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5. Three Treasures of Buddhism
6. Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity
9. First Turn of the Dharma Wheel
佛法 can be defined as “The Law of Buddha,” “The Power of Buddha,” or simply “Dharma.”
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.
十法 is the title of the ten perfect or perfecting Mahāyāna rules.
The order of rules is as follows:
1. right belief.
2. right conduct.
3. right spirit.
4. the 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 in 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.
The Triple Gem
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 in 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.
布施 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, or 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:
布 (sometimes written 佈) 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.
施 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 correct doctrine of the Buddha
正法 is a Buddhist term that means “True Dharma” or “The true teachings of Buddha.”
Other translations include the just law, proper method, or period of the true law.
初轉法輪 is the Chinese, Japanese Kanji, and old Korean Hanja for the first turning of the wheel of the dharma.
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 versus . If you choose the Japanese master calligrapher, expect it to be written in the Japanese version.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|佛法||fó fǎ / fo2 fa3 / fo fa / fofa|
|法||hou / ho||fǎ / fa3 / fa|
|Ten perfect Mahayana rules||十法||jippou / jipo||shí fǎ / shi2 fa3 / shi fa / shifa||shih fa / shihfa|
|Three Treasures of Buddhism||三寶|
|san bou / sanbou / san bo||sān bǎo / san1 bao3 / san bao / sanbao||san pao / sanpao|
|Dana: Almsgiving and Generosity||布施||fuse||bù shī / bu4 shi1 / bu shi / bushi||pu shih / pushih|
|Shobo||正法||shou bou / shoubou / sho bo||zhèng fǎ / zheng4 fa3 / zheng fa / zhengfa||cheng fa / chengfa|
|Buddha Dharma Sangha||佛法僧||buppō sō / buppōsō / bupō sō||fó fǎ sēng|
fo2 fa3 seng1
fo fa seng
|First Turn of the Dharma Wheel||初轉法輪|
|sho ten bourin|
sho ten borin
|chū zhuàn fǎ lún|
chu1 zhuan4 fa3 lun2
chu zhuan fa lun
|ch`u chuan fa lun
chu chuan fa lun
|達摩 / 達磨|
达摩 / 达磨
|daru ma / daruma||dá mó / da2 mo2 / da mo / damo||ta mo / tamo|
|Dharma Gate of Bliss||安樂の法門||an raku no hou mon|
an raku no ho mon
|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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