Obsidian Eagle's Blasphemous Bazaar - avant-garde poetics, indie publishing, nom-de-plume

Obsidian Eagle's

Blasphemous Bazaar

META-Poems For A New Millennium

<br>META-Poems For A New Millennium<br><br>

The Flagship of Anti-Poetry — est. 2010

Pot-Bellied Buddhas (Mythic May Vol. 5)

Pot-Bellied Buddhas

Buddhism remains relatively new in North America and Europe.
It's also been largely misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

For one thing, people have come to confuse Budai with the Buddha.

What's the difference you ask? Well, Budai was a fat Chinese monk whom we're told used to travel the countryside carrying a sack full of sustenance (similar to Santa Claus).

In other words, he wasn't the same as Siddhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha from ancient India.

The causes of this commonplace misconception aren't complicated:
As Christ is an honorary title meaning "Anointed One", so does Buddha mean, "Awakened One". 

Said title has been given to many monks after the original Shakyamuni.

Some believe Budai (Hotei in Japanese) was an incarnation of future Buddha Maitreya. However, that's beside the point, since Siddhartha Gautama preceded him nonetheless.

Therefore, people who rub Budai's belly for good luck are merely indulging in an ignorant superstition that has at best, only a tenuous semantic connection to its source!

Images (from top to bottom-right):  Laughing Budai Maitreya — circa 10th Century CE, Gandharan Buddha — circa 1st Century CE & Emaciated Buddha (Sikri Stupa) — circa 1st Century BCE.

Further Reading: Past Issues of Mythic May

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