Buddhist: "The Coming of Maitreya Buddha"

Buddhist prophecies predict a time when the world will suffer from the absence of Dharma and therefore a decline in morality and an increase in ignorance. The time, however, will come to an end with the coming of Maitreya Bodhisattva, the future Buddha, who will appear on Earth and teach Dharma to the people of the world and this will enable the emergence of a new spiritual world order.

Before the coming of Maitreya

The following are excerpts from a number of prophecies and scriptures about the era preceding the coming of Maitreya, characterised by a decline in morality, a lack of compassion and truth, an increase in ignorance and false teaching and the “Five Disappearances”.

From the Lotus Sutra 13:

“In the evil age to come, living beings will decrease in good qualities and increase in utter ignorance, coveting gain and honors, developing their evil qualities, and being far removed from deliverance.”

From Padmasamhbhava

“The signs of these times are new and fantastical modes of dressing - traditional styles forgotten”

“The arrogant elevate profanity. The proletariat rules the kingdom; kings become paupers; the butchers and murderers become leaders of men; unscrupulous self seekers rise to high position.”

“Drunkards preach the path to Salvation... Guileful imposters claim psychic powers.. False doctrines are devised from the Buddha's Word and the teachers' interpretations become self-vindications... Ideas are established contrary to traditions.”

“Famine, frost and hail govern many unproductive years.. release[ing] diseases, horrible epidemics and plagues which spread like wildfire, striking men and cattle.”

"No rain falls in season, but out of season; the valleys are flooded.”

"Earthquakes bring sudden floods, while fire storms and tornadoes destroy temples, stupas and cities in an instant.”

Padma Sambhava also prophesied the return of tulkus at an important time in the future but the returning tulkus may not be Tibetan nor even Buddhists and some of them may not even wear a physical body.

From Buddhism. Anagatavamsa:

“Before the coming of the Maitreya, the holy religion will decline. How will it occur? After my decease, first will occur the five disappearances. And what are the five disappearances? The disappearance of attainments, the disappearance of the method, the disappearance of learning, the disappearance of symbols, the disappearance of the relics. These are the five disappearances that are to occur.

The attainments: Only for a thousand years from the time the Blessed One passes into Nirvana will the priests be able to acquire the analytical sciences. Then as time goes on my disciples will attain only to never-returning, to once returning, to conversion. As long as such exist the disappearance of the attainments will not yet have occurred. But with the death of the last disciple that has attained to conversion, the attainments will have disappeared. This, O Shariputta, is the disappearance of the attainments.

Disappearance of the method: My disciples being unable to realize the trances, the insights, the Paths and the Fruits, will keep only the four purities of conduct. Then as time goes on they will keep only the commandments forbidding the four deadly sins. As long as there are a hundred or a thousand priests who keep the commandments forbidding the four deadly sins, the disappearance of the method will not have occurred. But when the last priest shall break the precepts, or shall die, the method will have disappeared. This, O Shariputta, is the disappearance of the method.

Disappearance of learning: As long as the text of the Three Baskets, which is the word of the Buddha, and as long as their commentaries are extant, the disappearance of the learning will not have occurred. But as time goes on there will be irreligious kings of base extraction, and the courtiers and others in authority will be irreligious, and then the country people throughout the kingdom will be irreligious. On account of their irreligion the god will not rain in due season, and the crops do not flourish, those who are wont to give the reliances to the congregation of the priests will be unable to do so any more. And the priests, not receiving the reliances, will not teach the novices, and as time goes on learning will disappear.. [And likewise with the disappearance of the symbols and the relics.'

The Prophecy of Shambala (Buddhist, BEF 700 CE):

“Drought, famine, disease and war will sweep the world... Nation will fight nations, and the larger will devour the smaller.People will no longer have any religion to which they can turn for solace or liberation: the doctrines of materialism will overwhelm their minds and drive them to struggle for their own selfish ends. The lust for power and wealth will prevail over teachings of compassion and truth.”

Digha Nikaya iii.71-72, Cakkavatti-Sihanada Suttanta

“There will come a time, brethren, when immoral courses of action will flourish excessively; there will be no word for moral among humans - far less any moral agent. Among such humans, homage and praise will be given to them who lack filial and religious piety, and show no respect to the head of the clan; just as today homage and praise are given to the filial minded, to the pious and to them who respect the heads of their clans.

“Among such humans, there will be no such thoughts of reverence as are a bar to intermarriage with mother, or mother's sister, or teacher's wife, of father's sister-in-law. The world will fall into promiscuity, like goats and sheep, fowls and swine, dogs and jackals.

“Among such humans, keen mutual enmity will become the rule, keen ill will, keen animosity, passionate thoughts even of killing, in a mother toward her child, in a child toward its mother, in a father toward his child and a child toward its father, in brother to brother, in brother to sister, in sister to brother. Just as a sportsman feels toward game that he sees, so will they feel.”

The Coming of Maitreya Buddha: From Buddha Gautama

“I am not the first Buddha who has come upon the Earth, nor will I be the last. In due time another Buddha will rise in the world, a holy one, a supreme enlightened one, endowed with auspicious wisdom embracing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a ruler of gods and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths, which I have taught you. He will establish his law [Religion], glorious in its origins, glorious at the climax and glorious at the goal in the spirit and the letter. He will proclaim a righteous life wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousands, while mine number many hundreds. He will be known as Maitreya.”

The Prophecy of Shambala (Buddhist, BEF 700 CE )

“The banner of Shambala shall encircle the central lands of the Blessed One. Those who accept him shall rejoice, and those who deny him shall tremble. The decriers shall be given over to justice and shall be forgotten. The warriors shall march under the banner of Maitreya.”

Digha Nikaya iii.76, Cakkavatti-Sihanada Sutanta

“In those days, brethren, there will arise in the World and Exalted One named Metteya. He will be an Arahant, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide to mortals willing to be led, a teacher of gods and men, an Exalted One, a Buddha, even as I am now. He, by himself , will thoroughly know and see, as it were face to face, this Universe, with its worlds of the spirits, its Brahmas and its Maras, and its world of recluses and brahmins, of princes and peoples, even as I now, by myself thoroughly know and see them. The Law, lovely in its origin, lovely in its progress, lovely in its consummation, will he proclaim, both in the spirit and in the letter; the higher life will he make known, in all its fulness and in all its purity, even as I do now. He will be accompanied by a congregation of some thousands of brethren, even as I am now accompanied by a congregation of some hundreds of brethren.”

Sutra of the Great Accomplishment of the Maitreya

“Listen attentively with one heart. A man whose spirit shines brightly, a man whose mind is completely unified, a man whose virtue excels everyone - such a man will truly appear in this world. When he preaches precious laws, all the people will be totally satisfied as if the thirsty drink sweet drops of rain from heaven. And each and everyone will attain the path of liberation from struggles.”
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