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

VitalOne

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

...You asked
 
Sorry - should have added: this is a form of cultural variation linked to aesthetics. I have a slim Buddha - probably his hemp period.
 
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????

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


Thanks
 
Changes in morphology of material fetish can be mapped and indexed against cultural trends.
 
...over the years, Jesus has been depicted as White, Brown and Black...History is by those who write it....
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
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......
 
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.
 
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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