Generosity in Chinese / Japanese...

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  1. Generosity

  2. Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity

  3. Kindness and Forgiving Nature

  4. Mercy / Compassion / Love

  5. Charity

  6. Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness


kuān dà
kandai
Generosity Scroll

寬大 is a Chinese, Japanese, and Korean word that means Generosity.

Generosity is giving and sharing. You share freely, not with the idea of receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness, and give just for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

寬大 can also be translated as charitable, magnanimity, liberality or in some context broad-mindedness.

Note: There is a tiny deviation in the first character when written in Japanese. If you choose our Japanese master calligrapher, the little dot on the lower right of the first character will be omitted. With or without the dot, this can be read in Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja.


See Also:  Benevolence | Altruism | Charity

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).

Kindness and Forgiving Nature

rén shù
jinjo
Kindness and Forgiving Nature Scroll

These two characters create a word in Chinese and Japanese that means something like benevolence with magnanimity or kindness with a forgiving nature.

If this describes you, then you are the type of person that I would like to call my friend.

This may not be the most common word in daily use but it's old enough that it transcended cultures from China to Japan in the 5th century when Japan lacked a written language, and absorbed Chinese characters and words into their language.
Note: 仁恕 is not commonly used in Korean.

Mercy / Compassion / Love

ji
Mercy / Compassion / Love Scroll

慈 is the simplest way to express the idea of compassion.

This can also mean love for your fellow humans, humanity, or living creatures. Sometimes this is extended to mean charity.

This term is often used with a Buddhist or Christian context. The concept was also spoken of by Laozi (Lao Tzu) in the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching).

慈 is considered the direct translation of the Sanskrit word मैत्री (maitrī) Pali word मेत्ता (mettā). In this context, it means benevolence, loving-kindness, and goodwill.

This Chinese character is understood in Japanese but is usually used in compound words (not seen alone). Also used in old Korean Hanja, so it's very universal.


See Also:  Mercy | Benevolence | Forgiveness | Kindness

cí shàn
jizen
Charity Scroll

There are a few different words used to express charity in Chinese characters, Japanese Kanji and old Korean Hanja but 慈善 is the most common.

Some of the other words describe acts such as "giving alms" etc.


Note: Sometimes this is translated as benevolence or benevolent.
Also, this considered to be one of the Seven Heavenly Virtues.

If you need a different meaning, just contact me.


See Also:  Benevolence | Altruism

Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness

cí bēi
ji hi
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Scroll

Besides the title above, 慈悲 can also be defined as clemency or lenience and sometimes the act of giving charity.

In Buddhist context, it can be defined as, "benevolence", "loving kindness and compassion", or "mercy and compassion".

This Buddhist virtue is perhaps the most important to employ in your life. All sentient beings that you encounter should be given your loving kindness. And trust me, however much you can give, it comes back. Make your life and the world a better place!

This Chinese/Japanese Buddhist term is the equivalent of Metta Karuna from Pali or Maitri Karuna from Sanskrit.

慈 can mean loving-kindness by itself.
悲 adds a component of sorrow, empathy, compassion, and sympathy for others.


See Also:  Benevolence


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

Title CharactersRomaji (Romanized Japanese)Various forms of Romanized Chinese
Generosity寬大
宽大
kandaikuān dà / kuan1 da4 / kuan da / kuandak`uan ta / kuanta / kuan ta
Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity布施fusebù shī / bu4 shi1 / bu shi / bushipu shih / pushih
Kindness and Forgiving Nature仁恕jinjorén shù / ren2 shu4 / ren shu / renshujen shu / jenshu
Mercy
Compassion
Love
jicí / ci2 / citz`u / tzu
Charity慈善jizencí shàn / ci2 shan4 / ci shan / cishantz`u shan / tzushan / tzu shan
Mercy
Compassion
Buddhist Loving Kindness
慈悲ji hi / jihicí bēi / ci2 bei1 / ci bei / cibeitz`u pei / tzupei / tzu pei
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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Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Scroll
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Scroll
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Scroll
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Scroll


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Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Vertical Portrait
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Horizontal Wall Scroll
Mercy / Compassion / Buddhist Loving Kindness Vertical Portrait
Dictionary

Lookup Generosity in my Japanese & Chinese Dictionary


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A nice Chinese calligraphy wall scroll

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A professional Chinese Calligrapher

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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.

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Trying to learn Chinese calligrapher - a futile effort

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

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