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5. Great Wisdom
ジーザス is the name Jesus in Japanese.
ジーザス is a common version that approximates pronunciation in English. However, there are many variations for writing Jesus in Japanese, and it's hard to come up with an absolute answer (transliteration of names is more art than science).
Note: Because this title is entirely Japanese Katakana, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.
般若 means great wisdom or wondrous knowledge.
In the Buddhist context, this is prajna or prajñā, to know, to understand, to have the wisdom required to attain enlightenment.
Since this is a wisdom which transcends the realm of logic, the pure, absolute wisdom beyond the reach of words and concepts, it is not obtained through learning, but is realized for the first time through a religious experience.
勤勉 can be translated as diligence, industrious, assiduity, assiduous, diligent, or sedulity.
Diligence is working hard and doing your absolute best. You take special care by doing things step by step. Diligence helps you to get things done with excellence and enthusiasm. Diligence leads to success.
混沌 is the Japanese, Korean and Chinese word that means absolute confusion, disorder and chaos.
This more directly refers to primal chaos or primeval chaos.
When reading something about Chinese mythology, you may find this term used to describe the formless mass before creation.
Chinese scientists sometimes use this word to refer to the nebulous state before the universe was formed or nebulosity.
In some context, this could mean "a state of confusion".
This single character means empty, void, hollow, vacant, vacuum, blank, nonexistent, vacuity, voidness, emptiness, non-existence, immateriality, unreality, the false or illusory nature of all existence, being unreal.
In Buddhist context, this relates to the doctrine that all phenomena and the ego have no reality but are composed of a certain number of skandhas or elements, which disintegrate. The void, the sky, space. The universal, the absolute, complete abstraction without relativity. The doctrine further explains that all things are compounds, or unstable organisms, possessing no self-essence, i.e. are dependent, or caused, come into existence only to perish. The underlying reality, the principle of eternal relativity, or non-infinity, i.e. śūnya, permeates all phenomena making possible their evolution.
From Sanskrit and/or Pali, this is the translation to Chinese and Japanese of the title śūnya or śūnyatā.
In Japanese, when pronounced as "ron" (sounds like "roan") this can be a given name. It should be noted that this Kanji has about 5 different possible pronunciations in Japanese: kuu, kara, sora, ron, and uro. 空 is also an element in the Japanese version of the five elements.
空無 is "nothingness" in a Buddhist context.
The first character means empty but can also mean air or sky (air and sky have no form).
The second character means have not, no, none, not or to lack.
Together these characters reinforce each other into a word that means "absolute nothingness".
I know this is a term used in Buddhism but I have not yet figured out the context in which it is used. I suppose it can be the fact that Buddhists believe that the world in a non-real illusion, or perhaps it's about visualizing yourself as "nothing" and therefore leaving behind your desire and worldliness.
Buddhist concepts and titles often have this element of ambiguity or rather "mystery". Therefore, such ideas can have different meanings to different people, and that's okay. If you don't get it right in this lifetime, as there will be plenty more lifetimes to master it (whatever "it" is, and if "it" really exists at all).
Soothill defines this as "Unreality, or immateriality, of things, which is defined as nothing existing of independent or self-contained nature".
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudo||shí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidao||shih tao / shihtao|
|Jesus||ジーザス||jiizasu / jizasu|
|Great Wisdom||般若||hannya||bō rě / bo1 re3 / bo re / bore||po je / poje|
|Diligence||勤勉||kinben||qín miǎn / qin2 mian3 / qin mian / qinmian||ch`in mien / chinmien / chin mien|
|Chaos||混沌||konton||hùn dùn / hun4 dun4 / hun dun / hundun||hun tun / huntun|
|空||kuu / kara / sora / ron|
ku / kara / sora / ron
ku / kara / sora / ron
|kōng / kong1 / kong||k`ung / kung|
|kuu mu / kuumu / ku mu / kumu||kōng wú / kong1 wu2 / kong wu / kongwu||k`ung wu / kungwu / kung wu|
|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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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.
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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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