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Buddha in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Buddhism / Buddha

  2. Buddha / Buddhism

  3. Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

  4. The Aura of Buddha

  5. Amitabha Buddha

  6. Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu

  7. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

  8. Namo Amitabha Buddha

  9. Shakyamuni / The Buddha

10. The Eye of the Buddha

11. Happy Buddha

12. Buddha Seeking

13. Buddha Dharma Sangha

14. Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

15. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

16. True Religion / Buddha Truth

17. Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

18. Buddhism

19. Dharma / Damo / Daruma

20. Bodhisattva

21. Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

22. Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine

23. Siddhartha

24. Walk in the Way

25. Eternal Wheel of Life

26. Namu Amida Butsu

27. Three Treasures of Buddhism

28. Avatar

29. Light / Bright

30. Sangha

31. Gautama

32. Nichiren

33. Thirst for Truth

34. Divine Light

35. Open Mind

36. Sangha / Order of Monks

37. The World

38. Luohan / Lohan

39. Fragrant / Good Smell

40. Pure Land / Jodo

41. Karma Connection

42. Divine Spirit

43. Kind Words

44. Grand Master / Great Teacher

45. Blue Lotus

46. Zen Buddhism

47. Overcome the Devil

48. Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

49. Halo

50. Immortal

51. Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

52. Nirvana

53. Lao Tzu / Laozi

54. Diamond

55. Ten perfect Mahayana rules

56. Light / Bright and Promising Future

57. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

58. Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

59. Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

60. Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

61. The Middle Way


Buddhism / Buddha

hotoke
Buddhism / Buddha Scroll

佛 is the essence of the Buddha or Buddhism.

Depending on context, this word and character can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

It is interesting to note that this word is separate from all others in the Chinese language. The sound of "fo" has only this meaning. 佛 is in contrast to many sounds in the Chinese language which can have one of four tones, and more than 20 possible characters and meanings. This language anomaly shows just how significant Buddhism has affected China since the ancient times.

More about Buddhism

佛 is also used with the same meaning in Korean Hanja.

It's used in the very religious context of Buddhism in Japan. It should be noted that there are two forms of this Kanji in use in Japan - this is the more formal/ancient version but it's rarely seen outside of religious artwork, and may not be recognized by all Japanese people.

It also acts as a suffix or first syllable for many Buddhist-related words in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.


See our Buddhism & Zen page


See Also:  Bodhisattva | Enlightenment

Buddha / Buddhism

Hotoke
hotoke / butsu
Buddha / Buddhism Scroll

仏 is the single Japanese Kanji can mean Buddha or Buddhism.

This Kanji was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this Chinese character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all (except by those from China with a background in Chinese literature or language).

仏 is also a rare or derivative Korean Hanja form - but I doubt you will find any Korean that knows that.

Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha

fó xīn
busshin
Buddha Heart / Mind of Buddha Scroll

佛心 means the mind of Buddha or the spiritually enlightened heart.

The Buddha Heart is one that is detached from good and evil and other such constructs. The Buddha Heart has mercy, compassion, and loving-kindness for all sentient life, the good, the wicked, and all in between.

The heart and mind (心) are the same concept in the ancient Orient, so you can use heart and mind interchangeably in this context.

The Aura of Buddha

fó guāng
bukkou
The Aura of Buddha Scroll

佛光 means Buddha's teachings, or Buddha's Light.

This often refers to the aura around the head of Buddha.

Alternate meanings include: Spiritual Enlightenment (from Buddha), Buddha's Halo, or Buddha's Glory.

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.

Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu

niàn fó
nenbutsu
Mantra to Buddha / Nembutsu Scroll

念佛 is used primarily in Japanese where it is romanized as nenbutsu.

The meaning is to pray to Buddha, to chant the name of Buddha, or repeat the name of Buddha. This can be an audible or inaudibe chant.

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

shì jiā móu ní
sha ka mu ni
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Scroll

釋迦牟尼 is a transliteration of "Shakyamuni" or "Sakyamuni" in Chinese, Japanese, and old Korean.

The perceived meaning of the name is roughly translated as, "Sage of the Sakyas".
This same Buddha is also known as "Siddhartha Gautama", "Gotama Buddha", "Tathagata", or simply, "The Supreme Buddha".

釋迦牟尼 is the legendary man and prince who eventually established the Buddhist religion.

Note: Occasionally Romanized as "Siddhattha Gotama".

This combination of characters is sometimes seen and used in South Korea and Japan as well (with the same meaning).


Note: 釋迦牟尼 came from the Sanskrit शाक्यमुनि and can also be romanized with diuretics as Śākyamuni.

Namo Amitabha Buddha

nā mó ē mí tuó fó
namu amida butsu
Namo Amitabha Buddha Scroll

This 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

Shakyamuni / The Buddha

shì jiā
sha ka
Shakyamuni / The Buddha Scroll

釈迦 is the way to write Shakyamuni in Japanese.

It's just two Kanji, the first is a simplified version of the one used in Chinese for Shakyamuni, and the second one is identical to the Chinese.
This refers to the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama, 563 BCE-483 BCE) also known as Sakyamuni and Gautama Buddha.

This has very good meaning in Japanese but is an odd selection for a wall scroll. It appears here more for reference.

The Eye of the Buddha

wǔ yǎn
butsugen
The Eye of the Buddha Scroll

The eye of Buddha, the enlightened one who sees all and is omniscient.


仏In modern Japan, they also write the first Kanji as shown to the right. Both versions are correct but if you want the modern Japanese version, click on the Kanji to the right instead of the button above.

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 different in Chinese and Japanese.

Buddha Seeking

qín qiú
gongu
Buddha Seeking Scroll

勤求 is a complex word that means inquiring in the Buddha way.

To put it another way, it is seeking something in the right way, at the right time, and diligently seeking only truth or the good.

Buddha Dharma Sangha

fó fǎ sēng
buppō sō
Buddha  Dharma  Sangha Scroll

佛法僧 is the Buddha, Dharma and Saṅgha.

These three characters are the "Triple Gem" of Buddhism or the Buddhist Trinity.

Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha

ken shou jou butsu
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha Scroll

見性成仏 or Kenshō Jōbutsu is the initial enlightenment that leads to self-awareness, becoming Buddha, and the path to enter Nirvana.

Kenshō Jōbutsu is a complex concept in Japanese Buddhism. 見性成仏 is probably better translated as "Seeing one’s nature and becoming a Buddha".


See Also:  Buddhism | Enlightenment | Initial Enlightenment

Namo Shakyamuni Buddha

nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
namu shakamuni butsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha Scroll

南無釋迦牟尼佛 is a Buddhist chant or prayer of respect to the Shakyamuni Buddha.

Some will translate this as the Buddhist vow.

The first two characters, 南無, are sometimes translated as "amen"; others will translate it as, "believe in", or "homage to".
To expand on this, 南無 can also mean, "taking of refuge in", while also representing devotion or conviction. 南無 as with most religious concepts or words, different people or denominations will have varying definitions.

True Religion / Buddha Truth

The way of the truth
shí dào
jitsu dou
True Religion / Buddha Truth Scroll

This Buddhist title means, "The true way", "The true religion", "The way of the truth", or "The absolute Buddha-truth".

Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha

jiàn xìng chéng fó
ken shou jou butsu
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha Scroll

見性成佛 is a universal phrase that suggests that one may see one's own nature and accomplish Buddhahood.

見性 suggests penetrating deep inside oneself to finally see one's "Original Mind".

成佛 refers to a sentient being who dispenses with illusions and delusions through ascetic practice, is enlightened to truth, and becomes a Buddha.

見性成佛 is used by Mahayana, Chan, and Zen Buddhists in China, Korea, and Japan.


You will also see this with the last character written as 仏 in Japanese. In the religious context, 佛 is commonly used to mean Buddha. If you want the other version, see Kenshō Jōbutsu 見性成仏

Buddhism

(2 Kanji)
bukkyou
Buddhism Scroll

仏教 can mean Buddha or Buddhism in Japanese.

Depending on context, this word can be used to refer to the religion and lifestyle of Buddhism, or in some cases, the Buddha himself.

Note: Until the 5th century, Japan did not have a written language. At that time, Japan absorbed Chinese characters to form their written language (these characters are known as "Kanji" in Japanese). The first character of this Buddhism title was actually a shorthand way to write 佛 (Buddha) in Chinese (popular around the 13th century). Somehow, this became the version of this character that was absorbed into Japanese, and thus became part of standard Kanji. Centuries later, this character is not recognized in Chinese at all.

仏 is also a rare form of Buddha Korean Hanja - though seldom used even when the Korean Hanja writing system was more common 100 years ago.

Buddhism

(2 characters)
fó jiào
Buddhism Scroll

佛教 is the more exact way to express the religion or lifestyle of Buddhism.

It can also be read as "Buddha's Teachings". 佛教 is Chinese only, as a different character is more commonly used in Japanese to express Buddhism. The same first character is used in Korea but a slight variation exists in the second character in Korean Hanja. However, it would be fully recognized by any Korean person who can read Hanja.

Dharma / Damo / Daruma

dá mó
daru ma
Dharma / Damo / Daruma Scroll

達摩 is the Chinese and Japanese title for Dharma (a short name for Bodhidharma).

He's known in Chinese as Damo, and in Japanese as Daruma.


Note: In Japanese, they tend to write the last character as 磨 versus 摩. If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.

Bodhisattva

pú sà
bosatsu
Bodhisattva Scroll

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

In Buddhist beliefs, a bodhisattva (bodhisatta) is a being who is dedicated to helping us achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally 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:  Namo Amitabha

Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment

pú tí
bodai
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment Scroll

The Bodhi or 菩提 is the moment of completion in Buddhism.

It is when all things become known, and you have completed your journey to enlightenment.

The reference is to the Bodhi tree where Siddhartha Gautama (the legendary man and who established the Buddhist religion), achieved enlightenment. Sometimes this is referred to as "the tree of enlightenment" but if you want the full version with the character for tree on the end, please see our other entry.


See Also:  Buddhism | Nirvana | Enlightenment

Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine

fó fǎ
Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine Scroll

This can be defined as "The Law of Buddha", "The Power of Buddha", or simply "Dharma".

Siddhartha

xī dá duō
shiddatta / shiddaruta
Siddhartha Scroll

悉達多 is the name Siddhartha (as in Siddhartha Gautama), the personal name for Śākyamuni.

This same Buddha is also known as "Shakyamuni Gautama", "Gotama Buddha", or "Tathagata".

Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual teacher in the northern region of the Indian subcontinent who founded Buddhism. He is generally seen by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha (Sammāsambuddha) of known human history.

The actual meaning of this name in Chinese is the realization of all aims, or simply being prosperous.


This name is sometimes romanized from the original Sanskrit or Pali as Siddhattha (from Siddhattha Gotama), Siddharth, Siddhārtha, or Sarvāthasiddha.

Siddhārtha or Sarvāthasiddha can also be written as 悉達, 悉多, 悉多頞他, or 悉陀.

Walk in the Way

The Way of Buddha Truth
xíng dào
yukimichi
Walk in the Way Scroll

In Taoist and Buddhist context, this means to "Walk in the Way". In Buddhism, that further means to follow the Buddha truth. In some Buddhist sects, this can mean to make a procession around a statue of the Buddha (always with the right shoulder towards the Buddha).

Outside of that context, this can mean route (when going somewhere), the way to get somewhere, etc.

In Japanese, this can be the surname or given name Yukimichi.

Eternal Wheel of Life

fǎ lún
hourin / horin
Eternal Wheel of Life Scroll

法輪 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja title, "The Eternal Wheel of Life", in Buddhism.

Also known as the wheel of the law, or Buddha-truth which is able to crush all evil and all opposition. It is likened to Indra's wheel which rolls on from man to man, place to place, age to age.

Colloquially used in some sects to mean preaching or spreading Buddha-truth.

Namu Amida Butsu

namu amida butsu
Namu Amida Butsu Scroll

This 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 more 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

Three Treasures of Buddhism

The Triple Gem
sān bǎo
san bou
Three Treasures of Buddhism Scroll

三寶 is the title for "Three Precious Treasures of Buddhism" or "The Triple Gem".

These three treasures are the Buddha 佛, the Dharma 法 (teachings or the law of the Buddha), and the Sangha 僧 (the community of monks or followers).

This term is used by most (perhaps not all) Buddhists in China, Japan, and South Korea (written the same it the original form, but pronounced differently in each language). Non-Buddhists may just read this as, "Three Treasures", without the religious context. For instance, there is also a, "Three Treasures of Chinese Medicine", that is sometimes titled the same way.


In modern Japanese and Simplified Chinese, this is written 三宝 instead of 三寶.

Avatar

huà shēn
keshin
Avatar Scroll

化身 is a way to say avatar in Chinese characters, Korean Hanja, and Japanese Kanji.

化身 is the original Buddhist idea of avatar (not the movie). 化身 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.

Light / Bright

míng
mei / myou
Light / Bright Scroll

明 means light, bright, clear, clarity, to understand, or wise.

In Chinese this can refer to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) where it can also be the surname Ming.

In Japanese, this can be romanized many different ways when used as surnames or given names. 明 is a partial list of those names: Meishuu, Mei, Min, Myoujin, Myou, Hinata, Haru, Toshi, Tooru, Sayaka, Saya, Satoshi, Asumi, Akera, Akemine, Akesaki, Ake, Akuru, Akiraka, and Akira.

In the Buddhist context, this represents vidyā (knowledge). To expand that, Buddhists understand this to mean bright, clear, enlightenment, wisdom, or to understand. It represents Buddha-wisdom and its revelation; also the manifestation of a Buddha's light or effulgence.

Sangha

sēng qié
sougya
Sangha Scroll

In Buddhism, this term refers to a community of monks and/or nuns (one of the "Three Jewels"). In general terms, it can simply mean "all followers of the Buddha".

Notes: Though there are not vast numbers of Chinese Hindus, in the Hindu faith, this term means "community together".
The original Sanskrit word is also Romanized as samgha.
The first character means "monk". The second character means Buddha or Shakyamuni.
僧伽 is really a transliteration of the original Sanskrit but it uses two very profound Chinese characters related to Buddhism.

Some may pronounce this as "seng qie" or "seng jia" in Mandarin (two possible pronunciations for second character). Note that "qie" would sound a bit like "chee-ah" using typical English pronunciation. Chinese Romanization is not actually designed to match English sounds.


僧僧Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write the first character in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form. However, it should also be noted that this is not a common term in Japanese (except by certain sects of Buddhism or perhaps devout Buddhists in Japan).

Gautama

qiáo dā mó
Kou tou ma
Gautama Scroll

喬答摩 is one of a few ways to transliterate the name Gautama, and variations such as Gautham or Gauthama into Chinese and Japanese.

This also represents the surname of the Siddhartha, the historical Buddha Gautama.

Nichiren

rì lián
nichi ren
Nichiren Scroll

日蓮 is the title Nichiren.

This title refers to a Buddhist priest, who lived from 1222 to 1282. He is the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism.
According to historical documents, the Nichiren sect was established in 1252. Adding the character for sect, this would be 日蓮宗 (Nichiren sect), which is also known as the 法華宗 or Lotus sect.

According to Soothill-Hodous...
Nichiren's chief tenets are the three great mysteries 三大祕法, representing the trikāya:
1. 本尊 or chief object of worship, being the great maṇḍala of the worlds of the ten directions, or universe, i.e. the body or nirmāṇakāya of Buddha.
2. 題目 the title of the Lotus Sutra 妙法蓮華經 Myo-ho-ren-ge-kyo, preceded by Namo, or, "Adoration to the scripture of the lotus of the wonderful law", for it is Buddha's spiritual body.
3. 戒壇 the altar of the law, which is also the title of the Lotus as above; the believer, wherever he is, dwells in the Pure-land of calm light 寂光淨土, the saṃbhogakāya.

Thirst for Truth

kě fǎ
katsuhō
Thirst for Truth Scroll

渴法 means to thirst for the truth, or for the Buddha-way.

渴法 is the internal need to seek the way of the truth in Buddhism.

Divine Light

líng guāng
Divine Light Scroll

This Chinese word means "divine light".

This can refer to the glow or halo around the Buddha. It can also be a miraculous column of light.

In slang, it can be like saying "jolly good!".

Open Mind

kāi jué
kaikaku
Open Mind Scroll

開覺 is a Buddhist term meaning "open mind".

The more full definition as used in Buddhism is, "To arouse, awaken; to allow the original Buddha-nature to open and enlighten the mind".

Sangha / Order of Monks

sēng
sou
Sangha / Order of Monks Scroll

僧 is the single-character or short form of Sangha, the Buddhist idea of community or order (of monks, nuns, or followers of the Buddha).

Alone, this character can simply mean "monk" (Just means monk in Japanese).


僧僧 Note that when writing this as Kanji, Japanese will tend to write this in the form shown to the right. If you select our Japanese master calligrapher, please expect this special Kanji form.

The World

shì jiè
sei kai
The World Scroll

世界 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for world.

Beyond the world, this can refer to society, the universe, space, a sphere or circle.

In Buddhism, this would mean the realm governed by one Buddha.

Luohan / Lohan

luó hàn
rakan
Luohan / Lohan Scroll

羅漢 is the title Lohan, achiever of Nirvana.

This can also be a place name and surname Rakan in Japanese.

In the Buddhist context, this can be arhan, arhat, saint, or perfect man of Hīnayāna. It can refer to the 16, 18, or 500 disciples appointed to witness to Buddha-truth and save the world.

Fragrant / Good Smell

xiāng
ka / kou
Fragrant / Good Smell Scroll

香 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja that means: fragrant; sweet smelling; aromatic; savory; appetizing; perfume; incense; aroma; fragrance; scent; good smell.

Fragrance or incense is known to be one of the Buddha's messengers to stimulate faith and devotion.

Pure Land / Jodo

Also a sect of Buddhism
jìng tǔ
jou do
Pure Land / Jodo Scroll

This literally means "pure land" or "clean earth".

淨土 is also the abbreviated title of a Buddhist sect which involves faith in 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 Elvsium.


See Also:  Nirvana | Shin Buddhism

Karma Connection

yǒu yuán
uen
Karma Connection Scroll

有緣 means: related; brought together by fate; same karma; those who have the cause, link, or connection.

有緣 is a common word in Chinese but usually only used in the context of Buddhism in Japanese.

Buddhists will say this refers to those that are influenced by and responsive to the Buddha.

Divine Spirit

yù yǐng
goei
Divine Spirit Scroll

御影 is a Japanese word that means divine spirit, or honorific language for "spirit of the dead".

This can also refer to an image of a deity, buddha, royal, noble, etc.)

In Buddhist context, it can mean (wooden) images of saints or deities.

御影 is also a Japanese name, Mikage.


Note: This is also a word in Chinese but not used very often in China (except perhaps by certain Buddhists).

Kind Words

ài yǔ
aigo
Kind Words Scroll

In the simplest terms, this means kind words.

In the Buddhist context, this is one of the four methods of approach to people which the bodhisattvas use to guide them to the way of the Buddha.

Other translations include loving speech, or simply the words of a bodhisattva.

愛語 is also a common female name, Aigo in Japanese.

Grand Master / Great Teacher

dà shī
daishi
Grand Master / Great Teacher Scroll

大師 is a way to title a great master, grand master, or great teacher.

This can be used in the context of martial arts or a Buddhist teacher. Thus, it can be used to title a living Buddha, Bodhisattva or high-ranking monk.

Blue Lotus

qing lián
seiren
Blue Lotus Scroll

靑蓮 is a common title for Blue Lotus.

靑蓮 is often used in a Buddhist context for blue lotus from the Sanskrit "utpala". This often refers to the clarity and purity of the lotus blue eyes possessed by a Living Buddha. It can also represent purity of mind (without desire, suffering, fear etc).

Zen Buddhism

chán zōng
zen shuu
Zen Buddhism Scroll

禪宗 is one way to title "Zen Buddhism". Because the original pronunciation of Zen in Chinese is Chan, you'll also see this expressed as Chan Buddhism.

From the Buddhist Dictionary:
The Chan, meditative or intuitional, sect usually said to have been established in China by Bodhidharma, the twenty-eighth patriarch, who brought the tradition of the Buddha-mind from India. This sect, believing in direct enlightenment, disregarded ritual and sūtras and depended upon the inner light and personal influence for the propagation of its tenets, founding itself on the esoteric tradition supposed to have been imparted to Kāśyapa by the Buddha, who indicated his meaning by plucking a flower without further explanation. Kāśyapa smiled in apprehension and is supposed to have passed on this mystic method to the patriarchs. The successor of Bodhidharma was 慧可 Huike, and he was succeeded by 僧璨 Sengcan; 道信 Daoxin; 弘忍 Hongren; 慧能 Huineng, and 神秀 Shenxiu, the sect dividing under the two latter into the southern and northern schools: the southern school became prominent, producing 南嶽 Nanyue and 靑原 Qingyuan, the former succeeded by 馬祖 Mazu, the latter by 石頭 Shitou. From Mazu's school arose the five later schools.

Overcome the Devil

xiáng mó
gou ma
Overcome the Devil Scroll

降魔 means to overcome the Devil, Satan, Demons or Evil. There's a lot of ways to translate this including conquering the devil, evil spirits, evil influences, or someone who habitually performs negative/evil acts.

In Buddhist context, it means to overcome demons, e.g. as the Buddha did at his enlightenment.

Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism

ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism Scroll

人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the Triple Truth of Buddhism in Japanese.

The Buddha ordered that all should know this triple truth...
A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神 is the English translation most commonly used for this Japanese Buddhist phrase. You might have seen this on a coffee cup or tee-shirt.


Note: Because this selection contains some special Japanese Hiragana characters, it should be written by a Japanese calligrapher.

yuán guāng
Enkou
Halo Scroll

圓光 is one of many ways to express "halo" in Chinese.

圓光 means, radiance emanating from the head.

This can refer to the halo surrounding the head of a Buddha.

圓光 is occasionally used to mean "halo" in Japanese but it more commonly the surname Enkō in Japan.

You may want to check our dictionary for many more versions of halo.

Immortal

xiān
sento / sen
Immortal Scroll

仙 means immortal (as in a being or person).

In some context, it can mean hermit, ascetic, man of the hills, or wizard. The Buddha is often put in this category.

In Chinese mythology and folklore, there is a famous group of eight immortals (八仙).

The 楞嚴經 (Śūraṅgama Sūtra) speaks of many kinds of immortals including walkers on the earth, fliers, wanderers at will (into space or into the deva heavens), beings with the ability to transform themselves into any form, etc.

Pure Land Buddhism / Jodo Buddhism

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

淨土宗 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

Nirvana

niè pán
ne han
Nirvana Scroll

These are the Chinese characters that mean Nirvāṇa. I will let you decide what Nirvana means to you.

涅槃 / 涅盤 can also be translated as "Buddha's death and salvation" or "death of a Buddhist monk" depending on context. However, this is not seen with any bad meaning. You could replace "death" with "moving on", as that is how it's seen in a Buddhist context.


More info from our dictionary: Nirvana

Lao Tzu / Laozi

lǎo zǐ
roushi
Lao Tzu / Laozi Scroll

Depending on the romanization scheme you use, this man's name can be spelled Laozi, Lao Tzu, or Lao Tze. In older English usage, he was known as Laocius. He is believed to have lived around 500 B.C.

He was a Chinese philosopher, founder of Daoism/Taoism, credited with being the author of the sacred and wise book of Daoism/Taoism.

There is a theory that Lao Tzu's soul traveled to India and was reborn as the Buddha.

Diamond

jīn gāng
kon gou
Diamond Scroll

金剛 is a common way to call diamonds in Chinese and Japanese.

Traditionally, there were not that many diamonds that made their way to Asia, so this word does not have the deep cultural significance that it does in the west (thanks mostly to De Beers marketing). Therefore, this word was kind of borrowed from other uses.

This title can also refer to vajra (a Sanskrit word meaning both thunderbolt and diamond that originally refers to an indestructible substance); hard metal; pupa of certain insects; Vajrapani, Buddha's warrior attendant; King Kong; adamantine; Buddhist symbol of the indestructible truth.

Ten perfect Mahayana rules

shí fǎ
jippou
Ten perfect Mahayana rules Scroll

十法 is the title of the ten perfect or perfecting Mahāyāna rules.

The order of rules are as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. joy of the bodhi mind.
5. joy in the dharma.
6. joy in meditation.
7. pursuing the correct dharma.
8. obedience to, or accordance with dharma.
9. departing from pride, desire, etc.
10. comprehending the inner teaching of Buddha and taking no pleasure attaining such knowledge or noting the ignorance of others.

This title is only used in the context of Buddhism. Japanese and Chinese people who are not familiar with Buddhism will not recognize this title.

Light / Bright and Promising Future

guāng míng
kou mei / mitsu haru
Light / Bright and Promising Future Scroll

光明 is a nice way to say "light" in Chinese, and old Korean Hanja. 光明 is because the word also suggests a bright future or refers so someone who is very promising (great future potential).

The first character means light or bright.

The second character means bright and clear (in this context).

光明 appears in most Japanese dictionaries but it not the most common Japanese Kanji word for light (more commonly used for the name Mitsuharu).

In old Korean Hanja, this can have a meaning of brightness or brilliancy.

In the context of Buddhism, this means, "Light emanating from a Buddha or Bodhisattva, symbolizing their wisdom and compassion"

Goddess of Mercy and Compassion

This is the long or more formal version of this title
guān shì yīn
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion Scroll

觀世音 is the longer, and perhaps more formal title for the Buddhist deity known as the Goddess of Mercy or Bodhisattva of Compassion.

The longer title of this bodhisattva is Romanized in the following ways:
Mandarin Chinese: Guanshi Yin, Kuan-shih Yin.
Japanese: Kanzeon.
Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
Korean: Gwan-se-eum.
Vietnamese: Quan Thế Âm.
Thai: Prah Mae Kuan Eim.
English: Bodhisattva of Mercy and Salvation, Goddess of Compassion, Buddha of Mercy, et al.

Please view our more common and shorter version "Guan Yin" before you make a decision. Also, note that 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

Appreciation of Truth by Meditation

xīn yìn
shin nin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation Scroll

心印 is a Buddhist concept that simply stated is "appreciation of truth by meditation".

It's a deep subject, but my understanding is that you can find truth through meditation, and once you've found the truth, you can learn to appreciate it more through further meditation. This title is not commonly used outside of the Buddhist community (your Asian friends may or may not understand it). The literal translation would be something like "the mind seal", I've seen this term translated this way from Japanese Buddhist poetry. But apparently, the seal that is stamped deep in your mind is the truth. You just have to meditate to find it.

Soothill defines it this way: Mental impression, intuitive certainty; the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, which can seal or assure the truth; the term indicates the intuitive method of the Chan (Zen) school, which was independent of the spoken or written word.


Reference: Soothill-Hodous Dictionary of Chinese Buddhism


See Also:  Zen

Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude

A Japanese martial arts title/concept
xǐ xīn
sen shin
Purified Spirit / Enlightened Attitude Scroll

The first Kanji alone means to wash, to bathe, primness, cleanse or purify.

The second Kanji means heart, mind, soul, or essence.

Together, these two Kanji create a word that is defined as "purified spirit" or "enlightened attitude" within the context of Japanese martial arts.

洗心 is one of the five spirits of the warrior (budo), and is often used as a Japanese martial arts tenet. Under that context it's often defined this way: A spirit that protects and harmonizes the universe. Senshin is a spirit of compassion that embraces and serves all humanity and whose function is to reconcile discord in the world. It holds all life to be sacred. It is the Buddha mind.

This title will only be familiar to Japanese who practice certain martial arts. Others may not recognize this word at all.

洗心 does not show up as a word in too many Chinese dictionaries but it can be read and has the same meaning in Chinese.


先心 There is an issue with the first character. The original, and probably most correct version is shown above. However, many dojo documents and other sources have used a more simple first character. Arguments ensue about which version is correct. If you want to be correct in the Japanese language, use the "Select and Customize" button above. If you want to match the Kanji used by your dojo, click the Kanji shown to the right. There is a slightly different meaning with this first character which means before, ahead, previous, future, precedence.

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 | Namo Amitabha | Bodhisattva

The Middle Way

zhōng dào
chuu dou
The Middle Way Scroll

In the most basic translation, this means road through the middle, or middle road.

The expanded meaning can be moderation, golden mean.

But if you are looking for this title, you are probably seeking the Buddhist definition, which is more complex.

中道 is the middle way or middle path of Buddhism. 中道 has various interpretations. In general, it denotes the mean between two extremes and has special reference to the mean between realism and nihilism, or eternal substantial existence and annihilation.

The Buddha teaches that one should not take things to extremes. Don't be extremely evil, and engage in debauchery and murder. But do not spend every waking out trying to be a perfect saint. Instead, take the middle path, try to help others, show loving kindness wherever you can, try not to do harm. If you do inadvertently harm another being, make amends if you can, and move on. Realize you are not perfect, but in time, a path of moderation lead toward proper living and enlightenment.




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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
Buddhism
Buddha
hotokefó / fo2 / fo
Buddha
Buddhism
仏 / 佛
hotoke / butsu
Buddha Heart
Mind of Buddha
佛心busshin / bushinfó xīn / fo2 xin1 / fo xin / foxinfo hsin / fohsin
The Aura of Buddha佛光bukkou / bukofó guāng / fo2 guang1 / fo guang / foguangfo kuang / fokuang
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
Mantra to Buddha
Nembutsu
念佛nenbutsuniàn fó / nian4 fo2 / nian fo / nianfonien fo / nienfo
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釋迦牟尼
释迦牟尼
sha ka mu ni
shakamuni
shì jiā móu ní
shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2
shi jia mou ni
shijiamouni
shih chia mou ni
shihchiamouni
Namo Amitabha Buddha南無阿彌陀佛
南无阿弥陀佛
namu amida 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
Shakyamuni
The Buddha
釈迦sha ka / shakashì jiā / shi4 jia1 / shi jia / shijiashih chia / shihchia
The Eye of the Buddha佛眼
佛眼 / 仏眼
butsugen / butsugenwǔ yǎn / wu3 yan3 / wu yan / wuyanwu yen / wuyen
Happy Buddha歡喜光佛
欢喜光佛
kan gi kou butsu
kangikoubutsu
kan gi ko butsu
kangikobutsu
huān xǐ guāng fó
huan1 xi3 guang1 fo2
huan xi guang fo
huanxiguangfo
huan hsi kuang fo
huanhsikuangfo
Buddha Seeking勤求gonguqín qiú / qin2 qiu2 / qin qiu / qinqiuch`in ch`iu / chinchiu / chin chiu
Buddha Dharma Sangha佛法僧buppō sō / buppōsō / bupō sō / bupōsōfó fǎ sēng
fo2 fa3 seng1
fo fa seng
fofaseng
Kensho Jobutsu - Enlightenment - Path to Buddha見性成佛
見性成仏
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
kenshojobutsu
Namo Shakyamuni Buddha南無釋迦牟尼佛
南无释迦牟尼佛
namu shakamuni butsu
namushakamunibutsu
nán wú shì jiā móu ní fó
nan2 wu2 shi4 jia1 mou2 ni2 fo2
nan wu shi jia mou ni fo
nanwushijiamounifo
nan wu shih chia mou ni fo
nanwushihchiamounifo
True Religion
Buddha Truth
實道
实道
jitsu dou / jitsudou / jitsu do / jitsudoshí dào / shi2 dao4 / shi dao / shidaoshih tao / shihtao
Seeing one’s Nature and becoming a Buddha見性成佛
见性成佛
ken shou jou butsu
kenshoujoubutsu
ken sho jo butsu
kenshojobutsu
jiàn xìng chéng fó
jian4 xing4 cheng2 fo2
jian xing cheng fo
jianxingchengfo
chien hsing ch`eng fo
chienhsingchengfo
chien hsing cheng fo
Buddhism仏教bukkyou / bukyo
Buddhism佛教fó jiào / fo2 jiao4 / fo jiao / fojiaofo chiao / fochiao
Dharma
Damo
Daruma
達摩 / 達磨
达摩 / 达磨
daru ma / darumadá mó / da2 mo2 / da mo / damota mo / tamo
Bodhisattva菩薩
菩萨
bosatsupú sà / pu2 sa4 / pu sa / pusap`u sa / pusa / pu sa
Bodhi - Awakening Enlightenment菩提bodaipú tí / pu2 ti2 / pu ti / putip`u t`i / puti / pu ti
Dharma
Buddhist Doctrine
佛法fó fǎ / fo2 fa3 / fo fa / fofa
Siddhartha悉達多
悉达多
shiddatta / shiddarutaxī dá duō
xi1 da2 duo1
xi da duo
xidaduo
hsi ta to
hsitato
Walk in the Way行道yukimichixíng dào / xing2 dao4 / xing dao / xingdaohsing tao / hsingtao
Eternal Wheel of Life法輪
法轮
hourin / horin
horin / horin
horin / horin
fǎ lún / fa3 lun2 / fa lun / falun
Namu Amida Butsu南無阿弥陀仏namu amida butsu
namuamidabutsu
Three Treasures of Buddhism三寶
三宝
san bou / sanbou / san bo / sanbosān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbaosan pao / sanpao
Avatar化身keshinhuà shēn / hua4 shen1 / hua shen / huashen
Light
Bright
mei / myou / mei / myo / mei / myomíng / ming2 / ming
Sangha僧伽sougya / sogyasēng qié / seng1 qie2 / seng qie / sengqieseng ch`ieh / sengchieh / seng chieh
Gautama喬答摩
乔答摩
Kou tou ma / Koutouma / Ko to ma / Kotomaqiáo dā mó
qiao2 da1 mo2
qiao da mo
qiaodamo
ch`iao ta mo
chiaotamo
chiao ta mo
Nichiren日蓮
日莲
nichi ren / nichirenrì lián / ri4 lian2 / ri lian / rilianjih lien / jihlien
Thirst for Truth渴法katsuhōkě fǎ / ke3 fa3 / ke fa / kefak`o fa / kofa / ko fa
Divine Light靈光
灵光
líng guāng
ling2 guang1
ling guang
lingguang
ling kuang
lingkuang
Open Mind開覺
开觉
kaikaku / kaikakukāi jué / kai1 jue2 / kai jue / kaijuek`ai chüeh / kaichüeh / kai chüeh
Sangha
Order of Monks
sou / sosēng / seng1 / seng
The World世界sei kai / seikaishì jiè / shi4 jie4 / shi jie / shijieshih chieh / shihchieh
Luohan
Lohan
羅漢
罗汉
rakanluó hàn
luo2 han4 
luo han 
luohan 
lo
Fragrant
Good Smell
ka / kou / ka / ko / ka / koxiāng / xiang1 / xianghsiang
Pure Land
Jodo
淨土
净土
jou do / joudo / jo do / jodojìng tǔ / jing4 tu3 / jing tu / jingtuching t`u / chingtu / ching tu
Karma Connection有緣
有缘
uenyǒu yuán / you3 yuan2 / you yuan / youyuanyu yüan / yuyüan
Divine Spirit御影goeiyù yǐng / yu4 ying3 / yu ying / yuyingyü ying / yüying
Kind Words愛語
爱语
aigoài yǔ / ai4 yu3 / ai yu / aiyuai yü / aiyü
Grand Master
Great Teacher
大師
大师
daishidà shī / da4 shi1 / da shi / dashita shih / tashih
Blue Lotus靑蓮
靑莲
seirenqing lián / qing lian2 / qing lian / qinglianch`ing lien / chinglien / ching lien
Zen Buddhism禪宗
禅宗
zen shuu / zenshuu / zen shu / zenshuchán zōng
chan2 zong1
chan zong
chanzong
ch`an tsung
chantsung
chan tsung
Overcome the Devil降魔gou ma / gouma / go ma / gomaxiáng mó / xiang2 mo2 / xiang mo / xiangmohsiang mo / hsiangmo
Triple Truth of Japanese Buddhism人間性を再生するのは寛容な心親切な言葉奉仕と思いやりの精神ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyou na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba houshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningensei o saisei suruno wa kanyo na kokoro shinsetsu na kotoba hoshi to omoi yari no seishin
ningenseiosaiseisurunowakanyonakokoroshinsetsunakotobahoshitoomoiyarinoseishin
Halo圓光
圆光
Enkou / Enkoyuán guāng
yuan2 guang1
yuan guang
yuanguang
yüan kuang
yüankuang
Immortalsento / senxiān / xian1 / xianhsien
Pure Land Buddhism
Jodo Buddhism
淨土宗
浄土宗
jou do shuu
joudoshuu
jo do shu
jodoshu
jìng tǔ zōng
jing4 tu3 zong1
jing tu zong
jingtuzong
ching t`u tsung
chingtutsung
ching tu tsung
Nirvana涅槃 / 涅盤
涅盘
ne han / nehanniè pán / nie4 pan2 / nie pan / niepannieh p`an / niehpan / nieh pan
Lao Tzu
Laozi
老子roushi / roshilǎo zǐ / lao3 zi3 / lao zi / laozilao tzu / laotzu
Diamond金剛
金刚
kon gou / kongou / kon go / kongojīn gāng / jin1 gang1 / jin gang / jingangchin kang / chinkang
Ten perfect Mahayana rules十法jippou / jiposhí fǎ / shi2 fa3 / shi fa / shifashih fa / shihfa
Light
Bright and Promising Future
光明kou mei / mitsu haru
koumei / mitsuharu
ko mei / mitsu haru
komei / mitsuharu
guāng míng
guang1 ming2
guang ming
guangming
kuang ming
kuangming
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion觀世音
观世音
guān shì yīn
guan1 shi4 yin1
guan shi yin
guanshiyin
kuan shih yin
kuanshihyin
Appreciation of Truth by Meditation心印shin nin / shinninxīn yìn / xin1 yin4 / xin yin / xinyinhsin yin / hsinyin
Purified Spirit
Enlightened Attitude
洗心
先心
sen shin / senshinxǐ xīn / xi3 xin1 / xi xin / xixinhsi hsin / hsihsin
Goddess of Mercy and Compassion觀音 / 観音
观音
kan non / kannonguān yīn / guan1 yin1 / guan yin / guanyinkuan yin / kuanyin
The Middle Way中道chuu dou / chuudou / chu do / chudozhōng dào
zhong1 dao4
zhong dao
zhongdao
chung tao
chungtao
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.


Many custom options...


The Middle Way Scroll
The Middle Way Scroll
The Middle Way Scroll
The Middle Way Scroll


And formats...

The Middle Way Vertical Portrait
The Middle Way Horizontal Wall Scroll
The Middle Way Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Buddha in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...

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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.


A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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.

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.

Some people may refer to this entry as Buddha Kanji, Buddha Characters, Buddha in Mandarin Chinese, Buddha Characters, Buddha in Chinese Writing, Buddha in Japanese Writing, Buddha in Asian Writing, Buddha Ideograms, Chinese Buddha symbols, Buddha Hieroglyphics, Buddha Glyphs, Buddha in Chinese Letters, Buddha Hanzi, Buddha in Japanese Kanji, Buddha Pictograms, Buddha in the Chinese Written-Language, or Buddha in the Japanese Written-Language.

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