The laughing Buddha reminds us of the most important message from the Buddhist philosophy. You must have a loving heart to be happy. After the spread of Siddhatha Guatama’s teachings to China, the religion there had become too sanctimonious and sombre. The jolly laughing figure of the laughing Buddha represents living more fully and truthfully, in touch with the world and celebrating the extraordinary nature of ordinary life.
Recently my brother returned from his visit to China. He had brought a laughing Buddha with him, a small jolly laughing figure of 5 inches. It does not have the solemn air of the historical Buddha.
This famous, euphoric character is known by the name the “Budhai” (Known in Japanese as “Ho-tai”). He was presumably an 8th century Chinese monk called Quieci, who was proclaimed after his death to be the re-incarnation of Siddhartha Goutama, the historical Buddha, the enlightened one. In spite of his obesity and apparently not so handsome appearance, he moved gracefully, dedicating most of his life to protect all and entertain the children. He was a patron of the poor and weak. His very presence was a blessing to all.
The Buddha said, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves”. The statue of the laughing Buddha reminds us that.
The euphoric state of the laughing Buddha reminds us to be generous, contented and forgiving. A loving heart spreads warmth and light. “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace”, said the Buddha. We can follow his footsteps to be truly happy.
A good belly laugh in the style of the laughing Buddha can light up your day, transcend all boundaries and melts away tension, stress, worry and conflict. Try it yourself and see the result. You’ll be amazed. You’ll be able to love yourself more. You yourself are just as deserving of your own love as is everybody in the world. Buddhism teaches tolerance and love, including self-love. By culturing these virtues we can also smile like the laughing Buddha.
A guest post by: Nancy Sheraton
This is a nice little book by Sakshi Chetana to know more about Laughing Buddha.