Maitreya Buddha mantra are:
- Rebirth in Tusita heaven, a pure land to continue practicing.
- Gain the full merit to be able to take rebirth at the time when Maitreya Buddha appeared on earth, heard his direct teachings, and was completely peace.
Maitreya Buddha embodies compassion, love for all sentient beings. Therefore, if you are constantly reciting the Maitreya mantra and still being selfish, petty, jealous, you are probably practicing the wrong method.
Open your heart to many people, not only to your family and friends, but to many more people in your life. Follow Maitreya Buddha’s ideal of life, think and act positively to bring joy and happiness to everyone’s life. And then luck, fortune and happiness will naturally come to you.
How to worship Maitreya Buddha at home
As you may know, the names associated with Maitreya Buddha include “Laughing Buddha”, “God of Wealth”, and “Happy Buddha”… All of which represent joy, luck, wealth, and good health. Therefore, a statue of Maitreya Buddha is indispensable in devout Buddhist families.
It is often advised that before bringing the Buddha statue home, one should invite a master to perform the opening ceremony to establish a connection with the Buddha. However, Buddhist teachings state that the Buddha and bodhisattvas are present everywhere and are willing to bless those who show sincerity, so the opening ceremony is not always necessary.
Nevertheless, if the homeowner wants to feel more at ease, they can invite an experienced master to perform the opening ceremony. Before placing the Maitreya Buddha statue on the home altar, one should prepare the necessary items such as the altar and offering items such as incense, flowers, and fresh fruits. Choose a position facing the main door to welcome wealth and good luck, and choose an auspicious day to hold the ceremony.
According to feng shui, the best position to place the Maitreya Buddha statue is facing the main door and about 1 meter above the ground. Avoid placing the statue in dark, dusty, or dirty places to avoid bad luck. Additionally, the homeowner can also consider adding statues of Amitabha Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha to complete the set of the Three Buddhas of Three Times.