By Amy Underdown, London, UK
Some people (wrongly!) believe that buying a Buddha statue for yourself can bring bad luck. Perhaps the fact this misconception exists shouldn’t be surprising, given that Buddha statues can bring powerful energies into the home. However, these strong influences from Buddha statues are positive, meaning there is no such thing as bad luck from buying a Buddha statue for yourself. In fact, it is actually encouraged.
There is a strong association in Buddhism with selflessness and generosity, meaning that the value in gifting a Buddha statue to another can often steal the headlines. However, there are no teachings to say that the positives of gifting a Buddha statue to another are somehow removed when buying one for yourself.
One thing to look out for is that different Buddha statues can represent different things, so if you are looking for something in particular, it is worth considering what the particular style of Buddha statue you are after symbolises and communicates. This is usually discovered through the different body and hand positions of the statue itself. If it is good luck that you seek, for example, the Laughing Buddha would be a good place to start. The Laughing Buddha (which actually depicts the Budai, a Chinese monk, rather than Siddhartha Gautama himself) is a widely recognised symbol in Buddhism and beyond – in fact, you’ve probably seen this kind of statue in many places before. The statue shows the Budai in a seated position with his head thrown back in laughter. Legend has it that if you bring one of these statues into your home and rub his belly, the statue will bring you great luck and prosperity.
There are also lots of other types of Buddha statue, which can do anything from inspire confidence and general positivity, through to offering deep, spiritual guidance in meditation and stricter religious practices. It is worth noting, though, that if you decide to go with one of these other types of statues, it’s positioning in the home can bring you different forms of good luck. For example, if it is good luck at work that you are hoping to inspire, you could place your Buddha statue in your home office.
The placement of Buddha statues, as well as how it is that you treat and clean them in general, has a big impact on the luck that they can bring into the home. Whilst it is never bad luck to buy a Buddha statue for yourself, it is bad luck to treat your Buddha statue improperly. Not to worry – there are very simple rules to follow in order to avoid this kind of bad luck. The general manifesto to follow is to treat your Buddha statue like a renowned guest. This means not placing it in a bathroom or walkway, and not having it below eye-level. There are also basics like keeping it dust-free and not having it face a wall.
Other concerns around the aura of Buddha statues often come from non-Buddhists wondering whether they, too, can have a Buddha statue. We’ve got a more in-depth article on this here, Can a Non-Buddhist Have a Buddha Statue, but the simple answer is that of course a non-Buddhist can have a Buddha statue. Buddhism is a very open and approachable philosophy and guide to life, having been interpreted in many different ways through centuries. It’s core values of empathy and selflessness are ones which resonate with individuals across the globe, with many admiring the Four Noble Truths which are central to its teachings.
This embracing of Buddhist teachings is what makes it such good luck to bring a statue into your home – far from the opposite. Whilst it’s definitely worth doing your research to know exactly what it is that your statue can do for you (not least so that you can make the most out of its presence), there is no such thing as bad luck from buying a Buddha statue for yourself, so long as you keep it clean and treat it with its due respect.