The Prophecy of the Superior Maitreya, the Ārya Maitreya-Vyākaranam - whole text and introduction
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he Prophecy of the Superior Maitreya5 belongs to a sub-genre of the Avadāna known as “prophecy” or “revelation”.6 The designation of “prophecy” is given to these works, because in them a Buddha foretells the future enlightenment of one of their disciple-Bodhisattvas. The prophecy genre is considered by adherents of the Great Vehicle as one of the twelve branches of Buddha’s discourse, and indeed several texts of this style are found in the Tibetan collection of the Translated Word of the Buddha. The text focused on here, as the title makes explicit, concerns the prophecy of the future enlightenment of the Bodhisattva Maitreya. Maitreya is commonly considered to be the next Buddha to come to this world and has been the focus of an extensive cult throughout Asia at various times.
The text of the आर्यमैत्रेयव्याकरणम् has already been translated into French by Sylvian Lévi in 1932. Sections of it were also translated by Edward Conze in his collection Buddhist Scriptures in 1959. I have decided to retranslate it mainly in order to refresh and practice my woefully inadequate knowledge of Sanskrit but also with the motivation to provide a full, fresh English translation of this treatise for faith-based Buddhism.