Know Yourself- The Chinese Way

By: Pandit Gopal Sharma

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The Chinese have twelve zodiac signs based on twelve animal signs. According to Chinese lore, the Buddha extended an invitation to all animals and invited them to collect prizes according to their individual capability. This invitation was sent on the beginning of the new lunar month, but since most of the animals could not understand the importance of such an invitation, only twelve animals turned up. The first one to arrive was a rat who was blessed with wisdom and intelligence, so the first Chinese zodiac sign was allotted to the rat. Then came the ox, which was blessed with courage, and the second Zodiac sign was attributed to it. In the same way, ten more animals came and were attributed a year each.

The year of birth is the most significant factor for any Chinese person – a particular year stands for the traits of the specific animal associated with that year; and a person born in that year will exhibit the traits of the animal.

We can find our Chinese Zodiac signs with the help of the following table:
Rat 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Goat 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019
The Rat
Intelligent and Logical

Persons born under the Rat sign have attractive personalities. They can make friends easily and enjoy socializing. Due to these inherent traits they succeed in fields such as journalism, public relations and event management. They have a sharp intellect and are good workers. However, though they labor hard and have good ideas, they lack confidence and find it difficult to attain fame and often face difficulties in translating their plans into reality. People born under this sign are often restless and dissatisfied. They believe in enjoying the comforts of life by using even borrowed money. They desire to enjoy life here and now, and do not care much for the future. They can also have lust for money, power and status. Their childhood passes in comfort and enjoyment; their youth is ridden with strife and problems; but the last phase of their life is quite comfortable and protected.

The Ox
Courageous and Self-confident

Persons born under this sign are usually hardworking and peaceful by nature, but may have a rash temperament. They take pleasure in serving others. The ox does its work at a slow pace and it has immense patience as well. At times this sign is very obstinate due to which they get involved in arguments with others. Immense courage, self-confidence and preference to live in solitude are other traits of this sign. As they habitually get enraged once they are provoked, they are unable to control their anger. The ox demands faithfulness from all others. If he is the head of the family, his orders must be obeyed.

Males have an inborn tendency to leadership. They can succeed in politics and agriculture, and can also become successful musicians and counselors. People born in winter have more comfortable lives as compared to those born in the summer season. In matters of love and romance, they proceed at a moderately slow pace, but their strong determination enables them to reach the ultimate goal as they stay focused on their target.

The Tiger
Fault-Finding and Fiery

Persons born under the Tiger sign are typically hot-headed and angry, but they are also courageous and active. They have high moral character, and have the capacity and capability for leadership and providing security. They love to accept challenges and risks in life. They cannot be subservient to anybody. Though they are fortunate, whenever they have to encounter misfortune, they tend to be pessimistic. They are upright, liberal and open-hearted individuals and they hate cheating, deceit, treachery and lying.

People born under this sign are obstinate and restive, especially if they are born at night. They are highly sensual. They are usually not broad-minded and don’t trust anyone blindly. Rebellion is their natural trait and often, they fall out with their bosses and even squabble, leading to litigation. It is generally believed that people with this sign are highly fortunate and full of confidence. The first part of their life is comfortable; youth is full of struggle; but old age is always comfortable.

The Rabbit
Sensitive and Generous

2011 is the year of the Rabbit. Rabbit sign people have a tranquil nature and are sensitive to the world around them. They cannot thrive in a competitive or aggressive environment, and soon become anxious if they are forced to take risks. Their delicately balanced emotions are easily destabilized by unsettled or unpredictable situations, and they instinctively want to create a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere. In fact, this makes them excellent hosts. They are very particular – paying attention to everything from color, design and furniture, to food and conversation. They cannot relax until everything is arranged to their satisfaction. Rabbit individuals make charming, elegant and intelligent company.

They have a good imagination and intellect combined with openness and generosity enables them to turn enemies into friends. Their approach to life is not threatening or disruptive, and the only time that they are really obstinate is when they feel they have been pushed to their limits. When faced with a dilemma, or if they are just feeling low, they tend to keep their thoughts well hidden in the belief that it is not appropriate to make demands or force their opinions on others. Rabbit individuals do not enjoy the cutthroat world of business, preferring work that is more methodical and reliable. The world of politics and finance holds little interest for them. They are best suited to careers in literature, art, design and public relations.

The Dragon
Strong-willed and Fortunate

The dragon is a symbol of good fortune. The Chinese consider the Dragon year as the best and most fortunate year, because persons born under this sign are extremely intelligent, fortunate, healthy, lively, imaginative and strong-willed. Due to these qualities they achieve the goals they set for themselves. People with a Dragon sign have an extroverted personality and possess a strong will power. They can easily face all challenges. They always wish to remain popular, but they cannot be easily influenced by other people nor can they be taken in easily. If they turn inimical and hostile, their animosity assumes serious and dangerous proportions, though generally they are gentle and helpful. They are talkative and outspoken, and any facet of life where they can get publicity and acclaim are the best-suited situations for them. Hence they are highly successful in political, military, educational and religious organizations where they can get exposure and have the satisfaction of serving people.

The Snake
Attractive and Fascinating

In China, a person born under the Snake sign is considered a wealthy person. Women belonging to the Snake sign are extremely beautiful. Snake sign persons are blessed with intelligence, calmness, sobriety and wisdom. They are serious thinkers and are capable of accepting challenges. In order to achieve their goal, they work hard and leave no stone unturned, resting only after their goal is achieved. However they have an unstable and wavering mind and often take a long time to decide on important matters. Their temperament is authoritative, hence when their feelings are ignored, they turn jealous. Men and women under this sign prefer to use very attractive clothes and perfumes. They are jovial and entertaining, and never waste their time in unrewarding pursuits. Though they are highly intelligent, they are intrinsically introverted, and their preference to live in loneliness sometimes creates hurdles in the way of establishing contacts. Their confidence, will power, and capacity to think help them to attain success; hence they gain popularity quite easily. People under this sign can suffer from high blood pressure and nervous diseases. They are extremely choosy and selective in love and will never compromise on their preferred choice. They are fortunate in monetary matters, but they do not spend lavishly.

The Horse
Sociable and Frank

Persons whose birth sign is the Horse are friendly and sociable, and they know how to make friends. They are adept in the art of influencing people and are always at the center of attention. They have an inborn quality of leadership. Having an independent nature, they do not bind themselves to rules and regulations – they actually hate them. Like the Snake sign, they take plenty of time to recover after they have suffered failures. They have a sharp intellect and are laborious and hardworking. They are experts in earning money and do well in financial professions. They not only excel at making money, they also gain power and fame.

They cannot be subservient to anybody. They can succeed in business only when they work independently because subservience renders them weak. Persons under the Horse sign are short-tempered and their moods keep changing. If they have faith in a person, they will sacrifice everything for him or her.

The Goat
Obedient and Cultured

People of the Goat sign are temperamentally calm and quiet. They love to live in solitude and do not like crowds and crowded places. They prefer to lead a comfortable and hassle-free life, without tension and disturbance. They do not like a daily routine, nor can they adapt to a routine where there are too many conditions attached. They require a strong person by their side to motivate them and to bring out the best in them. When people of Goat sign are criticized, they take such criticism very personally and react strongly. They are persons with a constructive nature, but they require proper inspiration and direction. They enjoy intimate relationships with those individuals who are less sensitive and curt, or strong in temperament. They are civilized and cultured people and have a great respect and consideration for the feelings of others. They are often lovers of art.

The Monkey
Imaginative and Restive

The monkey is an unpredictable animal and is firm in his beliefs. People born under the Monkey sign are highly imaginative, intelligent, and dedicated to the environment around them. They believe in rendering suitable advice and also helping others. Though they can be very unreliable, people of the Monkey sign are studious and love to participate in discussions and arguments. They are capable of finding solutions to any problem and their solutions are quick and wise. They become successful business tycoons, politicians and orators. Persons of Monkey sign are of vacillating nature and restive. They can be courageous, but on the other hand, they can also forego their principles if they clash with their personal interests. At times, some of them may even resort to deceit to achieve their goals. Hence such individuals have very few friends. They are a bit lazy and indolent; and avoid demanding and serious responsibilities.

They concentrate on their petty problems and do not attend to the more important problems of life. They are intelligent, entertaining and possess good qualities of warriors. Though they are capable of terrifying their enemies, people under this sign can be quite easily misled and misguided.

The Rooster
Talkative and Loving

Persons belonging to this sign are hardworking, affluent and resourceful. They are very detail oriented. Inherently intelligent, studious and jovial, they are excellent orators and love to participate in healthy discussions. They do not hesitate to speak the truth, even if they may have to suffer loss of prestige and honor. Sometimes they are restive, but they are also good organizers and plan their activities well in advance. People under this sign are very interested in environmental and humanitarian activities. They serve people selflessly. They are most suited to those professions which are connected to publicity and media disciplines. They can also be good teachers and are successful in agricultural work. At times they are overconfident which leads to their image being tarnished in the eyes of their relatives and friends. They care deeply about love and can go to any extent in love affairs. It is generally held that two persons of the Rooster sign cannot live together peacefully under one roof.

The Dog
Faithful and Honest

Person born under the Dog sign are trustworthy, honest and strong-willed. They are frank and often the first people to speak up about injustice and tyranny. They consider themselves lucky when they can help the poor and the needy. They find it difficult to establish friendships with new people, but once they are friends with someone, the relationship lasts forever. They listen intently to the opinion of other people, but are also capable of convincing others to see their point of view. They are not party animals, and prefer spending time with their friends and family members.

Dog sign people are intelligent, faithful and straightforward. If they are ever ill-treated or insulted, they will never forgive their tormentor. They will take on any responsibility that is given to them and do their job well. If they are determined to achieve something, they work hard and will rest only after they have attained their objective. Even while relaxing, their mind always remains active. They are courageous and champions in their own field, but are not interested in accumulating money.

The Pig
Simple and Pure-hearted

Persons under the Pig sign are upright and pure-hearted. They are cultured, compassionate, considerate, and wise; and succeed in creative fields such as art, music, poetry, writing, etc. They have great faith in justice, law and order. They are extremely honest and due to their firm belief in truthfulness, they sometimes turn skeptical and suspicious. If they rely and confide too much in others, they can be fooled and taken for a ride by people.

Their power of self-confidence and character helps them to quickly remove obstacles that stand in the way of their progress. They are fortunate beings, but at the same time, may be indolent. In matters of love, they tend to be hypersensitive. Women of this sign are always dedicated to their families. Pig sign people do not believe in finding faults in others. They set out clear goals for themselves, and due to their strong determination they do not rest until they have achieved their targeted objectives. Persons of this sign may have few friends, but once they forge a friendship, they sustain it for a lifetime.

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