Within this Vast Vision of Rinpoche are the two Maitreya Projects, which were established to build magnificent Maitreya statues in Bodhgaya and Kushinagar, India. The Maitreya Project also created two 24-foot Maitreya statues, now residing at Land of Medicine Buddha in California and on the Maitreya Project land in Kushinagar.
Additionally, almost 100 life-size Maitreya statues have been created, of which Lama Zopa Rinpoche sponsored and offered 26 statues to FPMT centers. Lama Zopa Rinpoche wrote a letter in February 2014 explaining how this vision came about, the focus of each Maitreya Project, and the benefits.
Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of each buddha’s loving kindness, and the symbol of all the bodhisattvas’ loving kindness for all sentient beings.
Maitreya Statues Completed/In Progress
The Maitreya Buddha Project Kushinagar
Current efforts are focused on the project in Kushinagar. Please read about Lama Yeshe’s early inspiration, the social and economic vision for the local communities in India, and initial stages of the project below.
Why Buddha Maitreya & Why Kushinagar?
The Maitreya Project was the inspiration of its founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe following his first visit back to Tibet in the early 1980’s. In the Buddhist pantheon, the historical Buddha Shakyamuni is considered the fourth of eventually 1,000 Buddhas who will manifest on this earth and each of whom will initiate a cycle of spiritual teachings. Maitreya Buddha is predicted to be the fifth Buddha who will appear on earth. According to ancient textual reference, Kushinagar is the place where Maitreya Buddha will manifest.
Building large statues of Maitreya Buddha has traditionally been considered auspicious in order to reduce the period of “spiritual darkness” when Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings have disappeared and before the appearance of Maitreya Buddha whose teachings then will again provide the means for spiritual development to people of the time.
The project to build a Maitreya Buddha statue in Kushinagar is overseen by the Maitreya Project Trust. In December of 2013, the Indian state government of Uttar Pradesh handed over the land to be used for the project. That day, a stunning stone laying ceremony was held, with Lama Zopa Rinpoche, the state’s Chief Minister, and over 100,000 farmers, locals, Sangha and other dignitaries in attendance. Mandala magazine reported on the event and published Rinpoche’s speech at the ceremony. Rinpoche wrote a letter to students shortly after the ceremony explaining the steps ahead.
After many years of work, artistic and engineering renderings are also complete. In 2016, the land agreement between the MPT and the Uttar Pradesh government was signed, and the project built a fence around the project’s land. Since then, there has been a feng shui evaluation to be included in the project’s master plan, and a ground breaking ceremony was performed by senior geshes and Sangha.
The site adjoins the Parinirvana Temple which denotes the place where Shakyamuni Buddha passed into Parinirvana. The site also adjoins the Ramabhar Stupa which denotes the location of Shakyamuni Buddha’s cremation stupa. This is indeed one of the holiest places for Buddhist pilgrimage.
——— Maitreya Buddha Project Kushinagar News & Updates
The creation of Holy Objects for World Peace is an important aspect of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s charitable work as carried out by FPMT Inc. More specifically, Rinpoche envisions the creation of many statues of Maitreya Buddha around the world. Currently, …
Offer Your Compassionate Support
The Maitreya Buddha Project Kushinagar is a project of FPMT Inc. and is administered by FPMT International Office located in Portland, Oregon, United States. All donations made to this fund are tax-deductible within the United States in accordance with IRS Code article 501(c)(3) to the extent allowed by law.