Maitreya Buddha, the future Buddha, is Lord Buddha
who is expected to be reborn during the period of the decline of Buddhist law, to renew his doctrine. He is believed to be a Bodhisattva
, one who refuses to enter into eternal life (death), due to his desire to help others. He is now believed to live in Tusita Heaven
, awaiting his rebirth, which is expected to happen within 30,000 years.
It is supposed that Maitreya Buddha will save all beings from the cycle of rebirths and enable them to attain nirvana. Prophesies say that the birth of Maitreya will be a turning point to this world. After preaching for 60,000 years, he will receive nirvana and his doctrine will last for another 10,000 years. His cult spread throughout China, Korea, and Japan after it generated in India around the 3rd century. Sakyamuni (the name given to Lord Buddha) has predicted that Maitreya will appear as a person of ceremonial bearing, very handsome and taller than those around him. He will lead people to patience and compassion, and that will improve their lifespan. The people will live hale and hearty for a long time and the difficulties of old age and death will hardly be known.