Chapter 26 How to lay stress on Te.
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(Version and commentary of He Shanggong in English)


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26. 1  
Gravity is the root of lightness.

If a prince is not grave, then he is not honoured. If asceticism is not taken seriously, then the spirits are lost. The blossoms and leaves of the herbs and trees are light, therefore they are perishable. The root is heavy, therefore it is lasting.

Quietness is the master of motion.

If a prince is not quiet, then he loses his dignity. If the ascetic is not quiet, then he endangers himself. The dragon is quiet, therefore he is able to transform. The tiger is restless, therefore he strives for heavenly faults.

Therefore the saint walks about the whole day and does not separate from quietude and gravity.

輜 (lit. baggage, baggage-waggon) = 靜 quietude. The saint walks the whole day in Tao, without departing from his quietude and gravity.

Though he has palaces and gynaecea, he avoids them.

榮觀 jung-kuan means palaces, 燕處 yen-ch'u (lit. swallows’ nests) are the apartments of the princess and the concubines. He avoids them: he keeps far away from them and does not stay there.

What remedy is there for the lord of the ten thousand carriages,

奈何 nai-ho “what remedy is there” is an exclamation used by people suffering extremely from sickness. The lord of the ten thousand carriages is the king,

if personally he makes light of the empire?

The king is the most revered one, but if he is personally light-minded and unquiet in a sick time, then he will lapse into excessive luxuriousness and frivolous sensuality.

If he makes light of it, then he will lose the officials.

If the king is light-minded and excessive, then he will lose his officials. If the ascetic is light-minded and excessive, then he loses his semen.

If he is restless, then he will lose the government.

If the king falls a victim to the disease of restlessness, then he endangers his throne. If the ascetic falls a victim to the disease of restlessness, then he endangers his spirit.

- Chinese :

《道德經》: 重為輕根,靜為躁君。是以聖人終日行不離輜重。雖有榮觀,燕處超然。奈何萬乘之主,而以身輕天下?輕則失本,躁則失君

《老子河上公章句·重德》: 重為輕根,靜為躁君。是以聖人終日行,不離輜重。雖有榮觀,燕處超然。奈何萬乘之主而以身輕天下?輕則失臣,躁則失君。

《馬王堆·老子甲道經》: □為巠根,清為躁君。是以君子眾日行不離其甾重。唯有環官,燕處□□若,若何萬乘之王,而以身巠於天下?巠則失本,躁則失君。

《馬王堆·老子乙道經》: 重為輕根,靜為躁君。是以君子冬日行不遠其甾重。雖有環官,燕處則昭若。若何萬乘之王,而以身輕於天下?輕則失本,躁則失君。
(⁎)
- He Shanggong (Chinese) :

重為輕根,人君不重則不尊,治身不重則失神,草木之花葉輕,故零落,根重故長存也。靜為躁君。人君不靜則失威,治身不靜則身危,龍靜故能變化,虎躁故夭虧也。是以聖人終日行,不離輜重。輜,靜也。聖人終日行道,不離其靜與重也。雖有榮觀,燕處超然。榮觀,謂宮闕。燕處,后妃所居也。超然,遠避而不處也。奈何萬乘之主奈何者,疾時主傷痛之辭。萬乘之主謂,王者。而以身輕天下?王者至尊,而以其身行輕躁乎。疾時王奢恣輕淫也。輕則失臣,王者輕淫則失其臣,治身輕淫則失其精。躁則失君。王者行躁疾則失其君位,治身躁疾則失其精神也。
(Ⅱ)
- Wing-Tsit Chan (1963) :

The heavy is the root of the light. The tranquil is the ruler of the hasty.
Therefore the sage travels all day Without leaving his baggage. Even at the sight of magnificent scenes He remains leisurely and indifferent.
How is it that a lord with ten thousand chariots Should behave lightheartedly in his empire?
If he is lighthearted, the minister will be destroyed. If he is hasty, the ruler is lost.
(Ⅲ)
- Ellen Marie Chen (1989) :

The heavy (chung) is root (ken) to the light (ch'ing);
The tranquil (ching) is master (chün) to the agitated (tsao).
Therefore the sage travels all day,
Without leaving (li) his baggage wagon (tzu chung).
Although he has glorious palaces (yung kuan),
He avoids its sumptuous apartments (yen-ch'u).
How could the Lord of ten thousand chariots,
Conduct himself lightly in the world?
One who acts lightly loses his foundation (pen);
One who is agitated loses his master (chün).
(Ⅳ)
- Ch'u Ta-Kao (1904) :

Heaviness is the basis of lightness; Calmness is the controlling power of hastiness.
Therefore the Sage, though traveling all day long, Never separates from his baggage-wagon; Though surrounded with magnificent sights, He lives in tranquillity.
How is it, then, that a king of ten thousand chariots Should conduct himself so lightly in the empire?
To be light is to lose the basis; To be hasty is to lose the controlling power.
(Ⅴ)
- World by world translation :

Traditional // simplified // pinyin // definition // dictionary
重 // 重 // zhòng // ① poids ② lourd ③ important ④ grave // Chinese-French
重 // 重 // zhòng // ① heavy ② serious ③ to attach importance to // CC-CEDICT
重 // 重 // chóng // ① répéter ② à nouveau // Chinese-French
重 // 重 // chóng // ① to repeat ② repetition ③ again ④ re- ⑤ classifier: layer // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wèi // ① because of ② for ③ to // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wéi // ① as (in the capacity of) ② to take sth as ③ to act as ④ to serve as ⑤ to behave as ⑥ to become ⑦ to be ⑧ to do ⑨ by (in the passive voice) // CC-CEDICT
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① léger ② jeune ③ peu important ④ doucement ⑤ à la légère ⑥ mépriser // Chinese-French
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① light ② easy ③ gentle ④ soft ⑤ reckless ⑥ unimportant ⑦ frivolous ⑧ small in number ⑨ unstressed ⑩ neutral ⑪ to disparage // CC-CEDICT
根 // 根 // gēn // ① racine (botanique) ② racine (mathématiques) ③ radical chimique ④ base ⑤ fondement ⑥ pied (d'une montagne) ⑦ origine des choses ⑧ spécificatif des objets longs et minces (cigarettes, troncs d'arbre, cordes, etc.) // Chinese-French
根 // 根 // gēn // ① root ② basis ③ classifier for long slender objects, e.g. cigarettes, guitar strings ④ CL:條|条[tiao2] ⑤ radical (chemistry) // CC-CEDICT
靜 // 静 // jìng // ① calme ② silencieux // Chinese-French
靜 // 静 // jìng // ① still ② calm ③ quiet ④ not moving // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wèi // ① because of ② for ③ to // CC-CEDICT
為 // 为 // wéi // ① as (in the capacity of) ② to take sth as ③ to act as ④ to serve as ⑤ to behave as ⑥ to become ⑦ to be ⑧ to do ⑨ by (in the passive voice) // CC-CEDICT
躁 // 躁 // zào // ① impatient ② ardent // Chinese-French
躁 // 躁 // zào // ① hot-tempered ② impatient // CC-CEDICT
君 // 君 // jūn // ① souverain ② monarque ③ monsieur // Chinese-French
君 // 君 // jūn // ① monarch ② lord ③ gentleman ④ ruler // CC-CEDICT
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① par conséquent ② donc // Chinese-French
是以 // 是以 // shì yǐ // ① therefore ② thus ③ so // CC-CEDICT
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint // Chinese-French
聖人 // 圣人 // shèng rén // ① saint ② sage ③ refers to Confucius 孔子[Kong3 zi3] ④ the current reigning Emperor // CC-CEDICT
終日 // 终日 // zhōng rì // ① all day long // CC-CEDICT
行 // 行 // xíng // ① marcher ② agir ③ faire ④ pratiquer ⑤ appliquer ⑥ d'accord ⑦ c'est bon ! ⑧ chacun des éléments : l’eau, le feu, le bois, le métal, la terre ⑨ bagages ⑩ quitter la maison ⑪ se marier (pour une fille) ⑫ ballade // Chinese-French
行 // 行 // xíng // ① to walk ② to go ③ to travel ④ a visit ⑤ temporary ⑥ makeshift ⑦ current ⑧ in circulation ⑨ to do ⑩ to perform ⑪ capable ⑫ competent ⑬ effective ⑭ all right ⑮ OK! ⑯ will do ⑰ behavior ⑱ conduct ⑲ Taiwan pr. [xing4] for the behavior-conduct sense // CC-CEDICT
行 // 行 // háng // ① classe ② sorte ③ rang ④ maison de commerce // Chinese-French
行 // 行 // háng // ① a row ② series ③ age order (of brothers) ④ profession ⑤ professional ⑥ relating to company // CC-CEDICT
行 // 行 // xìng // ① action // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① ne... pas ② non ③ (pour former une question placé à la fin d'une phrase, pour indiquer l'indifférence avec shen me ④ pour indiquer une alternative avec jiu) // Chinese-French
不 // 不 // bù // ① (negative prefix) ② not ③ no // CC-CEDICT
離 // 离 // lí // ① de ② quitter ③ se séparer // Chinese-French
離 // 离 // lí // ① surname Li // CC-CEDICT
離 // 离 // lí // ① to leave ② to part from ③ to be away from ④ (in giving distances) from ⑤ without (sth) ⑥ independent of ⑦ one of the Eight Trigrams 八卦[ba1 gua4], symbolizing fire ⑧ ☲ // CC-CEDICT
輜重 // 辎重 // zī zhòng // ① Logistique militaire // Chinese-French
雖 // 虽 // suī // ① bien que ② malgré que // Chinese-French
雖 // 虽 // suī // ① although ② even though // CC-CEDICT
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① avoir ② posséder ③ il y a ④ exister // Chinese-French
有 // 有 // yǒu // ① to have ② there is ③ there are ④ to exist ⑤ to be // CC-CEDICT
榮 // 荣 // róng // ① prospère ② gloire // Chinese-French
榮 // 荣 // róng // ① surname Rong // CC-CEDICT
榮 // 荣 // róng // ① glory ② honor ③ thriving // CC-CEDICT
觀 // 观 // guān // ① regarder avec attention, observer // Chinese-French
觀 // 观 // guān // ① to look at ② to watch ③ to observe ④ to behold ⑤ to advise ⑥ concept ⑦ point of view ⑧ outlook // CC-CEDICT
觀 // 观 // guàn // ① temple taoïste // Chinese-French
觀 // 观 // guàn // ① surname Guan // CC-CEDICT
觀 // 观 // guàn // ① Taoist monastery ② palace gate watchtower ③ platform // CC-CEDICT
燕 // 燕 // yān // ① hirondelle // Chinese-French
燕 // 燕 // yān // ① Yan, a vassal state of Zhou in modern Hebei and Liaoning ② north Hebei ③ the four Yan kingdoms of the Sixteen Kingdoms, namely: Former Yan 前燕 (337-370), Later Yan 後燕|后燕 (384-409), Southern Yan 南燕 (398-410), Northern Yan 北燕 (409-436) ④ surname Yan // CC-CEDICT
燕 // 燕 // yàn // ① hirondelle // Chinese-French
燕 // 燕 // yàn // ① swallow (family Hirundinidae) ② old variant of 宴[yan4] // CC-CEDICT
鷰 // 燕 // yàn // ① variant of 燕[yan4] // CC-CEDICT
處 // 处 // chù // ① lieu ② endroit ③ département ④ service // Chinese-French
處 // 处 // chù // ① place ② location ③ spot ④ point ⑤ office ⑥ department ⑦ bureau ⑧ respect ⑨ classifier for locations or items of damage: spot, point // CC-CEDICT
處 // 处 // chǔ // ① s'entendre (bien ou mal) ② se trouver ③ punir ④ habiter // Chinese-French
處 // 处 // chǔ // ① to reside ② to live ③ to dwell ④ to be in ⑤ to be situated at ⑥ to stay ⑦ to get along with ⑧ to be in a position of ⑨ to deal with ⑩ to discipline ⑪ to punish // CC-CEDICT
超 // 超 // chāo // ① dépasser ② devancer (préfixe) sur- ③ super- ④ ultra- ⑤ extra- // Chinese-French
超 // 超 // chāo // ① to exceed ② to overtake ③ to surpass ④ to transcend ⑤ to pass ⑥ to cross ⑦ ultra- ⑧ super- // CC-CEDICT
然 // 然 // rán // ① mais ② cependant ③ juste ④ correct // Chinese-French
然 // 然 // rán // ① correct ② right ③ so ④ thus ⑤ like this ⑥ -ly // CC-CEDICT
奈何 // 奈何 // nài hé // ① que faire // Chinese-French
奈何 // 奈何 // nài hé // ① to do something to sb ② to deal with ③ to cope ④ how? ⑤ to no avail // CC-CEDICT
萬 // 万 // wàn // ① dix mille ② absolument ③ un grand nombre de ④ (nom de famille) // Chinese-French
萬 // 万 // wàn // ① surname Wan // CC-CEDICT
萬 // 万 // wàn // ① ten thousand ② a great number // CC-CEDICT
乘 // 乘 // chéng // ① prendre (un moyen de transport) ② monter dans ③ profiter de qch ④ exploiter ⑤ multiplier // Chinese-French
乘 // 乘 // chéng // ① surname Cheng // CC-CEDICT
乘 // 乘 // chéng // ① to ride ② to mount ③ to make use of ④ to avail oneself of ⑤ to take advantage of ⑥ to multiply (mathematics) ⑦ Buddhist sect or creed // CC-CEDICT
椉 // 乘 // chéng // ① old variant of 乘[cheng2] // CC-CEDICT
乘 // 乘 // shèng // ① four horse military chariot (archaic) ② four (archaic) ③ generic term for history books // CC-CEDICT
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (remplaçant une personne ou une chose comme complément) ② (particule possessive dans différentes expressions) // Chinese-French
之 // 之 // zhī // ① (possessive particle, literary equivalent of 的[de5]) ② him ③ her ④ it // CC-CEDICT
主 // 主 // zhǔ // ① hôte ② propriétaire ③ patron ④ dieu ⑤ seigneur ⑥ diriger ⑦ présider ⑧ être pour ⑨ principal ⑩ essentiel // Chinese-French
主 // 主 // zhǔ // ① owner ② master ③ host ④ individual or party concerned ⑤ God ⑥ Lord ⑦ main ⑧ to indicate or signify ⑨ trump card (in card games) // CC-CEDICT
而 // 而 // ér // ① et ② mais ③ tandis que ④ alors que // Chinese-French
而 // 而 // ér // ① and ② as well as ③ and so ④ but (not) ⑤ yet (not) ⑥ (indicates causal relation) ⑦ (indicates change of state) ⑧ (indicates contrast) // CC-CEDICT
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① prendre ② utiliser ③ selon ④ à cause de ⑤ pour // Chinese-French
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① abbr. for Israel 以色列[Yi3 se4 lie4] // CC-CEDICT
以 // 以 // yǐ // ① to use ② by means of ③ according to ④ in order to ⑤ because of ⑥ at (a certain date or place) // CC-CEDICT
㕥 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
㠯 // 以 // yǐ // ① old variant of 以[yi3] // CC-CEDICT
身 // 身 // shēn // ① corps ② vie ③ soi-même // Chinese-French
身 // 身 // shēn // ① body ② life ③ oneself ④ personally ⑤ one's morality and conduct ⑥ the main part of a structure or body ⑦ pregnant ⑧ classifier for sets of clothes: suit, twinset ⑨ Kangxi radical 158 // CC-CEDICT
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① léger ② jeune ③ peu important ④ doucement ⑤ à la légère ⑥ mépriser // Chinese-French
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① light ② easy ③ gentle ④ soft ⑤ reckless ⑥ unimportant ⑦ frivolous ⑧ small in number ⑨ unstressed ⑩ neutral ⑪ to disparage // CC-CEDICT
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① empire céleste // Chinese-French
天下 // 天下 // tiān xià // ① land under heaven ② the whole world ③ the whole of China ④ realm ⑤ rule // CC-CEDICT
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① léger ② jeune ③ peu important ④ doucement ⑤ à la légère ⑥ mépriser // Chinese-French
輕 // 轻 // qīng // ① light ② easy ③ gentle ④ soft ⑤ reckless ⑥ unimportant ⑦ frivolous ⑧ small in number ⑨ unstressed ⑩ neutral ⑪ to disparage // CC-CEDICT
則 // 则 // zé // ① règle ② règlement ③ alors ④ donc // Chinese-French
則 // 则 // zé // ① (conjunction used to express contrast with a previous clause) but ② then ③ standard ④ norm ⑤ principle ⑥ to imitate ⑦ to follow ⑧ classifier for written items // CC-CEDICT
失 // 失 // shī // ① erreur ② accident ③ perdre // Chinese-French
失 // 失 // shī // ① to lose ② to miss ③ to fail // CC-CEDICT
本 // 本 // běn // ① racine ② tige ③ fondation ④ origine ⑤ capital ⑥ principal ⑦ base ⑧ celui-ci ⑨ (classificateur pour les livres, cahier ⑩ carnet, etc.) // Chinese-French
本 // 本 // běn // ① root ② stem ③ origin ④ source ⑤ this ⑥ the current ⑦ original ⑧ inherent ⑨ originally ⑩ classifier for books, periodicals, files etc // CC-CEDICT
躁 // 躁 // zào // ① impatient ② ardent // Chinese-French
躁 // 躁 // zào // ① hot-tempered ② impatient // CC-CEDICT
則 // 则 // zé // ① règle ② règlement ③ alors ④ donc // Chinese-French
則 // 则 // zé // ① (conjunction used to express contrast with a previous clause) but ② then ③ standard ④ norm ⑤ principle ⑥ to imitate ⑦ to follow ⑧ classifier for written items // CC-CEDICT
失 // 失 // shī // ① erreur ② accident ③ perdre // Chinese-French
失 // 失 // shī // ① to lose ② to miss ③ to fail // CC-CEDICT
君 // 君 // jūn // ① souverain ② monarque ③ monsieur // Chinese-French
君 // 君 // jūn // ① monarch ② lord ③ gentleman ④ ruler // CC-CEDICT
(Ⅵ)
- Yi Wu (1989) :

Weight anchors lightness, and peace controls turmoil.
Thus, the wise person travels always with heavy provisions,
Is indifferent, like a swallow, to all the glory and grandeur.
What if a king treats the world lightly?
Being light, he will lose his root in the world.
Being changeable, he loses peace for the society.
(Ⅶ)
- Lynn (2004) :

The heavy is the foundation of the light, and quietude is the sovereign of activity.
This is why the sage travels throughout the day yet does not separate himself from his retinue.
So despite the presence of glorious scenery, he remains relaxed and detached.
How could one be the master of ten thousand war chariots and yet treat his own person lighter than all under Heaven!
If he treats it lighter, he will lose his foundation.
If he engages in activity, he will lose his sovereignty.
(Ⅷ)


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