Maitreya is the embodiment of the loving-kindness of all the Buddhas, whose function is to guide all beings along the stages of the path to enlightenment. His hands hold the stems of two lotuses symbolizing his omniscient wisdom. The lotus on his right supports the Wheel of Dharma and the vase on his left is filled with life-giving nectars. Buddha Maitreya and Bodhisattva Maitreya are different aspects of the same person. When he appeared as one of Buddha Shakyamuni's main disciples he was called 'Bodhisattva Maitreya'.