Maitreya teachings

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The Maitreya tachings or Maitreyanism (Chinese: 弥勒教; pinyin: Mílèjiào; literally: "Maitreya teachings"), also called Mile teachings, refers to the beliefs related to Maitreya (彌勒 Mílè in Chinese) that penetrated China together with Buddhism and/or Manichaeism,[1] and were developed in different ways both in the Chinese Buddhist schools and in the sect salvationist traditions of the Chinese folk religion.

Maitreya was the central deity worshipped by the first folk salvation religions, but in later developments of the sects he was gradually replaced by the Limitless Ancient Mother (無生老母 Wúshēng Lǎomǔ),[2] although Maitreyan eschatology continued to have a place in their doctrines.

Folk Buddhist movements that worshipped and awaited Maitreya are recorded at least back to the years between 509 and 515 (6th century).[3] A notorious event was the rebellion led by monk Faqing from Jizhou City, then Northern Wei, in the name of a "new Buddha".[4] Later, Maitreyan beliefs developed conspicuously outside the boundaries of Buddhism.[5] By 715, as testified by an edict, wearing white clothes, that was originally a practice common to lay Buddhist congregations, had become a distinctive feature of Maitreyan sects.[6]

See also


  1. Ma, Meng. 2011. p. 19
  2. Ma, Meng. 2011. p. 319
  3. Seiwert, 2003. p. 111
  4. Seiwert, 2003. p. 111
  5. Seiwert, 2003. p. 154
  6. Seiwert, 2003. p. 154


  • Hubert Michael Seiwert. Popular Religious Movements and Heterodox Sects in Chinese History. Brill, 2003. ISBN 9004131469
  • Xisha Ma, Huiying Meng. Popular Religion and Shamanism. BRILL, 2011. ISBN 9004174559