Greetings to everybody,

Laughing Buddha Restaurant sign

According to the image above, what do you think from your point of view? Is this disrespectful since The Laughing Buddha is being used for a branding?

  • 2
    Welcome to the site. To fit the Moderation policies for Questions, please try to phrase question to avoid asking "polling questions". For example instead of asking, "what do you think?", you should ask something more like, "what do scriptures say?", or "how can I solve the following problem?" or "what's the custom in such-and-such a society?".
    – ChrisW
    May 12, 2016 at 11:12
  • This is really more a matter of opinion and I'm certaintly not an expert when it comes to Buddhism, but I can see how one may be offended by this. I don't however think that it was intensional for this to offend people. I also recall hearing -and maybe this is only certant Buddhist sects- that karma is based on intensions, so, while it is pushing the envelope a bit, so long as its not with any disrespect in mind, it technicall is OK, although not encourageable. May 16, 2016 at 23:27
  • @MorellaAlmann I don't know of anyone or any sect who thinks karma is not based on intention. Else the murderer and the surgeon who loses a patient will both carry the same karma.
    – Buddho
    May 25, 2016 at 5:44

5 Answers 5


Intentions matter.

Only people and cultures take offense. The Dharma doesn't take offense. Awakened ones who have gone forth to become the Dharma can't take offense.

In certain strictly Buddhist cultures such as Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand and Tibet, I'd expect to see a strong reaction, including jail time. In non-Buddhist cultures, it won't matter to the majority who are ignorant of the implications.

A sincere adept of Dharma can even use this insult as a stepping stone, and inquire into what in him takes offense and let go of that identity.

Karma results from volition. Someone seeking to cause injury to Buddhists would definitely be falling afoul of good intentions, and thus cause consequent karma to occur.

The act isn't the problem, it is the intention behind it.


that one is a joyful goddess (sorry I don't know how to type his name in english ) he always has a happy smile and laugh.i think they shouldn't put that name... the owner might not mean to disrespect but they just thinkless and too playful


Why worry about whether or not it is disrespectful? What it is is a drawing, in your own mind you can think of it as disrespectful and become stressed by this, or you can look at it as a cool logo and laugh about it.

Which path leads to happiness?


Enough, Vakkali! What is there to see in this vile body? He who sees Dhamma, Vakkali, sees me; he who sees me sees Dhamma. Truly seeing Dhamma, one sees me; seeing me one sees Dhamma.

Vakkali Sutta


Yes, it is disrespectful and bad Karma for the owner and those who endorse such things.

  • 1
    I just searched that actually The Laughing Buddha is not literally a Buddha. He's called Budai, was an eccentric Chan monk who lived in China during the Later Liang (907–923). He was a native of Zhejiang and his Buddhist name was Qieci. He was considered a man of good and loving character. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Budai May 12, 2016 at 4:20
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    It is wrong to use the term "Laughing Buddha", even if it refers to a Chinese monk. May 12, 2016 at 4:28
  • Just to complicate things in Chinese Mahayana Buddhism, Budai IS an incarnation of the Future Buddha Maitreya. He's there so you don't judge a Buddha by his appearance.
    – Yinxu
    May 12, 2016 at 5:19
  • And yes 笑佛 or "Laughing Buddha" is a common Chinese name for the Maitreya Bodhisattva.
    – Yinxu
    May 12, 2016 at 5:21
  • Budai that I refer to was a native of Zhejiang and his Buddhist name was Qieci (契此). Is Qieci (契此) the future Buddha Maitreya? But he passed a long time ago. May 12, 2016 at 6:19

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