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Buddhist Deity: Maitreya Main Page

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Maitreya (Tibetan: cham pa. English: Love), the bodhisattva of loving kindness and the Buddha of the next future eon after the age of Shakyamuni Buddha. Maitreya is believed to currently reside in the Tushita Heaven and is typically depicted as having either a Bodhisattva Appearance or Buddha Appearance with all the typical characteristics.

Tibetan: Jetsun Champa Gonpo (rje btsun byams pa mgon po)

In painting Maitreya is commonly depicted in bodhisattva appearance and is commonly found along with the other Eight Great Bodhisattvas in compositions with either Shakyamuni or Amitabha Buddha as the central figure.

"With the fire of great love burning the fuel of anger, the light of pristine awareness removes the darkness of ignorance; heir to the Conqueror's Dharma, upcoming leader of beings; to the one residing in Tushita, I bow." (Buddhist liturgical verse).

There are Three Main Topics & Divisions:
- Non-iconic (narrative based): Peaceful Appearance, a student of the Buddha from Mahayana literature
- Buddha of the Future (narrative based): Buddha Appearance
- Iconic (meditational deity): based on the Tantra (Vajrayana) literature

General Subjects & Topics:
- Narrative Forms
- Meditational Deity Forms
--- Primary Figure
--- Secondary Figure
- Peaceful Forms
- Buddha Forms
- Wrathful Forms (There are no known wrathful forms of Maitreya)
- Others...

Iconographic Characteristics:
- Stupa
- Water Flask
- Wheel
- Tree Branch
- Mala (bead garland)
- Deer Skin
- Legs Pendant

Groups & Number Sets:
- Buddhas of the Three Times
- Eight Great Bodhisattvas
- One Thousand Buddhas of the Age

Forms & Types:
- Maitreya in Bodhisattva Appearance (standing)
- Maitreya in Bodhisattva Appearance (seated)
- Maitreya (Seated Posture - Western style)
- Maitreya (Relaxed Posture)
- Maitreya in Tushita Heaven
- Maitreya & Manjushri in Dialogue
- Maitreya Life Story
- Maitreya in Buddha Appearance
- Maitreya as a Meditational Deity: Three Faces, Four Arms
- Maitreya Masterworks

Jeff Watt 2-2002 [updated 2-2016]