Posted by: Upāsaka | 03/11/2018

Motivations

Listening to the Dhamma talk by Ajahn Achalo on the different aspirations we bring to practice got me thinking more deeply about my own. In many ways, my aspirations and practice look like Mahayana but, if I’m honest, I’m not sure how I feel about millions of rebirths with a number of those surely being in the hell realms. The idea of being reborn in worlds totally devoid of the Dhamma is a scary one and something that I don’t relish at all. And, yet…there is still this deep desire to help other beings and what is a better way to do in samsara than by becoming a Buddha.

At present, I have found renewed confidence in my aspiration to be reborn in the company of Ariya Metteyya Bodhisatta in Tusita. It’s kind of a compromise: I feel that once there I will be able to make the requisite progress to really decide f the path of the arahant or samma-sambuddha is what I wish to pursue. Not that either of these are easy but it will give me a solid direction. In Ajahn Mun’s biography, he said that he had been pursuing the path of a Buddha for 500 lifetimes before he laid down the vow and decided to attain Nibbana in his last lifetime. He did this because he realized how he had come only a fraction of the way along that path! How incredible that is, especially when I compare my strength, determination and understanding to those he exhibited. Daunting fails as an adjective to describe how it feels to reflect on these things.

So, in addition to my daily recitation, invocation and reflection on Avalokiteshvara and Ksitigarbha I will also be sure to reflect on and call upon Ariya Metteyya for help in walking the path in this life and to be reborn by his sde in the next. Here’s a helpful bit on one of his mantram from visiblemantra.org:

Maitreya is the next Buddha. He is currently waiting in the Tushita heaven for his time on earth which will be 5,670,000,000 years after the death of Śakyamuni. Afer this period the Buddhadharma will have completely died out, and Maitreya will ‘rediscover’ it just as all previous Buddhas have done so. Maitreya’s emblem is the stupa, sometimes sitting on a lotus, as in this image, and his mudra is the wheel turning, or teaching mudra. He is sometimes shown as sitting in a chair western style.

Buddhists can sometimes be heard to pray: “Come Maitreya, come!”

Seed Syllable

Maitreya’s seed syllable is maiṃ, which rhymes with the English word “sign”. As in many cases this is the first syallble of Maitreya’s name with an anusvāra.

Siddhāṃ

Seed syllable 'maim' in the Siddham script or Seed syllable 'maim' in the Siddham script

Tibetan

Seed syllable 'maim' in the Tibetan script

maiṃ

Mantra

Siddhaṃ

maitreya mantra in Siddham script

Tibetan – Uchen

maitreya mantra in Tibetan Uchen script

Transliteration

oṃ mai tri ma hā mai tri mai tri ye svā hā

oṃ maitri mahāmaitri maitriye svāhā

Notes

The word maitri means friendly, amicable, benevolent, affectionate. The Pāli equivalent is metta. mahāmaitri is greatly friendly, and maitriye is the dative form of the word and therefore means “to or for the friendly one”.

Maitri is related to the word mitra. Mitra was a Vedic god whose function was, along with Varuna, the protector of ṛta, the cosmic order.

 


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