Etymology of the Chinese name Chun Ming Dao
Names for important Chinese cultural manifestations are chosen to express purity, correctness, strength, righteousness and higher culture, amongst other things. The above three characters have been carefully selected to convey a spiritual path of wisdom, manifest in the physical world. The meaning of each character is as follows:
The left-hand particle 糸 (pronounced ‘mi’), is a picture-gram of ‘twisted string’, or ‘strands of silk’. Silk is ‘pure’.
The right-hand particle 屯 (pronounced ‘tun’), literally translates as ‘to sprout’, as if from the ground. It denotes the gathering of essentials at the source, and can be used to describe the ‘gathering of an army’, amongst other things. The Chinese word ‘Chun- ’, therefore means ‘an essential purity that draws all things to itself, so that great achievements can be made.’
The left-hand particle 日 (pronounced ‘ri’) denotes the ‘sun’. In ancient times, the Chinese philosophers believed ‘round’ sun shone upon the ‘square’ earth. Overtime, this symbolism evolved into a rectangle that also carries the meaning of ‘day’.
The right-hand particle 月 (pronounced ‘yue’) denotes the‘moon’. In ancient times, this particle represented the ‘half moon’, that through its cycles of change, turns towards the earth with beneficial effects. Taken together, the ideogram (ming) conveys the meaning of ‘double brightness’. There is nothing that is not illuminated.
This very interested ideogram is comprised of two particles. The particle on the left 辶 (pronounced ‘chuo’) denotes feet that tread a path, or walk upon a road.
The particle on the right 首 (pronounced ‘shou’), which literally means ‘head’. However, this term also means ‘leader’, or ‘chief’, and is distinguished from the more usual ideogram for ‘head’ 頁( -ye), by two tufts of hair. These tufts denote ‘heaven’ and ‘earth’ . A person with knowledge of heaven and earth are fit to be called leaders, kings or even emperors.
Therefore, the ideogram 道–dao carries the dual meaning of a ‘path that leads to enlightenment’ (trod by a student), and a ‘path that expresses enlightened wisdom’ (the accomplished path of the teacher/sage.
Chun Ming Dao - 純 明 道 therefore, can have a number of interpretations:
Pure bright way
Way of pure awareness
Way of great understanding
Way of complete unity
Way of bright origination
Way of pure unity