Ho Tai Statues for Wealth and Prosperity
Posted by kaviiks on October 6, 2008
Ho Tai, also known as Ho Tei in Japan or the Laughing Buddha (Happy Buddha), is not to be mistaken with Siddharta Gautama Buddha “the enlightened one”, the original Buddha who started Buddhism. Ho Tai or popularly known as the Laughing Buddha referenced a jolly Chinese Buddhist monk named Budaishi who was said to have lived over one thousand years ago and who has been incorporated into the Shinto Buddhism in Japan. Historical records highlight him as a jolly fat monk who always carried a bag full of candies to please the children and credits him as the God of Contentment and Happiness. In Japan, he is seen as one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, an incarnation of Maitreya (the Future Buddha).
Ho Tai is important in the practice of Feng Shui and he is thought to direct positive energy flow. Businesses usually display a form of the Happy Buddha with his fat belly to improve sales and usher in good fortune. It is said that rubbing the belly of the Laughing Buddha will render one wealth and prosperity. Others suggest that his rather rotund and heavy belly is a symbol for a bountiful harvest. Sculptures of the Laughing Buddha (also known as Fat Buddha) or Ho Tai usually depict the monk surrounded by children capturing the monk’s intense love for children. The Laughing Buddha is also seen with a Chinese fan known as an “oogi” which was used by Chinese royalty to beckon the granting of the wishes of their subjects. The Laughing Buddha is notably seen in
a variety of poses that procure meaning and many images of him in seated, sleeping, dancing and walking forms have been recorded. Ho Tai is also shown with a begging bowl that represents affirmation to his Buddhist faith and is always seen carrying a cloth or linen sack which is never empty. The idea of the Laughing Buddha with a happy and jolly smile as well as a round full belly highlights Ho Tai Buddha’s desire to take pain away from those who believe in him leaving them with wealth and prosperity. Many Feng Shui believers may keep a statue of the Happy Buddha or Ho Tai in their premises with the hope that he will usher in wealth and prosperity into their households or business establishments while taking away any form of misfortune and bad luck that might prevail.
Written by Romilla D. for Kaviik’s Accents
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