Follow us on Facebook to receive important updates Follow us on Twitter to receive important updates Follow us on's microblogging site to receive important updates Follow us on Douban to receive important updates
Chinese Text Project
Show translation:[None] [English]

《坤 - Kun》

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
9 坤:
(What is indicated by) Kun is most gentle and weak, but, when put in motion, is hard and strong; it is most still, but is able to give every definite form. 'By following, it obtains its (proper) lord,' and pursues its regular (course). It contains all things in itself, and its transforming (power) is glorious. Yes, what docility marks the way of Kun! It receives the influences of heaven, and acts at the proper time.

10 坤:
The family that accumulates goodness is sure to have superabundant happiness, and the family that accumulates evil is sure to have superabundant misery. The murder of a ruler by his minister, or of his father by a son, is not the result of the events of one morning or one evening. The causes of it have gradually accumulated,--through the absence of early discrimination. The words of the Yi, 'He treads on the hoar-frost; the strong ice will come (by and by),' show the natural (issue and growth of things).

11 坤:
'Straight' indicates the correctness (of the internal principle), and 'square,' the righteousness (of the external act). The superior man, (thus represented), by his self-reverence maintains the inward (correctness), and in righteousness adjusts his external acts. His reverence and righteousness being (thus) established, his virtues are not solitary instances or of a single class. 'Straight, square, and great, working his operations, without repeated efforts, in every respect advantageous:'--this shows how (such a one) has no doubts as to what he does.

12 坤:
Although (the subject of) this divided line has excellent qualities, he (does not display them, but) keeps them under restraint. 'If he engage with them in the service of the king, and be successful, he will not claim that success for himself:'--this is the way of the earth, of a wife, of a minister. The way of the earth is-'not to claim the merit of achievement,' but on behalf (of heaven) to bring things to their proper issue. Through the changes and transformations produced by heaven and earth, plants and trees grow luxuriantly. If (the reciprocal influence of) heaven and earth were shut up and restrained, we should have (a state that might suggest to us) the case of men of virtue and ability lying in obscurity. The words of the Yi, 'A sack tied up:--there will be no ground for blame or for praise,' are in reality a lesson of caution.

13 坤:
The superior man (emblemed here) by the yellow and correct (colour), is possessed of comprehension and discrimination. He occupies the correct position (of supremacy), but (that emblem) is on (the lower part of) his person. His excellence is in the centre (of his being), but it diffuses a complacency over his four limbs, and is manifested in his (conduct of) affairs:--this is the perfection of excellence.

14 坤:
(The subject of) the yin (or divided line) thinking himself equal to the (subject of the) yang, or undivided line, there is sure to be 'a contest.' As if indignant at there being no acknowledgment of the (superiority of the subject of the) yang line, (the text) uses the term 'dragons.' But still the (subject of neither line) can leave his class, and hence we have 'the blood' mentioned. The mention of that as being (both) 'azure and yellow' indicates the mixture of heaven and earth. Heaven's (colour) is azure and earth's is yellow.

URN: ctp:book-of-changes/kun6