Figure of Maitreya

11008154-2001_001_001_Bpa_ARC.tif

Title

Figure of Maitreya

Keywords

Sculpture

Date

15th Century

Context

Tibet, China, Asia

Medium/Dimensions

Bronze, copper, silver
9 1/2 x 8 x 5 in. (24.1 x 20.3 x 12.7 cm)

Object Number

2001.001.001

Description

The name Maitreya translates as "love," or "loving one." In this context Maitreya is listed as one of the "Eight Close Disciples of Buddha," for universal love is one of the eight great attributes of the enlightenment way. Every Tibetan monastery houses at least one image of Maitreya, as an expression of the commitment to love, peace and non-violence.

Tibetans translated the name Maitreya as Jampa Gonpo, or "Lord Maitreya," and think of him as a great Buddhist archangel who long ago achieved enlightenment and watches over the world with tender care. According to Buddhist prophecy, there will be 1,000 universal teachers in this world cycle. Buddha Shakyamuni, who lived 2,500 years ago, was the fourth of these. Maitreya will manifest as the fifth when the time is right. Buddhists eagerly await this "Coming of Maitreya" much as Christians await the second coming of Christ. To symbolize this fulfillment of Buddha Shakyamuni's work, Maitreya is often depicted with a stupa above his head, as here in this image.

This particular representation of Maitreya shows him in the form of Maitreya the Healer. His legs are crossed in meditation, the best medicine for the mind; and his hands are in the teaching gesture, the best medicine for the world. The lotus above his left shoulder holds a vase filled with medicinal nectars having three powers: healing disease, increasing life-force, and transforming negative states of mind and its emotions into wisdom and happiness.

This is stated in the Tibetan inscription on the base, "Buddha's Regent Lord Maitreya, in the mode of Master Healer ..." The inscription concludes with a verse of dedication for the quick attainment of the enlightenment of the person who commissioned the status, a lady by the name of Pelmo Kyi, as well as the enlightenment of all living beings.

Credit Line

The Ester R. Portnow Collection of Asian Art, a gift of the Nathan Rubin-Ida Ladd Family Foundation

Exhibits/Publications

MCCM Permanent Collection Reinstallation, September 2004 - Present

Rights

© Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2007.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View

Yes

Citation

“Figure of Maitreya,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 21, 2018, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7892.

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