Tuesday, May 13, 2014
The next time I go to Mongolia, I will be visiting this giant statue and stupa site. Reminiscent of the Ancient Wonders of the World, it will no doubt be an international pilgrimage and tourist destination. But there's even more to this incredibly ambitious non-profit project. It hopes to appeal especially to youth and future generations and will focus on ecology, science and the arts, reflecting the nature of Maitreya, the Buddha of the future. No surprise that the statue was designed by Zanabazar, the 17th century spiritual head of Mongolia, who was a genius in many areas including language - he invented soyombo, the Mongolian native script - medicine, astronomy, and the arts. In the latter case, he cast beautiful bronze statues and was also an accomplished painter. I saw a lot of his work in museums in Mongolia. He's an inspirational example of how one can cross spirituality with art and science and his vision certainly lives on in the Grand Maitreya Project.