A quick PSA, because working in a New Age store I realize a lot of people don’t know this.  Keep in mind this is the simple version.

The fella on the left-hand side, that’s Gautama Buddha, the Buddha, the central figure in Buddhism.  Note that he is not considered a god, but a teacher and spiritual leader, the first to attain Enlightenment in his era.  Note also how thin he is.  This is because the Buddha fasted a lot.  He was born Siddhartha Gautama.  Buddha is a title, and not actually his name.

The fella on the right-hand side is not Buddha.  This is a common misconception in the West.  That is Hotai (or Budai or Hotei depending on the language), a Buddhist monk from China and folkloric hero.  Hotai is thought by many to be a Buddha, but he is not the Buddha.  Unlike Buddha, Hotai actually is revered as a god in Chinese folklore, although not in Buddhist practice.

This post is based on things I’ve been taught by my Buddhist coworker but if I forgot or mixed up something important and you are Buddhist and you notice, please let me know.

This has been an informational post.  Have a nice day.

Thank you for this! Explaining this gets tiring.