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.