Chinese on the left top corner is: 威力震大千，吼声出三界。只愁身上虫，扰如大自在。
this is a poem (typically called 5-Jue poem, it has a style of 4 lines and each
line with 5 words). The Poem describes how the angry lion comes
line: 威力震大千, its
power can shake the whole universe. 大千 is a Buddhism word,
literally meaning “the great thousands”, Buddhism uses it to refer to the
universe because Buddhism believes that the universe is composed of many
thousands of different worlds.
roaring can reach outside of the three dimensions. “Three dimensions” is
another Buddhism word, Buddhist view of this universe is very similar to what
the modern physics (string theory) comes to understand, that is, the university
is divided into different dimensions (and we are in the 3rd dimension). Old Chinese use number 3 to mean “many”, not really meaning 3
per se. So 三界
actually means many dimensions. This sentence means the roaring of the
lion is far-reaching and extremely powerful.
this two sentences meaning: the only trouble the lion has is the little bugs in
its own body, these bugs trouble the lion so much that it gets so angry and
can’t be free and happy. Here 大自在 is another Buddhism word, meaning the ultimate freedom and happiness.
Buddhists believe all human beings have the Buddha nature and through
practice, people can achieve the status of the ultimate freedom and
overall the poem means the lion is a very powerful animal (Chinese culture,
similar to the western, believe the lion is the KING of the animals) , however
it can’t get rid of its own little bugs (these little bugs have a metaphor
meaning, its own defects and its own desire etc) so it can’t achieve the
ultimate freedom and happiness.
is by Gao, Qifeng and the poem is by Ye, Gongchuo (his name was signed at the
end of the poem, the poem read from right to left), both were famous.
right corner is the stamp of Gao, Qifeng, read as “予书画狮藏裱，中山纪念堂… “ stating
the reason and time for this painting.