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9. True Essence
眞智 can mean the wisdom or knowledge of ultimate truth.
眞智 is also the absolute knowledge of the non-thing or that which is immaterial. This makes more sense when you consider that true wisdom includes the knowledge of both the real and unreal, or what is material and immaterial.
In Japan, 眞智 (Masatoshi) can also be a given name.
真如 comes from the Sanskrit and Pali word often romanized as “tathata” or “tathatā.” Originally written, “तथता.”
It's a Buddhist term often translated as “thusness” or “suchness,” but this does not explain it.
A better explanation may be “the ultimate nature of all things” or “ultimate truth.” However, this gives it too strong of a feeling. This concept is sometimes described as being in awe of the simple nature of something - like a blade of grass blowing in the wind or ripples on water. It is what it is supposed to be, these things follow their nature. Amazing in their mundane simplicity.
Every sect of Buddhism will have a slightly different flavor or explanation, so don't get fixated on one definition.
Notes: Sometimes Buddhists use the word dharmatā, a synonym to tathatā.
In Japan, this can also be the female given name Mayuki, or the surname Majo.
大乘無上法 means the supreme Mahāyāna truth.
This refers to the ultimate reality in contrast with the temporary and apparent. Other translations include “the reliance on the power of the vow of the bodhisattva” or “the peerless great vehicle teaching.”
Note: This may suggest that Mahayana Buddhism, as practiced in China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and other regions is superior (with subtle arrogance) to the original Theravada (or old school) Buddhism. Mahayana and Theravada Buddhists generally get along better than Catholics and Protestants, but there have been schisms.
虚実 is a Japanese word that means “falsehood [and] truth” or “fiction [and] fact.”
This concept is used in warfare, gameplay, and martial arts strategies. 虚実 can be a strategy of real and/or deceptive moves. This gets to some Sun Tzu Art of War stuff where in warfare a strategic move is either a real and serious move or it is a deceptive blow.
Let's explore each character in more depth:
虚 was originally written 虛 (there is a very subtle difference in the strokes at the bottom of the character) and means unpreparedness, falsehood, emptiness, void, abstract theory, empty or unoccupied, diffident or timid, false, humble or modest, virtual, or in vain.
In the Buddhist context, 虛 represents the Pali/Sanskrit word “śūnya,” meaning empty, vacant, unreal, unsubstantial, untrue, space, humble, or in vain.
In ancient Eastern/Chinese astronomy, 虛 represents the “Emptiness” constellation (one of the 28 mansions in the sky).
実 was originally 實 in Chinese (they currently write it as 实 in Simplified Chinese) with the meaning, truth, reality, sincerity, honesty, fidelity, and substance.
The Buddhist context is similar, adding real, true, honest, really, solid, definitely, sincere, solid, fixed, full, to fill, fruit, kernel, verily, in fact, the supreme fact, or ultimate reality to the definition.
波羅末陀 is the Chinese and Japanese way to write the ancient Sanskrit word Paramārtha or परमार्थ which now means the highest truth, ultimate truth, ultimate reality, or fundamental meaning.
Paramārtha is the name of a famous Buddhist monk born in 499 CE. Paramārtha traveled the world (including Cambodia and territories that are now part of China) to spread the teachings of Buddhism by translating scriptures into the local languages so the truth could be understood by the masses.
So, we should all want to be a Paramārtha who brings the ultimate truth, knowledge, and enlightenment to others.
極真 is the Japanese title Kyokushin.
The literal meaning is “great truth” or “ultimate truth.” However, 極真 is usually associated with the style of stand-up, full-contact karate, founded in 1964 by Masutatsu Oyama (大山倍達).
Practitioners of the Kyokushinkai Karate follow a philosophy of discipline and self-improvement.
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|shougi / shogi||shèng yì / sheng4 yi4 / sheng yi / shengyi||sheng i / shengi|
|Knowledge of Ultimate Truth||眞智||masatoshi||zhēn zhì / zhen1 zhi4 / zhen zhi / zhenzhi||chen chih / chenchih|
|shou gi tai|
sho gi tai
|shèng yì dì|
sheng4 yi4 di4
sheng yi di
|sheng i ti
Ultimate Nature of All Things
|真如||shinnyo||zhēn rú / zhen1 ru2 / zhen ru / zhenru||chen ju / chenju|
|Ultimate Reality||精眞||shou shin / shoushin / sho shin||jīng zhēn|
|The Supreme Mahayana Truth||大乘無上法|
|dai jou mu jou hou|
dai jo mu jo ho
|dà shèng wú shàng fǎ|
da4 sheng4 wu2 shang4 fa3
da sheng wu shang fa
|ta sheng wu shang fa
|Kyojitsu: Falsehood and Truth||虚実||kyo jitsu / kyojitsu|
|ha ra ma da|
|bō luó mò tuó|
bo1 luo2 mo4 tuo2
bo luo mo tuo
|po lo mo t`o
po lo mo to
|shintai / shintei||zhēn dì / zhen1 di4 / zhen di / zhendi||chen ti / chenti|
|Kyokushin||極真||kyoku shin / kyokushin|
|The True and Complete Enlightenment||眞覺|
|shinkaku||zhēn jué / zhen1 jue2 / zhen jue / zhenjue||chen chüeh / chenchüeh|
|shi shin kaku|
|zhì zhēn jué|
zhi4 zhen1 jue2
zhi zhen jue
|chih chen chüeh
|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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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.
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.
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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