Posted by Rochelle (188.8.131.52) on April 25, 2000 at 13:01:37:
In Reply to: Re: Decorative Buddha statues in the bars and restaurants, should they be there? posted by Sergio on April 25, 2000 at 04:06:05:
The "fat buddha" is Hotei, and he is considered a buddha to the chinese. In China, Hotei is the god of good fortune and the guardian of children. His overly round shape indicates abundance of inner wealth and a joy-filled soul. In fact, he was a real person- Ch'i tz'u, a 10th century Zen monk who wandered throughout China giving generously from his never empty sack. Only at the time of his death did he reveal his true identity as the incarnation of Maitreya, the Buddha of the Future. That is the story as I know it. No, he is not THE Buddha as believed by most westerns, thus the "why do you worship a fat guy?" comments we receive. The real Buddha, especially around the time he became enlightened, was VERY thin. Total opposite. Hotei has become a cultural icon, and has lost alot of his true identity because of this. But Hotei is very much connected to Buddhism.
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