For more than four hundred years after the Buddha’s passing, his students—and later, their students—committed the Buddha’s teachings to memory, passing them down orally in an unbroken lineage. By the dawn of the Common Era, as the teachings spread across Asia, they were committed to written form; first in Pali and Sanskrit, and eventually into the native languages of various Asian cultures.
Over the centuries, circumstances such as time, distance, war, and cultural upheavals made it difficult to ensure that these precious teachings would be preserved. However, teams of scholars, monks and nuns, translators, and dedicated practitioners worked tirelessly to collect and preserve them, to protect their purity, and to provide a means for future generations to benefit from this great store of wisdom.
In keeping with that mission, the Maitreya Center is dedicated to continuing this vital labor of preserving, protecting, and promoting the extraordinary teachings passed down since the time of the Buddha. Translations, recordings, and digital preservation play a large role, of course. But the greater function of the Maitreya Center is to keep the ancient Buddhist tradition of study, contemplation, and practice alive in the hearts and minds of people.