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If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition
| wú liàng
muryou / muryo
More info & calligraphy:Immeasurable / Unlimited
(adj-no,n) immeasurable; infinite; inestimable; (given name) Muryō
apramāṇa; amita; ananta; immeasurable, unlimited, e.g. the 'four infinite' characteristics of a bodhisattva are 慈悲喜捨 kindness, pity, joy, and self-sacrifice.
| wú liáng yīn
wu2 liang2 yin1
wu liang yin
| ā mí tuó
a1 mi2 tuo2
a mi t`o
a mi to
(out-dated kanji) (1) (Buddhist term) Amitabha (Buddha); Amida; (2) (kana only) (abbreviation) ghostleg lottery; ladder lottery; lottery in which participants trace a line across a lattice pattern to determine the winner; (3) (kana only) (abbreviation) wearing a hat pushed back on one's head
(阿彌) amita, boundless, infinite; tr. by 無量 immeasurable. The Buddha of infinite qualities, known as 阿彌陀婆 (or 阿彌陀佛) Amitābha, tr. 無量光 boundless light; 阿彌陀廋斯Amitāyus, tr. 無量壽 boundless age, or life; and among the esoteric sects Amṛta 甘露 (甘露王) sweet-dew (king). An imaginary being unknown to ancient Buddhism, possibly of Persian or Iranian origin, who has eclipsed the historical Buddha in becoming the most popular divinity in the Mahāyāna pantheon. His name indicates an idealization rather than an historic personality, the idea of eternal light and life. The origin and date of the concept are unknown, but he has always been associated with the west, where in his Paradise, Suikhāvatī, the Western Pure Land, he receives to unbounded happiness all who call upon his name (cf. the Pure Lands 淨土 of Maitreya and Akṣobhya). This is consequent on his forty-eight vows, especially the eighteenth, in which he vows to refuse Buddhahood until he has saved all living beings to his Paradise, except those who had committed the five unpardonable sins, or were guilty of blasphemy against the Faith. While his Paradise is theoretically only a stage on the way to rebirth in the final joys of nirvana, it is popularly considered as the final resting-place of those who cry na-mo a-mi-to-fo, or blessed be, or adoration to, Amita Buddha. The 淨土 Pure-land (Jap. Jōdo) sect is especially devoted to this cult, which arises chiefly out of the Sukhāvatīvyūha, but Amita is referred to in many other texts and recognized, with differing interpretations and emphasis, by the other sects. Eitel attributes the first preaching of the dogma to 'a priest from Tokhara' in A. D.147, and says that Faxian and Xuanzang make no mention of the cult. But the Chinese pilgrim 慧日Huiri says he found it prevalent in India 702-719. The first translation of the Amitāyus Sutra, circa A.D. 223-253, had disappeared when the Kaiyuan catalogue was compiled A.D. 730. The eighteenth vow occurs in the tr. by Dharmarakṣa A.D. 308. With Amita is closely associated Avalokiteśvara, who is also considered as his incarnation, and appears crowned with, or bearing the image of Amita. In the trinity of Amita, Avalokiteśvara appears on his left and Mahāsthāmaprāpta on his right. Another group, of five, includes Kṣitigarbha and Nāgārjuna, the latter counted as the second patriarch of the Pure Land sect. One who calls on the name of Amitābha is styled 阿彌陀聖 a saint of Amitābha. Amitābha is one of the Five 'dhyāni buddhas' 五佛, q.v. He has many titles, amongst which are the following twelve relating to him as Buddha of light, also his title of eternal life: 無量光佛Buddha of boundless light; 無邊光佛 Buddha of unlimited light; 無礙光佛 Buddha of irresistible light; 無對光佛 Buddha of incomparable light; 燄王光佛 Buddha of yama or flame-king light; 淸淨光佛 Buddha of pure light; 歡喜光佛 Buddha of joyous light; 智慧光佛 Buddha of wisdom light; 不斷光佛 Buddha of unending light; 難思光佛 Buddha of inconceivable light; 無稱光佛Buddha of indescribable light; 超日月光佛 Buddha of light surpassing that of sun and moon; 無量壽 Buddha of boundless age. As buddha he has, of course, all the attributes of a buddha, including the trikāya, or 法報化身, about which in re Amita there are differences of opinion in the various schools. His esoteric germ-letter is hrīḥ, and he has specific manual-signs. Cf. 阿彌陀經, of which with commentaries there are numerous editions.
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Romaji (Romanized Japanese)
|Various forms of Romanized Chinese
|ā mǐ tǎ / a1 mi3 ta3 / a mi ta / amita
|a mi t`a / amita / a mi ta
|a mi ta / amita
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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.
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