Happy Buddha (Sandstone Finish)
Hotei or Budai (Happy Buddha). His name means “cloth sack,” and comes from the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying. Hotei is the Buddha of contentment and happiness, guardian of children, and patron of bartenders. He has a cheerful face and a big belly. Happy Buddha in folklore is admired for his happiness, plenitude, and wisdom of contentment. One belief popular in folklore maintains that rubbing his belly brings wealth, good luck, and prosperity.
The main textual evidence pointing to Budai resides in a collection of Zen Buddhist monks’ biographies known as the "Jingde Chuandeng Lu", also known as The Transmission of the Lamp. Budai has origins centered around cult worship and local legend. He is traditionally depicted as a fat, bald monk wearing a simple robe. He carries his few possessions in a cloth sack, being poor but content. He would excitingly entertain the adoring children that followed him and was known for patting his large belly happily. His figure appears throughout Chinese culture as a representation of both contentment and abundance.
"Budai attracted the townspeople around him as he was able to predict people’s fortunes and even weather patterns. The wandering monk was often inclined to sleep anywhere he came to, even outside, for his mystical powers could ward off the bitter colds of snow and his body was left unaffected. A recovered death note dated to 916 A.D., which the monk himself wrote, claims that he is an incarnation of the Maitreya, The Buddha of the Future.