Mahayana Buddhist prophesy tells us that Maitreya will return to the earthly realm in the distant future. Unfortunately, he will come at a time when the Dharma teachings have been long forgotten. Therefore, he must become a self realized Buddha and reteach the Dharma to all sentient beings. Our Maitreya Buddha statue depicts him as he sits in Tusita Heaven in a state of constant readiness. For this reason, Maitreya is the only Buddha or Bodhisattva depicted sitting upright in a chair.
This Maitreya Buddha statue wears the crown and jewels of a Bodhisattva. Maitreya is also depicting the Dharmachakra mudra because it will be his responsibility to set the “Wheel of Dharma” in motion once again. Additionally, between the thumb and index finger of each hand he holds the stem of a lotus flower.
The lotus flower is a symbol for enlightenment. The lotus seed grows from the muddy pond bottom through the murky water and blossoms in the clean air and sunshine. As a result, it resembles sentient life struggling through the vicissitudes of samsara. Only through diligent practice and steadfast dedication will it be possible to rise above the murky water to reach Nirvana. Maitreya encourages all beings to overcome all obstacles to their spiritual realization. As such, there is a Dharma Wheel resting in the lotus blossom growing over his right shoulder.