Gifting Buddha Statues to Non- Buddhists : Is that okay?

Generally, is it acceptable to give Buddha statues as gifts to non-Buddhists? Buddhism is a non-theistic philosophy. The thing you should consider is that it will not create any unnecessary conflicts on the ones who are receiving such as your friends, relatives or colleagues. It will be better if you are open to them and share with them some of your understanding so they can appreciate your gift and understand the meaning of the gifts you give. 

Here are the meanings behind the Buddha statues: 

In Buddhism, Buddhists do not necessarily visit temples on a regular basis. They can do so during holidays or when they are on retreat from their busy lives. This is the reason why there are people who have Buddha statues at home on the altars, meditation rooms or in their backyards. 

Having a Buddha statue adds strong value for followers and non-followers in their beliefs of the teachings by Buddha. This teaching is able to help them during their tough times and bring back clarity to their minds. 

Many people love doing meditation before the Buddha statue. They kneel or sit and recite their desired mantras in front of the Buddha statue.

Some people tend to visit their own altar or sanctuary at home so that they can free themselves from unnecessary fears, thoughts or difficulties. That is their perfect time and place where they have a conversation with themselves. This is the time where they let loose all the things that are holding them back behind. 

With the presence of the Buddha statue, it somehow becomes easier for people to understand. Especially for kids, we can educate them on the principle of guiding from an early stage and instil in them the positive qualities to help them in their journey of adulthood. 

When they are guests visiting our home, we can call them for a walk around our backyard or garden where the Buddha statue is positioned or visit our rooms as well. From here, conversations regarding the essence of life, freedom and nature of things can spark easily. 

Have you heard of the big belly laughing Buddha statues? 

If you will like to give your friends or relatives a Buddha statue for their birthday but are religious, then you can consider giving them the Budai statue. 

Putai, Budai and Hotei are names used to call the Laughing Buddha. Due to this name, the name Budai is commonly mistaken as Buddha. Budai is a monk who has a happy-go-lucky nature and a humorous personality. He is not a Buddha but he is a monk. 

Therefore, don’t worry about giving this statue to your friends or relatives- just assume it is a statue of any great artist, without worrying of any possible conflicts or misunderstandings. Your friend might get curious and question you like “ The monk follows Buddha’s teaching and is capable of self-control, why does he have a big belly ?”

You can simply answer them this way :

“Great question. His big belly represents the generosity of nature, his kindness and finny personality towards everyone, people from young to old and from Buddhist to non- believers. While he does sometimes drink, he’s indeed an icon for a happy lifestyle doing only good deeds for people.”


Budai is the only statue that is seen to be joyful, smiling and has a happy face. This is to represent his jolly lifestyle and positivity. When people often say, living the life of a monk usually requires discipline and strict behaviour, this leads to a very dull life. 

When you are happy on the inside, it automatically shows through your appearance as well. You can still eat vegan food, meditate and follow the Buddha’s teaching and at the same time lead a meaningful life. The Laughing Buddha is one of the best examples of this idea. Many people feel very happy and get their spirits lifted just by looking at the figure. If you like this statue, there are some options here for you to look at.

But hold on, take a look at these cute ones too:

The cute Buddha or also known as the baby monk statues are the “smaller visions” of the Buddha statue. These statues have adorable appearances and are too cute to resist these little statues. 

Hence, they make great gifts for your friends, whether they are religious or not. These statues are usually small in size and come in a package with a box slightly larger. Your friends can place these statues on their office desk, dining table, in the bedroom or on the kitchen table. 

Does a Buddha statue bring good luck?

The Buddha statue alone cannot change your destiny. The palm of your hands will decide your destiny.

You can simply Buddha’s teaching when you are stuck in rough times. It is your confidence and determination that could bring you more luck. To increase your chances of gaining more luck.


If it weren’t for the Buddha statue, what else should I give them? 

If you’re planning to offer them a huge Buddha statue, you probably need a pedestal as well. Getting smaller statues are smaller, which will be more convenient as they will place the statues inside their home. 

If your friend is into meditation, try getting them a mat or a bell. The use of this bell is to help our “unfocused mind” not wander around and pay full focus on the present moment. 

Giving them books on Buddhism may also be a great idea. As your friends are non-Buddhist, don’t choose any books that are too much on Buddhism. That might not interest them to read the book. Peaceful reads will be the best choice.