Maitreya, Metteyya: 25 definitions

Introduction

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.

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In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Shodhganga: Dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India

Maitreya (मैत्रेय) is the name of an author of books dealing with the topics of dietetics and culinary art, also known as Pākaśāstra or Pākakalā as quoted by Raghunātha in his 17th century Bhojanakutūhala.—It is a noticeable fact that Āyurveda and its tradition, stood as the champions for the development of critical notions of dietetics and culinary art in ancient and medieval India. [...] Bhojanakutūhala records many earlier important treatises [...] and quotes many other scholars like [...] Maitreya.

Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Purana and Itihasa (epic history)

[«previous (M) next»] — Maitreya in Purana glossary
Source: archive.org: Puranic Encyclopedia

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: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index

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. [14]; 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.
Purana book cover
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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.

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General definition (in Hinduism)

Source: Apam Napat: Indian Mythology

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: WikiPedia: Hinduism

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.

In Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism (Vajrayana or tantric Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Mañjuśrīnāmasaṃgīti

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 8th century 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.

Source: archive.org: The Indian Buddhist Iconography

Maitreya (मैत्रेय) refers to the Future Buddha (he partakes of the nature of a Mortal Buddha, though he is not a Buddha yet), and is a Bodhisattva commonly depicted in Buddhist Iconography, such as the 11th-century Niṣpannayogāvalī of Mahāpaṇḍita Abhayākara.—his color is golden-yellow; his symbol is the nāgakeśara flower.—Maitreya is supposed to be passing the life of a Bodhisattva in the Tuṣita heaven, preparatory to his descent to earth in human form. It is said that he will come to earth full 4000 years after the disappearance of Buddha Gautama for the deliverance of all sentient beings. The Nāgakeśara flower is his chief recognition symbol both in China and in India. He is found also in Tibet.

Maitreya is described in the Niṣpannayogāvalī as follows:—

(1: Mañjuvajra-maṇḍala):—“Maitreya is of golden colour. With the two principal handshe displays the Dharmacakra-mudrā. The other two hands show the Varada-mudrā in the right and the twig of a Nāgakeśara with flower in the left”. (2: Durgatipariśodhana-maṇḍala):—“Maitreya is yellow in colour. He holds in his right hand the flower of Nāgakeśara and with the left the mendicant bowl”. (3: Sādhanamālā):—“Maitreya is yellow in colour and shows the Nāga flower and the Varada-mudrā”.

Maitreya is described in the Sādhanamālā and the Sādhana describing the procedure of his worship has Dhyāna: “The worshipper should meditate himself as Maitreya who originates from the yellow germ syllable ‘Maiṃ’. He is three-faced, three-eyed, and four-armed. His right and left faces respectively are of blue and white colour. His complexion is yellow like that of gold. He sits in the Paryaṅka attitude on an animal His two hands are engaged in exhibiting the Vyākhyāna Mudrā and he shows in his other right and left hands the Varada Mudrā and afull-blown Nāgakeśara flower with its branches He is decked in many ornaments. Meditating thus... This is the Sādhana for Maitreya”.

Tibetan Buddhism book cover
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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.

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Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

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.

context information

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).

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Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: Mahayana 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: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

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.

Mahayana book cover
context information

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.

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General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: Wisdom Library: 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: Dharma-samgraha

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: Buddhist Door: GlossarySanskrit 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: The Art of Asia: Who is Who in HeavenMaitreya (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: WikiPedia: Buddhism

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: Shambala Publications: General

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.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

maitrēya (मैत्रेय).—a S Relating to friend, friendly.

Source: DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English

maitrēya (मैत्रेय).—a Relating to a friend, friendly.

context information

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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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—a. (- f.) Relating to a friend, friendly.

-yaḥ Name of a mixed tribe.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Maitreya (मैत्रेय) or Maitraka.—(1) (only in verses and probably m.c.): °ku (n. sg.) Gaṇḍavyūha 488.25; °kasya 489.7.

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Maitreya (मैत्रेय) or Maitranātha.—(1) (in verse, probably m.c.): °tha (n. sg.) Gaṇḍavyūha 489.8.

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Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—(1) also Maitriya m.c., and Maitraka, Maitra-nātha, °nāman, and perhaps Maitrīya, qq.v.; = Pali Metteyya), name of the next Buddha to follow Śākya- muni, predicted by him; has special epithet Ajita, q.v.: Saddharmapuṇḍarīka 3.9; 7.4 ff.; 302.11, 16; 307.11; 308.1; 309.1; 310.13; 311.1; 312.13; 315.5; 316.12; 327.2; 329.11; 332.5; 345.1 ff.; 478.11; Mahāvastu i.59.2 (etc., see Senart's Index); iii.240.11 ff.; 243.19; 246.16; 247.15; 330.8; Lalitavistara 2.10 (first of a list of Bodhisattvas); 39.2 ff.; 422.7, 11; 443.7; 444.12; Mahāvyutpatti 646 (= Tibetan byams pa, second in a list, after Avalokiteśvara); Divyāvadāna 60.25 ff. (prediction of his history); 326.10 (in an earlier existence gave his life for a tigress); Avadāna-śataka ii.176.3; Suvarṇabhāsottamasūtra 117.5 (M°-prabhṛtīnāṃ bodhisattvānāṃ); 157.19; 239.6 (here Maitriyo, m.c.; v.l. Maitrayo); Śikṣāsamuccaya 15.13 etc.; Dharmasaṃgraha 12 (first of 8 Bodhisattvas); Sukhāvatīvyūha 2.13 (M°-pūr- vaṃgamaiś ca saṃbahulair bodhisattvair); Karmavibhaṅga (and Karmavibhaṅgopadeśa) 71.22; (Ārya-)Mañjuśrīmūlakalpa 40.14; 62.16, etc.; Sādhanamālā 20.8 etc.; as the first in a long list of future Buddhas Gaṇḍavyūha 441.23; as the first of a much shorter list, not over ten, Mahāvastu ii.354.17 = iii.279.1, most of the names being found at the beginning of the Gaṇḍavyūha list, which is evidently an enormous expansion of an old traditional list; even the order is nearly the same; Maitreya is succeeded by Siṃha, then Pradyota, Ketu (these two are interchanged in the Mahāvastu order), Sunetra [Page440-b+ 71] (in Mahāvastu preceded by Jyotiṃdhara or Jyotīvara, or the like, which Gaṇḍavyūha lacks), Kusuma and Kusumaśrī (in Mahāvastu these two are represented by ‘two Kusumas’), Tiṣya (so Gaṇḍavyūha, probably unorig.; T. regularly precedes P. in lists of past Buddhas; Mahāvastu has instead Meru or Maru), Puṣya (Mahāvastu Puṣpa); here the Mahāvastu list ends. In Mahāvastu iii.279.19—20 there follows a reference to the four Buddhas of ‘this bhadra- kalpa’, still put in the future; these two lines seem to be a secondary addition of Mahāvastu iii.279, being not found in the parallel ii.355; because of them Senart, iii Introd. XXVI note 1, attributes the whole list to the past, which is scarcely conceivable with a list headed by Maitreya, and is disproved by the Gaṇḍavyūha parallel; in Gaṇḍavyūha 456.19 intro- ductory to long chapter on M°, Gaṇḍavyūha 466.15 ff., special glorification of him; (2) name of a brahmanical gotra (sg. as name of various persons in Sanskrit): pl. Divyāvadāna 635.12.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—mfn.

(-yaḥ-yī-yaṃ) Of or relating to a friend. m.

(-yaḥ) 1. A man of a mixed caste, the son of a Vaideha by an Ayogava mother: his business is to announce the hours in verse. 2. The seventh Budd'ha, or one still to come. 3. The name of a saint or Muni, the disciple of Parasara, to whom the Vishnu Purana is narrated. E. mitra a proper name, or mitra a friend, and ḍhak aff. of descent or relation.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—i. e. mitra + eya (cf. mittra). I. adj. Relating to a friend. Ii. m. 1. The son of a Vaideha by an Ayogava female. 2. A proper name.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Maitreya (मैत्रेय).—[adjective] benevolent, kind; [masculine] & [feminine] ī patron. of [several] men & women, [masculine] also = seq.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Maitreya (मैत्रेय):—[from maitra] mfn. ([from] maitri) friendly, benevolent, [Mahābhārata]

2) [v.s. ...] m. ([from] mitrayu, [Pāṇini 6-4, 174]) [patronymic] of Kauṣārava, [Aitareya-brāhmaṇa]

3) [v.s. ...] of Glāva, [Chāndogya-upaniṣad] ([according to] to [Scholiast or Commentator] [metronymic] [from] mitrā)

4) [v.s. ...] of various other men, [Mahābhārata; Purāṇa]

5) [v.s. ...] Name of a Bodhi-sattva and future Buddha (the 5th of the present age), [Lalita-vistara] ([Monier-Williams’ Buddhism 181 etc.])

6) [v.s. ...] of the Vidūṣaka in the Mṛc-chakaṭikā

7) [v.s. ...] of a grammarian (= -rakṣita), [Catalogue(s)]

8) [v.s. ...] of a [particular] mixed caste (= maitreyaka), [Manvarthamuktāvalī, kullūka bhaṭṭa’s Commentary on manu-smṛti on Manu-smṛti x, 33]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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