At Arasia, we have the soul of the traveler, and one of our favorite countries is of course Thailand, which seduced us with its refinement and omnipresent spirituality, whether in its cities or its countryside!
Discover our selection of popular Thai proverbs, which often evoke the rural and animal world, because Thailand has traditionally been an agricultural and rice-producing country.
“The rice that is in your attic is your enemy because it arouses the jealousy of those who do not have it”
There is no point in amassing too much wealth, better to share it with your neighbors! If everyone is happy, it will make the world a better place! “The hen sees the snake’s legs, the snake sees the hen’s teats”
Everything is relative and depends on our point of view: always keep an open mind! “When the water drops, the ants eat the fish; when the water rises, the fish eat the ants “
Events can cause situations to change, or even reverse themselves completely, never taking anything for granted! “If a dog bites you, don’t bite the dog”
Take a step back from the events, do not react on a whim, and take the time to think it will be beneficial to you! “Draw a tiger to scare the cow”
Be smart and don’t hesitate to bluff your opponent! “It’s hard to get the cane out of the elephant’s mouth”
And now my favorite Thai proverb: “There is no other happiness than peace”
“Stick a gold leaf on the back of a Buddha statue”
This popular Thai expression refers to Buddhist culture: It designates a person who likes to do good, humbly and in all discretion.
He who sows silence reaps peace.
He who is under the sky, how can he fear the rain?
The fruits do not fall far from the tree.
Hope rises higher than the mountains.
Don’t wake the sleeping tiger.
Who helps his body, helps his mind and calms his mind.
The professor is like a boat waiting for passengers to take them across the river.
Breaking your leg today can save your life the next day.
In youth one must seek knowledge; in old age, a master.
Life is so short, you have to move slowly.
And you, what is your favorite proverb? Do not hesitate to comment on this article !
Sanskrit is the sacred language of ancient India, many terms of which are now frequently used in the world of yoga and wellness in general.
With our little Sanskrit lexicon, enter a mysterious world of infinite wisdom!
AHIMSA: This term, popularized by Gandhi, means “non-violence” and “benevolence towards all creatures”. This is the first principle of “yamas”, the codified rules guiding yogis on their path of life.
ASANA: Literally “yoga posture, or sitting”.
ASHRAM: spiritual community gathered around a sage.
AUM or OM: primordial vibration of the universe, link between interior and exterior. Represents the four degrees of reality: waking (A), dreaming (U), deep sleep (M) and turya or silence.
AYURVEDA: From “ayur”, “life” and “veda”, “knowledge”, Ayurveda is the traditional medicine of India which dates from the Vedic period. According to Ayurveda, Matter is composed of five elements (the tattvas): earth (prithivi), water (apas), fire (tejas), air (vayu) and ether (akasha). These elements come together in three combinations to form what are called “doshas”, which determine the different “types” of people.
BANDHAS: Energy locks in the physical body that yogis use to hold life energy. The three main bandhas are mulabandha (at the level of the root chakra); uddyanabandha (at the level of the diaphragm) and jalandharabandha, (at the level of the throat).
CHAKRAS: The chakras are the energy centers, located along the spine. They are often symbolized by lotuses (padma).
DHARMA: this term designates the natural law, the duty, the wheel of the journey of life.
GUNAS: the material world is made up of three qualities which are the “gunas”. These three qualities are present in living beings and food: “tamas” = laziness and resistance; “Rajas” = energy and movement; “Sattva” = balance and purity.
GURU: “Gu” means shadow and “ru” means light. The guru is a master, a teacher who guides us from shadow to light.
KARMA: means “action”, “movement of energy”. Karma is the law of cause and effect (or law of causation).
KOSHAS: The five envelopes of the human being: the physical, energetic, mental, intellectual and spiritual bodies.
LILA: the divine ballet or “game” of the physical world.
MALA: Hindu rosary. In general, the mala is made up of 108 pearls, a sacred number in yogic mythology. Often composed of natural stones and seeds, it is used to count breaths or mantras.
MANDALA: literally “center, circle, unity and totality”. Mandalas are geometric designs widely used as a medium for meditation.
MANTRA: It is a phrase, sequence of words or syllables, repeated while singing, and / or meditating. This practice is based on the power of repetition.
MAYA: It is the illusion of the physical world and the main cause of our suffering.
MOKSHA: Refers to the liberation of the soul, when it has completed its cycle of reincarnations.
MUDRA: Sacred gestures performed with the hands and fingers. The practice of mudras helps to raise vibrational energy.
NAMASTA: This is a greeting commonly used in India and in yoga classes as a sign of gratitude, benevolence and peace.
NIRVANA: Refers to the liberation of a being from the cycle of rebirth (samsara). The self is no longer separated from the rest of creation and with this state comes intense happiness. This is the goal of the Buddhist and Hindu spiritual journey.
PRANA: This Sanskrit word means indifferently “vital breath”, “energy of life”, “light”.
PRANAYAMA: “control” or “mastery” of “prana” ie the breathing techniques of yoga.
PUJA: Offering to the statues representing the Gods: chanting of mantras, garlands of flowers, fruits, sacred woods, milk, rice, water, incense…
SADHU: Holy man who gave up earthly pleasures to pursue a spiritual quest.
SATYA: Means “truth” in the sense of “sincerity”.
SHANTI: This Sanskrit word often sung by yogis literally means “peace”.
SUTRA: Short philosophical texts which expose a sacred knowledge.
SVASTIKA: Very ancient and powerful symbol of luck and protection. It was used by the Nazis who gave it an extremely negative connotation, but today it needs to be given back its true meaning.
VEDAS: Very ancient sacred texts from India.
YOGA: Indian ancestral art of self-knowledge. Yoga is a holistic practice aimed at training the body, the breath and the mind. It aims for the union of the self and the divine.
YOGI (male), YOGINI (female): practitioner of Yoga
Ganesha or Ganapati is a cross between the human and divine worlds. His body is that of a man while his head is that of an elephant. His mount, Mushaka, is a tiny rat.
Known as the god of wealth, wisdom and luck, traders, travelers and the household. He is the son of Shiva and Parvati.
Ganesh protects from any obstacles and unawareness, and it is customary to make an offering in the form of of flowers (preferably red), fruit (bananas, coconuts, mangoes …), plants, lamps, candles and incense, as well as treats, which he loves before one foregoes an examination, a trip, or a ceremony.
A warm and welcoming god, Ganesh is extremely popular in India and as He is seen in temples, houses, shops, restaurants…
His favorite days are Tuesday and Friday.
Other names of Ganesh are: Ganapati: Lord of Ganas Vinyaka: Best guide Gajnara: Elephant Head
The third eye corresponds according to oriental traditions to the sixth chakra. It is found in various cultures and religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and most meditative practices.
People of India often wear on their foreheads a bindi, bindu or tikal, which symbolizes and materializes the third eye, and its Sanskrit name is “Ajn”.
But what really is the third eye?
The third eye is a mystical and esoteric metaphor for the inner gaze, beyond the physical eyes, and more generally for the spiritual awakening.
It is located on the forehead, between the two eyes. It’s the other look, the real look, that of knowing yourself and the world around you. It would also be the centre of the soul.
The third eye scientifically corresponds to the pineal gland, which is connected to the nose, ears, and the nervous system. It is connected to the hypothalamus, the “heart” of our brain.
The seat of intuition
When its functioning is optimal, the third eye is the source of many gifts and capacities: increased perceptions, clairvoyance, and intense intuition.
We find our ability to make clear choices, and to know what we really want in our life. We are “inspired”.
When this chakra is not functional, we are unfortunately more egocentric, interested and frightened. We stay focused on our habits and our security without any real possibility of evolution. We cannot calmly accept the vagaries of existence.
Opening of consciousness
Opening the third eye raises awareness, and we become more lucid. We then better understand the thrue essence of the human being, and the meaning of life and death.
How to activate the third eye?
Its proper functioning would be degraded by the heavy metals accumulated in our body, such as fluorine and calcium. But to activate the third eye there are several methods, you can for example place an intense blue color stone, like a sodalite, or massage it with a drop of essential oil of dill, immortelle or palmarosa.
So, are you ready to open your third eye and activate your inner sun?
Confucius or Kongfuzi (known as “Master Kong”) is a Chinese philosopher of the 6th century BC and the founder of Confucianism.
This legendary historical figure from ancient China lived under the declining dynasty of the Zhous, whose legitimacy would have come from the gods through the “heavenly mandate”.
Concerned about moral values as well as law and order in society, Confucius traveled throughout China and taught much of his life. After his death, his ideas were collected by his followers (also called “the 12 philosophers”), and profoundly influenced all Chinese civilization, but also Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet-Nam.
His reflections were compiled by his disciples in the Analects (“Conversations”) in the form of philosophical anecdotes forming a “manual of good leaders.”
Confucianism (or “scholarly school”) was established as a state doctrine by the Han Dynasty in the 2nd century BC and remained so until the founding of the Republic of China in 1911.
The key values of his doctrine are: respect for the old and the traditions, loyalty, benevolence, modesty and humility.
Mudras are hands gestures whose origin goes back to ancient India, several millennia ago.
According to the ancient tradition, our five fingers represent the five building blocks, or the five main elements of the universe (called Panchamahabhootas ).
The thumb is connected to the Fire (Agni)
The forefinger is linked to the Air (Vayu)
The middle finger is connected to the Ether, the Sky (Akasha)
The ring finger is connected to the Earth (Prithvi)
The little finger is connected to the Water (Jala)
It is worth mentioning that the 5 elements do not refers to the same concepts in the Indian and Chinese culture, the correspondences also change (learn more about the 5 Chinese elements here).
Murdas is practiced by creating, with one’s fingers, particular forms that generate energy and subtle vibrations that care for the body and the mind.
It also includes the principle of Asanas (postures of yoga). Moreover, mudras are often referred to as ” finger yoga”.
Practiced regularly, the mudras improve our general health, and harmony body-spirit-universe.
Mudras are omnipresent in Hindu dances, especially the dances that talk about the story of the manifestation of God in the universe.
Each mudra has a deep meaning and has a share of the magic of Life.
The Sanskrit word ‘mudra’ means ‘sign’ or ‘seal’. It comes from the terms: ‘mud’ which means ‘bliss’, happiness and ‘dhra’ which means ‘dissolution’.
Each finger has its own function and power in the body. Used properly it can help maintain your physical, mental and spiritual health.
When the fingers touch, the ‘nadis’ (energy channels) are connected and some energies are activated. The different elements that make up our body and the whole universe can associate and cooperate.
Our hands can replace our eyes in the dark, they can also be used to communicate with our fellow humans and with the rest of the universe. Our hands are the first means of expression before one learn how to speak!
Our destiny rests in our hands, and this expression is to be taken literally and figuratively.
With Hakini Mudra, the five energetic channels are equally activated.
Dharmachakra mudra is the gesture of the turning wheel of life.
Padma mudra or lotus seal is excellent to open oneself to universal love.
Mass-Education is an Indian NGO founded in 1976. Its goal is to promote education for everyone, mainly the poor rural and urban areas of Bengal.
Mass Education aims to make changes in basic, everyday life, to create opportunities for development, and to help the emergence of a conscious citizenship.
People are educated to become self-reliant in resource management.
The NGO has already built more than 60 schools with a capacity of 15,000 pupils, 6 teacher training centers, 1 orphanage and 1 nursing home.
They have set up training programs for adults (sewing, plumbing, etc.), actions to raise awareness of health, hygiene, contraception, actions to combat exclusion, demonstrations in favor of respect for Human rights and the environment.
This year, Mass Education has planted 1000 mango trees, check out the pictures here.
You can also finance the construction of a collective latrine (starting at 350 euros), or sponsor one or several children (30 euros per month per child allow to pay for his/her education, food, school materials, etc.)
Sukumar Singh dreams of changing society with his ideas and alternative approaches. He studied history, economics, politics, as well as the social and cultural situation of India. 40 years after founding Mass-Education with a group of farmers, he is till this day dedicated body and soul to this noble cause.
The banyan, also called pagoda fig tree, Bo tree, pipal, or ficus religiosa is a majestic tree that can reach 30 meters, and several hundred meters in circumference!
With its aerial roots descending from its bushy crown to the ground, becoming trunks, and its heart-shaped leaves, the banyan invites to meditation. In Asia, they are found everywhere: in the towns, in the middle of a road, in front of a building or in the middle of a parking lot, and are tended to by devotees who come to place some offerings or prayers.
Indeed, it is said that Buddha attained enlightenment under the shadow of a banyan tree. And the Bhagavad-Gita made it the tree of supreme knowledge.
This tree has a particular energy, the banyan trees are very often found near the temples, and can live up to 1500 years. It has the power to calm the mind, but also to take the mind very high to heaven.
In South America it is called “the tree that walks” because it seems to have enormous legs that can be compared to elephant’s that leave the “main trunk”.
Some famous banyan trees:
The most famous and most sacred is in the holy city of Bodh-Gaya, in northeastern India, where the Buddha would have attained enlightenment.
The Great Banian of Howrah, near Calcutta, India. Its diameter is over 130 meters.
Another famous Banyan is the Dodda Alada Mara in Bangalore.
The banyan is part of many Ayurvedic remedies. One uses its sap, its leaves, or its bark.
Arasia has put in place an ethical approach with most of its suppliers in Asia.
We are concerned about the manufacturing conditions, and the comfort of workers. We made a point to visit the workshops to find out where our products come from.
The Thai pants and Thai skirts, for instance, are ordered from a very nice Thai couple, Bank and Tete.
They have a small ready-to wear business that make, sells and export traditional Thai clothes.
Here is Bank, my main contact with whom I communicate regularly and who has become a friend. He runs several small shops on the side of Hua Hin a seaside resort (200 km south of Bangkok).
The large packages next to him contain Thai pants and skirts ordered by Arasia.
The following picture was taken in a small village near Chiang Mai (northern Thailand), at the depot where Bank regroups all its orders after the clothes are made. From left to right: Cindy the founder of Arasia-Shop, Tété the wife of Bank and Som the cousin of Tété. Both women manage the orders and the administrative part of the business.
Thai pants and skirts are made in a small village near Chiang Mai by local seamstresses. When a large order is placed, most of the women in the village are asked to give a helping hand and help to carry out the order as soon as possible.
This councious partnership with Arasia ensures a comfortable and regular income for its suppliers and contributes to the improvement of their standard of living.
A relationship of trust has been established and Arasia can thus place orders from France and does not need to travel all the way to order.
Once the items are ready, they are grouped together with other orders and sent by boat to France (by containers). This means of transport takes more time, but is much less polluting than the airplane.
Here is a picture of the team managing logistics and exporting in Thailand, with Cindy the manager of Arasia on the right.