Heavenly beings and deities

Maitreya (Skt. ‘Loving Kindness’, Chin. Mile, Jap. Miroku) is often described as the Buddha of the Future who has yet to appear. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha was not the first Buddha nor will he be the last. Buddha Shakyamuni is thus regarded as one of many buddhas who have proclaimed the Buddhist teaching in different worlds and ages. In the distant future – after Buddhist teachings have long been forgotten – Buddha Maitreya will be reborn on earth and again proclaim the teachings. Until his time comes, he resides in Tushita Heaven.