About the Project
Why Build a Maitreya Statue?
“Our main goal is not just to build a Maitreya statue. The main goal is the peace and happiness of all beings. For that purpose, we are building the Maitreya Statue, and in particular for peace and happiness in India.
The only way to have peace and happiness in the world and eliminate problems such as war, famine, diseases, disharmony, killing and so forth is to generate loving kindness in the mind. Loving kindness is the cause of peace and happiness. Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of all Buddhas’ loving kindness, therefore this statue is essential for the cause of love and happiness in this world.
My spiritual master, Lama Yeshe established the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition. Before passing away, Lama Yeshe advised me to build a very large statue of Maitreya Buddha in Bodhgaya, Bihar. That project is already happening.
This project, the Maitreya Buddha Kushinagar Project, is being developed in Kushinagar where Shakyamuni Buddha showed the holy deed of passing away and where the future Buddha Maitreya will take birth.
One of the general benefits of building large Maitreya statues is that after Guru Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings no longer exist in the world, when Maitreya Buddha appears, those who have helped in the building of the statues will be some of his first disciples.
In addition, the more statues of Maitreya Buddha there are in the world the more it helps to minimize or stop wars, famine, diseases, tsunamis, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters in this dark period when so many suffer so much.
Another result for building many Maitreya statues is that it decreases the dark period of so much suffering which follows in between the existence of Buddha Shakyamuni’s teachings and the time when Maitreya Buddha will appear. A lack of loving kindness results in the direct and indirect harming of others from life to life. Historically, powerful and influential people who lack loving kindness have sometimes caused great harm to millions and even millions of deaths.
A lack of loving kindness also causes unhappiness, depression, dissatisfaction, no fulfillment in the heart, inner sadness, all of which comes from the mind ego. A lack of loving kindness also causes failure in business, health problems, shortage of life and so forth.
Therefore loving kindness is the most important education of the mind – most important for peace of mind, most important for peace, happiness, and success, now and in the future. You cannot find satisfaction and fulfillment or enjoy life without the cause which is loving kindness.
In all religions, not only Buddhist religion, but Hindu, Muslim, Christian, the essence of the religion is loving kindness and compassion towards others. Without compassion and loving kindness the religion cannot benefit anyone. Therefore, building the Maitreya statue has also connection to other religions, since it is the essence of loving kindness, compassion. So that becomes a specific thing, to develop loving kindness and compassion in the minds of beings in this world.
The purpose of building the statue is also to actualize the steps of the path to enlightenment, the meaning of teachings, particularly the teachings given by Maitreya Buddha to Asanga, those five divisions of teaching. Thus the main goal is to benefit the mind, and ultimately to realize the path to enlightenment.”
– Venerable Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Spiritual Advisor to the Maitreya Buddha Project