Laughing Buddha statues are one of the popular Buddhist figures in the world. They are used in homes, offices, hotels, gardens, restaurants, shops, and museums and temples, to bring good luck, abundance, happiness, success, and good health. They are made of wood, metal, porcelain, and stone or painted in colour and line. The Laughing Buddha is generally known in China as Budai or Putai, Bodai in Vietnamese and Hotei in Japanese. Elsewhere, the laughing Buddha statue is generally known by Happy Buddha, or Chinese Buddha.
You may ask, aren’t Buddhas suppose to be serene and peacefully looking within, so why are they laughing?
The Laughing Buddha feng shui symbol is based on the story of a Buddhist monk who lived in the 10th century China. He had a loving heart, but was too eccentric for a monk. He was a native of Fenghua and his Buddhist name was Qieci (Chinese : Pinyin).
He is considered a reincarnation of Gautama Buddha (the historical Buddha), and became popular due to his lightheartedness and joy. His large protruding stomach and jolly smile have given him the common designation “Laughing Buddha”.
These statues are also called the Happy Buddha, and are often depicted with gold ingots, a Wu Lou (Chinese gourd), a sack of treasures or surrounded by children. He is often seen carrying a cloth (that which never empties) which is filled with many precious items, including rice plants (indicating wealth), candy for children, food, or the woes of the world.
The symbol of Laughing Buddha is considered to bring auspicious energy, wealth, and joyful blessings anywhere it is placed. But one of the best feng shui locations for a Laughing Buddha is close to the front door so that you can see it as you come home. It is not a good idea to display your Buddha in the bathroom or the master bedroom.