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10th May 2022

What is Laughing Buddha & Why Do We Keep It In Our Homes?

The laughing Buddha is a symbol of prosperity, contentment, and happiness. According to Feng Shui, placing several of these figurines around the house fills the space with positive energy and happiness. As a good luck charm, the laughing buddha is frequently found in homes, offices, restaurants, and other such places where people intend to fill the air with positivity. As the laughing Buddha grew in popularity around the globe, many different beliefs and stories have also sprung up in its wake. In this article, we will be discussing all you need to know about the laughing buddha, his origins, beliefs, stories, and practical tips on how you can fill your living space with vibrant, positive energy. 

What does a Laughing Buddha mean? 

The laughing buddha statue depicts a stout, pot-bellied man with a contented smile on his face. It is considered a symbol of good luck, happiness, and plentitude. Hence he is popular as little figurines and amulets that people can easily carry home from where they got him. When you observe the most popular form of the laughing Buddha closely, you will notice that he is always carrying a cloth bag that is filled with many precious items such as food, candies for children, and other riches. The laughing Buddha also comes in different forms, which are meant to compound luck, wealth, prosperity, happiness, family bondage, and other necessities of human life. 

 Laughing Buddha History 

The person in the laughing buddha images and statues is ‘Budai,’ an eccentric Zen monk from china who is thought to have lived around 907 to 923 AD during the later Liang dynasty. He was a man of a good and loving character, and some Buddhist traditions considered him the ‘Bodhisattva Maitreya’ or the future Buddha. He was pot-bellied, bald, and had a jolly smile on his face all the time, which earned him the name “laughing Buddha.” 

 Laughing Buddha Meaning 

The laughing Buddha (Budai) is regarded as the highest representation of happiness and one who takes away all the misery and brings good fortune. The laughing buddha images depict a stout, pot-bellied man who has childlike laughter on his face. It is distinct from the representation of Gautama Buddha from the teachings from which Buddhism was derived. Budai was considered to be the incarnation of the “Bodhisattva Maitreya,” meaning the one who is yet to become enlightened Buddha. The Bodhisattva Maitreya has the task of appearing on Earth to teach the pure dharma. This Buddha is always represented carrying a cloth bag or linen sack with a never-ending supply of health, joy, and wealth. 

 Laughing Buddha in Real Life 

Chinese temples have statues of laughing Buddha located at temple entrances. The Lingyin temple in Hangchou has a massive 24.6 meter laughing Buddha statue carved out of camphor wood. Covered with 60 taels of gold, it is the largest wooden statue in China. The more commonly found laughing Buddha is often made out of clay, wood, marble, stone, and Jade materials. They are sold as souvenirs outside of temples and also in gift shops in many places around the world. 

 Laughing Buddha Vastu tips 

Here are some laughing buddha for home tips: 

  • Place the Buddha opposite the main entrance facing the inside of the house. It can be oriented in the east, north-east, or south-east direction. 
  • While placing the laughing Buddha in the garden, ensure it is kept on a pedestal or a tray. Do not keep it on the bare ground. 
  • You can keep many forms of the laughing Buddha in different parts of the house to attract the blessing you seek. 
  • A laughing Buddha on the study or work desk will improve concentration and productivity. It can also reduce clashes and bring more peace. 
  • Placing the laughing Buddha facing south-east will increase the wealth and prosperity of the family. 
  • The sitting posture of the laughing Buddha symbolises love and harmony. It can be placed in the room facing East or Northeast. 
  • The standing Buddha is symbolic of wealth and prosperity. It can be placed in the living room facing east. 
  • Laughing Buddha materials also affect the energy of the house. Different materials attract different energy. The Jade laughing Buddha is considered to be the most sacred in Eastern cultures. 
  • Avoid placing the laughing Buddha in places such as the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. Always place the stature on a stool, mat, or pedestal- never place it on the floor directly. 
  • Never place the laughing Buddha above a shoe rack or close to electrical outlets or appliances. 

 Laughing Buddha’s real name 

According to the laughing buddha story in Chinese traditions, the Zen monk was known as ‘Budai.’ His Buddhist name was Qieci (Pinyin in Chinese). He was a native of Fenghua and lived during the Liang dynasty around 907 to 923 AD. 

Why is Laughing Buddha Lucky? 

The laughing Buddha is symbolic of Budai- the bodhisattva Maitreya (the future Buddha). People for a long time have believed that rubbing the belly of the statue will bring them good luck, health, wealth, and prosperity. 

Types of Laughing Buddha and their Meaning 

The laughing buddha statue comes in many different forms. Each figure depicts the Buddha in another form symbolising specific wishes such as happiness, success, prosperity, luck, fortune, etc. Here are the most popular ones: 

The Standing Buddha (Jolly Hotei) 

The most popular form of the laughing buddha, the standing statue depicts the monk with his hands raised over his head in celebration. Also called the Jolly Hotei, the statue features the monk holding a gold ingot over his head with both hands or an ingot in each hand. The Jolly Hotei is thought to bring wealth and happiness. 

Laughing Buddha Travelling with Money Bags 

The traveling Buddha is one of the most popular depictions of the monk. The statue shows a large bag filled with money and riches flung over his back while wielding a Wu Lou (gourd), symbolising healing, health, and longevity. In Feng Shui, the traveling monk is used in areas that need a little boost in luck. 

Laughing Buddha Wearing Pearls of Wisdom 

This laughing Buddha is depicted wearing a string of pearls which symbolise wealth. There are also different variants, with the Buddha bolding a large pearl in his hand or a wealth ball. Some variants have him standing, while some have him sitting or reclining. 

Laughing Buddha Riding Money Frog 

Riding on a frog adorned with gold and gemstones, the money laughing buddha is thought to compound wealth and prosperity. People looking to advance in their career or take up business initiatives seek the luck and blessings of this Buddha by placing him in the sector that brings success. 

Laughing Buddha With Playing Children 

Laughing Buddha with five playing children is a representation of a happy and prosperous family. In Feng Shui, the statue is used to attract blessings and good luck for the family and children. 

The Fan-In-Hand Laughing Buddha 

This Buddha holding a fan in hand is auspicious in many ways starting with travel blessings and granted wishes. The bag in hand can be interpreted as a symbol of money or a bag that will absorb all the woes of the person. This one makes for a great laughing buddha gift for a friend or relative. 

Why Every Seniors Should Kept Laughing Buddha at Home? 

The laughing Buddha holding the bag or holding the fan is symbolic of a saviour who is believed to take away people’s troubles and bring health. Having a laughing buddha statue in the house can give seniors a strong sense of positivity and well-being every day. The positive feeling that the Buddha evokes will make their day happier and take away their fears. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What direction should laughing buddha face in a home? 

A laughing Buddha at the entrance should ideally face east towards the rising sun to bring in the positive energy every morning. The laughing buddha’s direction can also be north-east or south-east depending on where it is placed in the house.

Where to keep laughing Buddha at home? 

The laughing Buddha can be kept at the entrance of the house, in the living room, and also on the study or work desk. Avoid keeping it in places such as the kitchen, bathroom, and toilet. 

Where should Laughing Buddha be placed? 

The laughing Buddha can be placed at the entrance of the house facing east, north-east, or south-east. In high negative energy environments, the laughing Buddha can be placed facing the front door. 

Was the Laughing Buddha a real person? 

The laughing Buddha is based on the Zen monk ‘Budai’ from China, who is thought to have lived around 907 to 923 AD during the later Liang dynasty. His Buddhist name was Qieci (Pinyin in Chinese). 

Where did the smiling Buddha come from? 

Budai, with his jolly and humorous personality, Budai is a Zen monk who is thought to have originated from China. 

Which type of Laughing Buddha is good for home? 

Travelling Buddha with a sack: For positivity and removing troubles. 
Buddha with pearls: For knowledge, wisdom, and affluence. 
Standing Buddha with golden ingot in hands: For attracting wealth and prosperity. 
Buddha surrounded by kids: For eliminating trouble in children’s life. 
Buddha with a fan and bottle gourd: For blessing and removing negative energy. 

Which Buddha is lucky for wealth? 

The standing Buddha with a golden ingot raised over his head is believed to bring wealth. 

What is the Nickname of Laughing Buddha? 

The laughing Buddha was called ‘Budai’ in China.