Dharma in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Dharma / Buddhist Doctrine

  2. Dharma / The Law

  3. Buddha Dharma Sangha

  4. Dharma / Damo / Daruma

  5. First Turn of the Dharma Wheel

  6. Ten perfect Mahayana rules

  7. Three Treasures of Buddhism

  8. Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity


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".

Dharma / The Law

hou
Dharma / The Law Scroll

法 is the simple way to write "law" or in a Buddhist context "Dharma".

This can also mean method, way or Buddhist teaching. It's also an abbreviation for the country of France.

The Buddhist context exists in Chinese and Korean Hanja but I have not yet confirmed that this means more than "law" when used alone in Japanese.

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.

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.

First Turn of the Dharma Wheel

chū zhuàn fǎ lún
sho ten bourin
First Turn of the Dharma Wheel Scroll

初轉法輪 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for the first turning of the wheel of the dharma.

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.

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.

Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity

bù shī
fuse
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Scroll

This title is the Buddhist practice of giving known as Dāna or दान from Pali and Sanskrit.

Depending on the context, this can be alms-giving, acts of charity, offerings (usually money) to a priest for reading sutras or teachings.

Some will put Dāna in these two categories:
1. The pure, or unsullied charity, which looks for no reward here but only in the hereafter.
2. The sullied almsgiving whose object is personal benefit.
The first kind is, of course, the kind that a liberated or enlightened person will pursue.

Others will put Dāna in these categories:
1. Worldly or material gifts.
2. Unworldly or spiritual gifts.

You can also separate Dāna into these three kinds:
1. 財布施 Goods such as money, food, or material items.
2. 法布施 Dharma, as an act to teach or bestow the Buddhist doctrine onto others.
3. 無畏布施 Courage, as an act of facing fear to save someone or when standing up for someone or standing up for righteousness.

The philosophies and categorization of Dāna will vary among various monks, temples, and sects of Buddhism.

Breaking down the characters separately:
(sometimes written ) means to spread out or announce, but also means cloth. In ancient times, cloth or robs were given to the Buddhist monks annually as a gift of alms - I need to do more research, but I believe there is a relationship here.
means to grant, to give, to bestow, to act, to carry out, and by itself can mean Dāna as a single character.

Dāna can also be expressed as 檀那 (pronounced "tán nà" in Mandarin, and dan-na or だんな in Japanese). 檀那 is a transliteration of Dāna. However, it has colloquially come to mean some unsavory or unrelated things in Japanese. So, I think 布施 is better for calligraphy on your wall to remind you to practice Dāna daily (or whenever possible).


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Dharma
Buddhist Doctrine
佛法fó fǎ / fo2 fa3 / fo fa / fofa
Dharma
The Law
hou / hofǎ / fa3 / fa
Buddha Dharma Sangha佛法僧buppō sō / buppōsō / bupō sō / bupōsōfó fǎ sēng
fo2 fa3 seng1
fo fa seng
fofaseng
Dharma
Damo
Daruma
達摩 / 達磨
达摩 / 达磨
daru ma / darumadá mó / da2 mo2 / da mo / damota mo / tamo
First Turn of the Dharma Wheel初轉法輪
初转法轮
sho ten bourin
shotenbourin
sho ten borin
shotenborin
chū zhuàn fǎ lún
chu1 zhuan4 fa3 lun2
chu zhuan fa lun
chuzhuanfalun
ch`u chuan fa lun
chuchuanfalun
chu chuan fa lun
Ten perfect Mahayana rules十法jippou / jiposhí fǎ / shi2 fa3 / shi fa / shifashih fa / shihfa
Three Treasures of Buddhism三寶
三宝
san bou / sanbou / san bo / sanbosān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbaosan pao / sanpao
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity布施fusebù shī / bu4 shi1 / bu shi / bushipu shih / pushih
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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Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Scroll
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Scroll
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Scroll
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Scroll


And formats...

Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Vertical Portrait
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Horizontal Wall Scroll
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Dharma in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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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.
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!

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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 Dharma Kanji, Dharma Characters, Dharma in Mandarin Chinese, Dharma Characters, Dharma in Chinese Writing, Dharma in Japanese Writing, Dharma in Asian Writing, Dharma Ideograms, Chinese Dharma symbols, Dharma Hieroglyphics, Dharma Glyphs, Dharma in Chinese Letters, Dharma Hanzi, Dharma in Japanese Kanji, Dharma Pictograms, Dharma in the Chinese Written-Language, or Dharma in the Japanese Written-Language.

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