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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.
輪回 is a universal word in Japanese and Chinese that expresses the Buddhist idea of “reincarnation,” “transmigration of souls,” or “the eternal cycle of birth and death.”
In some contexts, this can also mean “karma,” and others will say it represents “samsara.”
The first character means wheel, ring, turn, circle, loop, or rotate.
The second character can be thought of as a suffix meaning “-times.” This second character can also refer to something that revolves, returns, goes back, or is a counter of the number of occurrences of some event.
Together the sum supersedes the parts, and it means reincarnation. But knowing the essence of each character may help you understand some of the meaning behind the word.
Shown to the right is the more common way to write the second character in Japanese. it’s an alternate form of this character in Chinese (so neither way is technically wrong in either language). If you select a Japanese calligrapher, expect that is will look like the Kanji to the right.
鳳凰涅磐 is a proverb that suggests “Legendary Phoenix rises from the ashes.” It means “Legendary Phoenix [reaches] Nirvana.”
There is a legend in China of a great bird reborn once every 500 years. This bird gathers all the ill will, suffering, desire, and other negative things of the world. The bird then plunges into the fire to burn away all negative things, sacrificing itself in the process (achieving Nirvana, or perhaps allowing others the opportunity to reach Nirvana).
500 years later, the phoenix is reborn from the ashes again, and the cycle repeats.
重生 is the Chinese word for rebirth. This can be used literally or metaphorically. As a metaphor, you could use this to say something like, “We are watching the rebirth of New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina.”
重生 is sometimes translated as “renaissance.”
Note: 重生 is not the Buddhist concept of reincarnation or re-birth.
See Also: Reincarnation
永生 are the last two words from John 3:16 in the Chinese Union Bible.
Although not specifically Christian, this is the way to express ever-lasting life or eternal life in Chinese.
In Japanese, this can either mean eternal life or immortality.
來世 is a word that can be used in many different ways.
It is often used to express the next life (life in heaven or wherever your soul is bound for). So it does have a religious overtone. However, it can also be used to express your life in the future - perhaps during your present lifetime.
It can also be translated as “the next world,” “the next generation,” “the time that is to come,” “otherworld,” or simply “posterity.”
佛は衆生の中に在り is “Butsu wa shujo no naka ni ari” and means that the Buddha (potential for Buddhahood) exists in all beings in the universe.
So yes, your dog has the potential to be a Buddha (but only in a future reincarnation as a human). But all things, from the tiny cricket to the humpback whale have Buddha nature within them. If one takes the time to look and contemplate, one will see the Buddha in all things.
In Japan, sometimes the Buddha character is written 仏 instead of 佛, so you might see the whole phrase written as 仏は衆生の中に在り.
Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
化身 is a way to say avatar in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.
This is the original Buddhist idea of an avatar (not the movie). This can also mean: incarnation; reincarnation; embodiment; personification; impersonation.
化身 is the Chinese word used for the original Sanskrit, nirmāṇakāya. Alternates for nirmāṇakāya include 應身, 應化身, or 變化身. In the context of Buddhism, this is a Buddha's metamorphosic body, which has the power to assume any shape to propagate the Truth. This title, 化身, is used for the appearance of a Buddha's many forms.
These search terms might be related to Reincarnation:
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|ten sei / tensei||zhuǎn shì|
Transmigration of Souls
|輪回 / 輪廻|
|rin ne / rinne||lún huí / lun2 hui2 / lun hui / lunhui|
Life in Flux
|Phoenix Rise from the Ashes||鳳凰涅磐|
|fèng huáng niè pán|
feng4 huang2 nie4 pan2
feng huang nie pan
|feng huang nieh p`an
feng huang nieh pan
|rai-se||lái shì / lai2 shi4 / lai shi / laishi||lai shih / laishih|
|The Buddha is in Each Sentient Being||佛は衆生の中に在り||butsu wa shujou no naka ni ari|
butsu wa shujo no naka ni ari
|Avatar||化身||keshin||huà shēn / hua4 shen1 / hua shen / huashen|
|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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