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

 

Mass-Education An Indian NGO that has planted 100,000 trees!

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.

Mass-Education is also a reforestation program with more than 100,000 trees planted since 1980, as well as an ethical tourism program that has already welcomed 300 tourists.

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.

Photos of Mass-Education achievements

Fair travel to India

Plant a tree for 1 euro!

The banyan trees: sacred trees

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.

Operation 1 euro = 1 tree in Bengal!

Arasia’s reforestation

Forest Man, the man who planted a forest!

Majuli Island is located in the Bhramaputra River in the north of India. In the 1970s it was a large shoal threatened by winds and soil erosion with a population of 150,000 inhabitants.

Jadav Payeng is an incredible defender of nature. Since 1979, tree by tree, he planted, by himself an incredible forest, the Molai forest, with the aim of saving his island threatened by erosion.

Forest Man Jadav Payeng

Today, the Molai Forest makes up to more than 550 hectares. It has become dense and rich, and is home to many animal and plant, many of which are endangered: elephants, Bengal tigers, one-horned rhinoceros, vultures …

The Molai forest was planted by a single man, now dubbed “Forest Man”, he planted his forest without tools or without any help but simply with his two bare hands.

Jadav Payeng devoted his life to planting this forest, this man is a true nature lover, humble and passionate, who shows us that with will anything is possible.

His fight is far from over. As he himself says: “it will never be. The biggest threat I face is not from nature but from my people. Man has a vocation to destroy everything, when it should be the opposite. I will fight to the end to make it happen. ”

What if we took this as an example and each of us take action on their own scale? The whole world would be transformed.

Arasia offers you the opportunity to plant trees by participating in the operation 1 euro = 1 tree, in partnership with the Indian NGO Mass-Education.

Click here to plant a tree!

Learn more about reforestation projects sponsored by Arasia 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 !

 

 

Reforestation in Sumatra

Glances, expressions, gestures … The behavior of the last great ape in Asia could not be more disturbing … In Malay , orangutan means “man of the forest” the beast shares 96.4% of its DNA with humans.

Yet, massive deforestation is currently taking place in these paradise islands of Borneo and Sumatra, mainly to plant oil palm tree – palm oil is produced at very low prices and is increasingly used in the food, cosmetics and chemical industries, and for the manufacture of biofuels.

Highly dependent on forests, not only orangutans are endangered: the forests’extraordinary biodiversity as well. Indonesia knows the world’s fastest deforestation (the equivalent of a football field every 10 seconds).

Forest destruction threatens the balance of our planet.

Arasia, in partnership with Sumatran Orangoutan Society, attempts to raise awareness on this issue, and sells a range of T-shirts and tank tops directly supporting this cause.

Achievement in Indonesia!

Take action!

Arasia also sponsored the planting of 800 trees in the park of GunungLeuser in Sumatra.

The significance of the lotus

Brahma , the creator , was born in a lotus , a symbol of the origin of the event.

The lotus ( Padma in Sanskrit) is the sacred flower of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Out of the mud , it rises towards the light and represents the elevation and spiritual realization .

It serves as a throne to the deities .

symbol of beauty , purity and elegance, it is also the national flower of India .

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi, India, is an architectural curiosity lotus flower shape about to hatch. The temple is to be universal and open to all religions . People don’t necessarily  perform a particular ritual , there often come just meditate in silence and an open their heart.

The lotus symbolizes the heart or the divine office and the chakras, which are also called the lotus, or wheels. The wheel is a stylized lotus , or from the center and returns to the center .

In yoga, the position of the lotus (padmasana) is a symbol of meditation and enlightenment.

A tree is worth more than its wood

A tree is a treasure that provides shading, moisture, fruits and fresh air.
A tree is a home to birds, insects and monkeys, the forests are the lungs of the earth.

In yoga, tree posture is excellent to soothe, harmonize and balance the body and mind.

Unfortunately deforestation is raging all around the globe…
Wild animals flee at the sound of chainsaws which destroys the ecosystems and replacing them with monocultures that deprive people of their traditional natural resources.
A destroyed forest can no longer regulate drought and moisture, and tree roots can no longer hold the soil during storms, landslides, and climate change …
We shall remain positive anyway and plant trees!

More and more activities are carried out locally and globally to fight against environmental destruction.

Every single one of us can act at their own scale and broadcast the message.

Plant a tree for one euro in India with Arasia and Mass Education!
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