Friday, September 25, 2015

Daodejing, Chapter 78

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Chapter 78

"Nothing on earth is so weak and yielding as water, but for breaking down the firm and strong it has no equal.
This admits of no alternative.
All the world knows that the soft can wear away the hard, and the weak can conquer the strong, but none can carry it out in practice.
Therefore the Sage says: He who bears the reproach of his country is really the lord of the land. He who bears the woes of the people is in truth their king.
The words of truth are always paradoxical."
-  Translated by Walter Gorn Old, 1904, Chapter 78 

to be at your best
pattern yourself after water
nothing in all the world is softer or more powerful
nothing in all the world can substitute for it
nothing in all the world can stop it

in their hearts
everyone easily knows that
the soft and the weak
will always overcome the hard and strong
but they find it difficult to live this way

the secret is to
move the bodymind like water."
-  Translated by John Bright-Fey, 2006, Chapter 78 

"What is more fluid, more yielding than water?
Yet back it comes again, wearing down the rigid strength
Which cannot yield to withstand it.
So it is that the strong are overcome by the weak,
The haughty by the humble.
This we know
But never learn,
So that when wise men tell us,
'He who bites the dust
Is owner of the earth,
He who is scapegoat
Is king,'
They seem to twist the truth."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 78  

"Nothing is more soft and yielding than water,
for cutting things hard and strong, nothing is better,
because it persists.
The weak can overcome the strong;
the supple can overcome the stiff.
Everyone knows this,
yet no one puts it into practice.
Therefore, the sage says:
who shoulders the humiliation of the people, fits to rule them,
who shoulder the country's disaster, deserves to be the king.
The truth often sounds paradoxical."
-  Translated by Tienzen Gong, Chapter 78

而攻堅強者, 莫之能勝,
弱之勝強, 柔之勝剛, 天下莫不知, 莫能行.
是以聖人云受國之垢, 是謂社稷主;
受國不祥, 是謂天下王.
-  Chinese characters, Chapter 78, Tao Te Ching

t'ien hsia mo jou jo yü shui,
erh kung chien ch'iang chê, mo chih nêng shêng,
ch'i wu yi yi chih.
jo chih shêng ch'iang, jou chih shêng kang, tien hsia mo pu chih, mo nêng hsing.
shih yi shêng jên yün shou kuo chih kou, shih wei shê chi chu;
shou kuo pu hsiang, shih wei t'ien hsia wang.
chêng yen jo fan.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Chapter 78, Tao Te Ching

"There is nothing in the world
as soft and weak as water.
But to erode the hard and strong,
nothing can surpass it;
nothing can be a substitute.
The weak can overcome the strong;
the soft can overcome the hard.
There is no-one in the world who does not know this,
but there is no-one who can put it into practice.
Those who are enlightened say:
those who bear a nation's disgrace
will become lords of its shrines to earth and grain; *
those who bear a nation's misfortune
will become kings under heaven.
True words often seem a paradox."
-  Translated by Tim Chilcott, 2005, Chapter 78 

"Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet when it attacks what is strong and firm, nothing can hold up against it.
Because there is nothing as changeable as water,
Water conquers what is firm and unyielding.
By being flexible, it can conquer what is strong.
No one in this world wouldn’t be able to understand that, yet no one has the ability to carry it out.

Therefore a wise person’s words declare:
Accepting the blame for a nation’s problems is naturally referred to as being the master of what nourishes the world;
Accepting the nation’s problems as bad signs of fate is naturally referred to as being the king of the world.
These straight-spoken words seem to be backwards."
-  Translated by Nina Correa, 2005, Chapter 78

"Nada hay en el mundo más blando y suave que el agua,
 pero nada puede superarla en el combate contra lo duro y resistente,
 en esto nada puede sustituirla.
 El agua vence a lo más duro,
 lo débil vence a lo fuerte,
 no hay en el mundo quien desconozca esta razón,
 pero tampoco quien sea capaz de ponerla en práctica.

 De ahí que el sabio diga:
 'Sólo quien asume los oprobios del Estado,
 merece ser llamado señor del país.
 Sólo quien soporta las desgracias del Estado,
 merece ser llamado rey del mundo.'

 Las palabras verdaderas parecen paradójicas."
  -  Translated by Juan Ignacio Preciado, 1978, Capítulo 78

"There is nothing weaker than water,
Or easier to efface,
But for attacking the hard and the strong
Nothing can take its place.
That the tender conquers the rigid,
That the weak overcomes the strong,
The whole world knows, but in practice who
Can carry the work along?
Who bears the sins of his country,
We know from the sage's word,
Shall be called the master of sacrifice,
And hailed as its altar's lord.
Who carries his country's woes,
The curse of the land who bears,
Shall be called the king of the world; tis true,
Though a paradox it appears."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 78

A typical webpage created by Mike Garofalo for each one of the 81 Chapters (Verses, Sections) of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) includes over 25 different English language translations or interpolations for that Chapter, 5 Spanish language translations for that Chapter, the Chinese characters for that Chapter, the Wade-Giles and Hanyu Pinyin transliterations (Romanization) of the Mandarin Chinese words for that Chapter, and 2 German and 1 French translation of that Chapter.  Each webpage for each one of the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching includes extensive indexing by key words, phrases, and terms for that Chapter in English, Spanish, and the Wade-Giles Romanization.  Each webpage on a Chapter of the Daodejing includes recommended reading in books and websites, a detailed bibliography, some commentary, research leads, translation sources, a Google Translate drop down menu, and other resources for that Chapter.   

Chapter 78, Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Chapter and Thematic Index (Concordance) to the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

English Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Spanish Language Daodejing Translators' Source Index

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: A Selected Reading List

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey  


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