The Buddha was never fat so where did that idea come from?

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by VitalOne, Feb 4, 2007.

  1. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    Gautama Buddha or "The Buddha" was never fat according to the Pali canons (Digha Nikaya), he was described as being athletically fit his entire life, about 6'1" tall, possessing a strong build, athletic, etc....so what happened that caused him to be depicted as fat????
     
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  3. orcot Valued Senior Member

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    His fat stomach, symbolizes the largeness of his soul. It is also a symbol of happiness, luck, and generosity.

    ...You asked
     
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  5. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Mickey Mouse has changed shape and features over the years - ditto Buddha.
     
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  7. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Sorry - should have added: this is a form of cultural variation linked to aesthetics. I have a slim Buddha - probably his hemp period.
     
  8. tablariddim forexU2 Valued Senior Member

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    Fat Buddha symbolises hapiness. There are loads of Buddha depictions.
     
  9. orcot Valued Senior Member

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  10. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

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    the fat buddha may not be Gautama Buddha.
     
  11. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    ok...but does anyone really know where that idea originated? Most people today probably think that Gautama Buddha or the founder of Buddhism "The Buddha" was a fat bald guy....
     
  12. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Feb 7, 2007
  13. Rick Valued Senior Member

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    Fat Buddha is depiction of fullness, satisfaction within a spiritual being, its not to be taken on face value.


    Thanks
     
  14. hh_fanny Registered Member

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    Fatt men are sexy, even Budda has to get laid (layed??)
     
  15. everneo Re-searcher Registered Senior Member

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    Buddha conquered desire.
     
  16. smile_on_a_rainyday Registered Senior Member

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    things change!

    look at santa...he used to be green!
     
  17. zenbabelfish autonomous hyperreal sophist Registered Senior Member

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    Changes in morphology of material fetish can be mapped and indexed against cultural trends.
     
  18. kmguru Staff Member

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    ...over the years, Jesus has been depicted as White, Brown and Black...History is by those who write it....
     
  19. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Besides in early buddhism it was not practiced to depict Gautama Buddha in any way, because he was beyond material form, so no-one really knows how his body looked like.
     
  20. embee Registered Member

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    The fat guy is actually a different incarnation of Buddha than the Siddhartha Gautama of history. Some Buddhists believe that, in the distant future, Buddha will come back to earth in this form (known by the name Maitreya) as a messiah of sorts. He is supposed to bring with him a new era of happiness and enlightenment, which is presumably what his big gut and smiley face is meant to represent.
     
  21. VitalOne Banned Banned

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    Do you have any links or references about this? I know Buddhism art started late....but in the pali canons it describes Gautama Buddha's physical characteristics in detail......
     
  22. Avatar smoking revolver Valued Senior Member

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    Sorry, poor choice of words, by depiction I ment art - visual depiction.
    Don't have a link, I think I read that in "Oriental Mythology" by Joseph Campbell, but I am not sure, it might have been some other book.
     
  23. seekeroftheway Let go your conscious self... Registered Senior Member

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    I am in concurrence with Embee. Buddhist prophesy has it that at some point in the future, the perfected, enlightened Buddha will return to Earth, fat, happy, and surrounded by children.

    Also with several people who have posted here, eastern culture equates a big belly with compassion, the same way we do with the heart. Having a big heart in the west means you are compassionate, in the east, having a big belly means you are compassionate or good. Minor piece of symbolism.
     

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