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grrgold's avatar

What do diferent Happy Buddha's represent?

Asked by grrgold (88 points ) May 4th, 2011

I have a figure of a Laughing Buddha witting wrapped in a robe with a sack by his side. I have looked through diferent interpretations of the different Laughing Buddha poses but have not been able to find one that matches this one, they all seem to have more items than just the bag by his side. I would like to know what this figure of Buddha represents.

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5 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Are you sure it’s Buddha?

Sounds more like a depiction of Confucius in his later years. He wandered the countryside with nothing more than a bag of trash he collected along the way. His joy was found in giving the trash as gifts to children, amazed at how they were so grateful, and the creations they could make of it.

Just a story I heard. I don’t know what your Buddha represents.

ParaParaYukiko's avatar

I have some statues that were called Happy/Laughing Buddhas when I bought them, don’t know any stories about them though.

But is this the kind of thing you meant?

longtresses's avatar

If it’s really Laughing Buddha, then his official name is Hotei. If he’s holding Chinese gold nugget—if so, above his head—this image is representing prosperity; the Chinese are keen merchants, and they have many deities representing wealth and prosperity.

If it’s just Hotei, or carrying cloth sack, this image is representing compassion, joy, and contentment, as he’s owning nothing yet smiling.

SABOTEUR's avatar

You won’t find an interpretation to do it justice.

Sit quietly and watch the incoming and outgoing of your breath.
Allow thought to go and go as it will.
Simply observe.

With enough practice you’ll understand why Buddha is laughing.

grrgold's avatar

@ParaParaYukiko -Yes, it looks similar to the one on the bottom left except it is fully robed (belly does not show)

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