|Advent of Maithree Buddha Sasanaya |
Part one of a discussion series on Self in Buddhism
By U. Sapukotana
Homage to the Master who helped us to distinguish the hardwood from the bark and to see the essence of the ‘Tathagata Darshanaya.’
( This note is written with the full realization of the limitation of the ‘word’ and language to communicate the Truth which is beyond words or language).
The less known sculpture in the Islamabad museum where in the same statue, Gautama Buddha is shown and the other side shows Maithree Bodhisatta, conveys a strong message. The message is that Maithree Buddha Sasana is the continuation of the Sasana of the Gautama Buddha in its pure form.
In the greatest intellectual dialogue recorded in human history between the Buddha and Arahant Subhuti in the Maha Pragna Paramita Sutra, Buddha explicitly states as follows: Towards the end of the Sasana ( (dispensation)when the original Buddha message is corrupted by other teachings and also by misinterpretations which naturally come with passage of time, the original pure Dhamma will be unfolded. (Chap. 3.4)
It is with conviction and a strong sense of responsibility that we announce to the world that Maithree Buddha Sasana is already established originating in Sri Lanka and is steadily spreading to other parts of the world. It may not be a coincidence that, for the first time in history, a statue of Buddha Maithree (not the Maithree Bodhisatta) has been built in a temple in Matugama which is a replica of the 500 foot statue of the Maithree Buddha, now being constructed in Kusinara.
We have often wondered why this beautiful message so logical, fully in consonance with the Truth as revealed by Buddha Gautama does not reach the ears of many. Two references made by the Buddha gave the answer this question. In the Samiddhi Sutta, prince Jayasena inquires from a young monk Samiddhi what Buddha’s teaching is. The monk succinctly explains the teachings as he understood. Prince Jayasena scoffs at him, ridicules him and goes his way. The monk was frustrated and relates the episode to the Budha, Buddha’s reaction was very revealing. “How possibly can the ordinary person, enjoying the senses, reveling in the senses, lost in the senses comprehend a Truth which is beyond the senses, so profound, so subtle.
Elsewhere, Buddha says ‘This Dhamma, -moving upstream (in the direction of the original source), skilled, deep and subtle is not easily comprehended by those lost in attachment( (Raga) and aversion ( Dosa)and shrouded by the thick veil of illusion “Raga dosa Paretehi nayam Dhammo susambuddho, Patisota gamin nipunam gambiram duddasm anum – Ragaratta na dakkhinti Mohakkhandena Avuna”
We know how much the concept of the ‘person’ the ‘I ‘ is ingrained in us, penetrated to our bone and marrow, through millions of years of conditioning. Hence a teaching which rejects the ‘ego’ and the ‘I’ will not be very palatable to many. Notwithstanding there are people spread out in the four corners of the world, whose innate potential ( Parami) has reached maturity. Few as they are, for their benefit this Dhamma is shared in the true spirit of Bodhisattas.
A brief review of the salient features of the maitri buddha sasanaya ( dispensation)
All Buddhas reveal to the world the same truth, ’the things as they are” ( bhuta tatha tata). some of the key teachings, buried in the sands of time and sometimes distorted with mischievous intent get surfaced as the maitri buddha sasana unfolds itself. some such areas are given below: ( few of them are elaborated in the main note)