Monday, June 28, 2010

Laughing Buddha - Budai

நண்பர் ஒருவர் ஒரு மின் அஞ்சல் அனுப்பியிருந்தார். அதில் சிரிக்கும் புத்தா (Laughing Buddha) / பருமனான புத்தாவின் (Fat Budhdha) புகைப் படத்தினை அனுப்பி, என்னை, மற்றும் பத்து நபர்களுக்கு அனுப்புமாறு எழுதியிருந்தார். நான் மற்றவர் மின் அஞ்சல் தபால் பெட்டியை இந்த செய்தி கொண்டு நிரப்ப மனம் இல்லை. ஆனால் இந்த "Budai" யார். இவருக்கும் கௌதம புத்தருக்கும் என்ன தொடர்பு என்று அறிய ஆவல் கொண்டேன். நான் அறிந்ததை / படித்ததை இங்கே தொகுத்துள்ளேன். இதை நீங்களும் என்னைப்போல் ரசிப்பீர்கள் என்று நினைக்கிறேன்.
In Chinese Budai means “Cloth Sack” and comes from the bag that he carries. He is almost shown smiling or laughing and hence he is “Laughing Buddha” and westerners known him as “Fat Buddha”.  Budai is often confused with the historical Buddha “Sidhdhartha Goutama Buddha”.  The two are visually very different. Budai is short, overweight and smiling always.  He was considered as a man of good and loving character.  One belief popular in folklore maintains that rubbing his belly brings wealth, good luck and prosperity. His identification with Maitreya Bodhisattva is attributed to a Buddist Hymn which he uttered before his death.  
This has been given in Chinese in the following manner which is being incorporated in most of the wooden carvings or bronze idols available.
彌勒真彌勒,化身千百億,時時示時人,時人自不識
Budai is said to travel giving candy to poor children, only asking a penny from Zen Monks or lay practitioners he meets. Life is like a play, we can laugh over it. Relying on the Almighty power, we do our best to play our role, like Maitreya Buddha, who tolerates everything with a radiant heart.
The name Maitreya is taken from the Sanskrit word maitri (Pali, metta), meaning "kindness," "love," "benevolence," "friendship," "friendliness" or "goodwill." Thus Maitreya has been referred to as the "Loving One" or the "Friendly One," the embodiment of all-encompassing love.
Maitreya, also known as the future Buddha, who has still to come, is now thought to be waiting in Tushita Heaven for the right time to come down to earth. Tushita heaven is one of the thirty-three heavens over Mount Meru and is considered the special field of Maitreya. Tibetans believe that if someone makes statues and thangkas of Maitreya Buddha and chants the mantra "The Promise of Maitreya Buddha," that person will be reborn in Tushita Heaven after death.
Tibetan Prayer on Budai
The image is based upon Chang Dingzi (907-1060) a Buddhist monk who was a native of Chekiang Province. He was an itinerant who wandered about at the end of the Tang and beginning of the Wu-Tai Dynasties propagating the Dharma. Though dressed only in thin monk's robes, he could lie on the snow without getting cold and wet, and he also had the ability of foreseeing the future. One story says that he had an eye on his back; perhaps he saw the past, too.
The Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou China has the largest Laughing Buddha in China. It is carved from camphor wood and stands over 60 feet tall, and is gilded with over one hundred ounces of gold leaf.