Laughing Buddha Figurine


Laughing Buddha Figurine


He is called Pu-Tai (Budai), meaning hemp sack. Cool, huh?

Emerging from Chinese folk tales of the 10th Century, the laughing Buddha was said to have been a Ch'an monk named Ch'i-t'zu, or Qieci, from Fenghua, in what is now Zhejiang. Ch'i-t'zu was an eccentric but much-loved character who worked small wonders, such as predicting the weather. Chinese history assigned the date of 907-923 CE to Ch't'zu's life.

Maitreya Buddha

According to tradition, just before Ch'i-t'zu died, he revealed himself to be an incarnation of Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya is named in the Tripitaka as the Buddha of a future age. Ch'i-t'zu's last words were:

Maitreya, true Maitreya
Reborn innumerable times
From time to time manifested among men
The men of the age do not recognize him.

Budai is a figure representing wealth, happiness and generosity. He loves children and is a protector of them as well as of the down-trodden.

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