Maitreya, aka: Metteyya; 18 Definition(s)
Maitreya means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.
Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—A sage of great brilliance of ancient India. Genealogy. Descending in order from Viṣṇu:—Brahmā—Atri—Candra—Budha—Purūravas—Āyus—Anenas—Pratikṣatra—Sṛñjaya—Jaya—Vijaya—Kṛti—Haryaśva—Sahadeva—Nadīna—Jayasena—Saṅkṛti—Kṣatradharmā—Sumagotra—Śala—Ārṣṭiṣena—Kośa—Dīrghatapas—Dhanvantari—Ketumān—Bhīmaratha—Divodāsa—Maitreya.
Somapa was born as the son of Maitreya. Other details.
(i) Once Maitreya went to Hastināpura and told Duryodhana that he should behave kindly to the Pāṇḍavas. Duryodhana who did not much relish the advice sat tapping on his thighs with his hands, not seriously attending to the sage. Maitreya was displeased at the discourtesy and cursed that Bhīma would one day break Duryodhana’s thighs. (See under Duryodhana).
(ii) Maitreya was a courtier of Yudhiṣṭhira. (Śloka 10, Chapter 4, Sabhā Parva).
(iii) Maitreya was one among the sages who visited Bhīṣma while he was lying on his bed of arrows. (Śloka 6, Chapter 43, Śānti Parva).
(iv) Once he discussed with Vyāsa topics on Dharma. (Chapter 120, Anuśāsana Parva).
(v) When Srī Kṛṣṇa died, the spiritualistic ideology of Dharmaputra became more dominant and he approached Vidura for Dharmopadeśa. Vidura sent him to Maitreya. Dharmaputra went to the Āśrama of Maitreya on the banks of the river Gaṅgā and after paying respects to him accepted Dharmopadeśa (Instruction in law, duty and morals) from him. (3rd Skandha, Bhāgavata). (See full article at Story of Maitreya from the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani)(Source): archive.org: Puranic Encyclopaedia
1a) Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—(also Kauṣārava); a son of Mitrā; a siddha; himself a Purāṇa of information;1 went with Kṛṣṇa to Mithilā; met Kṛṣṇa on the eve of his departure to Heaven, and was ordered to be the preceptor to Vidura; the latter met him on the Ganges and after describing the creation of the world, answered Vidura's questions.2 Taught him ātma vidyā and told him that the goal was Hari;3 was invited for the Rājasūya of Yudhiṣṭhira.4
- 1) Bhāgavata-purāṇa III. 4. 36; VI. 15. ; III. 7. 42.
- 2) Ib. X. 86. 18; III. 4. 9 and 26; 5. 1 and 22-36; 8. 1ff.
- 3) Ib. I. 13. 1; 19. 10; II. 10. 49.
- 4) Ib. X. 74. 7; XII. 12. 8.
1b) A name of Maitrāyaṇavara.*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 50. 13.
1c) A pupil of Parāśara; enquired of him as to the origin of the world.*
- * Viṣṇu-purāṇa I. 1. 10.
1d) Ārṣeyapravaras; (Bhārgavas).*
- * Matsya-purāṇa 195. 40.
The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.
General definition (in Hinduism)
Maitreya was a sage. His lineage is unknown. He came to the court of Hastinapura to advice Duryodhana to restore the kingdom of the Pandavas, a little while after the sons of Pandu had gone into exile, having been defeated at dice. (See "Events in Hastinapura")
However, Duryodhana didn't even bother to listen to the sage, and showed his disrespect all too plainly. Incensed, the sage cursed him and said,
"Fourteen years hence, you shall be destroyed in battle by the Pandavas, along with your kinsmen and all that you hold dear. Bheema shall despatch you to the abode of Yama, by breaking your thighs with the mace."
Some hold that the curse of this sage played a major part in encompassing the destruction of the Kauravas.(Source): Apam Napat: Indian Mythology
Maitreya (मैत्रेय): A sage who visited the court of Dhritarashtra, expressed sorrow at the Pandava's plight, advised Duryodhana not to injure the Pandavas for his own good.(Source): WikiPedia: Hinduism
(Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)
Maitreya (मैत्रेय) is one of the sixteen bodhisattvas appearing in the Vajradhātu-mahāmaṇḍala, according to the Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī v5.38-41. The Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī (literally, ‘an explanation of the nāma-mantras’) is a commentary (ṭīkā) on the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti.
Maitreya is a name of Mañjuśrī (the embodiement of non-dual knowledge) and, together with other names, forms the core essence of the Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti. The Nāmamantrārthāvalokinī provides the practitioner a sādhana (‘meditative practice’) to turn these names into mantras. These mantras are chanted for the benefit of all beings, and then placed and contemplated in the Vajradhātu-mahāmaṇḍala, which is an extended version of the Vajradhātu-maṇḍala.
The Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti (lit. ‘chanting of the names of Mañjuśrī’) is a short but influential Buddhist tantra, containing the essence of the teachings of Śākyamuni (the historical Buddha). It was composed by Vilāsavajra in the 8th century and contains 3000 verses in the anuṣṭubh meter.(Source): Wisdom Library: Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti
Tibetan Buddhism includes schools such as Nyingma, Kadampa, Kagyu and Gelug. Their primary canon of literature is divided in two broad categories: The Kangyur, which consists of Buddha’s words, and the Tengyur, which includes commentaries from various sources. Esotericism and tantra techniques (vajrayāna) are collected indepently.
Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)
An arahant, friend of Tissa of the Tissa Metteyya Sutta. His personal name, too, was Tissa, but he was better known by his gotta name of Metteyya (SNA.ii.536). In a verse in the Suttanipata (SN. vs. 814) he is referred to as Tissa Metteyya.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Metteyya 1 1. Metteyya
The future Buddha, the fifth of this kappa (Bu.xxvii.21).
According to the Cakkavatti Sihanada Sutta, he will be born, when human beings will live to an age of eighty thousand years, in the city of Ketumati (present Benares), whose king will be the Cakkavatti Sankha. Sankha will live in the fairy palace where once dwelt King Mahapanada, but later he will give the palace away and will himself become a follower of Metteyya Buddha (D.iii.75ff).
The Anagatavamsa (J.P.T.S.1886, pp.42, 46ff., 52; DhSA.415 gives the names of his parents) gives further particulars. Metteyya will be born in a very eminent brahmin family and his personal name will be Ajita. Metteyya is evidently the name of his gotta. For eight thousand years he will live the household life in four palaces Sirivaddha, Vaddhamana, Siddhattha and Candaka - his chief wife being Candamukhi and his son Brahmavaddhana. Having seen the four signs while on his way to the park, he will be dissatisfied with household life and will spend one week in practicing austerities. Then he will leave home, travelling in his palace and accompanied by a fourfold army, at the head of which will be eighty four thousand brahmins and eighty four thousand Khattiya maidens. Among his followers will be Isidatta and Purana, two brothers, Jatimitta, Vijaya, Suddhika and Suddhana, Sangha and Sangha, Saddhara, Sudatta, Yasavati and Visakha, each with eighty four thousand companions. Together they will leave the household and arrive on the same day at the Bodhi tree. After the Enlightenment the Buddha will preach in Nagavana and King Sankha will, later, ordain himself under him. Metteyyas father will be Subrahma, chaplain to King Sankha, and his mother Brahmavati. His chief disciples will be Asoka and Brahmadeva among monks, and Paduma and Sumana among nuns. Siha will be his personal attendant and his chief patrons Sumana, Sangha, Yasavati and Sangha. His Bodhi will be the Naga tree. After the Buddhas death, his teachings will continue for one hundred and eighty thousand years.
According to the Mahavamsa (Mhv.xxxii.81f.; see Mil.159), Kakavannatissa and Viharamahadevi, father and mother of Dutthagamani, will be Metteyyas parents, Dutthagamani himself will be his chief disciple and Saddhatissa his second disciple, while Prince Sali will be his son.
At the present time the future Buddha is living in the Tusita deva world (Mhv.xxxii.73). There is a tradition that Natha is the name of the future Buddha in the deva world.
The worship of the Bodhisatta Metteyya seems to have been popular in ancient Ceylon, and Dhatusena adorned an image of him with all the equipment of a king and ordained a guard for it within the radius of seven yojanas (Cv.xxxviii.68).
Dappula I.(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).
Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)
Maitreya (मैत्रेय) is the name of a Bodhisattva, included in the list of spiritual friends of Sudhana: the son of a merchant from Sukhākara who received a prophecy from Mañjuśrī, according to the Avataṃsaka-sūtra. Accordingly, Sudhana devoted himself to 110 spiritual friends in a great building adorned with the ornaments of Vairocana. These spiritual friends included monks, bodhisattvas (eg., Maitreya), ṛṣis, brāhmaṇas, girls, kings, youths, goddesses, householders, etc. From these beings, Sudhana took the vows without the need for any formal basis.(Source): Wisdom Library: Mahayana Buddhism
Maitreya (मैत्रेय) is one of the Bodhisattvas accompanying the Buddha at Rājagṛha on the Gṛdhrakūṭaparvata, mentioned in a list of twenty-two in to Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra chapter 13.—They were at the head of countless thousands of koṭinayuta of Bodhisattva-mahāsattvas who were all still awaiting succession and will still accede to Buddhahood. He is also known as Mi lö or Ts’eu che.
Maitreya is one of the six classified as a monastic (pravrajita) Bodhisattva.(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra
Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.
General definition (in Buddhism)
Maitreya is the future Buddha, who will be born 30,000 years from now. The Chinese monk called Pu-tai (Ho-tei in Japanese) -- “the laughing buddha” -- is considered a pre-incarnation of Maitreya.(Source): Wisdom Library: Buddhism
Maitreya (मैत्रेय) refers to the first of the “eight Bodhisattvas” (aṣṭabodhisattva) as defined in the Dharma-saṃgraha (section 12). The Dharma-samgraha (Dharmasangraha) is an extensive glossary of Buddhist technical terms in Sanskrit (eg., aṣṭa-bodhisattva and Maitreya). The work is attributed to Nagarguna who lived around the 2nd century A.D.(Source): Wisdom Library: Dharma-samgrahaSanskrit word, literally means friendly and benevolent. He will be the next Buddha in our world. He is now preaching in Tusita Heaven. He is usually represented as the fat laughing Buddha.(Source): Buddhist Door: GlossaryMaitreya (Chinese: Mi lo; Japanese: Miroku), the Buddha of the Future, believed to reside in the Tsushita Heaven until it is time for him to succeed Shakyamuni as the next incarnation of Buddhahood on earth.(Source): The Art of Asia: Who is Who in Heaven
Maitreya or Metteyya (Pali) is a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he is referred to as Ajita Bodhisattva.
Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma. According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor of the historic Sakyamuni Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya is found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects (Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana) and is accepted by most Buddhists as a statement about an actual event that will take place in the distant future.(Source): WikiPedia: Buddhism
Maitreya Skt. (Jap., Miroku), lit., “Loving One”; in the teaching of the five earthly buddhas, already present in the Hīnayāna but first fully developed by the Mahāyāna, the embodiment of all-encompassing love. He is expected to come in the future as the fifth and last of the earthly buddhas. The cult of Maitreya is very widespread in Tibetan Buddhism. His Heaven is tushita (“the joyful”), after which the Tibetan saint Tsongkhapa named the first monastery he founded. As the world teacher to come, Maitreya is expected to appear in around thirty thousand years.(Source): Shambala Publications: General
Languages of India and abroad
maitrēya (मैत्रेय).—a S Relating to friend, friendly.(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary
maitrēya (मैत्रेय).—a Relating to a friend, friendly.(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.
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Search found 55 books and stories containing Maitreya or Metteyya. You can also click to the full overview containing English textual excerpts. Below are direct links for the most relevant articles:
The Mahavamsa (by Wilhelm Geiger)
The Gospel of Buddha (by Paul Carus)
Guide to Tipitaka (by U Ko Lay)
The Indian Buddhist Iconography (by Benoytosh Bhattachacharyya)
The Mahabharata - Third Book (by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa)