Maitreya Buddha ritual thangka is hand-painted on Cotton Canvas in Kathmandu, Nepal. Maitreya represents the future state of love emanating. This is embodied by the Adi Buddha Samantabhadra & gained by using the tools of Vajrayana ‘magical’ Buddhism & can be realized from the adamantine truth of emptiness embodied by Adi Buddha Vajradhara.
Maitreya Buddha is presented at the center of the thangka. The name Maitreya is derived from the Sanskrit word Maitri stemming from the old Pali word metta meaning ‘loving-kindness’ related to Pali word mitta meaning ‘friend’.
Iconography of Maitreya Buddha
He holds both hands in front of his heart in a hand position signifying the turning of the wheel of Buddhist teachings. The left hand holds the stem of a blue lotus or ‘night lotus’. The word Utpala means to ‘burst open’.
This supports an auspicious golden wheel that represents change, universal cycles of existence such as the changing of the hands of a watch, the seasons of the year, the earth & moon revolving around the sun, and these three, in turn, revolving with other planets. The right hand holds another lotus stem supporting a water pot which traditionally contains the primeval water carried by the creator Brahma.
This water of creation or water of life don’t confuse with the blue nectar of immortality]represents the pure conscious mind and its ability to regenerate and purify the conscious mind. The water pot is one of the eight auspicious symbols where the word Asta means eight. The green nimbus around his head represents his cosmic nature.
He is surrounded by a blooming ‘pink lotus’ and an unopened bud on her left hand. The Pink lotus blossoms represent the present love and the red unopened bud future love & yet to be born Buddhas. The future here also refers to beneficial changes circumstances that will help bring them about.
Maitreya’s elongated earlobes represent patience; his topknot his abandonment of worldly possessions, the dot on his brow on the command chakra represents his transcendent wisdom. The thin blue aureole around his body signifies the highest level of understanding.