by Mineke Schipper, Humanity’s End as a New Beginning: World Disasters in Myths

19. Maitreya 

(Tibet, Korea, Mongolia)

Maitreya who will appear in about 30.000 years is in the Tushita heaven waiting for his last rebirth. His name originates from the word mitra, “friend”. Friendliness is one of the main Buddhist virtues, comparable to charity in christianity. Exceptionally, no disaster but enlightenment will come. 

Inthe future great changes will take place in the world. One day the ocean will dry up partially, so that the Indian subcontinent will be larger and flatter than it is now. Thus the subcontinent will become large enough for all of the world’s people, and there will be abundant food for all. One day human beings who were enemies will suddenly be kind to each another. Sickness and war will have become obsolete, and people will grow very old, not even marrying until they are 150, and living to be about 500 years.

There will be one ruler, Shankha, who will spread the Dharma of the Buddha as law throughout the world. During Shankha’s reign, Maitreya, the future Buddha, will be born. His mother will be pregnant with him for ten months and then he will emerge from the womb completely clean. At his birth he will announce that this is his last birth – only Nirvana, the supreme enlightenment, awaits him. As did Shakyamuni or Gautama Buddha before him, Maitreya will contemplate the nature of things and see the illusory aspect of mortal life. He will then have eighty-four thousand followers attending him at all times. Then, out of heaven Brahma, the Eternal God, will proclaim the truth of Dharma.

That time will witness the end of all selfishness and all illusion. Possessions will become irrelevant, and all will be concerned with achieving enlightenment. People will no longer follow their passions, but lead a life of chastity, such as monks do now. Given people’s long life span there will be no need for progeny anymore. 

In this environment of perfect harmony Maitreya is going to preach for over sixty thousand years, before he will leave the earth to go to his Nirvana, in absolute union with God. The eternal law, the Dharma, will reign for another ten thousand years, and all people will achieve Nirvana.

Everyone will be freed of suffering and pain, and all obstacles to people’s understanding of the Dharma will be removed. Then, at the end of the ten thousand years, Brahma himself will come and teach the universal truth directly to humankind, and he will then reveal things concealed even from the Buddhas.