Anyone walking about Chinatowns in America with observe statues of a stout fellow carrying a linen sack. Chinese merchants call him Happy Chinaman or Laughing Buddha.
This Hotei lived in the T'ang dynasty. He had no desire to call himself...
One day, Mara, the Buddhist lord of ignorance and evil, was traveling
through the villages of India with his attendants. He saw a man
doing walking meditation whose face was lit up in wonder. The man
had just discovered something on the ground in front of him. Mara’s
attendants asked what it was the man had found and Mara replied,
“He has found a piece of truth.” “Why, Mara, O
evil one, doesn’t this bother you when someone finds a piece
of the truth?” his attendants asked.
“Not at all,” Mara replied. “Because right after
they find it, they usually make a belief out of it.” (Buddhist
story from “Soul Food,” Kornfield and Feldman, p. 227,