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Cause Effect in Chinese / Japanese...

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Karma - Cause and Effect

China yīn guǒ
Japan inga
Karma - Cause and Effect Vertical Wall Scroll

因果 is a label that is used inside and outside of the Buddhist faith to speak of Karma.

Along with the meaning of Karma, this word can be translated as "retribution" or "chain of cause and effect."


See Also:  Buddhism

Evil Cause, Evil Result

Meaning: You reap what you sow
Japan akuin akka
Evil Cause, Evil Result Vertical Wall Scroll

This Japanese proverb means, "Evil cause, evil effect" or "Bad causes bring bad results."

The English equivalent is probably, "Sow evil and reap evil" or more commonly, "You reap what you sow."

Note: 悪因悪果 is also considered to be a Buddhist phrase encompassing the idea of karmic retribution.

Everything Happens for a Reason

China wàn shì jiē yīn guǒ
Everything Happens for a Reason Vertical Wall Scroll

The first two characters mean "all things" or "everything."

The middle character kind of means, "in all cases."

The last two characters create a complex word that can be defined many ways such as, "karma," "cause and effect," "fate," "every cause has its effect, as every effect arises from a cause."

Keep in mind, Chinese grammar is a bit different than English, so trust me that this makes a natural proverb that means, "Everything happens for a reason" in Chinese.

Fate / Opportunity / Chance

Buddhist idea of Fate
China yīn yuán
Japan in nen
Fate / Opportunity / Chance Vertical Wall Scroll

因緣 is the Buddhist concept of a chance meeting or an opportunity that presents itself by fate.

Sometimes this is used to describe a cosmic chain of events or cause and effect.

It also is used to describe predestined relationships between people - and sometimes married couples (although if you want one about marriage, try this: Fate / Destiny of Lovers.

因緣 can also be translated as origin, karma, destiny, affinity, connection, and relation. This all depends on context - seen alone on a wall scroll, this will be read with a "fate / chance" meaning by a Chinese person, or a Korean person who can read Hanja.

The more complex definition of this word would be, "Direct causes and indirect conditions, which underlie the actions of all things."

This concept is known as nidana in the original Sanskrit. Also sometimes presented as hetupratyaya (or "hetu and prataya") which I believe is Pali.


Note: Japanese will tend to use this version of the second Kanji: 縁
If you order this from the Japanese master calligrapher, expect that you'll get this version. However, this word often carries a negative connotation in Japanese (bad things happen), as it is used that way in a certain Japanese idiom. Therefore, this may not be the best choice if Japanese is your target language.


See Also:  Buddhism | Opportunity

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If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese

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