The Fat Buddha is believed to be a historical figure, a Chinese Zen Buddhist monk named Qieci who lived almost 1,000 years ago during the end of Liang Dynasty. In China he was known as Budai, which means cloth bag, named after the bag he always carried. He was a generous man who devoted his entire life in helping others, and is portrayed as a fat, bald man donning monks clothing, with a huge bulging belly, and wearing or holding a beads necklace.
Fat Buddha represents health, prosperity, happiness, and good fortune. These statues take several forms, and can communicate different meanings based on the symbolic meaning of the several objects he is possessing.
Best identified by his projected belly and ever green grin, the happy Buddha provides with several Feng Shui benefits for your home. Known by several names i.e. Ho Tei, Hotai, laughing Buddha and Happy Buddha, he is a symbol of prosperity, good fortune and contentment.
Feng Shui Buddha is often witnessed with a large sack. This sack is filled with blessings. It contains many valuables which he distributes open heartedly. The sack is the symbol of wealth, and the fulfillment of wishes. Budai holds a bowl above his head to get abundance from the heavens. The wish-giving fan represents joy. Budai waves the fan to drive away troubles. The Wu-Lou gourd, or gourd of enlightenment displays the joy of youth for long life. The wealth ball represents a pearl. It is a symbol of the biggest treasure of all, wisdom.
Feng Shui experts recommend that placing the Buddha in the living room or family room is of utmost benefit. The laughing Buddha should be placed facing the main door to the home. This way it will channel good fortune while direct misfortune out the door. This is also a nice area to enable the laughing Buddha to soak negative chi and vibrate auspicious energy. Don't place him in the bathroom it will flush your wealth down the toilet!
The Feng Shui Buddha’s image is a constant fixture in homes in the entire China and you will not find a single Chinese restaurant where a Feng Shui Buddha statue is not prominently displayed. His fat belly is rubbed for "good luck" and is believed to grant wishes to those looking for prosperity. It's said that the larger the Feng Shui Buddha’s belly, the more prominently the wish will be fulfilled. The delightful image of the laughing Buddha will bring positive and strong energy to a room.
The laughing Buddha is also considered as one of the remedies of the Three Killings in addition to the dragon turtle and the Three Chi Lins. The three killings are 'financial loss, accident, and illness' that are considered to effuse from a few of the areas in the home that changes annually. In 2010, they were found in the North. This year they are located in the West.
It's necessary to remember that Feng Shui practices should be filtered through your own personal choice and disposition. Placing an object in your home strictly based on the advice of others is not that effective in offering you the benefits you seek. Only when you find a relation with the laughing Buddha's infectious grin and jolly disposition - the Feng Shui Buddha will benefit you.