Fat Buddha

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Fat Buddha

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:59 am

This not a very important question but I was wondering who the fat Buddha statues represent. I have heard more than one explanation on this. Could anybody tell me so I could explain to my friends that the real Buddha wasn't fat.

Thanks,

With metta

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Euclid » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:02 am

He's a folklore hero from China called 'Budai'. He has nothing to do with Buddhism, and his association with it is a widely held misconception. Although I think some traditions consider him a Bodhisattva or something. Definitely has nothing to do with historical/early Buddhism, nor Theravada

You can read the wiki article here for some more information.
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:05 am

Yes, I have seen him outside monastries before.

Thankyou,

With metta

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-The Buddha
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Tree » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:06 am

Of course attaining enlightenment has nothing to do with BMI levels :)
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:11 am

Yes, but this Buddha is also believed by many to bring luck and wealth which does not sound very Buddhist. It is more about the superstituous beliefs surrounding it.

With metta,

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby alan » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:25 am

It's just a Chinese good luck thing. Business people put them around their establishments, but I don't recall seeing them outside temples.
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby cooran » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:21 am

This might be of interest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai

with metta
Chris
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Future Bhikkhu » Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:27 am

That explained everything.

Thanks

With metta

:anjali:
The mind is everything; what you think you become.
-The Buddha
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Tree » Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:11 am

cooran wrote:This might be of interest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai

with metta
Chris



oooh I like the Thai Version! Phra Sangkachai
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby unspoken » Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:00 pm

This is because when India spread buddhism throughout in China, Chinese people got the concept of boddhisatva. But, they not calling 'budai' boddhisatva but instead they call him a Buddha. It happens so that most of the Buddha's Rupa in China is a little chubby. That is because the statue maker is well influenced by ancient Chinese culture which is - chubby signifies wealthy, healthy and happy.

It's after time passes, most Chinese is getting more superstitious and greedy, they tend to take in ideas such as by rubbing the stomach of the Fat Buddha, you will be rich.
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:46 pm

The wikipedia article says:

"In Thailand, Budai is sometimes confused with another similar monk widely respected in Thailand, Phra Sangkajai or Sangkachai (Thai: พระสังกัจจายน์). Phra Sangkajai, a Thai spelling of Mahakaccayanathera (Thai: มหากัจจายนเถระ), was a Buddhist Arhat (in Sanskrit) or Arahant (in Pali) during the time of the Lord Buddha"

Anyone know who "Mahakaccayanathera" was? I can't find a reference.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Sylvester » Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:36 am

Tree wrote:
cooran wrote:This might be of interest:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai

with metta
Chris



oooh I like the Thai Version! Phra Sangkachai


And it might interest you to know that the Thai lore of Phra Sangkachai is not really to be found in the Pali Canon or its Commentaries.

It's commonly believed in Thailand that Ven Mahakaccayana/Mahakaccana transformed himself into an ugly persona on account of either -

1. not wishing to resemble the Buddha; or
2. to spare the ladies from being distracted by his good looks.

I could not locate either account in the traditional Theravadin sources, but there is a Sarvastivadin account (can't remember the name now) that says that Mahakatyayana (Skt name) transformed himself on account of being the object of Sorreya's lust. The Sorreya story is in the Dhammapada Commentary. I think story #2 in Thailand was likely from this Sarvastivadin influence, but the Thais reduced its scandal quotient by changing the gender of the monk's admirer.
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby kirk5a » Sat Jan 29, 2011 4:34 pm

Thanks Sylvester. Have you considered adding that information to the Wikipedia article?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:02 am

Greetings,

Tree wrote:Of course attaining enlightenment has nothing to do with BMI levels :)

True, though I often wondered about Hotei/Budai's "sense restraint" 8-)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Fat Buddha

Postby Sylvester » Sun Jan 30, 2011 4:38 am

kirk5a wrote:Thanks Sylvester. Have you considered adding that information to the Wikipedia article?



Not until I find the exact Sarvastivada text that supplied the Ven's transformation story.

But I'd be careful about suggesting that the Thais borrowed from a Sarva source and gave Sorreya a 3rd sex change.
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