Maitreya Buddha statue in silver metal
The name Maitreya (Metteyya in Pāli) comes from the Sanskrit feminine noun maitrī (mettā in Pāli) which means "benevolence", "good will", connected to the Sanskrit masculine noun mitra (mitta in Pāli) which means "friend".
The prophecy of the coming of Maitreya is present in the canonical literature of all the Buddhist traditions (Nikāya, Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna) even if there is no agreement between the different traditions on the history of his life, nor on how he will fulfill his destiny; some believers believe that he will be the last Buddha to appear on Earth: he will attain complete enlightenment, teach pure Dharma and be destined to be "king of the world" (cakravartin), uniting all the faithful of the various schools.
Maitreya will therefore be the Buddha of benevolence and compassion, a leader of men, a warrior who will rule over cosmic and mortal beings and, like Gautama Buddha, will attain complete enlightenment, will teach pure Dharma and his disciples will be ten times more numerous than those of Gautama Buddha.
According to Buddhist traditions, it was Gautama Buddha himself who predicted the name of his successor, claiming that he was not the first Buddha and not even the last.