The Happy Buddha, with a huge smile on his face and a large round belly, shows us the joy and the best of being who we really are.   No matter what the situation or circumstance is, he is always smiling.  He reminds us to smile and assure us that life is easy when seen from within. His large round belly symbolizes a good life and his very generous nature in  giving   joy and happiness.   

The Happy Buddha, also known as The Laughing Buddha, is a popular symbol of good fortune and the bringer of happiness.  The following are  some of his popular images:

—  A  Seated Happy Buddha:   He wishes you a lifetime of smiles and abundant joy and happiness.

—   Happy Buddha Standing and Holding Symbols of Good Fortune:  He wishes you good fortune, happiness and long life.

— Happy Buddha Carrying a Big  Sack:  He uses the mysterious sack to collect your problems and  unhappiness, and exchanges them with  the  remedies, cures and  blessings.

— Happy Buddha  Carrying a Gold Bag:  He wishes you a money bag full of good luck and fortune.  It symbolizes wealth and financial success.

— Happy Buddha Surrounded by Small Child(ren):  The small child(ren)  symbolizes abundance from heaven and eternal youth.  They wish you  a happy family with a great deal of success and prosperity.

The Chinese love the Happy Buddha, who many regard as the Buddha of the Future, known to other Buddhists as Maitreya.  He is also descirbed as a Chan Buddhist Monk who lived in China over a thousand years ago.  Tradition describes him as a man of loving character.  He has a large belly and a big smile, so many nicknamed him then as the Laughing Buddha, or the Happy Buddha.

Over time, his image came to be viewed as signifying happiness, good fortune, fulfillment, prosperity and wealth.  The Chinese call The Happy Buddha  as “Me Lo Fo” and depict him in many different styles, as mentioned above.  But three features of the Happy Buddha never change:  his big broad smile signifying happiness, his big belly signifying wealth, and his big bag signifying other people’s worries that he takes on.

The act of smiling automatically causes you to relax, to soften your facial features and eventually to release all tension within you.  It is the best antidote to the rise of worry, to anger and to people aggravating you.  When you have health problems, it is usually caused by a build up of anger and tension over the years.  So consciously creating the habit of smiling to destress benefits your health greatly.  Actually  it is the best anti-aging exercise ever.

Nothing works better than by imitating the big broad smile of the Happy Buddha.  Just by looking at his face creates an ambience of happiness.  This is because that kind of smile is always infectious.  So, It is extremely benficial to invite the Happy Buddha into the home.  Place him in a prominent place so that you are inspired each time to smile along with him.  Think of the happiness associated with him.  Then follow the popular folklores and rub his fat belly to create good luck and prosperity.

Those in business can place an image of the Happy Buddha at their cashier counters, reception desks, entry foyers or lobbies of offices.  In Asia many hotels and restaurants have invited the Happy Buddha to grace their premises, thus improving their business.  In such instances, select one carrying wealth symbols like ingots, pots of gold, treasure bag and even real money so that the Chi of abundance, wealth and happiness luck gets created.

Perhaps the Happy Buddha is the most popular Buddha because his big contagious smile makes everyone feel good.  So, display an image of the Happy Buddha on your desk at work or in your dining or living room at home.  He will bring a smile to your face every time you look at him, and attract happiness into your life at the same time.   But most of all, remember to smile and laugh along with the Happy Buddha.