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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.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your so be it amen search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| aamen / amen アーメン
More info / calligraphy:
| chéng xīn suǒ yuàn / cheng2 xin1 suo3 yuan4
ch`eng hsin so yüan / cheng hsin so yüan
| so be it; amen
More info / calligraphy:
So Be It / Amen
| ǎn / an3
| (interjection) oh!; (dialect) to stuff something in one's mouth; (used in buddhist transliterations) om
oṃ; auṃ; 'a word of solemn affirmation and respectful assent (sometimes translated by yes, verily, so be it, and in this sense compared with Amen). 'M. W. It is 'the mystic name for the Hindu triad', and has other significations. It was adopted by Buddhists, especially by the Tantric school, as a mystic spell, and as an object of meditation. It forms the first syllable of certain mystical combinations, e. g. 唵?呢叭 061971 吽 oṃ maṇi padme huṃ, which is a formula of the Lamaistic branch, said to be a prayer to Padmapani; each of the six syllables having its own mystic power of salvation from the lower paths of transmigration, etc.; the formula is used in sorcery, auguries, etc.; other forms of it are 唵?呢鉢頭迷吽; 唵麽抳鉢訥銘吽; (Skt. oṃ)
| nán wú / nan2 wu2
| Buddhist salutation or expression of faith (loanword from Sanskrit); Taiwan pr. [na2 mo2]
(conj,int) (Buddhist term) amen; hail; (surname) Namu
namaḥ; Pali: namo; to submit oneself to, from to bend, bow to, make obeisance, pay homage to; an expression of submission to command, complete commitment, reverence, devotion, trust for salvation, etc. Also written 南牟; 南謨; 南忙; 那謨 (or 那模 or 那麻); 納莫 (or 納慕); 娜母; 曩莫 (or 曩謨); 捺麻(or捺謨), etc. It is used constantly in liturgy, incantations, etc., especially as in namaḥ Amitābha, which is the formula of faith of the Pure-land sect, representing the believing heart of all beings and Amitābha's power and will to save; repeated in the hour of death it opens the entrance to the Pure Land.
| ā men / a1 men5
| amen (loanword)
| ā méng / a1 meng2
| Amun, deity in Egyptian mythology, also spelled Amon, Amoun, Amen, and rarely Imen
| ā mén / a1 men2
| amen (loanword)
| sū bō hē / su1 bo1 he1
su po ho
| svāhā, Hail! A kind of Amen; a mystic word indicating completion, good luck, nirvana, may evil disappear and good be increased; in India it also indicates an oblation especially a burnt offering; the oblation as a female deity. Also 蘇和訶; 蘇婆訶; 蘇呵, also with 沙, 娑, 莎, 薩, 率, ? as initial syllable.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji(Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Amen||アーメン||aamen / amen|
|So Be It
|chéng xīn suǒ yuàn
cheng2 xin1 suo3 yuan4
cheng xin suo yuan
|ch`eng hsin so yüan
cheng hsin so yüan
|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
|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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The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
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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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