Why is Laughing Buddha famous? Its origin

Laughing Buddha

Most of you must have seen statues of laughing Buddha in many houses. You must have also noticed how people consider it lucky. So people prefer to keeping his statue at home. Ever imagined where he came from? Was he a real person? What was his origin? So, today I am going to talk about laughing Buddha’s origin. If you wish to know more then keep reading.

Who was laughing Buddha?

The real name of Laughing Buddha is Hotei or Pu-Tai. Also called the Jolly Laughing Buddha he is known as a Friendly one in China. He lived over 1000 years ago and was a part of the Buddhist and Shinto culture. He had a very calm and friendly nature. Because of this, it was considered that he would become the future Buddha. 

There are two figures of Laughing Buddha:

  • In one, he is standing with a cloth bag hanging behind his right shoulder. He is also called “Hotei” in Japanese. He is seen playing with children and laughing with them.
  • In another one, he is seen sitting with five children crawling all over him. He is also called the Panchik and is a wealthy Yakshya and the commander of Yakshas. Chinese keep him in shops. He is considered to be the lucky one. 

Origin of Laughing Buddha

He was once a common man who practiced Buddhism. The story goes like this – Once upon a time, he visited a mountain for self-cultivation. One day, due to flood the entire cultivation was destroyed. As a result, he was left to starve for a minimum of 7 days. A group of rabbits found him about to die and the mother rabbit knowing that he would be the future Buddha sacrificed themselves to feed the Buddha and sustain his life. When the mountain spirit told him about the meat he was taken aback. He said he would better be dead than consume animal meat. And right fromt that moment, he promised that no matter how many times he takes birth as a human he will not consume meat in any life until he achieves Buddhahood. 

How was his life?

The monk used to travel to places and make people laugh. Wherever he used to go people used to gather around him. He was very funny and always smiled. He would share sweets and toys with children. He would simply keep his bag down and start laughing. He used to laugh no matter what. As a result, everyone used to start laughing. It was like a contagious spread. After a while, he used to move on to the next town. His entire life was spent doing this and in the process, he was about to get enlightenment. 

Once he said that the more you give the more you will get. Children should be given as they are the symbol of nature, a symbol of God. The bag of Buddha depicts “problem”. Every human has a problem. When Buddha used to keep down his bag and started laughing that would symbolize to keep problems away and just laugh.

Story of his death

It is said that he did make people laugh even when it was time for him to pass away. Hotei had hidden a lot of crackers and rockets in his clothes. So he created a lot of laughter even in such a situation. Thus, he didn’t only live in laughter but also died in laughter. 

Laughing Buddha is conidered a wonderful Fen Shui Asset. Is it true?

Laughing Buddha is considered lucky among Chinese people. It is usually placed facing the door. It is said that rubbing the belly of laughing Buddha can bring good luck. In fact, many families claimed that their lives turned out to be better after they were gifted with a laughing Buddha.

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About the Author: Atrayee Banerjee

Atrayee is a mentor, content writer, and trainer. She loves traveling, exploring new places, and trying varying cuisines.

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