The Buddha of the Future


Being in Vietnam makes me happy.

Like the Vietnamese I have a great reverence for this fellow – a figure they call Di lac Phat, Maitreya Buddha, the fat, laughing Buddha of the future. In fact, the resemblance between myself and Di Lac Phat has often been commented on, and is, perhaps, a secret to my great popularity in Buddhist monastic circles.

If you’re ever feeling down or depressed or sorry for yourself, I dare you to gaze upon his form for even a moment and not feel slightly amused, slightly more hopeful.

And that is what Di Lac represents – hope for the future, the wealth and abundance of which is made manifest in his bodily form.

He smiles and carries a mysterious sack which most say is filled with gold. In some popular representations he is depicted surrounded by healthy, laughing children, and in others he holds forth a huge gold ingot, making the imagery that little bit more obvious.

He hasn’t arrived yet, but his day is just around the corner.

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