The Laughing Buddha statue is a tangible representation of the joy and carefree bliss experienced by a person who has discovered their authenticity – ‘The Buddha in himself.’ Placing him in your home invites in prosperity and happiness. The Laughing Buddha, also called Hotei or Pu-Tai, is a symbol of good luck, joy, and abundance. Statues of the Laughing Buddha aren’t so much a depiction of Buddha; instead, it portrays the happy, big-bellied image of a prominent monk who lived during the Liang Dynasty – around the 10th century.
Laughing Buddha statues depict this monk (believed by some to be the reincarnation of Buddha) in different postures and surrounded by different significant objects. Whether he is standing up or sitting down, he is usually wearing a robe and prayer beads while holding a cloth bag. His head is bald, and he has a round, rather fat belly. The Laughing Buddha is always, well, laughing. When Buddha is sitting, it represents love, balanced thoughts and emotions, and tranquility. Rubbing his plump belly is believed to bring you good fortune. His big belly is also a symbol of tolerance. It is also a reminder that spiritual enlightenment can coincide with prosperity and abundance.
The Laughing Buddha is often depicted surrounded by five children. This statue symbolizes a large and happy family and is believed to improve fertility. This fertility could also refer to prosperity or richness in a relationship or good luck when looking for a job. The Laughing Buddha is considered to be the guardian of children. The five children that surround the Laughing Buddha represent the five Feng Shui elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. According to Feng Shui, these elements should be present in your home (or any other space) to invite balance and harmony.
The beads, or mala, represent ‘pearls of wisdom’ and meditation. It encourages growth and dedication to your spiritual life. The Laughing Buddha frequently holds a cloth bag. This bag represents a number of things. It symbolizes the riches that he brings to you, and the worries, or sadness, and cares that he takes from you. The bag could also hold rice plants (which represents wealth), food, and candy for children, and it never empties. The bag is also a symbol for travel, both physical travel and traveling into yourself on your spiritual path.
A Buddha statue is a sacred object and should be treated with respect. Avoid placing your Laughing Buddha statue in the kitchen, bedroom, on the floor, or near electronic devices. Because the Laughing Buddha represents a deity, it is considered disrespectful to look down on a depiction of him. That means it is best to place your Laughing Buddha statue at eye level or higher. When placed near your front door, he is said to bring joy, happiness, and prosperity to all who enter. The Laughing Buddha statue brings with him joy, peace, and abundance. He reminds you to stay connected with your authentic self and to persevere on your spiritual path. He takes away your worries or sorrows and brings you gifts of happiness and love.