Amitabha in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Namo Amitabha Buddha

  2. Amitabha Buddha

  3. Mystic Lotus Wisdom of Amitabha

  4. Bodhisattva

  5. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

  6. Namu Amida Butsu

  7. Pure Land / Jodo

  8. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

  9. Happy Buddha

10. Great Lotus Wisdom - Samadhi Wisdom

11. Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind

12. Pure Land / Jodo


Namo Amitabha Buddha

 nā mó ē mí tuó fó
 na mu a mi da butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Scroll

南無阿彌陀佛 is how to express “The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha” (especially for the Pure Land Buddhist Sect).

Some will translate as “Homage to Amitâbha Buddha” or “I seek refuge in the Amitâbha Buddha.”

This is valid in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.

Sometimes modern Japanese use a different version of the 4th and last Kanji, but the version shown here is the most universal.

This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Amitabha Buddha

 ē mí tuó fó
 amida butsu
Amitabha Buddha Scroll

This title can mean the Buddha of the Western paradise.

But it's more a chant that means “May the lord Buddha preserve us!” or “Merciful Buddha!.”

阿彌陀佛 is also a translation to Chinese, Japanese, and Korean for “Amitâbha Buddha.”

Asian Buddhists will often greet and say goodbye to each other with this phrase/chant/title.

Mystic Lotus Wisdom of Amitabha

 lián huá zhì
 renge chi
Mystic Lotus Wisdom of Amitabha Scroll

蓮華智 is the lotus or mystic wisdom of Amitābha.

It's one of the five kinds of wisdom in Buddhism.

 pú sà
 bosatsu
Bodhisattva Scroll

菩薩 is the title of a Buddhist deity that exists to help you reach enlightenment.

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva means enlightenment truth which is bodhi sattva in Sanskrit.

This term is sometimes used to refer to a kindhearted person, one who will sacrifice himself/herself for others and lacks ego or desire but is instead devoted to the good and well-being of others.


See Also:  Buddha

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

 guān yīn
 kwun yum
 kan non
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion Scroll

觀音/観音 is the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

In Chinese, the proper name of this being is Guan Yin. There is some debate as to whether Guan Yin is female. The argument comes from some scripture that suggests Buddhist deities take on the male form. Others say that Guan Yin has no sex. And still, others are okay with the female representation of Guan Yin.

This bodhisattva is also known or Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guan Yin, Kuan Yin, Kwan Yin.
Japanese: Kannon, Kwannon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Âm.
Thai: Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Note: The first character has a slight variation in Japanese. If your audience is specifically Japanese, you may want to select that version.


See Also:  Buddhism | Goddess | Bodhisattva

Namu Amida Butsu

 namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Scroll

南無阿弥陀仏 is the modern Japanese version of “Namu Amida Butsu” or “The Compassionate Amitabha Buddha.”

Some will translate this as “I sincerely believe in Amitabha; Lord have mercy on me.”

This phrase especially applies to Japanese Pure Land Buddhists.

There is a universal version using ancient characters (with more strokes) for the 4th and last characters. That version is also used in Chinese, Korean, and occasionally Vietnamese. This is used to pay homage to Amitabha Buddha.


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Buddhism | Nirvana

Pure Land / Jodo

Also a sect of Buddhism

 jìng tǔ
 jou do
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll

淨土 literally means “pure land” or “clean earth.”

淨土 is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect that involves faith in the rebirth of Buddha Amitabha (Amitābha) in the Western Heaven. Sometimes this sect is translated as “Paradise of the West.” Other titles of this school of Buddhism include Amidism or Elysium.


See Also:  Nirvana | Shin Buddhism

Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

 jìng tǔ zōng
 jou do shuu
Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism Scroll

浄土宗 is the title of Japanese “Pure Land Buddhism.” This form is also romanized/known as “Jodo Shu” (jōdo shū).

Also known as Amidism for the fact that this is a branch of Mahayana (Mahāyāna) Buddhism which focuses on Amitabha (Amitābha) Buddha. This form of Buddhism, along with Chinese characters, came to Japan via China in the 5th century, according to most historians.


Notes:
Pure Land Buddhism is also known as 浄土仏教 (jōdo bukkyō).
Some will just express it with just 浄土 (Pure Land).


See Also:  Shin Buddhism

Happy Buddha

Buddha of Joyful Light

 huān xǐ guāng fó
 kan gi kou butsu
Happy Buddha Scroll

This title is Buddha of Joyful Light.

歡喜光佛 is Amitābha from Sanskrit but pronounced very differently in Chinese and Japanese.

Great Lotus Wisdom - Samadhi Wisdom

 dà lián huá zhì huì sān mó dì zhì

 dai renge chie sanmajichi
Great Lotus Wisdom - Samadhi Wisdom Scroll

大蓮華智慧三摩地智 is the title for “The wisdom of the great lotus, samādhi-wisdom.”

This is also the penetrating wisdom of Amitābha.

Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind

 xīn guāng
 shin kou
Merciful Heart / The Light from a Buddha Mind Scroll

心光 can mean the light from a Buddha's mind or “merciful heart.”

This would especially be the light emanating from Amitābha.

Note that the character 心 can mean mind or heart. 光 means light or brightness - but in this context can suggest a glow of mercy or compassion. This can also be a Japanese surname that is romanized as Shinkou or Shinko.

Pure Land / Jodo

 jìng tǔ
 jou do
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll

浄土 means “Pure Land.”

This term, “Pure Land” is often associated with the Western Pure Land paradise of Amitabha, also known as the “Buddhist paradise.”

浄土 can also be used as an abbreviation for “Pure Land Buddhism.”

You may see this romanized as Jodo, Joudo, or Jōdo. Some also combine Pure Land into Pureland in English.

This can also be a Japanese surname with the same Jodo or Joudo pronunciation.


See Also:  Shin Buddhism


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Namo Amitabha Buddha南無阿彌陀佛
南无阿弥陀佛
na mu a mi da butsu
namuamidabutsu
nā mó ē mí tuó fó
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
namoemituofo
na mo o mi t`o fo
namoomitofo
na mo o mi to fo
Amitabha Buddha阿彌陀佛
阿弥陀佛
amida butsu
amidabutsu
ē mí tuó fó
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
emituofo
o mi t`o fo
omitofo
o mi to fo
Mystic Lotus Wisdom of Amitabha蓮華智
莲华智
renge chi / rengechilián huá zhì
lian2 hua2 zhi4
lian hua zhi
lianhuazhi
lien hua chih
lienhuachih
Bodhisattva菩薩
菩萨
bosatsupú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusap`u sa / pusa / pu sa
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion觀音 / 観音
观音
kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyinkuan yin / kuanyin
Namu Amida Butsu南無阿弥陀仏namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
Pure Land
Jodo
淨土
净土
jou do / joudo / jo dojìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtuching t`u / chingtu / ching tu
Pure Land Buddhism
Jodo Buddhism
淨土宗
浄土宗
jou do shuu
joudoshuu
jo do shu
jìng tǔ zōng
jing4 tu3 zong1
jing tu zong
jingtuzong
ching t`u tsung
chingtutsung
ching tu tsung
Happy Buddha歡喜光佛
欢喜光佛
kan gi kou butsu
kangikoubutsu
kan gi ko butsu
huān xǐ guāng fó
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
huanxiguangfo
huan hsi kuang fo
huanhsikuangfo
Great Lotus Wisdom - Samadhi Wisdom大蓮華智慧三摩地智
大莲华智慧三摩地智
dai renge chie sanmajichi
dairengechiesanmajichi
dà lián huá zhì huì sān mó dì zhì
da4 lian2 hua2 zhi4 hui4 san1 mo2 di4 zhi4
da lian hua zhi hui san mo di zhi
ta lien hua chih hui san mo ti chih
Merciful Heart
The Light from a Buddha Mind
心光shin kou / shinkou / shin koxīn guāng
xin1 guang1
xin guang
xinguang
hsin kuang
hsinkuang
Pure Land
Jodo
浄土jou do / joudo / jo dojìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtuching t`u / chingtu / ching tu
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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Pure Land / Jodo Scroll
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll


And formats...

Pure Land / Jodo Vertical Portrait
Pure Land / Jodo Horizontal Wall Scroll
Pure Land / Jodo Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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.

Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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.

A high-ranked Chinese master calligrapher that I met in Zhongwei

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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