Book: The Analects
Author: Confucius





The Analects By Confucius

Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 95
Publication Date: This translation by James Legge, 1893

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Summary:

The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers. It is believed to have been written during the Warring States period (475 BC–221 BC), and it achieved its final form during the mid-Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). By the early Han dynasty the Analects was considered merely a "commentary" on the Five Classics, but the status of the Analects grew to be one of the central texts of Confucianism by the end of that dynasty. During the late Song dynasty (960-1279) the importance of the Analects as a philosophy work was raised above that of the older Five Classics, and it was recognized as one of the "Four Books". The Analects has been one of the most widely read and studied books in China for the last 2,000 years, and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today.



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Excerpt:

The Master said, “Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?

“Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?

“Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?”

The philosopher Yu said, “They are few who, being filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors. There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion.

“The superior man bends his attention to what is radical. That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial piety and fraternal submission,-are they not the root of all benevolent actions?”

The Master said, “Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.”

The philosopher Tsang said, “I daily examine myself on three points:-whether, in transacting business for others, I may have been not faithful;-whether, in intercourse with friends, I may have been not sincere;-whether I may have not mastered and practiced the instructions of my teacher.”

The Master said, “To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons.”

The Master said, “A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies.”

Tsze-hsia said, “If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength; if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if, in his intercourse with his friends, his words are sincere:-although men say that he has not learned, I will certainly say that he has.

The Master said, “If the scholar be not grave, he will not call forth any veneration, and his learning will not be solid.

“Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles.

“Have no friends not equal to yourself.

“When you have faults, do not fear to abandon them.”

The philosopher Tsang said, “Let there be a careful attention to perform the funeral rites to parents, and let them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice;-then the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence.”

Tsze-ch’in asked Tsze-kung saying, “When our master comes to any country, he does not fail to learn all about its government. Does he ask his information? or is it given to him?”

Tsze-kung said, “Our master is benign, upright, courteous, temperate, and complaisant and thus he gets his information. The master’s mode of asking information,-is it not different from that of other men?”

The Master said, “While a man’s father is alive, look at the bent of his will; when his father is dead, look at his conduct. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial.”

The philosopher Yu said, “In practicing the rules of propriety, a natural ease is to be prized. In the ways prescribed by the ancient kings, this is the excellent quality, and in things small and great we follow them.

“Yet it is not to be observed in all cases. If one, knowing how such ease should be prized, manifests it, without regulating it by the rules of propriety, this likewise is not to be done.”

The philosopher Yu said, “When agreements are made according to what is right, what is spoken can be made good. When respect is shown according to what is proper, one keeps far from shame and disgrace. When the parties upon whom a man leans are proper persons to be intimate with, he can make them his guides and masters.”