Maitreya Project on track
Maitreya Project www.maitreyaproject.org is building a 500-foot/152-meter bronze statue of Maitreya, the Buddha of Loving Kindness, to constantly remind the world of the importance of kindness, which is the basis of peace and happiness for individuals, communities, and the world.
The Project intends to put loving kindness into action by providing public spiritual, social, educational, and medical facilities and long-term economic benefit for the people of northern India.
Mandala featured the Maitreya Project comprehensively in November/December 2000, and again in August/September 2004. Now, more than two decades after the project was first suggested by the late Lama Thubten Yeshe (1935-84) and carried forward by his disciple, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, significant progress has been made. Peter Kedge, Director and CEO of the Maitreya Project, reports.
The Buddhist tradition has a long history of building very large Buddha statues – the more notable a statue is, the more people will hear of it, see it, and have the chance to benefit from it.
However, Buddhists don’t worship religious objects. Rather, they are used as inspirational tools toward the creation and spread of positive human qualities – in this case, loving kindness. The intention is that the size and beauty of the Maitreya Statue will bring this stunning symbol of loving kindness to the attention of millions of people around the world, inspiring kindness and thereby bringing greater inner and outer peace.
The statue will be built in Kushinagar on 750 acres/300 hectares of land generously provided, at no cost to the Project, by the Uttar Pradesh State Government in northern India. The site is adjacent to the Mahaparinirvana Shrine and the Ramabhar Stupa, which celebrate the spot where Shakyamuni Buddha passed away and was cremated. Excavations have revealed the remains of at least ten different monasteries dating from the fourth to the eleventh centuries C.E., which are now enclosed in a park. Today, many national and international Buddhist groups have spiritual centers in Kushinagar. Maitreya Project will highlight Kushinagar as one of the holiest places for Buddhist pilgrimage in the world… The land is scheduled for handover to Maitreya Project in mid-2006…
Kushinagar Special Development Area
Maitreya Project has been working diligently with the State Government of Uttar Pradesh to create a comprehensive Master Plan for the protection and beneficial development of the Kushinagar Special Development Area, which extends by a radius of 7.5 kilometers (approximately 5 miles) around the Maitreya Project site and is currently home to over 300,000 people.
Our aim is that the statue and public services of Maitreya Project will catalyze further beneficial economic, social, and civic development in the region, eventually benefiting millions of people in India…