Mithra in Light of Buddhism and Manichaean: Savior Figure
AbstractThroughout the annals of human history, various religious traditions have featured savior figures, divine beings whose purpose is to guide, inspire, and offer salvation to their followers. In Manichaeism, Mithra, sometimes referred to as "Mihr," was considered one of the divine beings who played a significant role in the salvation of souls. Manichaeans believed in a dualistic cosmology with the struggle between light and darkness, and Mithra was associated with the forces of light. On the other hand, in the vast tapestry of Buddhist beliefs and prophecies, one figure stands out as a beacon of hope for the future-Maitreya, the Buddha of loving-kindness and compassion. Revered across various Buddhist traditions, Maitreya is believed to be the fifth and future Buddha who will come to guide humanity toward enlightenment when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have faded into obscurity. The connections and adaptations between figures like Maitreya and Mithra demonstrate the complex nature of religious and cultural exchanges throughout history. This study proposes that Maitreya and Mithra are the same figure, based on historical and linguistic similarities.