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
Simplified Chinese version
Back Forward
Daoism -> Zhuangzi -> Inner Chapters -> Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease -> 1

In the Northern Ocean there is a fish,
the name of which is Kun
- I do not know how many li in size.
It changes into a bird
with the name of Peng,
the back of which is (also)
- I do not know how many li in extent.
When this bird rouses itself and flies,
its wings are like clouds all round the sky.
When the sea is moved (so as to bear it along), it prepares to remove to the Southern Ocean.
The Southern Ocean is the Pool of Heaven.
There is the (book called) Qi Xie, a record of marvels.
We have in it these words:
'When the peng is removing to the Southern Ocean
it flaps (its wings) on the water for 3000 li.
Then it ascends on a whirlwind 90,000 li,
。”and it rests only at the end of six months.'
(But similar to this is the movement of the breezes which we call) the horses of the fields,
of the dust (which quivers in the sunbeams),
and of living things as they are blown against one another by the air.
Is its azure the proper colour of the sky?
Or is it occasioned by its distance and illimitable extent?
If one were looking down (from above), the very same appearance would just meet his view.
And moreover, (to speak of) the accumulation of water; if it be not great, it will not have strength to support a large boat.
Upset a cup of water in a cavity,
and a straw will float on it as if it were a boat.
Place a cup in it, and it will stick fast;
the water is shallow and the boat is large.
(So it is with) the accumulation of wind; if it be not great, it will not have strength to support great wings.
Therefore (the peng ascended to) the height of 90,000 li, and there was such a mass of wind beneath it;
thenceforth the accumulation of wind was sufficient.
As it seemed to bear the blue sky on its back, and there was nothing to obstruct or arrest its course,
it could pursue its way to the South.
A cicada and a little dove laughed at it, saying,
1'We make an effort and fly towards an elm or sapanwood tree;
and sometimes before we reach it, we can do no more but drop to the ground.
?”Of what use is it for this (creature) to rise 90,000 li, and make for the South?'
He who goes to the grassy suburbs, returning to the third meal (of the day),
will have his belly as full as when he set out;
宿he who goes to a distance of 100 li will have to pound his grain where he stops for the night;
he who goes a thousand li, will have to carry with him provisions for three months.
What should these two small creatures know about the matter?
The knowledge of that which is small does not reach to that which is great;
(the experience of) a few years does not reach to that of many.
How do we know that it is so?
The mushroom of a morning does not know (what takes place between) the beginning and end of a month;
the short-lived cicada does not know (what takes place between) the spring and autumn.
These are instances of a short term of life.
In the south of Chu there is the (tree) called Ming-ling,
whose spring is 500 years,
and its autumn the same;
椿 in high antiquity there was that called Da-chun,
whose spring was 8000 years,
and its autumn the same.
彭祖And Peng Zu is the one man renowned to the present day for his length of life:
if all men were (to wish) to match him,
would they not be miserable?

1. 枪 : Originally read: "抢". 据《四部丛刊》本改。

Enjoy this site? Please help.Site design and content copyright 2006-2021. When quoting or citing information from this site, please link to the corresponding page or to Please note that the use of automatic download software on this site is strictly prohibited, and that users of such software are automatically banned without warning to save bandwidth. 沪ICP备09015720号-3Comments? Suggestions? Please raise them here.