Metteyya: 2 definitions


Metteyya means something in Buddhism, Pali. 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.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

Source: Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names

1) Metteyya Thera.—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.

2) 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. made a statue in honour of the future Buddha fifteen cubits high (Cv.xlv.62). It is believed that Metteyya spends his time in the deva-world, preaching the Dhamma to the assembled gods, and, in emulation of his example, King Kassapa V. used to recite the Abhidhamma in the assemblies of the monks (Cv.lii.47). Parakkamabāhu I. had three statues built in honour of Metteyya (Cv.lxxix.75), while Kittisirirājasīha erected one in the Rajata-vihāra and another in the cave above it (Cv.c.248,259). It is the wish of all Buddhists that they meet Metteyya Buddha, listen to his preaching and attain to Nibbāna under him. See, e.g.,; MT. 687; DhSA.430.

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).

Discover the meaning of metteyya in the context of Theravada from relevant books on Exotic India

General definition (in Buddhism)

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism

Metteyya (Pali) or Maitreya  (Sanskrit) 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.

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