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Karma - Cause and Effect in Chinese / Japanese...

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Karma - Cause and Effect

yīn guǒ
inga
Karma - Cause and Effect Scroll

因果 is a label that is used inside and outside of the Buddhist faith to speak of Karma.

Along with the meaning of Karma, this word can be translated as "retribution" or "chain of cause and effect".


See Also:  Buddhism

Evil Cause, Evil Result

Meaning: You reap what you sow
akuin akka
Evil Cause, Evil Result Scroll

This Japanese proverb 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.

Everything Happens for a Reason

wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
Everything Happens for a Reason Scroll

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 many ways such as, "karma", "cause and effect", "fate", "every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause".

Keep in mind, Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural proverb that means, "Everything happens for a reason" in Chinese.

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
yīn yuán
in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Scroll

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: 縁
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.


See Also:  Buddhism | Opportunity




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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Karma - Cause and Effect因果ingayīn guǒ / yin1 guo3 / yin guo / yinguoyin kuo / yinkuo
Evil Cause, Evil Result悪因悪果akuin akka / akuinakka / akuin aka / akuinaka
Everything Happens for a Reason萬事皆因果
万事皆因果
wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
wan4 shi4 jie1 yin1 guo3
wan shi jie yin guo
wanshijieyinguo
wan shih chieh yin kuo
wanshihchiehyinkuo
Fate
Opportunity
Chance
因緣
因缘 / 因縁
in nen / innenyīn yuán / yin1 yuan2 / yin yuan / yinyuanyin yüan / yinyüan
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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Fate / Opportunity / Chance Scroll
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Scroll
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Scroll
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Scroll


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Fate / Opportunity / Chance Vertical Portrait
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Horizontal Wall Scroll
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Vertical Portrait
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A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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