Laughing Buddha Figurine Statue Meaning & Symbolism

The Laughing Buddha is cherished all over the world. He is found in homes, restaurants, places of business and so on. Laughing Buddha, as we all know, brings good luck, contentment and abundance in one's life. It depicts plenitude of whatever one wishes for – be it wealth, happiness or satisfaction.Usually depicted as a stout, laughing.

Who was Laughing Buddha?

Laughing Buddh also know as Budai, Hotei or Pu-Tai (Chinese: 布袋; pinyin: Bùdài; Japanese: 布袋, Romanized: Hotei; Vietnamese: Bố Đại) is a semi-historical Chinese monk who is venerated as deity in Chinese Buddhism and was also introduced into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. He is also known as the “Buddha of Wealth”. It is believed he will bring wealth and prosperity to a home or business.

He allegedly lived around the 10th century in the Wuyue kingdom. His name literally means "Cloth Sack", and refers to the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying as he wanders aimlessly. His jolly nature, humorous personality, and eccentric lifestyle distinguishes him from most Buddhist masters or figures. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the "Laughing Buddha" (Chinese: 笑佛; pinyin: Xiào Fó).

In the Western World, Budai is often mistaken for Gautama Buddha himself, and thus is nicknamed the "Fat Buddha." Actually his name was Quieci. But everyone called him “Budai”. He was supposedly a Buddhist Zen monk who lived in China over a thousand years ago.

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.

What does Laughing Buddha do?

It is said that Laughing Buddha with sack, means he collects people's sadness and woes and puts them in his sack. While another version of Buddha carrying sack is said to be lucky. It brings wealth and Prosperity. you keep laughing Buddha at home or in the office, then problems related to money can be solved.

The Laughing Buddha can be shown with different symbols. He often is shown with beads hanging from his neck. These beads are often referred to as the “pearls of wisdom”. Many like to keep the Laughing Buddha with the beads close by the place they normally meditate.

You might even find a statue of the Laughing Buddha sitting on a good luck frog. All of these statues are good choices for money matters. Laughing Buddha is also believed to bring contentment and a stress free life.

Many statues show the Laughing Buddha surrounded by children. The most common number of children is five.

Types of Laughing Buddha

Laughing Buddha comes in different types. Few on them being 

  • Laughing Buddha playing with children (usually five in number)
  • Laughing Buddha with a bowl
  • Laughing Buddha with a fan
  • Laughing Buddha with a sack or bag
  • Laughing Buddha with beads
  • Laughing Buddha while raising both hands
  • Laughing Buddha sitting in meditation
  • Laughing Buddha sitting on the boat or ingot

It is also important how and where you place laughing buddha for proper use of Fengshui. Remember also to always keep the statue very clean. The Laughing Buddha covered in dust will not do you any good.

Apart from being used in fengshui laughing buddha is now widely used as Decorative for your Home or Office and even to give gifts to your loved ones on many occasions like Anniversary, Birthday, New Year, House Warming. Baby shower, Mother's day, Father's day and more. 


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