«Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha,
and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins – the last Messiah who will come
at the culmination of the Great Cycle»
“The Secret Doctrine” H. P. Blavatsky
Prophecy in Buddhism takes many forms, from descriptions of Maitreya’s coming, to beginning of great Holy war.
Humanity always seems to be either looking to the past or future for its prophets. Hardly ever do they recognize them when they’re in the “now.” It’s just easier that way. If they acknowledged their presence then they would have to become the message. Maitreya is here now but not as a continuous physical presence as some have claimed and not so readily available on spiritual planes as others have professed. He may yet take a physical incarnation once the planet is ready. A golden age will have to be firmly established before this happens however.
Supreme spiritual leader is known to the world under different names: in India he is called Kalki Avatar, in China – Milè, in Japan – Miroku, in Lamaist mythology – Maidari, but the Name Maitreya is mentioned most often.
The Coming Buddha
The book “Foundations of Buddhism” by N. Rokotoff (pseudonym of H. I. Roerich) presents a dialogue of Gautama Buddha and his disciple Ananda: “And the Blessed One replied to Ananda: ‘I am not the first Buddha who came upon the earth, nor shall I be the last. In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a holy one, a supremely enlightened one, endowed with wisdom in conduct, auspicious, knowing the universe, an incomparable leader of men, a master of angels and mortals. He will reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you. He will preach his religion, glorious in its origin, glorious at the climax, and, glorious at the goal. He will proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure, such as I now proclaim. His disciples will number many thousand, while mine number many hundred.’
Ananda said, ‘How shall we know him?’
The Blessed One replied, ‘He will be known Maitreya’
H. P. Blavatsky states in the “Theosophical glossary”: “that Shakyamuni (Gautama Buddha) visited him *Maitreya in Tushita (a celestial abode) and commissioned him to issue thence on earth as his successor at the expiration of five thousand years after his (Buddha’s) death. This would be in less than 3,000 years hence. Esoteric philosophy teaches that the next Buddha will appear during the seventh (sub) race of this Round. The fact is that *Maitreya was a follower of Buddha, a well-known Arhat, though not his direct disciple, and that he was the founder of an esoteric philosophical school”.
* Maitreya is the coming Buddha and the successor of the Shakyamuni Buddha (Gautama Buddha). This is narrated in the “Digha Nikaya”, one of the ancient texts of “Tipitaka” (“Basket of instruction”), containing more than 17,000 sutras, attributed to the Buddha and his closest associates.
Maitreya – “The Coming Teacher of mankind”
One of the earliest mention of Maitreya is a Sanskrit text, the “Maitreya-vyakarana” (“The Prophecy of Maitreya”) stating that gods, men and other beings will worship Maitreya and will lose their doubts, and the torrents of their cravings will be cut off:
“Free from all misery, they will manage to cross the ocean of becoming and, as a result of Maitreya’s teachings, they will lead a Holy life. No longer will they regard anything as their own, they will have no possession: no gold or silver, no home, no relatives. But they will lead the Holy life of chastity under Maitreya’s guidance. They will have torn the net of the passions, they will manage to enter into sacred trance, and theirs will be an abundance of joy and happiness, for they will lead a holy life under Maitreya’s guidance. ”
Maitreya’s coming is characterized by the decreasing of the oceans in size, allowing Maitreya to traverse them freely. The event will also allow the unveiling of the true dharma (Law, Teaching) to the people, in turn allowing the construction of a new world. Some of the events foretold at the coming of the last Buddha include an end to death, warfare, famine, and disease, as well as the ushering in of a new society of tolerance and love.
Prophesies on Holy War
Vajrayana school (if you consider it to be a school of Buddhism) also contains some prophecy. It can be found in the text of a book called Kalachakra Tantra. The content of the prophecy is rather revulsive.
From the passage of the Kālacakra (Śri Kālacakra I. 161):
“The Chakravartin shall come out at the end of the age, from the city the gods fashioned on Mount Kailasa. He shall smite the barbarians in battle with his own four-division army, on the entire surface of the earth.”
This prophecy could also be understood to refer in part to the Islamic incursions into central Asia and India which destroyed the Buddhist religion in those regions. The prophecy includes detailed descriptions of the future invaders as well as suggested violent ways for the Buddhist teachings to survive these onslaughts.