Home Discussion Forum Why is the Buddha depicted as a fat man?

Why is the Buddha depicted as a fat man?

Was he really fat? Or is this just a way of glorifying him?


  1. I think some historical records describe him but I don’t recall that he was fat. Unlike Jesus, there are numerous physical descriptions of the Buddha, suggesting he was a real person.
    You are probably thinking of Chinese statues from a later time.

  2. That’s not Buddha. That’s a Chinese Bodhisattva named Budai. If you’ve seen any depictions of the historical Buddha, you would see that he was not fat.

  3. Probably the same reason Jesus has long hair and wears sandles. No one was around to see Jesus as there is no written documentation of him living – But you still see replica’s of him everyday!! Weird huh!!

  4. Buddha was not fat, he is formed that way by the Buddhist who believes that it represents prosperity, however, Hindus formed him slim, because he represents Vishnu incarnate.

  5. The fat chinese fellow is Hotei, a laughing buddha. He’s a bodhisattva, a person who achieves nirvana but postpones oneness in order to help others find their way. Siddhartha Gautama, the awakened one, considered by many as THE Buddha as opposed to a buddha, is generally portrayed as quite svelte. Hotei is seen as a symbol of plenty and prosperity.


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