Buddhist Fables

Buddhist Classics

Life and Legends of Buddha

The Illustrated Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C. B. Varma Introduction | Glossary | Bibliography

103 – Metteya Buddha

Metteya is the much awaited Future Buddha, who is yet to be born. He will then be reckoned as the twenty-fifth Buddha according to the Pali tradition. Furthermore, He would be counted as the fifth and the last of the Buddhas of the current aeon, i.e., the Bhadda Kappa. It is believed that he would be born when the human life will extend to eighty-four thousand years. The place of his birth would be Ketumati in the reign of Chakkavatti Samkha, who himself shall become a follower of the Buddha and renounce the worldly life.

Metteya would be born in an eminent erudite family and his name would be Ajita. The name of his gotta (clan) would also be Metteya. The name of his father would be Subrahma; and of the mother Brahmavati. He would be married to Chandamukhi and will have Brahmavaddhana as his son. He will live in four palaces for eight thousand years, which shall be called Sirivaddha, vaddhamana, Siddhattha and Chandaka. He would then renounce the world after seeing the four signs.

Among his most noteworthy followers would be his two brothers Isidatta and Purana; and Jatimitta, Vijaya among the men; and Suddhana and Sanghaa and Visakhaa among the women.  Asoka and Brahmadeva among the monks; and Paduma and Sumana among the nuns would be his chief disciples. Siha would be his personal attendant. He would attain Enlightenment under a Naga tree.

It is held in the tradition that the Future Buddha has his abode in Tusita Deva-world, where he is called Nath. He is often portrayed or sculpted in crowns and jewels as he is yet to renounce the worldly life.

See Digha Nikaya iii.7; Mahavamsa xxxxxxii. 73, 81 f.; Chullavamsa xxxviii. 68,; Milinda Panha159Atthasalini 415.



Maitreya (Metteya)
Thanka no. 3 Collection: Spituk Monastery (Courtesy: Sakyamuni: An Exhibition of Rare Thankas Central Institute of Buddhist Studies Choglamsar Leh; p.25)