Saturday, May 07, 2016

Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31

Dao De Jing, by Laozi
Chapter 31

"Now, weapons are instruments of ill omen;  Divinity abhors them.
Therefore, one who abides in Dao does not abide weapons.
The Superior Person, at home, honors the more powerful Left-side;
on the battlefield, the more gentle Right-side;
they put Peace above all else,
and refuse to glorify weapons.
If one glorifies weapons, this propagates killing.
One who delights in killing people has no influence with Heaven.
On occasions of celebration, one honors the Left-side;
on occasions of grief, the Right-side is honored more.
A Deputy General stands on the Left side;
their Commander stands at the Right..
in other words, they stand in the order of their gravity of offense.
The killing of masses of people we ought bewail with sorrow and grief.
Victory in battle we ought commemorate with mournful rites."
-  Translated by Jerry C. Welch, 1998, Chapter 31 

"The Master who is a Captain of soldiers
Does not give blessings with his weapons.
Soldiers' weapons are hated by most men,
Therefore he who has the Tao gives them no place.
In the dwelling of the man of peace the left side is the place of honour.
In soldiers' usage the right side is the place of honour.
A soldier does not give blessings with his weapons.
They are not the instruments of a man of peace.
A man of peace will not possess them, nor use them;
He gives the first place to calmness and repose.
If he conquers, he does not rejoice.
Without joy is he who wounds and kills men.
The Master who wounds and kills men
Cannot succeed in ruling his kingdom.
In time of joy, the left hand is preferred,
In time of mourning, the right hand is preferred.
In war, the second in command is placed on the left,
The first in command is placed on the right,
That is, he stands in the place of mourning.
He who has killed many men should weep with many tears.
He who has conquered in battle should stand in the place of mourning."

-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 31  

"Even victorious arms are unblest among tools, and people had better shun them.
Therefore he who has Reason does not rely on them. 
The superior man when residing at home honors the left.
When using arms, he honors the right. 
Arms are unblest among tools and not the superior man's tools.
Only when it is unavoidable he uses them.
Peace and quietude he holdeth high.  
He conquers but rejoices not.
Rejoicing at a conquest means to enjoy the slaughter of men.
He who enjoys the slaughter of men will most assuredly not obtain his will in the empire."
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 31 

物或惡之, 故有道者不處. 
而美之者, 是樂殺人. 
夫樂殺人者, 則不可以得志於天下矣. 
殺人之衆, 以哀悲泣之.
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31 

fu chia ping chê pu hsiang chih chi'i.
wu huo wu chih, ku yu tao chê pu ch'u.
chün tzu chü tsê kuei tso.
yung ping tsê kuei yu.
ping chê pu hsiang chih ch'i.
fei chün tzu chih ch'i.
pu tê yi erh yung chih.
t'ien tan wei shang.
shêng erh pu mei.
erh mei chih chê, shih lo sha jên.
fu lo sha jên chê, tsê pu k'o yi tê chih yü t'ien hsia yi.
chi shih shang tso.
hsiung shih shang yu.
p'ien chiang chün chü tso.
shang chiang chün chü yu.
yen yi sang li ch'u chih.
sha jên chih chung, yi ai pei ch'i chih.
chan shêng yi sang li ch'u chih.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31

"Even the finest warrior is defeated
     when he goes against natural law
By his own hand he is doomed
     and all creatures are likely to despise him

One who knows Tao
     never turns from life calling
When at home he honors the side of rest
When at war he honors the side of action
Peace and tranquility are what he holds most dear
     so he does not obtain weapons
But when their use is unavoidable
     he employs them with fortitude and zeal

Do not flaunt your excellence
Do not rejoice over victory
With the loss of others
     weep with sorrow and grief
After winning a battle
     do not celebrate
     observe the rites of a funeral

One who is bound to action, proud of victory,
    and delights in the misfortune of others
will never gain a thing
     from this world below Heaven"
-  Translation by Jonathan Star, 2001, Chapter 31 

"Weapons of war are instruments of death.
All people fear them.
Therefore, all men of peace avoid them.
The sage prefers Infinity.
The man of war prefers the earth.
Weapons are instruments of death
and the tools of a warrior.
The sage avoids them at all cost;
and sometimes prefers death rather
than touching them.
Peace and harmony are the sage's reality.
She considers victory to be the bastard
child of war.
If you revel in victory,
then you sanction war and the killing of
human beings.
If you accept killing,
you have forgotten your oneness with all
In time of celebration the left is the dominant
In times of grief the right.
During wartime the general always stands on the
and the king on the right.
If even one person is killed in war,
it is cause for great grief and mourning.
Victory is simply the maker of widows and orphans."
-  Translated by John Worldpeace, Chapter 31   

"Las armas son instrumentos nefastos.
El hombre del Tao nunca se sirve de ellas.
El hombre de bien considera a la izquierda
como sitio de honor,
pero se inclina a la derecha cuando porta armas.
El sabio prefiere la izquierda.
El soldado prefiere la derecha.
Las armas son instrumentos nefastos,
no adecuados para el hombre de bien.
Sólo las usa en caso de necesidad,
y lo hace comedidamente,
sin alegría en la victoria.
El que se alegra de vencer
es el que goza con la muerte de los hombres.
Y quien se complace en matar hombres
no puede prevalecer en el mundo.
Para los grandes acontecimientos
el sitio de honor es la izquierda,
y la derecha para los hechos luctuosos.
En el ejército,
El comandante adjunto se coloca a la izquierda,
El comandante en jefe, a la derecha.
Esta es la misma disposición que se usa en los ritos fúnebres.
Esto significa que la guerra se compara a un servicio funerario.
Cuando ha sido matada mucha gente,
sólo es justo que los supervivientes lloren por los muertos.
Por esto, incluso una victoria es un funeral."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013,
Capítulo 31 

"The Killing Fields: War is a last resort

Now, weapons are instruments of misfortune,
and despised by the whole world.
So those who are with the Tao will have nothing to do with them.

When a noble person is at home
he grants most importance to those at his left side.
But when he is at war
he grants most importance to those at his right side.

Weapons are instruments of misfortune.
They are not the instrument of the noble person.
Only when he has no choice will he use them.

It is best to be cool and calm. Victory is not beautiful.
But those who think it is beautiful, enjoy killing people.
Those who enjoy killing people
will not find what they want anywhere in the world.

In good times the place of honor is on the left.
In bad times the place of honor is on the right.
It is the second-in-command of the army who sits on the left,
and the first-in-command of the army who sits on the right.
This is to say;
these are the same positions they would take when at a funeral.

When a great number of people have been killed,
it is an occasion for sorrow and mourning.
When the battle is won, conduct a funeral for those slain."
-  Translated by Roderic and Amy Sorrell, 2003, Chapter 31  

"Of all things, soldiers are instruments of evil,
   Hated by men.
Therefore the religious man (possessed of Tao) avoids them.
The gentleman favors the left in civilian life,
But on military occasions favors the right.
Soldiers are weapons of evil.
   They are not the weapons of the gentleman.
When the use of soldiers cannot be helped,
   The best policy is calm restraint.
Even in victory, there is no beauty,
And who calls it beautiful
   Is one who delights in slaughter.
He who delights in slaughter
   Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world.
[The things of good omen favor the left.
The things of ill omen favor the right.
The lieutenant-general stands on the left,
The general stands on the right.
That is to say, it is celebrated as a Funeral Rite.]
The slaying of multitudes should be mourned with sorrow.
A victory should be celebrated with the Funeral Rite."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 31  

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 31, 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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