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...
HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR FACULTIES
The Buddha was talking with Uttara, a young pupil of the bhramin Parasariya: -Uttara, does Parasariya teach you how to develop your faculties? -Yes, Master Gotama, he does teach us how to develop our faculties -How does he do this? -We are taught not to see material forms with the eye nor to hear sounds with the ear. That is how to develop the faculties. -But in that case, Uttara, the blind and the deaf must be in total development of their faculties, for the blind does not see and the deaf does not hear. Uttara was silent. -Well, Uttara, Parasariya teaches you one way and here we teach a different way. Let me tell you what we teach. When a monk sees a form with the eye, usually a feeling of liking and disliking come into being. The monk then understand that liking or disliking has arisen but that either one is not inevitable but is conditioned and dependent on causes. So he heads for a state in which there is equanimity and finds that in so doing the liking and disliking has vanished and he sees things as they are. That is how he develop his faculties. That is what we teach.
From "Majjhima Nikaya" of the Buddha
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