Mithraism and Buddhism
We have discussed Mithra. Steve Torok, who lives in Buddhist Thailand, tells us that there is a Mithraic Buddha: Do you know that the future Buddha that comes in about 2500 years is the Mythraya Buddha? The current Buddhist year is 2548, so we have another 2452 years to go with the current, Gutama Buddha. The Mythraya Buddha is usually depicted at the side of Buddhist Temples near the entrance and is a jolly fat figure contemplating his navel, usually thought of as the God of Prosperity... RH: I can find no reference to Mythraya Buddha, but there is Buddha Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, also known as the Laughing Buddha.. He waits in the Tusita heaven for the moment he is to appear on earth as the Buddha of the fifth world cycle. At present he is considered as one of the dhyani-Bodhisattvas, the creators of the universe. In the future he will be like Sakyamuni, a mortal manusi Buddha who lives on earth for a while in order to teach mankind the doctrine. Maitreya, 'the loving one', is widely worshipped in the Himalayan regions. He seems to have no relationship to Mithra, but, since the cult of Mithra spread so widely, it must have reached India and influenced Buddhism. Perhaps Steve can tell us about Buddhism in Thailand and clarify this point.