• Document: The. Analects. Sayings of. Confucius. Translated by D. C. Lau
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The Analects Sayings of Confucius Translated by D. C. Lau One of the sons of the emperor Ching was appointed king of Lu in the year B.C. 154, and some time after, wishing to enlarge his palace, he proceeded to pull down the house of the K'ung family, known as that where Confucius himself had lived. While doing so, there were found in the wall copies of the Shu-ching, the Ch'un Ch'iu, the Hsiao-ching, and the Lun Yu or Analects, which had been deposited there, when the edict for the burning of the Books was issued. They were all written, however, in the most ancient form of the Chinese character, which had fallen into disuse, and the king returned them to the K'ung family, the head of which, K'ung An-kwo, gave himself to the study of them, and finally, in obedience to an imperial order, published a Work called “The Lun Yu, with Explanations of the Characters, and Exhibition of the Meaning.' - from Legge's Prolegomenon. Lunyu is considered by scholars to be the most reliable source of the doctrine of the ancient sage Confucius (551–479 BC) and is usually the first Confucian text studied in schools. It covers almost all the basic ethical concepts of Confucius—e.g., ren (“benevolence”), junzi (“the superior man”), tian (“heaven”), zhongyong (“doctrine of the mean”), li (“proper conduct”), and zhengming (“adjustment to names”). The last inculcates the notion that all phases of a person's conduct should correspond to the true significance of “names”—e.g., marriage should be true marriage, not concubinage. Among many direct quotations attributed to Confucius is one explaining filial piety (xiao). If xiao means nothing more than providing for parents, said Confucius, even dogs and horses do that; xiao does not exist without genuine respect for parents. Lunyu also contains homely glimpses of Confucius as recorded by his disciples. - Lunyu, Encyclopædia Britannica. The Sayings of Confucius Translated by D. C. Lau from the cover T he Analects are a collection of Confucius's sayings brought together by his pupils shortly after his death in 497 BC. Together they express a philosophy, or a moral code, by which Confucius, one of the most humane thinkers of all time, believed everyone should live. Upholding the ideals of wisdom, self-knowledge, courage and love of one's fellow man, he argued that the pursuit of virtue should be every individual's supreme goal. And, while following the Way, or the truth, might not result in immediate or material gain, Confucius showed that it could nevertheless bring its own powerful and lasting spiritual rewards. Inside cover C ONFUCIUS (551–479 BC), though of noble descent, was born in rather humble circumstances in the state of Lu in modern Shantung, at a time when imperial rule was breaking down. He was a great admirer of the Duke of Chou and looked upon himself as a transmitter of early Chou culture, rather than as an innovator. He taught a moral philosophy with man as the centrepiece. In order to meet his moral responsibility, he believed, a man must think for himself. This belief led Confucius to place as much emphasis on thinking as on learning. The central concept of his philosophy was the 'chun tzu', an ideal man whose character embodies the virtue of benevolence and whose acts are in accordance with the rites and rightness. For Confucius, as for the whole of the Chinese tradition, politics is only an extension of morals: provided that the ruler is benevolent, the government will naturally work towards the good of the people. After over ten years spent in travelling through the various states, Confucius, realizing that there was no hope of converting any of the feudal rulers to his way of thinking, returned to Lu where he spent the rest of his life teaching a group of gifted and devoted disciples. In the Western Han, Confucianism became the orthodox philosophy and retained this position up until the twentieth century. Inevitably, his teachings became distorted in the course of time. The 'Lun yu', commonly known as the 'Analects', has been as widely read in China throughout the ages as the Bible has been in the West, and is the only reliable record of his teachings. D . C. LAU read Chinese at the University of Hong Kong and in 1946 he went to Glasgow where he read philosophy. In 1950 he joined the School of Oriental and African Studies in London to teach Chinese philosophy. He was appointed in 1965 to the then newly-created Readership in Chinese Philosophy and in 1970 became Professor of Chinese in the University of London. In 1978 he returned to Hong Kong to take up the Chair of Chinese Language and Literature at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. In 1989, upon his retirement, he was appointed Professor Emeritus and started th

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