Sunday, June 13, 2004

Kangmi and Ditch the Raft

I added Kangmi and Ditch the Raft to my sidebar, but didn't get around to making graphics for them until very late last night (technically, Sunday morning).

Here's the one for Kangmi:


I thought about doing the Kangmi image as hanja, but that would violate my rule about using hanja exclusively for the religion-oriented blogs. Sorry, Kelly, but you got hangeul instead. I stuck the rose in there as a verbal pun: in Korean, a rose is a jang-mi. Besides, women tend to like roses.

Here's the logo I made for Ditch the Raft:

Mu Seung

This is based on how Andi explained the title of her new blog:

The Buddha likened his teachings to a raft used to cross a river, the river representing suffering. His teachings would help one cross to the other shore, or free oneself from suffering. But once on that other shore, would you carry the raft with you? No. So you have to ditch the raft.

In Buddhism 101, you learn that there are (at least) two principal strands of Buddhism, Mahayana (Greater Vehicle/Big Raft) and Hinayana (Lesser Vehicle/Little Raft). As you might guess from the nomenclature, "Hinayana" is a pejorative, probably polemical term created by Mahayana adherents. Hinayana isn't synonymous with Theravada (Way of the Elders), as many people seem to think: Theravadins are a subtype of Hinayana. One of my texts (The Buddhist Religion) argues that, thanks to scholars, much of the pejorative sting of the term "Hinayana" is disappearing, but my own brief encounters with Theravadins seems to indicate that there's still a good deal of resentment about the term. I don't think any type of Hinayana survives outside of Theravada, so in the present day, it's better to use "Theravada" instead of "Hinayana" to refer to the extant Buddhisms found principally in countries like Thailand and Sri Lanka.

In Sino-Korean, the character seung means something like "vehicle, ride, get on, go up." Seung has much the same semantic field as the French verb monter. [NB: There's another seung that means "monk," from which Koreans get their term for monk, sunim.] The Sino-Korean words for "big" and "small" are dae and so. Korean Buddhists, almost all of whom are Mahayana adherents, still use the classic terms dae-seung and so-seung to refer to Mahayana and Hinayana. Based on what Andi wrote, I decided that Andi's blog's title renders nicely as mu-seung, No Vehicle.

Here's hoping the ladies enjoy their logos, which are also on the sidebar.

[NB: I didn't add an English title to Andi's logo because, to be frank, I couldn't figure out where to place one. Everywhere I tried looked terrible, whether vertically or horizontally oriented. So instead, I sprinkled the edges with wildflowers. Et voilà.]


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