Buddhism

Feng Shui and Hotei or the Laughing Buddha

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese technique of aesthetics that uses laws of Heaven and Earth for improving life. The term “Feng Shui” literally translates as “wind-water”. It is widely used today is a very modified form not only in China but also in the West and other parts of the world.

Hotei or Budai or Pu-tai, as is known in different cultures, is a deity in Chinese folklore. His image is based on a Zen monk who lived about 1000 years ago in China during the later Liang Dynasty and was known for his kindness and loving nature. Hotei is also seen as a reincarnation of Maitreya ot the Future Buddha because of his nature and also because of a chant that he uttered before his death.

Maitreya, the true Maitreya
has billions of incarnations.
Often he is shown to people at the time;
other times they do not recognize him.

Hotei is very important in Feng Shui and is seen as benefitting business as well as family. It is best places in the West part of the room and never in bathrooms as this this a sign of bad luck.

Image
The general image of Budai is that of a fat bald man with a pot belly wearing a robe in Chinese style and carrying or wearing prayer beads. He carries a begging bowl, indicating his Buddhist nature and life. He is also always seen with a cloth or linen sack which hold his few possesions and items like candy for children, rice plants signifying wealth and abundance, and worries and sadness of people.
Budai is popularly known as Laughing Buddha or Fat Buddha in the West because of this image.

Significance
His image is a picture of abundance. He signifies Buddhist values of contentment, generosity, kindness and love. He is frequenly depicted with children and is known to take away sadness from people.

He is seen as a patron of the poor, weak and children. He is also considered to be the patron saint of restauranteurs , bartenders and fortune tellers.

Chinese I Kuan Tao shrines have Budai as a central figure and stands for contentment, generosity, wisdom and kindheartedness.

Confusions
Budai is sometimes confused with Angida Arhat, who is one of the 18 Buddhist Arhats, and Phra Sangkachai, a revered Thai monk because of similarities in their depictions and qualities attributed.

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