Here is my yearly tongue-in-cheek holiday rant about Santa
Claus. Santa Claus is an amalgamation of Pagan lore and Christian legend. On
the Christian side, he is related to Saint Nicholas who was a 4th century
bishop in Turkey. He was known for giving anonymous donations of gold coins to
those in need and he later became a patron saint of children. Santa Claus
later became known for his sack full of toys.
On the other side of the world, a 10th century vagabond in China named
Pu-tai was also known for his jolly demeanor. He in fact became the model for
the Laughing Buddha. His name means Hempen Sack, and in fact he was also
known to carry around a sack from which he would distribute gifts to children.
Pu-tai was known as a Ch'an (Zen) Master and after he died it was believed that
he was an appearance of Bodhisattva Maitreya.
Now, it seems obvious to me that Pu-tai and Santa Claus share many of
the same characteristics, and in Buddhism that means that they are likely
appearances of the same celestial bodhisattva, in this case Maitreya.
Now Maitreya is the future buddha who is waiting in the wings (so to speak)
in the Tushita Heaven. It would appear then that Santa Claus is in fact the
future Buddha and that the North Pole is actually the earthly manifestation of
the Tushita Heaven (which only bodhisattvas and buddhas can see in its true aspect).
And on that note, I will end this with the supreme mantra of generosity
and loving-kindness: Ho Ho Ho! (Which means "Dharma Dharma Dharma!" in