We have many options to create artwork with Karma characters on a wall scroll or portrait.
If you want to create an Karma Asian character tattoo, you can purchase that here: Asian / Chinese / Japanese Tattoo Image Service ...and we'll give you many tattoo image templates of the ancient Asian symbols that express the idea of Karma.
10. Wheel of Karma
12. Destiny / Fate
宿業 is the Buddhist concept of Past Karma. Simply put, it's the sum of all the good and bad from all previous lives (perhaps earlier in your current life). This term is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist faith (you'll have a tough time finding a non-Buddhist Asian person that knows this word).
Other ways to translate this are “The karma of previous existence,” “The karma remaining from prior existences,” or simply “Former karma.”
See Also: Buddhism
Single character for Buddhist Karma
This is the simplest way to express the idea of Karma. This is the Buddhist concept of actions committed in a former life affecting the present and future.
Out of the context of Buddhism, this Karma character means one's profession in life, trade, occupation, business, study, or career.
The Karma definition applies to both Chinese and Japanese for this character. This also works as Korean Hanja as Karma; although the meaning can vary depending on context (my Korean dictionary gives the definition of profession/occupation).
See Also: Buddhism
姻緣 means “Destiny that brings lovers together.” It can also be translated technically as “Predestined matrimonial affinity” (wow, talk about taking the romance out of this word - that was from the Oxford C-E dictionary).
This speaks to the fate (or karma) that brings a husband and wife together. I would translate this as “Together by fate” or “Joined by destiny” but in the context of marriage. You could use this for non-married lovers, but the first character has a suggestion that this refers to those that are married.
萬事皆因果 means “Everything happens for a reason” in Chinese.
The first two characters mean “all things” or “everything.”
The middle character kind of means “in all cases.”
The last two characters create a complex word that can be defined in many ways, such as “karma,” “cause and effect,” “fate,” and “every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause.”
Keep in mind that Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural-sounding proverb in Chinese.
物事は全て理由があって起きる means everything happens for a reason.
However, this is a work in progress. We're still trying to decide the best way to express this in Japanese. If you order this, we might have a discussion about the best version that fits you. Here's how the characters break down by meaning (keep in mind, Japanese grammar and sentence construction is very different from English, so it doesn't make complete sense in English)...
物事 = things, everything
全て all, the whole, entirely
あっ be, exist, have, take place, happens
起きる to occur, to happen; to take place (usually unfavorable incidents)
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
Meaning: You reap what you sow
悪因悪果 is a Japanese proverb that means “Evil cause, evil effect” or “Bad causes bring bad results.”
The English equivalent is probably, “Sow evil and reap evil” or more commonly, “You reap what you sow.”
Note: 悪因悪果 is also considered to be a Buddhist phrase encompassing the idea of karmic retribution.
The invisible force that brings people together forever
緣 represents the fate that brings and bonds people together.
緣 is a complicated single character. It can mean a lot of different things depending on how you read it.
In Japanese, it can mean fate, destiny, a mysterious force that binds two people together, a relationship between two people, bond, link, connection, family ties, affinity, opportunity, or chance (to meet someone and start a relationship). It can also mean “someone to rely on,” relative, reminder, memento, or the female given name, Yori.
It's the same in Chinese, where it's defined as cause, reason, karma, fate, or predestined affinity.
In the Buddhist context, it's Pratyaya. This is the concept of indirect conditions, as opposed to direct causes. It's when something happens (meeting someone) by circumstance or a contributing environment. Instead of a direct cause or act, it is a conditioning cause without direct input or action by the involved people.
Occasionally, this character is used in a facetious way to say hem, seam, or edge of clothing. In this case, it's the seam that brings or holds the clothing together.
Note: Japanese will tend to use the variant of this Kanji shown to the right. If you want this version (and are ordering this from the Japanese master calligrapher), click on the Kanji at the right instead of the button above.
有緣 means: related; brought together by fate; same karma; those who have the cause, link, or connection.
有緣 is a common word in Chinese but usually only used in the context of Buddhism in Japanese.
Buddhists will say this refers to those that are influenced by and responsive to the Buddha.
轉世 is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation or transmigration.
Other definitions of this term: “Attainer of Nirvana from within the desire realm,” “A practitioner who enters directly into Nirvana from the desire realm, without traversing the form and formless realms. One of the 27 kinds of Hinayana sages,” or simply, “to return again to this life.”
轉世 is also a Japanese title, but the first Kanji was slightly simplified after WWII. Just let us know if you want the modern Japanese version when you order.
樂天 is about being optimistic and also making the best of whatever life throws at you.
This is hard to define. One dictionary defines this as “acceptance of fate and happy about it.” There is one English word equivalent, which is sanguinity or sanguinary.
You can also say that this means “Be happy with whatever Heaven provides,” or “Find happiness in whatever fate Heaven bestows upon you.” 樂天 suggests being an optimist in life.
Note: This is sometimes a given name in China.
These two characters contain the ideas of fate, destiny, fortune, and luck.
You can also say that it means “what life throws at you” or “your lot in life” because the first character contains the idea of life or living.
This version is really only used in Chinese. There's another version with just the characters reversed that is more universal. In fact, skip this one. The opposite character order is better.
These two characters contain the ideas of fate, destiny, fortune, and luck in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.
運命 is often defined as “a person's fate” or “personal fate” in various dictionaries.
These two characters can be reversed (written in either order) and yield roughly the same meaning.
This particular character order is more common in old Korean and less common in modern Chinese.
The Buddhist idea of Fate
因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.
Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.
It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.
因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a “fate/chance” meaning by a Chinese person or a Korean person who can read Hanja.
The more complex definition of this word would be, “Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things.”
This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or “hetu and prataya”), which I believe is Pali.
Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji:
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you’ll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.
Transliterated personal name
卡瑪 is the most common transliteration to Mandarin Chinese for the name Karma.
Note: This sounds like Karma but does not have the meaning of Karma in Chinese. See our other entry if you are looking for the Buddhist idea of Karma.
In fact, if your name is Karma, I strongly suggest that you use a word that means Karma, rather than this one that sounds like Karma (meaning is more important and universal in Chinese/Japanese/Korean).
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Karma (of your past lives)||宿業|
|shukugou / shukugo||sù yè / su4 ye4 / su ye / suye||su yeh / suyeh|
|gou / go||yè / ye4 / ye||yeh|
|The Karma/Fate/Destiny that Brings Lovers Together||姻緣|
|yīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan||yin yüan / yinyüan|
|Everything Happens for a Reason||萬事皆因果|
|wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ|
wan4 shi4 jie1 yin1 guo3
wan shi jie yin guo
|wan shih chieh yin kuo
|Everything Happens for a Reason||物事は全て理由があって起きる||monogoto ha subete riyuu ga at te okiru |
monogoto ha subete riyu ga at te okiru
|Evil Cause, Evil Result||悪因悪果||akuin akka / akuinakka / akuin aka|
|The Mysterious Bond Between People||緣 / 縁|
|en||yuán / yuan2 / yuan||yüan|
|uen||yǒu yuán / you3 yuan2 / you yuan / youyuan||yu yüan / yuyüan|
|Shadow of Karma|
Dogged by Karma
|gou you / gouyou / go yo||yè yǐng / ye4 ying3 / ye ying / yeying||yeh ying / yehying|
|Karma - Cause and Effect||因果||inga||yīn guǒ / yin1 guo3 / yin guo / yinguo||yin kuo / yinkuo|
|ten sei / tensei||zhuǎn shì|
|Wheel of Karma||業輪|
|gōrin||yè lún / ye4 lun2 / ye lun / yelun||yeh lun / yehlun|
Happy With Your Fate
|樂天 / 楽天|
|raku ten / rakuten||lè tiān / le4 tian1 / le tian / letian||le t`ien / letien / le tien|
|mìng yùn / ming4 yun4 / ming yun / mingyun||ming yün / mingyün|
|un mei / unmei||yùn mìng / yun4 ming4 / yun ming / yunming||yün ming / yünming|
因缘 / 因縁
|in nen / innen||yīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuan||yin yüan / yinyüan|
|kǎ mǎ / ka3 ma3 / ka ma / kama||k`a ma / kama / ka ma|
|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.
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.