This special practice dedicated for seeking the blessing of Maitreya Buddha was introduced by Desei Sangye Gyatso, the regent of the 5th Dalai Lama. It was introduced for peace and prosperity for all in general, and specifically for the success of the great 5th Dalai Lama’s spiritual and political activities, and to enhance his longevity. Initially, the abbots, reincarnated tulkus and monks of Sera Mey were invited to perform this prayer session at Tsuklag Khang in Tibet; since then this special prayer has continued in our own monastery. Although it used to last for ten days in the past Tibet, now it has been reduced to a week in India. Starting as early as 2 a.m. or 2.30 a.m. a day’s session consists of a morning, noon and an evening session. In total, around 13 or 14 hours of a day are spent in prayer.

Benefits:

Maitreya Buddha, the 5th Buddha to appear in the present eon, is one who had his name Miatreya [loving kindness] unchanged in all his lives as Boddhissatvas and has retained the same name even after complete enlightenment.

1)   The benefit of supplication prayers to Maitreya Buddha, if ever it could be measured, is immeasurable. Nevertheless, the following are some of the innumerable benefits acquired from the aspirational supplication to Maitreya Buddha.

Through invoking this Buddha whose name Maitreya [loving-kindness] is known in all the three universes like the Sun and the Moon, fortunate ones are protected and guided by Maitreya Buddha in all successive lifetimes until enlightenment.

It says thus in the Sutra of Prophesy on Maitreya:

“At the time of Shakyamuni Buddha’s teachings,
By embracing the basis of training [discipline]
Those who sincerely practice what has been heard
Are left for me to lead [to enlightenment].

To the Sangha, if robes are offered and
If assortments of food and drink are also offered
Along with medicines and various others to relief sickness,
Such benefactors are left for me to lead.

Those who abide properly in the eight precepts of a day
And offer prayers and engage in confession and purification
On the 14th and 15th, on the 8th and the middle of a month,
In the month of Buddha’s miraculous display of power
Are left for me [to lead to enlightenment].”

As clearly stated in the Sutra above, the Maitreya Buddha pledged to specifically guide those who abided by pure discipline in the Buddha Shakyamuni’s reign and the same is prophesied by Buddha Shakyamuni.

2)   Those who recited the verses of Maitreya’s pledge are said to be born in the pure land of Maitreya called ‘The Joyful Abode of Dharma’ and would receive Maitreya’s guidance and care. As such, many practitioners recite the verses of Maitreya’s pledge as part of their daily practice and at the time of death. In Tibet, there have been many examples of practitioners building statues of Maitreya and reciting supplication prayers to Maitreya.

The 1st Dalai Lama Gyalwa Gendun Drup’s prayer ‘The Form of Maitreya’ says:
“By the merit of constructing this magnificent image of Maitreya,
May those who have contributed towards the construction
Abide in the virtuous Mahayana, the supreme of all vehicles
By taking birth in the presence of Maitreya.”

The second Dalai Lama Gedun Gyatso also wrote thus:

“May all those who have contributed towards
The construction of this beautiful image of the Maitreya
Be held by your compassionate hand
And led to the abode of Joy [Gaden].”

As such, undoubtedly there are lots of benefits in being connected to this great Miatreya Prayer.

Prayer & Offering