A Unique Way to Flaunt Your Zodiac Sign - Year of the Rat
29th July, 2018 @ 01.03 pm
Last time we spoke of the designs inspired by the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. Japanese culture has a strong Chinese influence. China being the historical powerhouse in Asia has led Japan to absorb many elements of Chinese culture. So Japan has a similar zodiac calendar as the Chinese. However, as per Japanese culture there are eight Buddhas or Bodhisattvas who are the keepers of these zodiac signs.
In the previous article we gave an introduction to the Chinese zodiac signs and how they came into being. To refresh your memory, there are 12 zodiac signs, one for each year. Unlike the western zodiac signs which dedicates one month to each sign, the Chinese zodiac sign dedicates one whole year to each sign. All the 12 signs are ruled by different animals, and if you want to know the story of how the 12 zodiac signs were dedicated to 12 different animals, please read our previous blog for an introduction to the Chinese Zodiac. The 12 animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Those born in the year of a particular animal will have positive and negative traits of these animals.
Today we will talk about the design inspired from the first symbol of the Chinese Zodiac calendar, the Year of Rat that has been used on the RMC Jeans Super Exclusive Vintage Cut Year of the Rat Jeans crafted from Raw Selvedge Denim. Senju Konnan or the Avalokiteshwara Buddha is associated with this sign. He is the protector or guardian of people born under this sign, and the pocket’s design portrays a beautiful hand embroidered image of Senju Konnan. Senju Konnan is the deity who embodies compassion. This deity is represented in both male and female forms. This is the deity that sees all, hears all prayers, and relieves the suffering of all beings on this earth.
This deity has a thousand arms and eleven heads, the depiction of which can be seen on the intricate embroidery on the pocket of the jeans. One Buddhist legend tells that Senju Kannon had vowed not to rest until he had released all beings of worldly suffering, but the task was tedious as there were more and more unhappy beings on earth. After struggling to hear all their prayers and try to save them; his head splits into elven pieces and his hand shatters into several pieces. At such a time, Amitabha Buddha, who is the principal Buddha and spiritual father of Senju Kannon provides him with eleven heads and a thousand hands with an eye on the palm of each hand. This helps Kannon to hear the cries of the multitude with the eleven heads and witness the suffering with the thousand eyes and help relieve the suffering of people using a thousand arms.
Hence in the design the image shows several arms to the deity and you can see several heads on his crown. The head on top of the crown is that of Amitabha Buddha.
In the design the deity is seated on a lotus pedestal. Lotus in Buddhism symbolizes purity of the body, speech and mind. While the lotus is rooted in muddy waters, it blooms on long stalks above the muddy water, not touching it which symbolizes detachment from desires. Even the water drops sliding off the petals symbolizes detachment from worldly pleasures. The deity is seated in a yogic position called Padmasana or the lotus pose, which is usually the pose used for meditation. His two main arms are holding hands in prayer, while the other two arms are holding a blue wish-fulfilling jewel called “Chintamani.”
On the other pocket, a large handmade embroidery of the Sanskrit seed or syllable “SA” representing the deity can be seen. It is the symbol of the deity.
The year of the rat are: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032... The positive traits of people born in the year of the rat are supposed to be shrewd, adaptable, smart, cautious, alert, positive, flexible, outgoing, and cheerful. The negative traits are timid, unstable, stubborn, picky, lack of persistence, querulous.
Flaunt your zodiac sign in a totally unique way by owning this awesome Year of the Rat raw selvedge denim jeans.