Ethnic Exchange

Buddha Statues

Buddha statues have become a symbol of peace, tranquility and serenity. Many people express that they are soothed in the presence of a Buddha Statues. The various poses of buddha statues generally convey different symbolism and meaning with varying hand gestures, expressions and attitudes.

Why are some Buddha statues skinny and others Rotund?

The Buddha was a spiritual teacher named Siddhartha Gautama from the northern region of India who lived 2600 years ago. His collective teachings became the foundation of Buddhism. The skinny statues represent this teacher. The term Buddha is also used to describe a person who has attained enlightenment through practice. Statues of a fat Buddha represent an eccentric monk, called Budai, Hotei or Pu-Tai, who lived during the Liang Dynasty, who has become associated with luck and good fortune in many Asian cultures. He is usually depicted as smiling or laughing, earning him the name "the Laughing Buddha."

Protection - Raised right hand

Buddha statues with the raised right hand symbolises protection. The raised hand acts as a shield, protecting people from fear, anger, and delusions. The left hand is generally seen either extended in front or placed on the lap, palms upward.

Calming and Serenity - Meditation

Buddha statues symbolizing serenity, portrays the Buddha deep in meditation, face forward, eyes closed, hands in the lap and sitting in a lotus position (double lotus pose - both legs tucked under each other or single lotus pose - one leg placed over the other). This is generally used to develop serenity zones as the statue has a calming effect on people and helps in meditation.

Luck and Prosperity - Laughing Buddha

The laughing Buddha statues symbolize luck, abundance and prosperity. There are various poses with the Buddha sitting and laughing or standing with hands over his head. Others feature him with children at his feet. Affectionately dubbed as Happy, it is customary to rub his belly for good luck.


The Buddha depicting enlightement sits in a lotus pose, with the left hand on the lap, and the right hand pointing downwards, fingers drawing slightly inwards. 'To attain supreme wisdom by understanding the divine truth of life' is the essence of enlightenment in Buddhism. It is a state of perfect knowledge or wisdom, combined with infinite compassion.

Spiritual Path

Buddhism aims to be a path that leads to enlightenment (Nirvana). Buddha statues symbolizing spiritual path has the buddha sitting with both hands held at chest level, one with the index and thumb closed in a circle. It is propitious, i.e. presents favorable conditions for those who seek success in education or those who wish to take a spiritual path.


The Buddha symbolizing nirvana, is presented reclining, head resting on his palms, on his right side. This pose symbolizes his final life, the moment just before he finally achieved Nirvana through his enlightenment thereby escaping from the endless cycle of Death and Rebirth (Samsara).

Feng Shui: Symbolisms of Buddha Statues

In feng shui, Buddha statues are used to assist the chi energy move throughout your home and garden space. The following are some guidelines for the placement of Buddha statues:

  • Facing the main door: Feng shui consultants often recommend placing the Buddha opposite the main front door of a home on a table that is about thirty inches high. This location allows Buddha to interact with the chi energy entering your home. The statue neutralizes any negative chi, and transforms it from damaging to very lucky energy.
  • On a desk: Placing the Buddha on your desk helps to enlist a little help with lessons and evokes positive energy for fulfilling academic goals.
  • Offices: For businesses, placing Buddha on a reception's desk can help bring prosperity to your company.
  • Meditation garden: This is an ideal area for a Buddha statue. One of the most popular poses is the Meditation Buddha.
  • Yoga room: For yoga practitioners, the area where you practice is an excellent place for a Buddha statue. Be sure to place it eye level or higher.