Standing Bodisattva Maitreya (Buddha of the Future)
ca. 3rd century
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Maitreya is the Buddha of the next age, much as Shakyamuni is the Buddha of our age. He resides in Tushita heaven waiting for his final rebirth. As befits his highest rebirth, he wears the garments and jewels of a prince, though his halo clearly demarks his deified status. He can be identified by the sacred water flask in his left hand.
Text and image credit:
The Metropolitan Museum of Art