Confucius or Kongfuzi

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.

The Yin Yang symbol

Yin et le Yang symbole arasia

Yin and Yang is one of the fundamental symbols of Chinese philosophy.

It refers to the two opposed and complementary principles that characterize the world, for example: good and evil, shadow and light, visible and invisible, material and spiritual, oneself and others …

This duality guarantees the harmony and balance of the universe.

The Yin as a part of Yang and the Yang as a part of Yin as well , they are inseparable.

The Yin is the black part of the symbol and represents the feminine, the night, the moon, the cold, the rest, the immobility and the unconscious.

The Yang, the white part of the symbol and represents the masculine, the energy, the day, the sun, the summer, the warmth, the mobility, the conscious.

Arasia-Shop offers a selection of yin yang products: hangings, rings, incense doors, necklaces … Take a look here

To go further: The五行 Wǔ Xíng or the Five elements here

The五行Wǔ Xíng or the Five elements

The wuxing are in China, the five (wu) elements (xing) : an extensive classification system which determines all the elements and phenomena both at a cosmic level than at a human level.

The Five elements (or phases or movements) – along with the fundamental concept of yin and yang and the active principle Qi –make up the core of the traditional Chinese philosophy.

To each of those elements is associated a color, a music note, an organ, a cardinal point, a season, an emotion, etc.

The conceptual scheme of the five elements attempts to give a deep spiritual meaning of the world’s mechanisms and the cycles of life and of the universe. Every existing thing is subjected to the cycles of life and the universe’s and cycles of life and destruction.

The Yin cycle (domination / destruction)

The Wood chokes the Earth

The Earth dries the Water

The Water extinguishes the Fire

The Fire melts the Metal

The Metal slices the Wood.

The Five elements have a certain order. First come the Metal (jin), then the Wood (mu), then the Water (shui), then the Fire (huo) then the Earth (tu).

Those 5 elements interact, complete each other and exist simultaneously together within the cycles of destruction and creation.

The wuxing are defined as raw natural material, each with their own intrinsic dynamic playing a part in the grand scheme of things.

Thus, it is in the Water’s intrinsic nature to flow (downwards) and to wet. It the Fire’s intrinsic nature to rise (upwards) and to burn, the Wood can lie flat or stand tall, the Metal is docile and takes any form its given, the Earth’s primary essence is to be suitable for cultivation and harvesting.

The Chinese theory of the five elements thus succeeded to unify a multitude of different phenomena, to establish inter-relations between them and give them a deep and meaningful meaning within the universe. The constants flows between the elements are to be equilibrated and their energies balanced to prevent any disruption.

If one elements arein excess, its energy will weaken or increase excessively its opposite element. For instance, the excess of energy of the Metal will exhaustthe Wood’s energy and disproportionately raise the Water’s energy.

The right proportion of each elements is primordial to the balance of the universe and the nature’s harmony.

Historical facts:

It appears that the Chinese dynasties have succeeded one another following the succession of the 5 elements or phases. And, each time a new emperor acceded to the throne, heaven sends a good omen to the men.

Therefore, during the Yellow emperor ascension giant earthworms and ants appeared in the sky so the Han dynasty was associated whit the element Earth. Afterwards, the Xia dynasty was associated with the Wood, the Zhou dynasty with the Fire and so on and so forth.

The Happy Buddha, buddha of prosperity

The Buddha of prosperity or the Happy Buddha is not to be confused with Siddhartha Gautama , the historical Buddha

Its origin dates back to the tenth century in China , during the Liang dynasty where a Buddhist monk named Budai (pronounced boudaye ) was appointed as an incarnation of Maitreya , the Buddha of the future.

Budai was paunchy, jovial, kind and generous. He is often depicted with a bag of valuables or with a jar full of wine!

Nowadays it is found in almost all Oriental homes, and it is considered a lucky charm, both material and spiritual prosperity. It is said that rubbing his belly brings richness and fulfillment.

His blessed nature, pudgy physique and his eternal smile has made him the quintessential god of abundance and happiness!

The Buddha of prosperity in hand-carved wood by Balinese artisans is available at Arasia.

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