For many years, Buddha has been part of our western environment. We have adopted his statues which decorate our interiors, our balconies or our gardens. We choose them out of a taste for the exotic, out of belief, or to energize a room.
Standing or often seated in a lotus, in meditation, it is Siddhartha Gautama, the authentic "awakened" Buddha, the spiritual leader who will give birth to Buddhism.
There is also another Buddha, Bouddai (in China), Hotei (in Japan), or Boddai (in Vietnam). It’s Happy Buddha for English speakers and Laughing Buddha for us.
You have certainly come across him in Chinese restaurants and stores.
Who is this laughing Buddha? He is a major figure in the popular tradition of Asia where he is famous and highly regarded. It would have appeared 15 centuries after Buddha, that is to say in the Xth century of our era. He was a Chinese monk who then led a quiet life and was distinguished by his generosity and kindness. Over time, he becomes the deity of happiness and abundance.
His appearance is always the same: chubby, belly exposed, bald, he wears a broad smile and embodies gaiety and good humor - hence his name! It stands for luck, longevity, prosperity, protection and wealth.
Another legend tells about him: Bouddai was said to have been a very handsome and attractive man, so much so that he was constantly annoyed by men and women who tried to seduce him. All their interventions disturbed and interrupted the calm necessary for his meditation. To put an end to this annoying problem, he would have chosen to voluntarily make himself ugly!
Many obtain his statue simply to enlighten their daily lives: the laughing Buddha is happy because he wishes to bring, health, wealth, happiness and joie de vivre to those who welcome him. His laughter and his positive and communicative qualities will then shine in the place where he is placed.
Others believe in his special powers of good luck : they open their house to him so that he attracts in them his beneficial power, by regularly rubbing his stomach for example ...
Whether you make either of these choices, you will find wood, resin or metal statues bearing his likeness. In the form of jewelry, the silver "Happy Buddha" pendants will adorn your neck with joy.