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Chinese Text Project
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-> -> -> -> Nourishing the Lord of Life

《養生主 - Nourishing the Lord of Life》

English translation: James Legge [?]
Books referencing 《養生主》 Library Resources
1 養生主:
吾生也有涯,而知也无涯。以有涯隨无涯,殆已;已而為知者,殆而已矣。為善无近名,為惡无近刑。緣督以為經,可以保身,可以全生,可以養親,可以盡年。
Nourishing the Lord of...:
There is a limit to our life, but to knowledge there is no limit. With what is limited to pursue after what is unlimited is a perilous thing; and when, knowing this, we still seek the increase of our knowledge, the peril cannot be averted. There should not be the practice of what is good with any thought of the fame (which it will bring), nor of what is evil with any approximation to the punishment (which it will incur): an accordance with the Central Element (of our nature) is the regular way to preserve the body, to maintain the life, to nourish our parents, and to complete our term of years.

2 養生主:
庖丁為文惠君解牛,手之所觸,肩之所倚,足之所履,膝之所踦,砉然嚮然,奏刀騞然,莫不中音。合於《桑林》之舞,乃中《經首》之會。文惠君曰:「譆!善哉!技蓋至此乎?」庖丁釋刀對曰:「臣之所好者道也,進乎技矣。始臣之解牛之時,所見无非牛者。三年之後,未嘗見全牛也。方今之時,臣以神遇,而不以目視,官知止而神欲行。依乎天理,批大郤,導大窾,因其固然。技經肯綮之未嘗,而況大軱乎!良庖歲更刀,割也;族庖月更刀,折也。今臣之刀十九年矣,所解數千牛矣,而刀刃若新發於硎。彼節者有間,而刀刃者无厚,以无厚入有間,恢恢乎其於遊刃必有餘地矣,是以十九年而刀刃若新發於硎。雖然,每至於族,吾見其難為,怵然為戒,視為止,行為遲。動刀甚微,謋然已解,如土委地。提刀而立,為之四顧,為之躊躇滿志,善刀而藏之。」文惠君曰:「善哉!吾聞庖丁之言,得養生焉。」
Nourishing the Lord of...:
His cook was cutting up an ox for the ruler Wen Hui. Whenever he applied his hand, leaned forward with his shoulder, planted his foot, and employed the pressure of his knee, in the audible ripping off of the skin, and slicing operation of the knife, the sounds were all in regular cadence. Movements and sounds proceeded as in the dance of 'the Mulberry Forest' and the blended notes of the King Shou.' The ruler said, 'Ah! Admirable! That your art should have become so perfect!' (Having finished his operation), the cook laid down his knife, and replied to the remark, 'What your servant loves is the method of the Dao, something in advance of any art. When I first began to cut up an ox, I saw nothing but the (entire) carcase. After three years I ceased to see it as a whole. Now I deal with it in a spirit-like manner, and do not look at it with my eyes. The use of my senses is discarded, and my spirit acts as it wills. Observing the natural lines, (my knife) slips through the great crevices and slides through the great cavities, taking advantage of the facilities thus presented. My art avoids the membranous ligatures, and much more the great bones. A good cook changes his knife every year; (it may have been injured) in cutting - an ordinary cook changes his every month - (it may have been) broken. Now my knife has been in use for nineteen years; it has cut up several thousand oxen, and yet its edge is as sharp as if it had newly come from the whetstone. There are the interstices of the joints, and the edge of the knife has no (appreciable) thickness; when that which is so thin enters where the interstice is, how easily it moves along! The blade has more than room enough. Nevertheless, whenever I come to a complicated joint, and see that there will be some difficulty, I proceed anxiously and with caution, not allowing my eyes to wander from the place, and moving my hand slowly. Then by a very slight movement of the knife, the part is quickly separated, and drops like (a clod of) earth to the ground. Then standing up with the knife in my hand, I look all round, and in a leisurely manner, with an air of satisfaction, wipe it clean, and put it in its sheath.' The ruler Wen Hui said, 'Excellent! I have heard the words of my cook, and learned from them the nourishment of (our) life.'

3 養生主:
公文軒見右師而驚曰:「是何人也?惡乎介也?天與,其人與?」曰:「天也,非人也。天之生是使獨也,人之貌有與也。以是知其天也,非人也。」
Nourishing the Lord of...:
When Gong-wen Xian saw the Master of the Left, he was startled, and said, 'What sort of man is this? How is it he has but one foot? Is it from Heaven? or from Man?' Then he added, 'It must be from Heaven, and not from Man. Heaven's making of this man caused him to have but one foot. In the person of man, each foot has its marrow. By this I know that his peculiarity is from Heaven, and not from Man.

4 養生主:
澤雉十步一啄,百步一飲,不蘄畜乎樊中。神雖王,不善也。
Nourishing the Lord of...:
A pheasant of the marshes has to take ten steps to pick up a mouthful of food, and thirty steps to get a drink, but it does not seek to be nourished in a coop. Though its spirit would (there) enjoy a royal abundance, it does not think (such confinement) good.'

5 養生主:
老聃死,秦失弔之,三號而出。弟子曰:「非夫子之友邪?」曰:「然。」「然則弔焉若此,可乎?」曰:「然。始也,吾以為其人也,而今非也。向吾入而弔焉,有老者哭之,如哭其子;少者哭之,如哭其母。彼其所以會之,必有不蘄言而言,不蘄哭而哭者。是遁天倍情,忘其所受,古者謂之遁天之刑。適來,夫子時也;適去,夫子順也。安時而處順,哀樂不能入也,古者謂是帝之縣解。」
Nourishing the Lord of...:
When Lao Dan died, Qin Shi went to condole (with his son), but after crying out three times, he came out. The disciples said to him, 'Were you not a friend of the Master?' 'I was,' he replied, and they said, 'Is it proper then to offer your condolences merely as you have done?' He said, 'It is. At first I thought he was the man of men, and now I do not think so. When I entered a little ago and expressed my condolences, there were the old men wailing as if they had lost a son, and the young men wailing as if they had lost their mother. In his attracting and uniting them to himself in such a way there must have been that which made them involuntarily express their words (of condolence), and involuntarily wail, as they were doing. And this was a hiding from himself of his Heaven (-nature), and an excessive indulgence of his (human) feelings; a forgetting of what he had received (in being born); what the ancients called the punishment due to neglecting the Heaven (-nature). When the Master came, it was at the proper time; when he went away, it was the simple sequence (of his coming). Quiet acquiescence in what happens at its proper time, and quietly submitting (to its ceasing) afford no occasion for grief or for joy. The ancients described (death) as the loosening of the cord on which God suspended (the life).

6 養生主:
指窮於為薪,火傳也,不知其盡也。
Nourishing the Lord of...:
What we can point to are the faggots that have been consumed; but the fire is transmitted (elsewhere), and we know not that it is over and ended.

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