A request from a non-Chinese speaking enthusiast was received to translate the following into English. Anyone?



8 thoughts on “Translation?

  1. Are the origin, medium form (ink on rice paper?), location and background of this piece known?

    It must be modern as the writing follows the western style: from left to right, although using traditional characters.


  2. (the top two lines relates the origin. It was from a place named Ju don under the caring of Shaolin Temple). The third line is a succession naming method which is popular amongst a major clan. The monks in Shaolin Temple follows a hierarchy to obtain their names so they can be differentiated with their pedigree.

    The rest of the lines basically can be translated as follows:

    Our religion covers a vast territory and we rejoice in under the same origin

    Maintenance of tranquillity should be deep as the ocean and purity is the path to follow

    Keep your virtue constantly with the help of a solid mind

    Keeping an open mind will guide you to more understanding of the ‘tao’

    Kindness and loyalty will bring fortune to establish a greater understanding

    “shue ting” can be your instructor and guide you through the proper path.

    I might have mis-spelled and missed some of the proper words but the basic meaning should be there.

    Hope this will be of some help.

  3. My goodness, I am overwhelmed at the replies and good assistance with this poem. I am the original asker for the translation and I did provide that image. Thanks, Shie-shie, to all who replied. It has been a rewarding and wonderful time. Please let me tell you all, Professor C.C. Cheng of the University of Illinois gave great assistance with this also – he is a great modern scholar andChinese expert.

  4. The poem written entirely in Pin-Yin is as follows:

    Song1 Shan1 Shao3 Lin2 Si4 Cao2 Dong4
    Zheng4 Zong1 Chuan2 Xu4 Qi1 Shi2 Zi4 Bei4 Jue2

    Fu2 Hui4 Zhi4 Zi2 Jue2
    Liao3 Ben3 Yuan2 Ke3 Wu4
    Zhou1 Hong2 Pu3 Guang3 Zong1
    Dao4 Qing4 Tong2 Xuan2 Zu3
    Qing1 Jing4 Zhen1 Ru2 Hai3
    Zhan4 Ji4 Chun2 Zhen1 Su4
    De2 Xing2 Yong3 Yan2 Heng2
    Miao4 Ti3 Chang2 Jian1 Gu4
    Xin1 Lang3 Zhao4 You1 Shen1
    Xing4 Ming2 Jian4 Chong2 Zuo4
    Zhong1 Zheng4 Shan4 Xi1 Xiang2
    Jin3 Zhi4 Yuan2 Ji4 Du4
    Xue3 Ting2 Wei2 Dao3 Shi1
    Yin3 Ru3 Gui1 Xuan4 Lu4

  5. Formal Names of 70 Successive Generations of Shaolin Temple Monks
    Translation by Kong Shiu Loon
    Blessed wisdom inspires self-awareness 福慧智子覺
    Fulfillment follows ready insight 了本圓可悟
    Talents and saints generally bear our names 周洪普廣宗
    Virtue was broadly cherished by our ancestors 道慶同玄祖
    Tranquility and truthfulness sustain life as the sea 清靜真如海
    Solitude endured inculcates pure personal quality 湛寂淳貞素
    Righteous deeds evoke eternal succession 德行永延恆
    Agility keeps bodies in sound and strong stakes 妙體常堅固
    Clear minds enlighten deep understanding 心朗照幽深
    Shining characters ensure signal accomplishments
    Loyalty and justice exalt true happiness 忠正善禧祥
    Singular wills are sources of lasting charity 謹志原濟度
    Snow Pavilion exemplifies the guiding light 雪庭為導師
    Leading all on the path to nirvana 引汝歸鉉路

    Note: Every Chinese has an identity marked by two sources (doors), his family and his teacher (or school). 家門與師門. For example, I am a Kong and a Wahyanite, someone else may be a Chen and a Princetonian. Monks sever their relations with their families when they 出家. They are also theoretically equal with their mentors. So, their names are derived from a succession of names marking their temple origin. The 70 successive formal names of Shaolin was established by the head monk of the Yuen Dynasty, Snow Pavilion 雪庭. Each of the 70 Chinese words forms a part of a name for a monk, and all other monks of his generation. Altogether, the 70 words are grouped in verses of 5 words each, bearing meanings representing the wishes of the originator.

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