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Statue of Maitreya Buddha in Patan Museum, Kathmandu

Maitreya (P. Metteyya; Tib. byams pa བྱམས་པ་; C. mile) is the name of the future buddha, who it is said will appear in this world (Jambudvipa) when the teachings of Buddha Shakyamuni have been forgotten.

According to tradition, Maitreya is currently a bodhisattva who resides in the heavenly realm of Tushita. When the teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni are no longer known, and hence all dharma teachings are no longer present, Maitreya will take his final rebirth in this world as a fully perfected buddha (samyaksambuddha).

According to the Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Maitreya was initially an minor figure in early Indian Buddhism, who later evolved into one of the most popular figures in Buddhism.[1]