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9. Happy Buddha
12. Pure Land / Jodo
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Also a sect of Buddhism
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.
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.
See Also: Shin Buddhism
Buddha of Joyful Light
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.
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||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Namo Amitabha Buddha||南無阿彌陀佛|
|na mu a mi da butsu|
|nā mó ē mí tuó fó|
na1 mo2 e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
na mo e mi tuo fo
|na mo o mi t`o fo
na mo o mi to fo
|ē mí tuó fó|
e1 mi2 tuo2 fo2
e mi tuo fo
|o mi t`o fo
o mi to fo
|Mystic Lotus Wisdom of Amitabha||蓮華智|
|renge chi / rengechi||lián huá zhì|
lian2 hua2 zhi4
lian hua zhi
|lien hua chih
|bosatsu||pú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusa||p`u sa / pusa / pu sa|
|Goddess of Mercy and Compassion||觀音 / 観音|
|kan non / kannon||guān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyin||kuan yin / kuanyin|
|Namu Amida Butsu||南無阿弥陀仏||namu amida butsu|
|jou do / joudo / jo do||jìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtu||ching t`u / chingtu / ching tu|
|Pure Land Buddhism|
|jou do shuu|
jo do shu
|jìng tǔ zōng|
jing4 tu3 zong1
jing tu zong
|ching t`u tsung
ching tu tsung
|kan gi kou butsu|
kan gi ko butsu
|huān xǐ guāng fó|
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
|huan hsi kuang fo
|Great Lotus Wisdom - Samadhi Wisdom||大蓮華智慧三摩地智|
|dai renge chie sanmajichi|
|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|
The Light from a Buddha Mind
|心光||shin kou / shinkou / shin ko||xīn guāng|
|浄土||jou do / joudo / jo do||jìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtu||ching 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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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"
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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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