The Imagery of nichiren's Lotus
Sutra: Other Chinese Characters of Interest to Buddhists
Zenjin in Chinese
||Sho (zh? in Chinese) is
composed of two characters. On the left are sounds coming from a mouth.
On the right is the trunk and branches of a tree. Together it means all,
every, each thing, etc.
||Ten (tián in Chinese)
is a person with a line above his head. The line indicates heaven — that
which is above humans.
||Zen (shàn in Chinese)
is composed of a goat (on top) and a mouth (on the bottom). (Words that
are gentle — like sheep.) It means beneficial, friendly or good.
||Jin (shén in Chinese)
is composed of two characters. On the left is the sun, moon, and stars
shedding their light on the world, by itself it means heavenly teaching
(illumination from heaven). On the right are hands holding a rope — it
means to extend (a rope extensions the reach of the hands). The whole character
means “heaven extending itself to all living beings.”
All things (Sho)
are divine (Ten) bringing benefit.
The beneficial (Zen) light from
heaven (wisdom) extends (Jin)
itself to humans. Anything and anyone can be a shoten zenjin. As
we continue to practice we see the potential beneficial nature of things.
The Imagery of Nichiren's Lotus Sutra website