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The Coming Buddha, Ariya Metteyya

Sayagyi U Chit Tin

Buddha Ariya Metteyya

Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahatto Sammasambuddhassa
      Atta-dipa bhikkhave viharatha atta-sarana
      ananna-sarana dhamma-dipa dhamma-sarana

      Kathan ca bhikkhave bhikkhu atta-dipo
      viharati atta-sarano ananna-Sarano, dhamma-
      dipo dhamma-sarano ananna-sarano?

      Idha bhikkhave bhikkhu kaye kayanu-passi
      viharati atapi sampajano satima, vineyya-
      loke abhijjha-domanassam, veda-nasu . . .
      cittesu . . . dhammesu dhammanu-passi
      viharati, atapi sampajano satima, vineyya
      loke abhijjha-domanassam. Evam kho bhikkhave
      khu atta-dipo viharati atta-sarano
      nna-sarano, dhamma-dipo dhamma-sarano

      Dwell, bhikkhus, with yourselves as an
      island, with yourselves as a refuge, with no
      one else as a refuge; with the Doctrine as
      an island, with the Doctrine as a refuge,
      with no other [doctrine] as a refuge.

      And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu dwell
      with himself as an island, with himself as a
      refuge, with no one else as a refuge; with
      the Doctrine as an island, with the Doctrine
      as a refuge, with no other [doctrine] as a

      Here (in this Teaching), bhikkhus, a
      bhikkhu lives, contemplating the body in the
      body, contemplating the sensations in the
      sensations, contemplating the consciousness
      in the consciousness, contemplating mental
      objects in mental objects, ardent,
      attentive, mindful, having removed
      covetousness and discontent with regards to
      the world. Thus, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu
      dwell with himself as an island, with
      himself as a refuge, with no one else as a
      refuge; with the Doctrine as a refuge, with
      no other [doctrine] as a refuge.

      Digha-nikaya III 58, 77

This quotation begins the discourse in which the Buddha describes the coming of the next Buddha, Metteyya.[45] The Buddha first describes the ideal conditions that existed on earth long ago when there were a succession of seven Wheel-turning Monarchs. Eventually, there was a king who neglected to provide for the poor. As a consequence, theft arose in the world. Gradually, people became more and more immoral and killed others. Because of this, their life span declined from eighty thousand years to forty thousand years. Then people began to tell lies, and the human life span declined to twenty thousand years. Next, malicious speech became prevalent, and the life span decreased to ten thousand years. Then sexual misconduct became prevalent, with the result that people lived for five thousand years. Harsh speech and frivolous talk became prevalent, and people lived for two and a half thousand years and two thousand years. With the advent of covetousness and ill will, the life span declined to one thousand years. When people began to entertain wrong beliefs, their life span decreased to five hundred years. Then three things became rampant: incest, unnatural greed, and homo-sexuality.[46] As a result, the human life span decreased to two hundred and fifty years and two hundred years. Then there was a lack of filial duty towards parents, failure to fulfil duties towards religious leaders (samanas and brahmanas), and failure to respect community leaders; and the life span decreased to one hundred years. This was the human life span at the time of Buddha Gotama. When the life span is shorter than a hundred years, there can be no Buddha in the world.[47]

The Buddha explained that immorality will continue to increase and the human life span will continue to decrease until it is only ten years. Girls will be married at five years of age. At that time, people who have no respect for their parents, for religious leaders, or for community leaders will be honoured and praised. Promiscuity will be so common, human beings will be like animals. Animosity, ill will, and hatred will be so strong, people will want to kill the members of their own family. There will be a seven-day war with great slaughter. But some people will hide for the seven days, and afterwards they will rejoice to see those who have survived. They will determine to stop killing, and their life spans will increase to twenty years. Seeing this, they will undertake to keep other moral precepts, and gradually the human life span will increase again.



  1. D III 58-79, translated in DB III 59-76 and TS 347-370. Miss Horner seems to overlook this when she says that there is no mention in the Canon or Commentaries that Buddha Gotama made a declaration of future Buddhahood for Metteyya (CB xvi).
  2. See also GS I 142, where the Buddha says that these three things were already prevalent in his day.
  3. See CSM 391.

Published by the Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, IMC-UK, Splatts House, Heddington, Calne, Wiltshire SN11 0PE, England,
Tel: +44 1380 850 238, Fax: +44 1380 850 833.
Registered Charity No 280134.

This publication is one of several marking the tenth anniversary of Mother Sayamagyi and Sayagyi U Chit Tin's
coming out of Burma to continue their work in the Tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin
by teaching the Buddha-Dhama in the West. 

The gift of the Dhamma surpasses all other gifts. 

Dedicated to our much revered teacher the late Sayagyi U Ba Khin (Thray Sitthu)
to mark the 89th anniversary of his birth in March 1899.


Source: Sayagyi U Ba Khin Memorial Trust, IMC-UK, http://ubakhin.com/

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updated: 01-09-2001