The last words of King Wen of Zhou Dynasty in bamboo slips

Spread the love



King Wen of Zhou Dynasty Jichang

Recently, Tsinghua University has collected a batch of Chu bamboo slips from the Warring States period. After careful protection and collation by scholars, an article called Bao Xun has been officially published. The whole chapter of Bao Xun has 11 bamboo slips, each of which has 22~24 words. The text is as follows:

“The king has lived for fifty years without suffering from illness. The king has read the sun for so many years that he is afraid of falling into the treasure training. Wu Zi is afraid of falling into the treasure training. He is ashamed of himself. He is ugly and ignorant [cool]… If the king said: ‘I am ill, I am afraid that you will not be trained. In the past generation (?) If you pass on a treasure, you will receive it. Now I am sick, and I am afraid that my thoughts will end. The woman (you) will accept it with a book. Don’t underestimate it! In the past, Shun used to be a villain. He cultivated in Lichu personally. He was afraid of being caught in the middle of his quest, and he would check his ambition. He did not violate the desires of the common people. Jue has been applied to the upper and lower parts of the world, and Kennedy has changed his position. He can measure the Yin and Yang without disturbing them. Shun, who had won the victory, could not easily change his name. He was well equipped but allowed, and his wings were unremitting. It was used as the virtue of three surrender. Emperor Yao Jiazhi used it to receive Jue Xu. Whoops! Hair, only! Once upon a time, I took a slight vacation in the river, so that I could recover my changes, and I could easily serve the sin of Jue. It is slightly harmless, and Kennedy returns to the middle of the river. It was passed on to the descendants of the people who had forgotten it. As of the end of the Tang Dynasty (Tang Dynasty), they were only prepared to use it to receive great orders. Whoops! FA, Jing Zai! I have heard that this is not old, and my life has not been extended. Now you have nothing to do with it, and you have something to do with it. If you don’t expect to receive a great life, do not underestimate it! The days are short, but the lodging is unknown. “

This brief article records that King Wen of Zhou was seriously ill in his later years, so he was afraid that he would not have time to leave his last words. Therefore, on the day of Prince e, he summoned the crown prince (later King Wu of Zhou) to send his last words. In his last words, King Wen talked about the stories of Shun and Shang Jiawei, the ancestors of the Shang Dynasty. He used these two stories to teach Prince FA to follow the idea of “Zhong”. These contents are not found in previous historical records. The middle way thought contained in this article has philosophical significance.

About the story of Shun: “in the past, Shun, an old villain, cultivated himself in the hills. He was afraid of being in the middle. He wanted to check the records of Jue, which did not go against the desires of thousands of families. Jue was applied to the upper and lower regions, and Kennedy changed his position to Weiji. He measured the Yin and Yang without disturbing them. Since Shun was in the middle, it was not easy to change his name. His body was ready but willing, and his wings were tireless. It was used as a virtue of three surrender. Emperor Yao Jiazhi used it to accept Jue Xu.” This passage is about how Shun, after being promoted by Yao, sought the middle way without going against the wishes of the people. As Shun was born among the people, he was able to examine himself without going against the wishes of the people. In his administration, he always put himself in the right place, considering both sides, reaching the middle and the right, so as to do things well. This short passage and Confucius’ words in the doctrine of the mean written by Zisi: “Shun’s great knowledge is also the same! Shun is easy to ask and observe your words, conceals evil and promotes good, holds its two ends, and uses it to the people, so he thinks Shun!” Very similar. The second story is about Shang Jiawei, the sixth patriarch of Shang and Tang Dynasties: “in the past, he pretended to be in the river, so that he could recover his changes and overcome the sin of Jue. He was harmless, and he returned to the river. He forgot about the past, and passed it on to his descendants. Until the Tang Dynasty (Tang Dynasty) was completed, he was only ready to use it and accept life.” It tells the story of shangjiawei’s revenge for his father Wang Hai. Both Wang Hai and SHANG Jia were found in the oracle bone inscriptions unearthed in Yin Ruins. After the discovery of the oracle bone inscriptions, WangGuowei and other scholars cross checked this long forgotten historical trace from documents such as the book of changes, the book of mountains and seas, and the Bamboo Annals: Wang Hai, the leader of the merchant, once led an ox cart to Youyi for trade, and Mian, the king of Yi, plotted to kill Wang Hai, thereby seizing the ox cart. Later, Shangjia, the son of Wang Hai, joined forces with Hebo to defeat Youyi and kill mianchen. In this story, King Wen of Zhou emphasized “Zhong” again. Shangjiawei passed on “Zhong” to his descendants, and then Chengtang won the world.

As the last testament of King Wen of Zhou Dynasty, Baoxun repeatedly emphasizes “middle”, that is, to govern the country with the idea of “middle”. This “Zhong” actually means to maintain balance. In his will, King Wen taught his son FA: in the complex and changeable situation at the end of the Shang Dynasty, we should not only be firm, but also “wing unremitting”, and handle things carefully and steadily. Later, King Wu of Zhou inherited King Wen’s will, conquered Zhou and destroyed Shang, and finally realized King Wen’s will.

The “middle” here later developed into the “middle way” and “golden mean” advocated by Confucianism. In the doctrine of the mean, written by Confucius’ grandson Zisi, there is such a saying: “those who are also in the middle, the foundation of the world; those who are also in harmony, the Tao of the world. To achieve harmony, the position of the world and the education of all things.” It has greatly developed by raising “Zhong” to the height of philosophy and combining it with the concept of “harmony”. It can be seen that the thought of Bao Xun, the last words of King Wen of Zhou Dynasty, has something in common with Confucianism, which is worth exploring and studying.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *