Introducing Ganesh

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.

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

Ganesh statues for sale on my online shop Arasia.

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The tree of life: this mythical symbol

 

The tree of life is a powerful and ancient symbol, present in many cultures.

 

It is the symbolic connection between all the forms of creation, like an immense genealogical tree. It is often represented in a circle.

 

The tree of knowledge connects the underground world, represented by the roots, with the heavenly world, represented by the branches.

 

The tree is a symbol present in many religions, mythologies and philosophies.

 

According to Christianity, the tree is present in the garden of Eden, it is the symbol of eternal life and the knowledge of good and evil.

 

The same notion of an immortal tree is found in Islam and in Judaism. Placed in the middle of Paradise, it loses its leaves every winter and these grow back in the following spring (representation of the eternal cycle of seasons and life).

 

According to Buddhism, ‘Açvattha’ is a sacred fig tree: it is under this tree that Buddha meditated and acquired wisdom.

 

Among the Hindus, the universe takes the form of an overturned tree: it’s roots start from the sky, and its branches and leaves cover the earth. The sacred tree of Hindus is the Akshayavat, “the eternal banyan,” a remarkable example of divine power, for this tree would be indestructible. It would be located within the ramparts of Fort Allahabad, at the confluence of the Ganges and the Yamuna River.

 

In Chinese mythology, ‘Kien-mou’ is the sacred tree that connects the nine sources (stay of the dead) to the nine heavens. Thanks to him, the sovereigns pass from heaven to earth and vice versa. They are temporary substitutes for the sun to manage life on earth.

 

The tree of life, a mythical symbol, is considered a lucky charm, a talisman that reminds us of where we come from and where we go (we come from Earth to rise to the Heavens).

 

The flower of life, will be the subject of an upcoming article 🙂

 

The tree is charged with symbolism and imbued with divine essence, and with the spark of life that allows it to grow.

 

It is a very recurrent symbol on jewelry, and ARASIA-SHOP hangings for its spiritual aspect, but it is also because very aesthetic.

 

We offer many products wonderfully decorated with trees of life like draperies, pendants, etc …

 

Read our blog article about the Banyans  here .

 

Plant a tree with Arasia and Mass-Education.

 

Mass-Education planted 100,000 trees in Bengal

 

All our reforestation actions

 

Thanks to Stéphanie, a trainee who provided the basis for this article

 

Tibetan bowl: how to make it sing?

The Tibetan bowl is traditionally used for prayer, meditation as well as for holistic therapeutic treatments (healing by sounds).

The best singing bowls are from the Dharamsala region in India, and are made of a seven metals alloy: bronze, copper, tin, zinc, iron, silver and gold, which corresponds to the seven planets of the solar system, seven chakras … etc.

The sound is obtained by circular friction of the stick around the bowl to obtain a continuous sound.

How to make your Tibetan bowl sing?

Place the Tibetan bowl flat on your left hand, which must remain flat (the fingers must not touch the bowl). Hold the stick with your right hand, and begin by giving, gently and softly, one or several small blows to make the bowl ring.

Then try to rotate the stick circularly around the bowl by pressing more or less strongly on the bowl.

Dexterity game enthusiasts will enjoy this

You will get a very pure sound that has healing and calming virtues.

The simple fact of making your bowl sing is a meditation in itself, because one has to center oneself and be in the present moment.

This incredibly rich and beautiful sound is actually a harmonic (several notes) sometimes complex, and that is characteristic of each bowl.

The stick can be made of wood or covered with felt for a softer sound.

You can also use a soft mallet to hit the bowl, which will produce a warm bell sound.

The popularity of Tibetan bowls is due to the remarkable sound they produce. They have been an integral part of Asian culture for centuries.

The singing bowls can be decorated with spiritual motifs and symbols (the Om mani padme hum mantra, or carved Buddha).

Arasia sells many Tibetan bowls as well as several models of Tibetan bowls sticks, and Tibetan bowls pads.

HAVE A LOOK ON OUR ONLINE SHOP 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.

What is the symbolism behind the elephant?

The Elephant is mainly known as agigantic animal, but it is actually a pacifistic animal with a keen intellect.

Unfortunately counted nowadays as an endangered species because of poaching, deforestation and industrialization.

A distinction is to be made between the African elephant and the Asian elephant.

The Asian elephant’s height reach, in average, below 3 meters and weigh less than 3 tons. Its ears are small and its tusks are often short or even nonexistent and its trunkpossess a sole finger. The African elephant however, can be up to 3,5 meters and weigh up to 4 or 5 tons! It ears are so big that they can cool him off or frighten its opponent. Its tusk is long and hefty and its trunk possess two fingers.

The Asian elephant has been domesticated for more than 4,500 years firstly to travel or animal traction. Nowadays, the elephant is mainly seen in the tourism industry. It is the biggest land-based animal on earth.

What is the symbolism behind the elephant?

The Elephant is mainly known as agigantic animal, but it is actually a pacifistic animal with a keen intellect.

Unfortunately counted nowadays as an endangered species because of poaching, deforestation and industrialization.

A distinction is to be made between the African elephant and the Asian elephant.
The Asian elephant’s height reach, in average, below 3 meters and weigh less than 3 tons. Its ears are small and its tusks are often short or even nonexistent and its trunkpossess a sole finger. The African elephant however, can be up to 3,5 meters and weigh up to 4 or 5 tons! It ears are so big that they can cool him off or frighten its opponent. Its tusk is long and hefty and its trunk possess two fingers.

The Asian elephant has been domesticated for more than 4,500 years firstly to travel or animal traction. Nowadays, the elephant is mainly seen in the tourism industry. It is the biggest land-based animal on earth.

The symbolism behind the elephant always has been “superior wisdom”. The animal is also associated with the idea of having a good memory, longevity (can reach 86 years of age !!), wealth, strength and goodwill.

In India, the elephant impersonates the world’s four pillars which it carries on its back.

In Hindu philosophy, Ganesh, god of wisdom and students’ patron. The son of Shiva one of the main deity worshiped in India and the god of Cosmos.

The elephant is also often found in religious ceremonies where it occupies a special place.

You will find on Arasia’s blog numerous articles about elephants, drapery, statues, ornamentation etc., right here !

 

 

Bhumibol, King of Thaïland

The death of King of Thailand plunged the country into uncertainty.

The king of Thailand RAMA IX aka Bhumibol Adulyadej, was born on December 5, 1927 and died on Thursday, October 13, 2016. He ruled over Thailand for 70 years. His dynasty, the Rama dynasty, succeeded the dynasty of the kings of Ayutthaya and Bangkok was established as the capital of the kingdom in 1782.

Bhumibol is revered like a demigod and his portrait is omnipresent in all homes. 90% of the population had only him as a ruler, he held a central role in the unification of the country.

The designated successor is his only son Maha Vajiralongkorn. He is not very popular because of his erratic personality and lack of commitment. Most Thai people would prefer to see his sister,Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, on the throne

The troubled political context of the country:

After a strong economic growth in the 85’s -95’s, Thailand was among the four dragons of South East Asia, nowadays the country is experiencing a troubled politicalclimate.

The relations between the army, the royalist “yellow shirts” and the pro-democratic “red shirts” are often violent. The country is plagued by coups, internet censorship and the imprisonment of journalists and opponents.

Any unfavorable opinion towards the king or his family is punished as a crime of lese majesty according to the Thai constitution. Its authority and legitimacy are truly immutable. The King is the symbolic father of all Thai people.

By tradition, Father’s Day is set on the king’s birthday (therefore on December 5 since 1946) and it is the same for Mother’s Day.

Following the death of the king, the entire country was grieving. A mourning period of one year was declared after which the new sovereign will be crowned.

I convey my condolences to the Thai people for this difficult moment in their history, which I am sure they will be able to face with the wisdom that characterizes them.

Bollywoods

Born of the contraction between Bombay (now Mumbai) and Hollywood, Bollywood refers to an Indian cinematographic genre born in the begging of the twentieth century

As its name suggests, the capital of Indian cinema is Mumbai and Bollywood is the largest film industry in the world.

The Bollywood films are characterized by their duration of about 2 to 3 hours (with an intermission), outdoor shoots which is one of the trademarks of the genre, and colorful choreographies, sometimes soliciting hundreds of dancers with impeccable technique (see our article on mudras here). Choreographies are allied to atypical songs that were traditionally, in Hindi and started to be mixed with English with more Western rhythms thereafter.

In India, cinema is family-oriented (hence the absence of explicit scenes), dedicated to entertainment, and combines drama, romance, comedy, action, music and dance.

It is much more than an art or an industry, it is a culture, an important part in the life of many Indians, who identify with the characters, their adventures and the values ​​they carry.

Bollywood actors are very versatile and their talent is sometimes underestimated by the Western cinema because the intrigues are considered kitsch.

Hindi movies have managed to spread to the rest of the world not only through the diaspora and “neighboring countries” such as Southeast Asia, North Africa and the Middle East but alsotrough Westerners, that areand more are interested in this cinematic genre. Some Bollywood actors succeed in exporting to Hollywood: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, DeepikaPadukone, Priyanka Chopra…

At Arasia, we have a slight preference for the films: Ram-Leela, Devdas, As Long as I Live, Fanaa and UmraoJaan.

ArasiaShop sells many articles with a Bollywood theme such as bindies, the ring bracelet (here), statues of Indian deities (here), Indian scarves (here).

sources :

http://www.lefigaro.fr/culture/2012/08/06/03004-20120806ARTFIG00401-bollywood-ce-cinema-qui-unit-l-inde.php

http://shakiraqs.e-monsite.com/pages/bollywood/qu-est-ce-que-bollywood.html

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bollywood#Sc.C3.A9nario

Thank you to  Stéphanie Teko Malonda for this article  🙂

The Happy Buddha, buddha of prosperity

The Buddha of prosperity or the Happy Buddha is not to be confused with Siddhartha Gautama, who is also called the Thai Buddha or 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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