The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Maitreya's Salvific Message
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Pondering the depth of his Dharma during the eighth week and accepting an invitation [to preach] from Mahaa Brahmaa, going into a grove of Naa trees called Isipatana and sitting amidst an assembly of human and divine beings covering over one hundred yojanas, the entire length and width of this universe, The Buddha will turn the wheel of Dharma which consists of the Four Noble Truths: the truth of unsatisfactoriness, the truth of the origin of unsatisfactoriness, the truth of the elimination of unsatisfactoriness, and the truth of the way to final emancipation. Then billions of human beings and countless multitudes of devas and brahmaas will attain nirvaanas by understanding the four truths and their fruits.
While Maitreya saves the world by preaching his Dharma, the Cakravartin Sankha will offer to Maitreya and his great Sangha his royal palace covering twenty-five yojanas, give his enormous wealth to beggars and the poor and, approaching The Buddha with a vast retinue, worship him with utter devotion, listen to his Dharma, cleanse his mind, attain nirvaana and enter The Sangha with all his followers by Maitreya's simple inducement: 'Come, O Bhikkhu'. Then all of the gods and men will approach The Buddha and ask him questions regarding the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha will respond in order to help them attain nirvaana. As a result, eighty-four thousand billions of men and gods will be saved from the ocean of sa.msaara. That ocean of sa.msaara, filled with the water of Suffering with its waves of birth, old age and sickness, its whirlpools of desirous forms and sounds, its fish being like the various passions, residence of the female water-demons, is fed by the river waters of desire. Its length, width and depth can never be fully measured. Maitreya saves all beings sunk into the ocean of sa.msaara who are about to fall into the furnace of hell under the sea which is shaped like the head of a mare."