Maitreya references in Lam Rim Chen Mo


I've seen many references to Maitreya in the Lam Rim Chen Mo books, but in the past tense. I was under the impression that Maitreya was a future Buddha. Was there also a sage or bodhisattva named Maitreya?



Denis Wallez's picture

past and future, same...

As far as I understand it, Maitreya is a Boddhisattva currently incarnated in a Heaven realm (where he has been for a while already... due to the long life in Heaven realms), who will become a "full" Buddha in the future.
Plus, in Tibetan buddhism, a few exceptional beings (cf. tulkus) may somehow control their rebirth... so it is the "same" Maitreya.

Maitreya reference

While reading Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations by Paul Williams, I came across the following in the discussion of Yogacara texts: "Modern scholars disagreed whether this indicates that Asanga himself really composed these texts or whether they can be traced to a genuine human author called Maitreya, perhaps Asanga's teacher, sometimes referred to as Maitreyanatha to distinguish him from any 'mythological' figure."(found on page 87 of paperback edition). Perhaps this relates to the texts you are reading.

pspitze's picture

Book ref

Thanks! I have this book in my library and will investigate further.