Astus wrote:There are some points regarding aspiration to be born in the Tusita to meet Maitreya. In Zhiyi's Ten Doubts about the Pure Land it says that there are two main differences. First is that only by upholding the ten virtues and other practices can one attain birth their, and even then there is no guarantee one will succeed, while birth in Amita's land is easily accessible simply by reciting his name. The second point is that the Tusita is still in the realm of desire, there are many distractions from the path and retrogression is still possible, unlike in the Western Land of Peace and Bliss where perfect liberation is guaranteed. The text goes on with further problems, like that just meeting Maitreya in itself does not make sure one actually achieves enlightenment. It also mentions that besides Asanga and Vasubandhu there was also Simhabhadra who aspired to be born in Maitreya's court but he was eventually stuck in the outer section in Tusita and got entangled by the five desires.
Of course, the above is from the perspective of those who propagate birth in Amita's land. But based on the quote fron Ven. Yinshun it seems to me that the requirements of birth are more difficult for Maitreya than Amita Buddha, although this again may depend on whom you ask.
From what I have learned, the Tusita has an outer court and an inner court. Only the inner court is Maitreya Bodhisattva's pure land. The outer court is just normal heaven.
If one wishes to be reborn into Maitreya Bodhisattva's pure land one has to make it into the inner court, and that is what Simabodhi did not manage to do. The moral of the story is, if even a Bodhisattva like Simabodhi could not make it to Maitreya's pure land, it would be even more difficult for common people! Hence Asanga switched to promoting Amitabha's Western Pure Land, the path being a much safer one.
One of the great things being reborn into Maitreya's pure land is that when he becomes Buddha you would accompany him in the assembly. However, according to Amitabha Buddha's vows, once reborn into his Western Pure Land you automatically obtain the divine power to travel to any other pure land/buddhaland at will. That means from the WPL you may visit Maitreya's pure land in Tusita's inner court. Could you then also participate in the assembly at his ascension to buddhahood?