The Meaning of Happy Buddha (excerpt
from The Art of Living)
The content of the Buddha's teachings is infinitely
profound and vast; one is unable to speak of it all, for the essence
of it is unfathomable. Understanding it can bring great help to our
living, work and interacting with all people, matters and affairs.
Buddhism truly surpasses the boundaries of nationality, race and religion
- it encompasses everything. The Buddha's teaching is truly a perfectly
One who wishes to
become a student of the Buddha should first learn from Maitreya
Bodhisattva, better known in America as "The Happy Buddha."
Maitreya Bodhisattva represents the most basic conditions
necessary to become a Buddhist - a smiling face and a big
heart, represented by his big belly. All the Buddha images
serve to remind us of the teachings and are not idols or gods
of worship. "The Happy Buddha" teaches us to give
rise to a non-discriminating mind and to be happy; thus being
able to enter the Buddha Way.