The skinny depiction is, in fact, Gautama SiddhÄrtha. This is who is referred to when using the name Buddha. After renouncing his wealth and living as an ascetic, he reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree and realized the truth of the middle path.
The “fat Buddha” is generally a depiction of the Chinese monk Budai (Hotei in Japanese), who in turn is regarded as an incarnation of Maitreya, the future Buddha. Budai wandered the Chinese country side helping other around 950 A.D. He is also referred to as the “Laughing Buddha” for his jovial appearance. This version is considered the Chinese god of good luck and fortune.
For Fedex..would that be the blond haired blue eyed jesus?
You need to understand that Buddha is not a person, god or Deity. Buddha is a title that Means enlightened one. There has been several Buddhas in the past or rather people who have claimed to have achieved the status of Buddha. Some where fat and some where skinny. So on and so forth.
I am a Mahayana Buddhist. I have not studied the other two sects of Buddhism. They may differ in explanation but this is what I have been taught and choose to believe.
Theravada Buddhism revere only the Historical Buddha, and do not pay homage to the numerous Buddha and Bodhisattva venerated by Mahayana followers.
Other statues and a better explanation of Buddhist statues is on this link.
The fat statue is of a person called Pu Tai, i believe, and is neither the Buddha, nor Buddhist.
According to the Dhammapada, monks are slim (due to eating only one meal a day, before noon).
“The person who wears a robe made of rags, who is lean, with veins showing all over the body, and who meditates alone in the forest – him do I call a holy man”.
Dhammapada verse 395.
Buddha is actually the name of 2nd level deities in Buddhism. There are actually a lot of buddhas. I don’t’ know where people got the idea that buddha is like “God” in Christianity. The “God” in buddhism is actually not called buddha. I have never seen a proper translation in English for it. buddhas are the 2nd in command. Then there are other lesser gods that are one scale under the buddhas.
Here, this explains it:
It basically comes down to a lost in translation thing, the big guy has nothing to do with the Buddha, they just happened to look similar (minus the weight obviously), and represent similar things so the stigma attached itself.
Buddha isn’t one person from history but yet many who have reached the state of enlightenment. Once a Buddhist reaches that state, they do not have to be reincarnated and cease to exists in the circle of life. Their are several interpretations of Buddhism as well which will affect the nature of the answer to this question. Buddha was not the creator of life but rather a master of his own journey and an example of how to escape the suffering of life through meditation and strong disipline. Buddhism in philosophy and practice has as many faces as their are paths to enlightenment.
Fat, laughing Buddha is said to be a metaphor for finding the good in life, though some will say he is “post-enlightenment.” However, when I studied Buddhism, it seemed to me he came about as a direct result of people saying that Buddha was “bitter,” and that Buddhism talked about “suffering too much.”
I personally don’t much care for the laughing Buddha, as the real Buddha practiced the Middle Path in all areas of life.
The fat happy buddha is the buddha siddharta guatama post-enlightenment (he has reached a state of perfect contentment), whereas the serious one is the buddha on his path to enlightenment, trying and failing different methods, for example when he is claimed to have lived a minimalist life living off one grain of rice per day for several years.