Buddha Shakyamuni taught that the current era is known as “the fortune eon” because one-thousand buddhas will, in succession, achieve spiritual awakening and teach the Dharma—the path to liberation from suffering. Of these one-thousand buddhas, Shakyamuni was the fourth buddha to teach the Dharma after the teachings of his predecessor dwindled from the memory of humankind; the future Buddha Maitreya will be the fifth buddha and rekindle the Dharma in the same manner.
One-thousand Buddha statues—representing the one-thousand Buddhas of our fortunate eon—will grace the Maitreya Hall and encircle the central statue of Maitreya.
Each of these eight-inch bronze cast statues has been hand-painted by Nepali artists. The statues are in the form of the Buddha in the “earth-touching” gesture, which represents his defeat of obstacles by calling upon the earth to bear witness to his lifetimes of virtuous deeds and his unwavering resolve to achieve awakening. The Buddha in this form wears the three robes of a fully ordained monk and holds the begging bowl, representing his pure discipline and renunciation of egocentric concerns.
At the center of each statue is a piece of tapered wood inscribed with mantras, called the life-force pillar, which serves as the central axis of the statue. In addition, the statues will be filled with blessings of the Buddha’s enlightened body, speech, mind, qualities and activity; mantras and mandalas; and sacred substances from pilgrimage sites in Tibet and India; as well as pills blessed by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the 16th Gyalwang Karmapa, Dorje Chang Kalu Rinpoche, Chamgon Tai Situ Rinpoche, Chatral Rinpoche, Dezhung Rinpoche, and other Buddhist masters.
After the statues are filled, Lama Norlha Rinpoche will perform the consecration ceremony. During the consecration, the statues are blessed with the enlightened body, speech, and mind of the Buddha. To enhance this blessing, visiting masters of all lineages will be invited to perform the consecration.