Budai was a historical Chinese monk who was introduced with the popular name, Laughing Buddha because of his jolly nature, always smiling face and fat belly. It is strongly believed that he is oozing of good luck and great fortune and because of his benevolent nature; he came to be regarded as an incarnation of the Boddhisattvas who will be Maittreya (future Buddha). He is available in various postures and each posture holds a significant meaning. With the happy eyes and carefree and charming face, a Laughing Buddha can be an immediate mood lifter and can also take away stress and financial worries.
The sculpture shown here is carved in wood in a realistic posture in a blend of red, yellow, gold and wine shade. Laughing Buddha holds a great significance in feng shui; he stands erect with his hands up and palms facing upward holding a lotus carved bowl and an ingot (ball) in each open palm symbolizing abundance and prosperity. It is said that if you rub his oversized belly, you can be an achiever of good luck. He is garbed in a multi-shaded robe, scored gracefully in a plethora of stylized floral patterns; his robe falls beautifully on his legs from the front in a flower petal style. Entire body is beautifully decorated with large floral golden patches accentuating the elegant and divine carving.
To beautify his work, sculptor has chosen to ornament this sculpture in alluring jewels of Buddha faces- two beaded necklaces having laughing Buddha pendant, robe ornamented with similar kinds of Buddha beads, earrings styled in bearded Buddha heads which complement with the similar heads decorated at the back of his robe along with two semicircular vines loaded with fruits and leaves.
The sculptor’s professional skills and laborious time is enlightened by the way he has highlighted each and every aspect of Buddha’s iconography and the realistic look of his smile.