In 1635, Zanabazer, the gifted artist and most influential spiritual leader of the Mongols, was born in to an ancient and noble family in Mongolia. As a young child, he was recognized by the Panchen Lama and the 5th Dalai Lama as being a reincarnation of one of the Buddha’s original 500 disciples.
Zanabazar is widely is considered the Michelangelo of Asia with his beautiful statues being some of the finest examples of Buddhist art in the world today. Zanabazar was most fascinated with Maitreya and both the Buddha and bodhisattva forms. During his lifetime, he crafted several amazing Maitreya statues including this 17th century standing bodhisattva.
Maitreya is the Buddha of loving kindness who is expected to arrive during a very difficult time for the earth. Many High Lamas of the past taught that the standing Maitreya bodhisattva shows the coming of the Golden Age.
The Grand Maitreya project is constructing a universal beacon of love and world peace to Mongolia. At the projects core will be the world’s largest symbol of loving kindness. A 177-foot tall statue of the standing Maitreya bodhisattva. Connected to the statue will be a 354-foot tall stupa designed with several interior levels. Enshrined inside of the statue and stupa will be holy relics of the historical Buddha.
The statue and complex are located in the sacred Bogd Khan Mountain Range just outside the Mongolian capital city of Ulaanbaatar. The complex will be home to a new temple for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. The complex will also feature international Buddhist temples and educational centers representing many different lineages and traditions from around the world.
The purpose of the project is to help create the needed awareness and conditions in the world for loving kindness to manifest, helping to create the causes of world peace. The Buddha taught that there is incredible benefit creating holy objects. As one sees an image of loving kindness and peace, it makes one think of peace. At that time, a positive seed is planted within the mind and that seed will grow into loving kindness.
The intention is that the size and beauty of this Grand Maitreya statue will bring the sacred symbol of love to the attention of many people throughout the entire world. Buddhists do not worship religious objects. Rather they are used as inspirational tools towards the creation and spread of positive human qualities. In this case, it is loving kindness along with associated attitudes such as peace and compassion.
The Dalai Lama, project spiritual advisor, teaches that when we feel loving kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.
Long ago, Mongolia had many beautiful monasteries and Maitreya statues, most all of which were destroyed during the Soviet invasion of the 20th century. The project further aims to revive Buddhist culture in Mongolia by constructing the symbol of love and helping to restore Mongolia’s rich history and culture of Buddhism.
As of 2015, the project has successfully completed the first stage of fundraising in Mongolia. This has allowed the project to complete the engineering phase, the land foundation set up, and the first thirty-five percent of the Maitreya statue is now complete. With your help, we will be able to compete this universal symbol of loving kindness in less than two years time. Donations of any size are of amazing benefit to the project and will create enormous amounts of merit for the contributor.