Thursday, 10 June 2010
The legend of the Laughing Buddha is well known throughout the eastern world and now commonly also in the western world. He is a character known as Hotei or Pu-Tai and is most popular in China where he is also referred to as the "Loving" or "Friendly One". He is thought to be based on an eccentric Chinese Zen monk who lived over a thousand years ago.
The Laughing Buddha is now a dominant feature of Buddhist and Shinto culture,temples and shrines. He displays a very open and jolly personality being regarded as an incarnation of the Maitreya bodhisattva - or the Future Buddha who is yet to come. As befits his name he has large protruding belly and jocular smile.
Find out more at the Buddha's Face Buddhism 101 project at http://www.thebuddhasface.co.uk/laughing-buddha--statues-48-c.asp