Friday, May 19, 2017

Know about Laughing Buddha

Image result for laughing buddha

Recently  I happened to see  a huge statue of Laughing Buddha in a temple very near to Chennai. It  was a surprise to me since I had not seen such a statue in any temple earlier. The picture of the statue is given below:
                                                    
With the curiosity arisen by the statue in the temple, I searched the web and found the following information about the Laughing Buddha.

The Laughing Buddha is cherished all over the world. He is the Buddha of abundance and happiness. He is also known as the “Buddha of Wealth”. It is believed he will bring wealth and prosperity to a home or business.

Over the years, he has come to represent several beneficial attributes such as happiness, prosperity, contentment and joy. Consequently, people in East Asia such as China and Japan have placed the Fat Buddha statue in their homes and offices.
It is very easy to recognize the Laughing Buddha. He is shown wearing a robe and prayer beads often hang around his neck. He is bald and has a big fat tummy.He is always happy;   thereby the name the “Laughing Buddha”.
Image result for laughing buddha
Many claim he makes problems disappear. Keeping the Laughing Buddha in the home ensures a happy home. Who does not want to be happy?

The Laughing Buddha has become a common and popular  name for Budai. Some people from the West who are not  familiar with Buddhism, may mistake the Laughing Buddha  for Gautama Siddhartha, the Buddha.So there is no connection between Gautama Buddha and the Laughing Buddha.
Actually his name was Quieci. But everyone called himBudai”. He was supposedly a Buddhist Zen monk who lived  in China over a thousand years ago.He was different from all other monks. Quieci was a jolly fellow. He often laughed whole heartily and reminded everyone to enjoy life and stay happy. He was very much loved.
One legend tells a story illustrating the claim that Budai wanted people to stay positive and joyful. When the beloved monk died many cried.A huge crowd gathered around to take a last farewell with tears running down their checks. The fire was lit at the cremation ceremony. Then to the surprise of most mourners  present there was a huge blast of fireworks.  
Before he died Budai had secretly asked that firecrackers were hidden under his robe.That did that trick. All who were present at the cremation found themselves smiling.
Even after his death he reminded all present to celebrate life. Just before he died it is told he said the following:
MAITREYA, THE TRUE MAITREYA  HAS BILLIONS OF INCARNATIONS. OFTEN HE IS SHOWN TO PEOPLE AT THE TIME;  OTHER TIMES THEY DO NOT RECOGNIZE HIM.
These words are by some interrupted to make him an incarnation of the Maitreya.The Maitreya is the future and last  Buddha who will bring ultimate love and enlightenment into  the world.

Rubbing the belly of Laughing Buddha:

According to legend, if you rub the Laughing Buddha's great belly, it brings forth wealth, good luck, and prosperity. Hotei is also referred to as the patron saint of restaurateurs, fortune tellers and bartenders. When one overeats or over drinks, friends jokingly attribute it to the Laughing Buddha's influence.