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《孝经 - Xiao Jing》

[Warring States (475 BC - 221 BC)] English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《孝经》 Library Resources
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[Also known as: "The Classic of Filial Piety"]

开宗明义 - The Scope and Meaning of the Treatise

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 开宗明义:
仲尼居,曾子侍。子曰:“先王有至德要道,以顺天下,民用和睦,上下无怨。汝知之乎?”曾子避席曰:“参不敏,何足以知之?”子曰:“夫孝,德之本也,教之所由生也。复坐,吾语汝。身体发肤,受之父母,不敢毁伤,孝之始也。立身行道,扬名于后世,以显父母,孝之终也。夫孝,始于事亲,中于事君,终于立身。《大雅》云:‘无念尔祖,聿修厥德。’”
The Scope and Meaning...:
(Once), when Zhong Ni was unoccupied, and his disciple Zeng was sitting by in attendance on him, the Master said, "The ancient kings had a perfect virtue and all-embracing rule of conduct, through which they were in accord with all under heaven. By the practice of it the people were brought to live in peace and harmony, and there was no ill-will between superiors and inferiors. Do you know what it was?"
Zeng rose from his mat and said, "How should I, Shen, who am so devoid of intelligence, be able to know this?"
The Master said, "(It was filial piety.) Now filial piety is the root of (all) virtue, and (the stem) out of which grows (all moral) teaching. Sit down again, and I will explain the subject to you. Our bodies - to every hair and bit of skin - are received by us from our parents, and we must not presume to injure or wound them. This is the beginning of filial piety. When we have established our character by the practice of the (filial) course, so as to make our name famous in future ages and thereby glorify our parents, this is the end of filial piety. It commences with the service of parents; it proceeds to the service of the ruler; it is completed by the establishment of character.
It is said in the Major Odes of the Kingdom: Ever think of your ancestor, Cultivating your virtue."

天子 - Filial Piety in the Son of Heaven

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《天子》 Library Resources
1 天子:
子曰:“爱亲者,不敢恶于人;敬亲者,不敢慢于人。爱敬尽于事亲,而德教加于百姓,刑于四海。盖天子之孝也。《甫刑》云:‘一人有庆,兆民赖之。’”
Filial Piety in the...:
The Master said, "He who loves his parents will not dare (to incur the risk of) being hated by any man, and he who reveres his parents will not dare (to incur the risk of) being contemned by any man. When the love and reverence (of the Son of Heaven) are thus carried to the utmost in the service of his parents, the lessons of his virtue affect all the people, and he becomes a pattern to (all within) the four seas. This is the filial piety of the Son of Heaven.
It is said in (the Marquis of) Fu on Punishments: The One man will have felicity, and the millions of the people will depend on (what ensures his happiness)."

诸侯 - Filial Piety in the Princes of States

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《诸侯》 Library Resources
1 诸侯:
在上不骄,高而不危;制节谨度,满而不溢。高而不危,所以长守贵也。满而不溢,所以长守富也。富贵不离其身,然后能保其社稷,而和其民人。盖诸侯之孝也。《》云:“战战兢兢,如临深渊,如履薄冰。
Filial Piety in the...:
"Above others, and yet free from pride, they dwell on high, without peril. Adhering to economy and carefully observant of the rules and laws, they are full, without overflowing. To dwell on high without peril is the way long to preserve nobility; to be full without overflowing is the way long to preserve riches. When their riches and nobility do not leave their persons, then they are able to preserve the altars of their land and grain, and to secure the harmony of their people and men in office. This is the filial piety of the princes of states.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: Be apprehensive, be cautious, As if on the brink of a deep abyss, As if treading on thin ice."

卿大夫 - Filial Piety in High Ministers and Great Officers

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《卿大夫》 Library Resources
1 卿大夫:
非先王之法服不敢服,非先王之法言不敢道,非先王之德行不敢行。是故非法不言,非道不行;口无择言,身无择行。言满天下无口过,行满天下无怨恶。三者备矣,然后能守其宗庙。盖卿、大夫之孝也。《》云:“夙夜匪懈,以事一人。”
Filial Piety in High...:
"They do not presume to wear robes other than those appointed by the laws of the ancient kings, nor to speak words other than those sanctioned by their speech, nor to exhibit conduct other than that exemplified by their virtuous ways. Thus none of their words being contrary to those sanctions, and none of their actions contrary to the (right) way, from their mouths there comes no exceptionable speech, and in their conduct there are found no exceptionable actions. Their words may fill all under heaven, and no error of speech will be found in them. Their actions may fill all under heaven, and no dissatisfaction or dislike will be awakened by them. When these three things - (their robes, their words, and their conduct) - are all complete as they should be, they can then preserve their ancestral temples. This is the filial piety of high ministers and great officers.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: He is never idle, day or night, in the service of the One man."

士 - Filial Piety in Inferior Officers

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 士:
资于事父以事母,而爱同;资于事父以事君,而敬同。故母取其爱,而君取其敬,兼之者父也。故以孝事君则忠,以敬事长则顺。忠顺不失,以事其上,然后能保其禄位,而守其祭祀。盖士之孝也。《》云:“夙兴夜寐,无忝尔所生”。
Filial Piety in Inferior...:
"As they serve their fathers, so they serve their mothers, and they love them equally. As they serve their fathers, so they serve their rulers, and they reverence them equally. Hence love is what is chiefly rendered to the mother, and reverence is what is chiefly rendered to the ruler, while both of these things are given to the father. Therefore when they serve their ruler with filial piety, they are loyal; when they serve their superiors with reverence, they are obedient. Not failing in this loyalty and obedience in serving those above them, they are then able to preserve their emoluments and positions, and to maintain their sacrifices. This is the filial piety of inferior officers.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: Rising early and going to sleep late, Do not disgrace those who gave you birth."

庶人 - Filial Piety in the Common People

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 庶人:
用天之道,分地之利,谨身节用,以养父母,此庶人之孝也。故自天子至于庶人,孝无终始,而患不及者,未之有也。
Filial Piety in the...:
"They follow the course of heaven (in the revolving seasons); they distinguish the advantages afforded by (different) soils; they are careful of their conduct and economical in their expenditure - in order to nourish their parents. This is the filial piety of the common people.
Therefore from the Son of Heaven down to the common people, there never has been one whose filial piety was without its beginning and end on whom calamity did not come."

三才 - Filial Piety in Relation to the Three Powers

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《三才》 Library Resources
1 三才:
曾子曰:“甚哉,孝之大也!”子曰:“夫孝,天之经也,地之义也,民之行也。天地之经,而民是则之。则天之明,因地之利,以顺天下。是以其教不肃而成,其政不严而治。先王见教之可以化民也,是故先之以博爱,而民莫遗其亲,陈之德义,而民兴行。先之以敬让,而民不争;导之以礼乐,而民和睦;示之以好恶,而民知禁。《》云:‘赫赫师尹,民具尔瞻。’”
Filial Piety in Relation...:
The disciple Zeng said, "Immense indeed is the greatness of filial piety!"
The Master replied, "Yes, filial piety is the constant (method) of Heaven, the righteousness of Earth, and the practical duty of Man. Heaven and earth invariably pursue the course (that may be thus described), and the people take it as their pattern. (The ancient kings) imitated the brilliant luminaries of heaven and acted in accordance with the (varying) advantages afforded by earth, so that they were in accord with all under heaven, and in consequence their teachings, without being severe, were successful, and their government, without being rigorous, secured perfect order.
The ancient kings, seeing how their teachings could transform the people, set before them therefore an example of the most extended love, and none of the people neglected their parents. They set forth to them (the nature of) virtue and righteousness, and the people roused themselves to the practice of them. They went before them with reverence and yielding courtesy, and the people had no contentions. They led them on by the rules of propriety and by music, and the people were harmonious and benignant. They showed them what they loved and what they disliked, and the people understood their prohibitions.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: Awe-inspiring are you, O Grand-Master Yin, And the people all look up to you."

孝治 - Filial Piety in Government

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《孝治》 Library Resources
1 孝治:
子曰:“昔者明王之以孝治天下也,不敢遗小国之臣,而况于公、侯、伯、子、男乎?故得万国之欢心,以事其先王。治国者,不敢侮于鳏寡,而况于士民乎?故得百姓之欢心,以事其先君。治家者,不敢失于臣妾,而况于妻子乎?故得人之欢心,以事其亲。夫然,故生则亲安之,祭则鬼享之。是以天下和平,灾害不生,祸乱不作。故明王之以孝治天下也如此。《》云:‘有觉德行,四国顺之。’”
Filial Piety in Government:...:
The Master said, "Anciently, when the intelligent kings by means of filial piety ruled all under heaven, they did not dare to receive with disrespect the ministers of small states. How much less would they do so to the dukes, marquises, counts, and barons! Thus it was that they got (the princes of) the myriad states with joyful hearts (to assist them) in the (sacrificial) services to their royal predecessors.
The rulers of states did not dare to slight wifeless men and widows. How much less would they slight their officers and the people! Thus it was that they got all their people with joyful hearts (to assist them) in serving the rulers, their predecessors.
The heads of clans did not dare to slight their servants and concubines. How much less would they slight their wives and sons! Thus it was that they got their men with joyful hearts (to assist them) in the service of their parents.
In such a state of things, while alive, parents reposed in (the glory of) their sons, and, when sacrificed to, their disembodied spirits enjoyed their offerings. Therefore for all under heaven peace and harmony prevailed; disasters and calamities did not occur; misfortunes and rebellions did not arise.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: To an upright, virtuous conduct All in the four quarters of the state render obedient homage."

圣治 - The Government of the Sages

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《圣治》 Library Resources
1 圣治:
曾子曰:“敢问圣人之德,无以加于孝乎?”子曰:“天地之性,人为贵。人之行,莫大于孝。孝莫大于严父。严父莫大于配天,则周公其人也。昔者,周公郊祀后稷以配天,宗祀文王于明堂,以配上帝。是以四海之内,各以其职来祭。夫圣人之德,又何以加于孝乎?故亲生之膝下,以养父母日严。圣人因严以教敬,因亲以教爱。圣人之教,不肃而成,其政不严而治,其所因者本也。父子之道,天性也,君臣之义也。父母生之,续莫大焉。君亲临之,厚莫重焉。故不爱其亲而爱他人者,谓之悖德;不敬其亲而敬他人者,谓之悖礼。以顺则逆,民无则焉。不在于善,而皆在于凶德,虽得之,君子不贵也。君子则不然,言思可道,行思可乐,德义可尊,作事可法,容止可观,进退可度,以临其民。是以其民畏而爱之,则而象之。故能成其德教,而行其政令。《》云:‘淑人君子,其仪不忒。’”
The Government of the...:
The disciple Zeng said, "I venture to ask whether in the virtue of the sages there was not something greater than filial piety."
The Master replied, "Of all (creatures with their different) natures produced by Heaven and Earth, man is the noblest. Of all the actions of man there is none greater than filial piety. In filial piety there is nothing greater than the reverential awe of one's father. In the reverential awe shown to one's father there is nothing greater than the making him the correlate of Heaven. The duke of Zhou was the man who (first) did this.
Formerly the duke of Zhou at the border altar sacrificed to Hou Ji as the correlate of Heaven, and in the Brilliant Hall he honored king Wen and sacrificed to him as the correlate of God. The consequence was that from (all the states) within the four seas, every (prince) came in the discharge of his duty to (assist in those) sacrifices. In the virtue of the sages what besides was there greater than filial piety?
Now the feeling of affection grows up at the parents' knees, and as (the duty of) nourishing those parents is exercised, the affection daily merges in awe. The sages proceeded from the (feeling of) awe to teach (the duties of) reverence, and from (that of) affection to teach (those of) love. The teachings of the sages, without being severe, were successful, and their government, without being rigorous, was effective. What they proceeded from was the root (of filial piety implanted by Heaven).
The relation and duties between father and son, (thus belonging to) the Heaven-conferred nature, (contain in them the principle of) righteousness between ruler and subject. The son derives his life from his parents, and no greater gift could possibly be transmitted. His ruler and parent (in one), his father deals with him accordingly, and no generosity could be greater than this. Hence, he who does not love his parents, but loves other men, is called a rebel against virtue, and he who does not revere his parents, but reveres other men, is called a rebel against propriety. When (the ruler) himself thus acts contrary to (the principles) which should place him in accord (with all men), he presents nothing for the people to imitate. He has nothing to do with what is good, but entirely and only with what is injurious to virtue. Though he may get (his will, and be above others), the superior man does not give him his approval.
It is not so with the superior man. He speaks, having thought whether the words should be spoken; he acts, having thought whether his actions are sure to give pleasure. His virtue and righteousness are such as will be honored; what he initiates and does is fit to be imitated; his deportment is worthy of contemplation; his movements in advancing or retiring are all according to the proper rule. In this way does he present himself to the people, who both revere and love him, imitate and become like him. Thus he is able to make his teaching of virtue successful, and his government and orders to be carried into effect.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: The virtuous man, the princely one, Has nothing wrong in his deportment."

纪孝行 - An Orderly Description of the Acts of Filial Piety

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 纪孝行:
子曰:“孝子之事亲也,居则致其敬,养则致其乐,病则致其忧,丧则致其哀,祭则致其严。五者备矣,然后能事亲。事亲者,居上不骄,为下不乱,在丑不争。居上而骄则亡,为下而乱则刑,在丑而争则兵。三者不除,虽日用三牲之养,犹为不孝也。”
An Orderly Description of...:
The Master said, "The service which a filial son does to his parents is as follows: In his general conduct to them, he manifests the utmost reverence. In his nourishing of them, his endeavor is to give them the utmost pleasure. When they are ill, he feels the greatest anxiety. In mourning for them (dead), he exhibits every demonstration of grief. In sacrificing to them, he displays the utmost solemnity. When a son is complete in these five things, (he may be pronounced) able to serve his parents.
He who (thus) serves his parents, in a high situation will be free from pride, in a low situation will be free from insubordination, and among his equals will not be quarrelsome. In a high situation pride leads to ruin; in a low situation insubordination leads to punishment; among equals quarrelsomeness leads to the wielding of weapons. If those three things be not put away, though a son every day contribute beef, mutton, and pork to nourish his parents, he is not filial."

五刑 - Filial Piety in Relation to the Five Punishments

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 五刑:
子曰:“五刑之属三千,而罪莫大于不孝。要君者无上,非圣人者无法,非孝者无亲。此大乱之道也。”
Filial Piety in Relation...:
The Master said, "There are three thousand offenses against which the five punishments are directed, and there is not one of them greater than being unfilial.
When constraint is put upon a ruler, that is the disowning of his superiority. When the authority of the sages is disallowed, that is the disowning of (all) law. When filial piety is put aside, that is the disowning of the principle of affection. These (three things) pave the way to anarchy."

广要道 - Amplification of "The All-embracing Rule of Conduct" in Chapter I

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《广要道》 Library Resources
1 广要道:
子曰:“教民亲爱,莫善于孝。教民礼顺,莫善于悌。移风易俗,莫善于乐。安上治民,莫善于礼。礼者,敬而已矣。故敬其父,则子悦;敬其兄,则弟悦;敬其君,则臣悦;敬一人,而千万人悦。所敬者寡,而悦者众,此之谓要道也。”
Amplification of "The All-embracing...:
The Master said, "For teaching the people to be affectionate and loving, there is nothing better than filial piety. For teaching them (the observance of) propriety and submissiveness, there is nothing better than fraternal duty. For changing their manners and altering their customs, there is nothing better than music. For securing the repose of superiors and the good order of the people, there is nothing better than the rules of propriety.
The rules of propriety are simply (the development of) the principle of reverence. Therefore the reverence paid to a father makes (all) sons pleased. The reverence paid to an elder brother makes (all) younger brothers pleased. The reverence paid to a ruler makes (all) subjects pleased. The reverence paid to the One man makes thousands and myriads of men pleased. The reverence is paid to a few, and the pleasure extends to many. This is what is meant by an 'All-embracing Rule of Conduct.'"

广至德 - Amplification of 'the Perfect Virtue' in Chapter I

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 广至德:
子曰:“君子之教以孝也,非家至而日见之也。教以孝,所以敬天下之为人父者也。教以悌,所以敬天下之为人兄者也。教以臣,所以敬天下之为人君者也。《》云:‘恺悌君子,民之父母。’非至德,其孰能顺民如此其大者乎!”
Amplification of 'the Perfect...:
The Master said, "The teaching of filial piety by the superior man does not require that he should go to family after family and daily see the members of each. His teaching of filial piety is a tribute of reverence to all the fathers under heaven. His teaching of fraternal submission is a tribute of reverence to all the elder brothers under heaven. His teaching of the duty of a subject is a tribute of reverence to all the rulers under heaven.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: The happy and courteous sovereign Is the parent of the people.
If it were not a perfect virtue, how could it be recognized as in accordance with their nature by the people so extensively as this?"

广扬名 - Amplification of "Making our Name Famous" in Chapter I

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 广扬名:
子曰:“君子之事亲孝,故忠可移于君。事兄悌,故顺可移于长。居家理,故治可移于官。是以行成于内,而名立于后世矣。”
Amplification of "Making our...:
The Master said, "The filial piety with which the superior man serves his parents may be transferred as loyalty to the ruler. The fraternal duty with which he serves his elder brother may be transferred as submissive deference to elders. His regulation of his family may be transferred as good government in any official position. Therefore, when his conduct is thus successful in his inner (private) circle, his name will be established (and transmitted) to future generations."

谏诤 - Filial Piety in Relation to Reproof and Remonstrance

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《谏诤》 Library Resources
1 谏诤:
曾子曰:“若夫慈爱、恭敬、安亲、扬名,则闻命矣。敢问子从父之令,可谓孝乎?”子曰:“是何言与,是何言与!昔者天子有争臣七人,虽无道,不失其天下;诸侯有争臣五人,虽无道,不失其国;大夫有争臣三人,虽无道,不失其家;士有争友,则身不离于令名;父有争子,则身不陷于不义。故当不义,则子不可以不争于父,臣不可以不争于君;故当不义,则争之。从父之令,又焉得为孝乎!”
Filial Piety in Relation...:
The disciple Zeng said, "I have heard your instructions on the affection of love, on respect and reverence, on giving repose to (the minds of) our parents, and on making our names famous. I would venture to ask if (simple) obedience to the orders of one's father can be pronounced filial piety."
The Master replied, "What words are these! What words are these! Anciently, if the Son of Heaven had seven ministers who would remonstrate with him, although he had not right methods of government, he would not lose his possession of the kingdom. If the prince of a state had five such ministers, though his measures might be equally wrong, he would not lose his state. If a great officer had three, he would not, in a similar case, lose (the headship of) his clan. If an inferior officer had a friend who would remonstrate with him, a good name would not cease to be connected with his character. And the father who had a son that would remonstrate with him would not sink into the gulf of unrighteous deeds. Therefore when a case of unrighteous conduct is concerned, a son must by no means keep from remonstrating with his father, nor a minister from remonstrating with his ruler. Hence, since remonstrance is required in the case of unrighteous conduct, how can (simple) obedience to the orders of a father be accounted filial piety?"

感应 - The Influence of Filial Piety and the Response to It

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《感应》 Library Resources
1 感应:
子曰:“昔者明王事父孝,故事天明;事母孝,故事地察;长幼顺,故上下治。天地明察,神明彰矣。故虽天子,必有尊也,言有父也;必有先也,言有兄也。宗庙致敬,不忘亲也;修身慎行,恐辱先也。宗庙致敬,鬼神著矣。孝悌之至,通于神明,光于四海,无所不通。《》云:‘自西自东,自南自北,无思不服。’”
The Influence of Filial...:
The Master said, "Anciently, the intelligent kings served their fathers with filial piety, and therefore they served Heaven with intelligence. They served their mothers with filial piety, and therefore they served Earth with discrimination. They pursued the right course with reference to their (own) seniors and juniors, and therefore they secured the regulation of the relations between superiors and inferiors (throughout the kingdom). When Heaven and Earth were served with intelligence and discrimination, the spiritual intelligences displayed (their retributive power).
Therefore even the Son of Heaven must have some whom he honors; that is, he has his uncles of his surname. He must have some to whom he concedes the precedence; that is, he has his cousins, who bear the same surname and are older than himself. In the ancestral temple he manifests the utmost reverence, showing that he does not forget his parents. He cultivates his person and is careful of his conduct, fearing lest he should disgrace his predecessors. When in the ancestral temple he exhibits the utmost reverence, the spirits of the departed manifest themselves. Perfect filial piety and fraternal duty reach to (and move) the spiritual intelligences and diffuse their light on all within the four seas. They penetrate everywhere.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: From the west to the east, From the south to the north, There was not a thought but did him homage."

事君 - The Service of the Ruler

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
1 事君:
子曰:“君子之事上也,进思尽忠,退思补过,将顺其美,匡救其恶,故上下能相亲也。《》云:‘心乎爱矣,遐不谓矣,中心藏之,何日忘之。’”
The Service of the...:
The Master said, "The superior man serves his ruler in such a way that, when at court in his presence, his thought is how to discharge his loyal duty to the utmost, and when he retires from it, his thought is how to amend his errors. He carries out with deference the measures springing from his excellent qualities and rectifies him (only) to save him from what are evil. Hence, as the superior and inferior, they are able to have an affection for each other.
It is said in the Book of Poetry: In my heart I love him, And why should I not say so? In the core of my heart I keep him, And never will forget him."

丧亲 - Filial Piety in Mourning for Parents

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《丧亲》 Library Resources
1 丧亲:
子曰:“孝子之丧亲也,哭不偯,礼无容,言不文,服美不安,闻乐不乐,食旨不甘,此哀戚之情也。三日而食,教民无以死伤生。毁不灭性,此圣人之政也。丧不过三年,示民有终也。为之棺椁衣衾而举之,陈其簠簋而哀戚之;擗踊哭泣,哀以送之;卜其宅兆,而安措之;为之宗庙,以鬼享之;春秋祭祀,以时思之。生事爱敬,死事哀戚,生民之本尽矣,死生之义备矣,孝子之事亲终矣。”
Filial Piety in Mourning...:
The Master said, "When a filial son is mourning for a parent, he wails, but not with a prolonged sobbing. In the movements of ceremony he pays no attention to his appearance. His words are without elegance of phrase. He cannot bear to wear fine clothes. When he hears music, he feels no delight. When he eats a delicacy, he is not conscious of its flavor. Such is the nature of grief and sorrow.
After three days he may partake of food, for thus the people are taught that the living should not be injured on account of the dead, and that emaciation must not be carried to the extinction of life. Such is the rule of the sages. The period of mourning does not go beyond three years, to show the people that it must have an end.
An inner and outer coffin are made; the grave-clothes also are put on, and the shroud; and (the body) is lifted (into the coffin). The sacrificial vessels, round and square, are (regularly) set forth, and (the sight of them) fills (the mourners) with (fresh) distress. The women beat their breasts, and the men stamp with their feet, wailing and weeping, while they sorrowfully escort the coffin to the grave. They consult the tortoise-shell to determine the grave and the ground about it, and there they lay the body in peace. They prepare the ancestral temple (to receive the tablet of the departed), and there they present offerings to the disembodied spirit. In spring and autumn they offer sacrifices, thinking of the deceased as the seasons come round.
The services of love and reverence to parents when alive, and those of grief and sorrow to them when dead: these completely discharge the fundamental duty of living men. The righteous claims of life and death are all satisfied, and the filial son's service of his parents is completed."

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Source: "Sacred Books of the East, volume 3", James Legge, 1861

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