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      The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

      The Happy Buddha: Symbolism across Cultures

      The jolly laughing Buddha is based on an eccentric Chinese monk who lived over 1,000 years ago–a benevolent and joyous man who came to be regarded as an incarnation of the bodhisattva Maitreya, the “world teacher”.  The laughing Buddha is known in China as the Loving or Friendly One, and his image graces many temples, restaurants, and amulets as a deity of abundance and contentment. He always has a big and friendly grin, as well as a largely exposed pot belly stomach, which symbolizes good luck, joy, and prosperity. While laughing Buddha consistently has these qualities, there are several different variations to bring an abundance of all kinds into your life.

      As Buddhism has become popular in countries all over the world it remains a predominant spiritual belief in Asia. It is practiced in China, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Japan, and many more countries. Here in the US it is said that Hawaii has the highest population of Buddhists.

      Let's dive into the different forms of Buddha that we see around the world!

       

      The Spiritual Journey Buddha carries a gourd of enlightenment in one hand, a fan in the other, and wears a necklace of prayer beads. The fan is a symbol of happiness and joy used to banish troubles and misfortune, while the prayer beads (also known as mala beads) represent a consistent meditation practice and mindfulness in daily life.

      The Traveling Buddha is ready for adventure and is often toted as a talisman for safety in travel.  There are several variations of this worldly Buddha.  The Traveling Wu Lou Buddha carries with him the gourd of enlightenment, a wealth ball, and a sack which he uses to collect people’s sadness and woes. It is said that the sack, or ‘Hotei’, transmutes all of that negative energy into wealth and good fortune!  The wealth ball is sometimes seen as a pearl and symbolizes the most valuable ‘pearls’ of all treasures: wisdom and health.

      The Traveling Music Buddha is sure to attract new and wonderous experiences and ensures they will be met with as much exuberance as one would have when dancing to their favorite songs.  He also carries a sack for transmuting troubles, wears enlightening mala beads, and carries a small ukulele to bring joy with his beautiful music!

      The Safe Travels Buddha is a protective deity and carries with him his Hotei sack and wealth ball, to bring joy, prosperity, and wisdom in your travels.

       

      The Abundance Buddha and Prosperity Buddha

      While all happy Buddhas bring an abundance of good things, some are specifically focused on attracting a wealth of money, love, and spirit.  The Buddha of prosperity can be sitting or standing; either way, he holds two wealth balls over his head in a victorious stance, ready to WIN at all aspects of life!

      There is another variation of the Buddha of prosperity who carries the Ru-Yi pot of abundance, as well as a talisman to Nepal which attracts wealth and worldly wisdom.

      The Buddha of good health and abundance carries a Ru-Yi pot to attract prosperity, a wealth ball to bring abundance and good health, and he wears prayer beads to maintain a connection to mindfulness and spirituality.  His compatriot, the abundance Buddha holds a Ru-Yi “bowl of plenty” high above his head to attract wealth, health, and wisdom.

      The happy Buddhas are also sometimes meditating or simply sitting and being jolly, to attract luck and prosperity.  It is said that rubbing the belly of Happy Buddha will bring good fortune to you with even more speed and strength!  Try carrying one with you as a lucky talisman or place a few in your home; the bright smile and positive energy attraction of happy Buddha just might bring some surprising goodness your way!

       Mexicali Blues Buddha Backflow Incense Burner

      If you're looking for other home decor items or accessories to bring you the peacefulness that symbol of Buddha carries you can shop the full collection here!

      Elephants: Symbolism Across Cultures

      Elephants: Symbolism Across Cultures

       

      Elephants are regarded as symbols of wisdom and strength across cultures throughout the world. In India and Africa they are symbols of great strength and wisdom. In the Ashanti traditions, elephants are considered to be their past leaders, reincarnated into the stoic and powerful beings. In Buddhism they represent one's inner strength, but perhaps the most well known is the image of the Hindu God, Ganesh. 

       

      Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences, deity of wisdom, and is worshipped in Hinduism as the bringer of auspicious beginnings.

       

      There are a number of legends that describe the birth of Ganesh. He is said to be the son of Lord Shiva, the god of death and destruction. One of the most popular stories of his birth is that he was magically created by Shiva’s wife, the goddess Pavarti. Needing someone to guard her door while Shiva was away in battle, she created her son Ganesh out of clay. Ganesh took his job seriously and he refused to allow anyone to enter his mother’s house.

       

      All was well until the Lord Shiva returned home from war unexpectedly. He was so angry at being stopped at his wife’s door by a stranger that he cut off Ganesh’s head. Pavarti was the only person in the world whom Shiva was afraid of, and she was outraged by what he had done to her son. The God of death and destruction became remorseful, and he promised to make amends. He decided to remove the head of the first animal he could find, and then used this to replace Ganesh’s amputated head. The first animal he came across was an elephant. Ganesh was thus restored to life and rewarded for his courage by being made lord of new beginnings and remover of obstacles.

       

      When we wear or decorate our homes with images of Ganesh, his powerful energy attracts abundance and helps us to be wise and discerning in our decision-making.  He helps us to overcome obstacles through calm determination, and to think big while also recognizing the importance of tending to details.  Overall, he is an auspicious symbol and a powerfully positive deity, and it is no wonder he is one of the most revered in all of Hinduism!

       

      If you're looking for a bit of this strength to bring home check out our Ganesh wall hangings. Don't miss our collection of other elephant inspired items on our online store!

       

      CELEBRATING BUDDHA AROUND THE WORLD: TODAY IS NIRVANA DAY!

      CELEBRATING BUDDHA AROUND THE WORLD: TODAY IS NIRVANA DAY!

      Today our Mahayana Buddhist friends in Tibet, Nepal, India, China, and Japan are observing Parinirvana Day (commonly known as Nirvana Day)—the day the Buddha achieved Parinirvana, or complete Nirvana, through physical death. Nirvana Day doesn’t celebrate the Buddha’s death. It celebrates his entry to Nirvana, breaking the cycle of suffering and rebirth and reaching the […]

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      Asahna Puja: Tomorrow is Dharma Day!

      Asahna Puja: Tomorrow is Dharma Day!

      Asahna Puja (known as Dharma Day), one of Buddhism’s most important festivals, commemorates the first sermon ever given by the Buddha. Under a full moon, the newly enlightened Buddha first taught his followers the four Noble Truths and explained the way to nirvana through the Noble Eightfold Path. Tomorrow’s full moon marks the anniversary of that […]

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      Buddhist Deities Explained: Tara

      Buddhist Deities Explained: Tara

      Tara is the goddess of peace and protection.  She is also known as the “Great Compassionate Mother” and the Buddha of enlightened activity. According to legend, Tara was a spiritual and compassionate princess who would frequently bring offerings and prayers to the nuns and monks in her village.  Impressed by her kindness, the monks told […]

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      Hindu Gods & Goddesses from Buddha to Shiva:  Deities to Bring Positive Energies to Your Life

      Hindu Gods & Goddesses from Buddha to Shiva: Deities to Bring Positive Energies to Your Life

      Bring good vibes and powerful energy to your favorite zen space with our Hindu God batik wall tapestry. Choose from a variety of Buddhist and Hindu deities to attract the energy you need! Which one is your favorite or resonates the most with you? Ganesh: Ganesh is the patron of arts and sciences and god […]

      The post Hindu Gods & Goddesses from Buddha to Shiva: Deities to Bring Positive Energies to Your Life appeared first on Mexicali Blues Blog.

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