Maitreya, also known as also Maitreya Buddha or Metteyya Buddha is the Buddha of the future, who will be born to teach enlightenment in the next age.
According to Mahayana teachings, a Buddha is first born as a bodhisattva, and then after many lifetimes, progresses on to Buddhahood.
The historical Buddha was himself referred to as a bodhisattva before becoming the Buddha.
In all branches of Buddhism, Maitreya Buddha is viewed as the direct successor of Gautama Buddha. (In some Buddhist literature, such as the Amitabha Sutra and the Lotus Sutra, he is referred to as Ajita).
According to scriptures, Maitreya’s teachings will be similar to those of Gautama Buddha (also known as Śākyamuni Buddha).
The arrival of Maitreya is prophesied to occur during an era when the teachings of Gautama Buddha have been disregarded or largely forgotten.
As the fifth and final Buddha of the current kalpa, Maitreya’s teachings will be focused on re-establishing the dharma, a vital concept in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.