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Maitreya

The Future Buddha

The Future Buddha goes by many names, one of which is Budai.

Similar to Shao Fu Ren, Budai is a symbol of the Unexpected. He has few possessions but, like her, he is able to pull what is needed out of his sack at the right time. He represents happiness, wealth and good luck.

He is the Chinese conception of prosperity.

The name of the older conception of the Future Buddha comes from Sanskrit, Maitreya; and strangely enough the violence associated with this Buddha is what ties it to the martial arts. Similar to Christian messianic notions, individuals claiming to be Buddhist proclaimed themselves the Messiah and rebelled against the Chinese governments of their time.

The list of self proclaimed "Enlightened Ones" is long, the violence unimaginable, along with an incalculable number of deaths. Whoever said war had never been fought in the name of Buddhism was wrong. Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties confronted Maitreyan rebellions.

Secret societies, that form the foundation for the Triads, were born from these uprisings. The most famous of which was the White Lotus Society popularized by Shaw Brother Studios.

 

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