Budai, Hotei or Pu-Tai is a semi-historical Chinese monk who is venerated as deity in Chinese Buddhism and was also introduced into the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. He allegedly lived around the 10th century in the Wuyue kingdom. His name literally means "Cloth Sack", and refers to the bag that he is conventionally depicted as carrying as he wanders aimlessly. His jolly nature, humorous personality, and eccentric lifestyle distinguishes him from most Buddhist masters or figures. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, hence his nickname in Chinese, the "Laughing Buddha". The main textual evidence pointing to Budai resides in a collection of Zen Buddhist monks’ biographies known as the "Jingde Chuandeng Lu", also known as The Transmission of the Lamp.
The Tang dynasty, or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907 AD.
Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture.
From the outset, religion played a role in Tang politics. In his bid for power, Li Yuan had attracted a following by claiming descent from the Taoism sage Lao Tzu.
People bidding for office would request the prayers of .
Gautama Buddha was an ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE. He was the founder of Buddhism and is revered by Buddhists as an Enlightened being whose teachings sought a path to freedom from ignorance, craving, rebirth and suffering.
Born in Lumbini in the Newar clan of the Shakya, he spent the majority of his adult life in modern day Nepal and India, .
Maitreya is also known as Metteyya who is presented as a future Buddha of this world in Buddhist eschatology. In some Buddhist literature, such as the AmitabhaSutra and the Lotus Sutra, Maitreya is referred to as Ajita Bodhisattva. Maitreya is a bodhisattva who in the Buddhist tradition is to appear on Earth, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma.
According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor of the historic Sakyamuni Buddha, the .