The Buddhism as we know now is founded by Sakyamuni Buddha.
The next Buddha is Maitreya Buddha. The condition for Maitreya Buddha to appear is not present yet. The conditions underlying the appearance of Sakyamuni Buddha and Maitreya Buddha had already been elaborately explained by the founder, Sakyamuni Buddha. This is already recorded in his sermons and teachings (one of the 84000 sermons in record)
The life story of the Buddha (link) – This is a brief description
If you want to know more in depth details here’s a link to pdf (e-reading) This is great and is completely free!
A Buddha is born with very unique physical attributes. If you read what was written, you’ll come to a conclusion that his physical appearance is slightly different from the standard human beings. The Buddha had explained why he was born with such physiques.
Throughout this career as a Buddha, he taught numerous beings (including those invisible to humans). His deeds and actions are a good reference for us.
Buddha had explained that he is not a god or a deity. Nor is he just a human being.
Buddha did not teach his followers to worship his idol or image.
Based on accounts of his life, his followers later accord him this praise ” He is the teacher of gods and men”
He performed numerous miracles in plain view of an entire city’s population
He spent 3 months in one of the havens to teach the beings there, and when he returned to Earth, it was again in plain view of many human witnesses and it is still a celebrated holy day in the Buddhist calendar (to commemorate that event).
He tamed a charging wild elephant in a busy market place once. Spent one retreat session in a forest attended to by wild animals.
He taught that blind faith is not desirable in mental development and encourage people to use analytics and wisdom to examine his teachings.
He tamed a serial killer (Angulimala) and showed him the path towards Enlightenment.
He stopped a war from happening between two kingdom and taught them harmonious living (He is such a cool guy. He basically went to the middle of the two warring sides and stop them from launching an attack in the battle field!)
He exorcise spirits and then converted the wrong views of the spirit, thus the spirits took refuge in Buddha and aspire to benefit other beings (In Buddhism, the categorisation of spirits is astounding…)
He demonstrated to his community of monks and nuns about volunteering healthcare and charity works for the sick.
He taught a young man about the values of friendship. His practical approach towards a laity is compassionate and wise.
Sometimes he established practical rules and guidelines for the monks in accordance to the social expectation and norms. This is so that the laity and the monks can live harmoniously.
He overcame a plot to slander his integrity and name.
He did not recognise inequality in men. The caste system does not play a role in Buddhism and he explained very precisely what constitutes a holy person who is worth of alms (donation) and respect.
The list just runs on and on.
Above are just some of the account from his life and these stories are very inspiring to me.