Maitreya

Maitreya

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Maitreya was one of the Bodhisattvas or potential Buddha of Mahayana Buddhism, which was much favoured in China. He had achieved perfect enlightenment and could gain Nirvana directly, but he renounced it because he wanted to bring salvation first to all suffering mankind. Unlike the Buddha who is always a simple figure without adornment, the Bodhisattvas are crowned and loaded with jewels. The best-known are Avalokitesvara, Manjusri, Samantabhadra and Ksiti-garbha. By the Sui and Tang dynasties, Buddhism in China had be-come simplified and turned into a Chinese style. For instance, some Bodhisattvas were converted into those of Chinese origin. Maitreya, regarded as a deity, is one of them.

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