What should I make of the coming Buddha?





The bodhisattva Maitreya is predicted to be the one who will succeed ?¹Äkyamuni (Gautama) as the next Samasambuddha. Found in the canonical literature of all Buddhist sects (Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna), it is predicted that he would be a “world ruler” and expound the Dharma when “the teachings of the current Buddha Gautama, the Dharma, are no longer taught and are completely forgotten.”
After reading about Maitreya, the entire foundations of my belief and notions about Buddhism seems to have convulsed and cracked as I have always thought that Buddhism was free from eschatological doctrines and melodramas like these, unlike the Abrahamic religions. Things like Tushita Heaven and prophecies like the one above seem to have made Buddhism just like every other organized religion out there, which was something I thought it wasn’t.
So what should I make of this? And with Buddhist teachings stressing on the present and the ‘here-and-now’, what should I do about this future coming?
And please don’t give me bullshit like “The truth is only in Christianity / Islam / Hinduism / blah… blah… blah…


  1. if a child thinks the rasins in a dish are stones, the mother wil say, ok good enough,,,leave the stones but dont throw away the whole dish. take whats good. later when the child realises the rasins are no stones he wil eat the rasins.
    no need to believe these stories, practise concentration and equanimity and free the mind from difilements and benefit here and now.

  2. Respectfully…
    If you think that doctrines are crap, then it’s strange that your asking us to do your thinking for you. We would just be writing a new doctrine for you.

  3. A persistent paradox regarding Maitreya is his visualization as an entity of the future. This presents a contrast to much of Buddhist practice and teaching which emphasizes the importance of the present, the current moment. This is sometimes referred to as the timeless eternal. According to the Buddhist viewpoint time does not exist as some external container, but is the vital expression and enactment of our own being right now. Time does not exist separate from our own presence.
    As a bodhisattva associated with the future, as against the fundamental stress Buddhism places on the present moment of time, Maitreya presents a wondrous amalgamation and a complex composite on the plane of time. Buddhist esoteric thought achieves this is in a skillful manner by associating him with children. Children are but the ‘present’ of our ‘future.’

  4. I am familiar with this story regarding a prediction about the future Buddha, yet as a Theravada Buddhist it does not frighten or confuse.
    The Dharma has 2 levels of language, there is Dharma language and plain language, this is noticeable as all the texts are written thus. There is Birth for example, which speaks of physical birth yet there is birth which speaks of the arising of Volitions or the arising of Ignorance.
    The words of the text can be read in this context. For example the words speak of the future Buddha being a world leader, could this not be read in plain speech as the person in question may actually be a future leader who finds enlightenment…?
    This is not melodramatic or dogmatic in any real sense, rather just a plain message. I read it not as a prediction at all, rather I see the message as indicating that in a far distant future the Dharma may be fogotten, quite a possible scenario as nothing is permanent, everything is in constant flux, and in this Realm there are always Buddhas and there may be one with this title, his actual name is not mentioned only his title, the message simply states this in Dharma speech.
    As a Buddhist, understanding the difference between Dharma speech and plain speech is difficult, yet I find it easier if I read a text and it seems to make no sense in plain speech, or seems to indicate something against the teachings then I try to read it terms of Dharma speech and it falls into place.
    This is an example of such, it is not a teaching or a prediction, rather just a message.
    The teachings stressing the “here” and “now” are very valid. Insight meditation is very important. All help us to understand our various consciousnesses and our Volitions. The future is the future, the past is the past. What we do now will affect our Karma and therefore other’s happiness. Read this story, note it’s relevance to the Path and be unconcerned, rather maintain your discipline and your awareness will grow, perhaps you will reach this stage and become that Being.
    Peace from a Buddhist….

  5. The reign of Buddha end when he has to come back to earth to save people. To replace him, 1 of his great students will govern Nirvana and and give advises to other students in their mission in blessing and watching people. It has nothing to do with the expiration of the teaching of Buddha. Since the teaching of Buddha is the truth, truth cannot be expired. He must come back to life since his teaching is losing its significant because it has lost many valuable lesson when people preached it year after year. It is a belief of Mahayana branch – it has nothing to do with any eschatology doctrines or melodramas.

  6. Nothing. If you have truly read the Pali Canon as it should be read and assimilated, you know that the only true purpose in life is to learn total release from your desires that comes about from right view of mental and physical phenomenon for what they really are…illusions. Even the notion of self is illusion based on emptiness.
    A Buddha is anyone that is rightly awakened to this supreme level of formless consciousness. Unlike dogmatic religions, the teachings of the DHARMA does not limit this development to any one buddha or prophet, nor teaches you to seek any one plane of consciousness (heavens or hells) in this life or any other. Knowledge of a prophesized buddha is meant to be exactly that…just knowledge. Lastly, please do not confuse the ceromonial rites and practices of buddhism with the true essence of DHARMA, which is not limited to any one theological, scientific or philosophical practice. It is meant for all that seek truth for the purpose of liberation.

  7. A quiet coming.
    Well, I can’t recall where I heard that he was already rulling the world!0!
    Oh well, good luck with that!

  8. Theravada looks to the existence of one historical Buddha and possibly also a prophecied future Buddha – the Lord Maitreya.
    Mahayana accepts that there might be more than one Buddha in history and looks forward with expectation to the times when Lord Maitreya will live and give guidance.
    Wouldn’t it be wild if the new Buddha was the second coming of Jesus !!!!!!!!!! Most of the Religions would come together.

  9. Did not Buddha say that you should look to yourself for wisdom?
    The journey to enlightenment is a personal one…
    Others might point the way, but it is your choice where you walk.
    And don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just make sure you learn from them. These changes in doctrine should not discourage you unless you allow them to, for the option is always there for you to test them for yourself and see if they suit you.
    Sorry if this seems to come across as pretentious.

  10. People just have to take a beautiful thing and add rules and regulations to it and Leaderships structure. Leaderships comes about for two reasons. 1. You need some sort of organization to make sure the teaching continues. 2. Religion is a great way to control people.
    I dont like it either, but i dont think you need to turn away from Buddism as a whole. In the end we all have our own personal religion anyway. So follow the part of it that you identify with and realize that those rules are just a result of the bias of the bringers of the teachings.

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