The grand consecration ceremony for the statue was held on 22 September—an auspicious date chosen by Telo Tulku Rinpoche, shadjin lama (head lama) of the Kalmyk people and honorary representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Russia, Mongolia, and the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the district administration prepared a rich cultural program for the occasion. Minister of Culture and Tourism Elbikov Khongor Badmaevich described the ceremony as a “significant event not only for the residents of the republic and Russia, but for Buddhists around the world.” (Золотая обитель Будды Шакьямуни)
Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth from Tushita heaven, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the Dharma as a successor to Shakyamuni Buddha. The name of the future Buddha is derived from the Sanskrit term maitri, which means “loving-kindness.” In Mahayana Buddhism, he is revered as the embodiment of all-encompassing love. In Kalmykia, Buryatia, and Tuva he is known as Maidari.