Maitreya

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Maitreya

Maitreya (Skt.; Tib. བྱམས་པ་, Jampa; Wyl. byams pa) or Maitreyanatha (Skt. Maitreynātha; Tib. Jampé Gönpo; Tib. བྱམས་པ་མགོན་པོ་, Wyl. byams pa'i mgon po) is the bodhisattva who will be the next buddha after Shakyamuni Buddha. For now he resides in Tushita. He transmitted teachings to Asanga, who transcribed them as the ‘Five Treatises of Maitreya’. As one of the eight great bodhisattvas, he is sometimes depicted as whitish-yellow in colour and holding an orange bush which dispels the fever of the destructive emotions.

Five Treatises

Maitreya transmitted the root teachings to Asanga. Among the five, four are classed as shastras (commentaries) proper, and one falls into the class of oral instructions. The four that are shastras are extensive are:

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  1. The Ornament of Clear Realization (Skt. Abhisamayālaṃkāra; Tib. མངོན་རྟོགས་པའི་རྒྱན་, Wyl. mngon par rtogs pa'i rgyan).
  2. The Ornament of the Mahayana Sutras (Skt. Māhayānasūtrālaṃkāra; Tib. ཐེག་པ་ཆེན་པོའི་མདོ་སྡེ་རྒྱན་, theg pa chen po'i mdo sde rgyan).
  3. Distinguishing the Middle from the Extremes (Skt. Madhyāntavibhāga; Tib. དབུས་དང་མཐའ་རྣམ་པར་འབྱེད་པ་, dbus dang mtha' rnam par 'byed pa).
  4. Distinguishing Dharma and Dharmata (Skt. Dharma-dharmatā-vibhāga; Tib. ཆོས་དང་ཆོས་ཉིད་, chos dang chos nyid rnam par 'byed pa) is very brief and direct in its presentation and is included within the class of oral instructions.
  5. The Sublime Continuum (Skt. Uttaratantra Śāstra; Tib. རྒྱུད་བླ་མ་, Wyl. rgyud bla ma).

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