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11. Happy Buddha
12. Buddha Seeking
22. Walk in the Way
23. Namu Amida Butsu
佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism.
Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.
It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.
More about Buddhism
佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.
It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.
It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.
See our Buddhism & Zen page
仏 is the single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.
This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).
仏 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.
佛心 means the mind of Buddha or the spiritually enlightened heart.
The Buddha Heart is one that is detached from good and evil and other such constructs. The Buddha Heart has mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness for all sentient life, the good, the wicked, and all in between.
The heart and mind (心) are the same concept in the ancient Orient, so you can use heart and mind interchangeably in this context.
This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise.
But it's more a chant that means, "May the lord Buddha preserve us!" or "Merciful Buddha!".
阿彌陀佛 is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for, "Amitâbha Buddha".
Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.
念佛 is used primarily in Japanese where it is romanized as nenbutsu.
The meaning is to pray to Buddha, to chant the name of Buddha, or repeat the name of Buddha. This can be an audible or inaudibe chant.
釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.
The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas".
This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama", "Gotama Buddha", "Tathagata", or simply, "The Supreme Buddha".
釋迦牟尼 is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.
Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama".
This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).
Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.
This is how to express "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha" (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).
Some will translate as, "Homage to Amitâbha Buddha" or "I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha".
This is valid in Chinese characters Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji but the version shown here is the most universal.
This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.
釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.
It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.
This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.
This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.
The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.
In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.
Buddha of Joyful Light
見性成仏 or Kenshō Jōbutsu is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.
Kenshō Jōbutsu is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成仏 is probably better translated as "Seeing one’s nature and becoming a Buddha".
南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.
Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.
The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in", or "homage to".
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in", while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.
The way of the truth
見性成佛 is a universal phrase that suggests that one may see one's own nature and accomplish Buddhahood.
見性 suggests penetrating deep inside oneself to finally see one's "Original Mind".
成佛 refers to a sentient being who dispenses with illusions and delusions through ascetic practice, is enlightened to truth, and becomes a Buddha.
見性成佛 is used by Mahayana, Chan, and Zen Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan.
You will also see this with the last character written as 仏 in Japanese. In the religious context, 佛 is commonly used to mean Buddha. If you want the other version, see Kenshō Jōbutsu 見性成仏
仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism in Japanese.
Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.
Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.
仏 is also a rare form of Buddha Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.
佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism.
It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings". 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.
達摩 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Dharma (a short name for Bodhidharma).
He's known in Chinese as Damo, and in Japanese as Daruma.
Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as versus . If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.
菩薩 is the title of a deity in Buddhism that exists to help you reach enlightenment.
In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.
This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others, and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.
See Also: Namo Amitabha
The Bodhi or 菩提 is the moment of completion in Buddhism.
It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.
The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.
The Way of Buddha Truth
In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way". In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).
Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.
In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.
This is the modern Japanese version of "Namu Amida Butsu" or "The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha".
Some will translate this as, "I sincerely believe in Amitabha; Lord have mercy on me".
This phrase especially applies to Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.
There is a more universal version using ancient characters (with more strokes) for the 4th and last characters. That version is also used in Chinese, Korean, and occasionally Vietnamese. This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.
人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the Triple Truth of Buddhism in Japanese.
The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.
人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
This in-stock artwork might be what you are looking for, and ships right away...
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|佛||hotoke||fó / fo2 / fo|
|仏 / 佛|
|hotoke / butsu|
Mind of Buddha
|佛心||busshin / bushin||fó xīn / fo2 xin1 / fo xin / foxin||fo hsin / fohsin|
|The Aura of Buddha||佛光||bukkou / buko||fó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguang||fo kuang / fokuang|
|ē mí tuó fó|
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
|o mi t`o fo
o mi to fo
|Mantra to Buddha|
|念佛||nenbutsu||niàn fó / nian4 fo2 / nian fo / nianfo||nien fo / nienfo|
|sha ka mu ni|
|shì jiā móu ní|
shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shi jia mou ni
|shih chia mou ni
|Namo Amitabha Buddha||南無阿彌陀佛|
|namu amida butsu|
|nā mó ē mí tuó fó|
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
|na mo o mi t`o fo
na mo o mi to fo
|釈迦||sha ka / shaka||shì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijia||shih chia / shihchia|
|The Eye of the Buddha||佛眼|
佛眼 / 仏眼
|butsugen / butsugen||wǔ yǎn / wu3 yan3 / wu yan / wuyan||wu yen / wuyen|
|kan gi kou butsu|
kan gi ko butsu
|huān xǐ guāng fó|
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
|huan hsi kuang fo
|Buddha Seeking||勤求||gongu||qín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiu||ch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu|
|Buddha Dharma Sangha||佛法僧||buppō sō / buppōsō / bupō sō / bupōsō||fó fǎ sēng|
fo2 fa3 seng1
fo fa seng
|Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha||見性成佛|
|ken shou jou butsu|
ken sho jo butsu
|Namo Shakyamuni Buddha||南無釋迦牟尼佛|
|namu shakamuni butsu|
|nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó|
nan2 wu2 shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2 fo2
nan wu shi jia mou ni fo
|nan wu shih chia mou ni fo
|jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudo||shí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidao||shih tao / shihtao|
|Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha||見性成佛|
|ken shou jou butsu|
ken sho jo butsu
|jiàn xìng chéng fó|
jian4 xing4 cheng2 fo2
jian xing cheng fo
|chien hsing ch`eng fo
chien hsing cheng fo
|Buddhism||仏教||bukkyou / bukyo|
|Buddhism||佛教||fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiao||fo chiao / fochiao|
|達摩 / 達磨|
达摩 / 达磨
|daru ma / daruma||dá mó / da2 mo2 / da mo / damo||ta mo / tamo|
|bosatsu||pú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusa||p`u sa / pusa / pu sa|
|Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment||菩提||bodai||pú tí / pu2 ti2 / pu ti / puti||p`u t`i / puti / pu ti|
|Walk in the Way||行道||yukimichi||xíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdao||hsing tao / hsingtao|
|Namu Amida Butsu||南無阿弥陀仏||namu amida butsu|
|Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism||人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神||ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin|
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoi yari no seishin
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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