Maitreya Buddha is regarded as heaven Buddha to be born in future. Hence the name Future Buddha, of this fortunate aeon. It is said that his birth will take place in city of Ketumati (Baneres ?) ruled by Cakravarti king Sankha. At that time the human beings will live for 80,000 years. It is said that the Shakyamuni Buddha before leaving Tusita announced that Maitreya would be his successor.
It is also said that Asanga, the renowned sage Mahayana, went to Tusita heaven to meet maitreya and he was invited into five doctrines or works viz.
- Uttaratantra Sastra
- Mahayana Sutralamkara
4.Madhyanta Vibhaga Sastram
- Dharma Dharmata Vibhaga Sastram
Maitreya as Bodhisattva was quite popular in Theravada countries. His images can be found in Srilanka, Burma, Thailand, Tibet and China. Maitreya is yellow in color. He holds in his right hand the flower of Nagakeshara and with the left the mendicant bowl. When he is represented in Buddha postures his hand show dharmacakra mudra with his legs down on the lotus.