|Date Range||1400 - 1499|
|Material||Metal, Precious Stone, Stone Inset: Turquoise|
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)
With this figure the two hands perform the gesture of teaching while holding the stems of two flowers that support a branch of the Ashoka tree on the right and a water flask on the left. The two legs are folded in vajra posture. Attached to the front of the lotus base is a small figure of Vaishravana Riding a Lion.
In painting Maitreya is commonly depicted in bodhisattva appearance and and can be 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).
Jeff Watt 2-2015