Manifestation of Maitreya Buddha
After the Wisdom Lake was formed, Ven. Dayi Shi vowed to erect statues of Bodhisattva Manjusri near Wisdom Lake to remind all visitors of the life-saving miracle that took place. Construction continued with Ven. Dayi Shi onsite nearly every day supervising its progress.
One evening after a hard day’s work, he fell asleep and in his dream, he heard someone asking: “Why are there only statutes of Bodhisattva Manjusri? Where is Maitreya Buddha?” Then a majestic statue of Maitreya Buddha appeared in front of him in his dream. He was startled and woke up, but recalled immediately that it was a tradition of many Buddhist temples to place a statue of Maitreya Buddha at the entrance to greet all visitors. He had been too busy managing the construction project, and with very limited funds to work with, he had overlooked this feature in the past, and probably would not be able to include it in the near future.
The next day Mr. Cheng, a Buddhist devotee from Hong Kong paid him a visit, and Ven. Dayi Shi shared the details of his dream with him. Even though Mr. Cheng immediately pledged to pay for all the expenses to erect such a statue onsite, a suitable model had to be found first for the creation of such a statue. A few days later, another congregation member visited the abbot and asked if a home visit could be made, as he owned a valuable statue of Maitreya Buddha and would like an expert opinion on it.
Upon arrival at the home, Ven. Dayi Shi was amazed to see that it was the same statue he saw in his dream! This statue was subsequently used as a model for the 13 metres high Maitreya Buddha statue which greets all visitors at the entrance of Wutai Shan Buddhist Garden.