开宗明义章第一        Chapter I         The Meaning and Purpose of Filial Piety  

天子章第二                Chapter II        Filial Piety of the Son of Heaven

诸侯章第三                Chapter III       Filial Piety of the Prince

卿大夫章第四            Chapter IV      Filial Piety of the High Officials

土章第五                    Chapter V        Filial Piety of the Lower Officials

庶人章第六                Chapter VI      Filial Piety of the Common People

三才章第七                Chapter VII     The Three Powers (Heaven Earth and Man)

孝治章第八                Chapter VIII    Government by Filial Piety

圣治章第九                Chapter IX      Government by the Sage

纪孝行章第十            Chapter X        The Filial Piety of a Son

五刑章第十一            Chapter XI      The Five Punishments

广要道章第十二        Chapter XII     The Amplification of an Important Rule of Conduct

广至德章第十三        Chapter XIII    The Amplification of the Loftiest Virtue

广扬名章第十四        Chapter XIV    The Amplification of Leaving a Good Name for Posterity

谏诤章第十五            Chapter XV     The Duty of Remonstrance

离感章第十六            Chapter XVI    The Response to Filial Piety

事君章第十七            Chapter X VII Serving the Sovereign

丧亲章第十八            Chapter XVIII Mourning for Parents






仲尼居,曾子侍。子曰:‘先王有至德要道,以顺天下, 民用和睦,上下无怨。女知之乎? ’曾子避席曰:‘参不敏, 何足以知之? ’子曰:‘夫孝,德之本也,教之所由生也。复坐,吾语女。身体发肤,受之父母,不敢毁伤,孝之始也; 立身行道,扬名于后世,以显父母,孝之终也。夫孝,始于事亲,中于事君,终于立身。大雅》云:无念尔祖,聿脩厥德。’


今译】孔子在家里闲坐,他的学生曾参在旁边陪坐。孔子说:‘ 从前的帝王有至高无上的德行和精要微妙的道理,用来教化全国,因此,人民百姓都能和睦相处,无论尊卑贵贱,都没有怨言。你知道这是什么原因吗? ’曾参离开坐席恭敬地说:‘ 学生愚钝不聪敏,哪里能够知晓呢? ’孔子说:‘ 孝道,是德行的根本, 是教化产生的源头。你回到原位坐下,我把其中的道理告诉你。身躯、四肢、毛发、皮肤,都是从父母那里得来的,不敢有丝毫毁坏伤残,这是孝道的基础;能够自立于世有所建树,遵守仁德行事,扬名于后世,使父母荣耀,这是孝道的最终境界。孝道,开始于侍奉双亲;推广于奉事君王;最终做到能自立于世而有所建树。《诗经大雅》里说:〔感念你的祖父,养成先王的美德。〕’



Chapter I


The Meaning and Purpose of Filial Piety



  Confucius was sitting at leisure in his house and Zeng Shen, one of his disciples, was in attendance upon him.  Confucius said“The great kings of the past dynasties had the loftiest virtue and an important rule of conduct with which they educated all throughout the kingdom.  As a result, people lived in harmony and neither superiors nor inferiors had any grievances.  “Do you know this?” Zhen Shen rose from his seat and respectfully answered“How can I being so slow-witted, know it?” 

Confucius said“Filial piety if the foundation of all virtues and the fountainhead whence all moral teachings spring.  Now resume your seat and I will tell you all about it.  Our bodies – from a single hair to a bit of skin – are derived from our parents, we must not in the least injure or wound them.  This is the beginning of filial piety.  We establish ourselves in the world and achieve attainments by cultivating virtues and observing morality so as to leave a good name for posterity and to bring glory to our parentsthis is the ultimate realm of filial piety.  Hence filial piety begins with the service of our parents, proceeds to serve the emperor and is consummated in establishing ourselves in the world and achieving attainments.  It is said in the Major Odes of The Book of Songs:


‘Always think of your ancestors,

And cultivate yourself in his virtue.’




子曰:‘爱亲者,不敢恶于人;敬亲者,不敢慢于人。爱敬尽于事亲,而德教加于百姓, 刑于四海,盖天子之孝也。《甫刑》云:一人有庆, 兆民赖之。〕


今译孔子说:‘亲爱自己父母的人, 不敢厌恶别人的父母;尊敬自己双亲的人,不敢轻侮别人的双亲。竭尽爱敬之心侍奉父母,然后把德行和教化推及到百姓身上,垂范全国,这就是天子的孝道。《尚书甫刑》里说:〔天子有美德善行, 天下臣民百姓都仰赖他。〕’



Chapter II


Filial Piety of the Son of Heaven


Confucius said“He who loves his own parents dare not loathe others’ parents and he who shows reverence for his parents dare not contemn others’ parents.  When his love and reverence for his parents are carried to the utmost, his virtue and moral teachings will influence the minds of all his people and his example will be followed by them this is the filial piety of the Son of Heaven.  It is said in Chapter Fu Xing in The Book of History:


‘If the Son of Heaven has goodness,

Millions of his people will rely on him.’




在上不骄, 高而不危; 制节谨度, 满而不溢。高而不危, 所以长守贵也; 满而不溢, 所以长守富也。富贵不离其身, 然后能保其社稷, 而和其民人, 盖诸候之孝也。《诗》曰:‘战战兢兢, 如临深渊, 如履薄冰。’


今译】身处高位而不骄傲, 即使地位显赫也不会有危险; 节制用度, 慎守法令, 即使财富丰盈也不会外溢。地位显赫而没有危险, 因此能够长久地保持尊贵; 府库丰盈而不外溢, 因此能够长久地保持富足。永远保持其尊贵的地位和丰足的财富, 然后他才能够保住他的江山社稷, 使他的人民和睦相处, 这就是诸侯的孝道。《诗经》里说:‘心存恐惧, 时刻警惕, 如同面临深渊, 如同脚踏薄冰。’



Chapter III


Filial Piety of the Prince


Being in a high position and yet never acting in a haughty manner, he will be free from danger however high his position may bebeing moderate in expending and carefully observing laws and rules, his cup of wealth will be full but not overflow.  To occupy a prominent position without danger, that is the way to preserve his everlasting nobilityto keep the cup of wealth full but not let is overflow, that is the way to preserve forever his riches.  If he remains rich and noble, he will be able to preserve his state and ensure that all his people will get along harmoniouslythis is the filial piety of the prince.  It is said in The Book of Songs:



‘Harbor apprehensions keep vigilance always,

As if standing on the bring of an abyss,

As if treading on thin ice.’



非先之法服,不敢服;非先王之法言,不敢道;非先王之德行,不敢行。是故非法不言,非道不行;口无择言,身无择行;言满天下无口过,行满天下无怨恶,三者备矣,然后能守其宗庙。盖卿、大夫之孝也。《诗》云:‘夙夜匪懈, 以事一人。’


今译】不是先王制定的合乎礼法的服饰,不敢穿戴;不是先王所说的合乎礼法的言语,不敢说;不是先王实行的品德、行为,不敢做。所以,不合礼法的话不说,不合道义的事不做;说话谨守先王礼法无可选择,做事遵循先王德行无可选择;所说的话虽传布四海也不会出现过错,所做的事虽遍及天下也不会遭到怨恨。这三方面都具备了,然后才能够保全世袭禄位。这就是卿,大夫的孝道。《诗经》里说:‘早晨夜晚都不敢懈怠, 以奉事天子一人。’



Chapter IV


Filial Piety of the High Officials


They dare not wear robes other than those prescribed by the great kings of the past dynasties nor speak anything other than those in line with their speeches nor act in contradiction to the virtues and conducts practiced by them.  Thus they speak nothing that runs counter to the laws and do nothing that runs counter to morality and justice.  There are no arbitrary words coming from their mouths, nor capricious actions in their conducts.  Their remarks may spread to all places under heaven, yet no error will be found in them.  Their actions may reach every place under heaven, yet give no cause for complaint.  Once these three conditions – with regard to their robes, their words and their conduct – are all fulfilled, they can keep their hereditary salaries and posts this is the filial piety of the high officials.  It is said in The Book of Songs:


‘He dare not be delinquent in duty day and night,

In the service of the One Man – the Son of Heaven.’





资于事父以事母,而爱同;资于事父以事君,而敬同。故母取其爱,而君取其敬,兼之者父也。故以孝事君则忠,以敬事长则顺。忠顺不失,以事其上,然后能保其禄位,而守其祭祀,盖士之孝也。《诗》云:‘夙兴夜寐, 无忝尔所生。’


今译】以奉事父亲之心去奉事母亲,爱心是相同的;以奉事父亲之心去奉事君王,敬心是一样的。所以,母亲是取其爱心,而君王则是取其敬心,兼取其爱心,敬的是父亲。因此,以孝道奉事君王,就会忠诚;以敬心奉事尊长,然后才能保有其俸禄和职位,长守其宗庙祭祀,这就是士的孝道。《诗经》里说:‘要早起晚睡,勤恳做事,不要辱没生养你的父母 。’



Chapter V


Filial Piety of the Lower Officials


They serve their mothers as they do their fathers, and the love towards them is the same.  They serve their rulers as they do their fathers, and the reverence for them is the same.  So love is mainly devoted to the mothers and reverence is mainly paid to the ruler, while both love and reverence are given to the father.  Therefore, when they serve their rulers with filial piety, they are loyaland when they serve their elders and betters with reverence, they are obedient.  Not failing to be loyal to their rulers and to be obedient to their elders and betters, they will be able to preserve their salaries and positions and to offer family sacrifices forever this is the filial piety of the lower officials.  It is said in The Book of Songs:


‘Early to rise and later to retire,

Work diligently and never bring dishonour on your parents.’









Chapter VI


Filial Piety of the Common People


They make full use of climatic changes of the four seasons they know well the advantages and disadvantages of different soils so as to use them properly they act with caution they practise economy in spending so as to provide for the needs and comforts of their parentsthis is the filial piety of the common people.  Therefore, filial piety is eternal and without beginning or end, and, from the Son of Heaven down to the common people, everyone should fulfil his filial duty.  If anybody thinks it is beyond his ability to do so, it is simply nonsense.




曾子曰:‘甚哉, 孝之大也! 子曰 :‘夫孝,天之经也,地之义也,民之行也。天地之经而民是则之,则天之明,因地之利,以顺天下。是以甚教不肃而成,其政不严而治。先王见教之可以化民也,是故先之以博爱,而民莫遗其亲, 陈之以德义,而民兴行;先之以敬让,而民不争, 导之以礼乐,而民和睦,示之以好恶,而民知禁。《诗》云:〔赫赫师尹, 民具尔瞻。〕


今译】曾参 (听了孔子对孝道的说明后) 说 :这个孝道,是多么博大高深啊! 孔子说 :孝道,是上天的常道,大地的至理,人民的行为准则。天地的道理是永恒不变的,而人民取法于天地,效法上天明照宇内的道理,善用大地孕育万物的功用,以教化天下的百姓。因此 这种教化不严厉却能获得成功,其政治不苛烦却能达到安定。从前的帝王见教化可以化育人民,所以率先实行博爱,就没有一个人敢遗弃他的父母;广布道德仁义以感化人民,人民就和睦相处;用什么事情值得喜欢,什么事情应该厌恶明示人民,人民就知道禁忌而不再犯法。《诗经》里说:〔声名显赫的太师尹氏,人们都在仰望着你呀!



Chapter VII


The Three Powers (Heaven, Earth, and Man)


After hearing the explanation of filial piety by Confucius, Zeng Shen said“How great and profound filial piety is!”  Confucius replied“Yes, filial piety is the first principle of heaven, the righteousness of earth, and the code of conduct for the people.  The principles of heaven and earth are eternal, and the people take them as their precept, imitate the brilliant luminaries of the heaven over the universe, and make full use of the benefits afforded by the earth so as to harmonize all under heaven.  Thus the teachings are successful without being severe, the government is stable without harsh measures.  Seeing how the teachings could work wonders in remoulding the people, the ancient emperors set an example of universal love for all, as a result nobody neglected his parents they promoted virtue, humanity and justice in order to influence people, and the people readily practised them they took the lead to show respect and courtesy, and the people had no quarrels with one another they showed the people what was worth loving and what should be loathed, and the people knew the prohibitions and committed no crimes.  It is said in The Book of Songs:


‘O glorious Grand Master Yin,

The people all look up to you.’








子曰:‘昔者明王之以孝治天下也,不敢遗小国之臣,而况于公、侯、伯、子、男乎? 故得万国之欢心,以事其先王。治国者不敢于鳏寡,而况于士民乎? 故得百姓之欢心,以事其先君。治家者不敢失于臣妾,而况于妻子乎? 故得人之欢心,以事其亲。夫然,故生则亲安之,祭则鬼享之,是以天下和平,灾害不生, 祸乱不作。故明王之以孝治天下也如此。《诗》云:〔有觉德行,四国顺之。〕


今译】孔子说 :‘从前圣明的帝王用孝道来治理天下,连对那些小国的国君都以礼相待不敢遗弃,更不用说对待那些公、侯、伯、子、男五等爵位的诸侯了, 所以得到了各国诸侯的欢心,使他能一心奉祀先王。治理封国的诸侯,连对那些鳏寡妇都不敢欺侮,更不用说对待那些士人和一般的民众了,所以得到了广大百姓的欢心,使他能一心祭祀祖先。管理采地食吧的卿、大夫,连对那些男仆女奴都不敢失礼,更不用说对待妻子儿女了,所以得到了大家的欢心,使他能一心奉事他的父母,那样,父母在世的时候,就可以安心地接受他们的奉养;死了之后,在天之灵也可以享受他们的祭祀。因此,天下就会和平,灾害不会出现,祸患动乱不会发生。所以,圣明的帝王用孝道来统治天下,就会产生这样的效用。《诗经》里说:〔帝王有崇高的道德品行,四方的国家就会都来归顺。〕’



Chapter VIII


Government by Filial Piety



Confucius said“In the past, the illustrious kings administered the country by means of filial piety.  They even dared not receive ministers of small states with disrespect, let alone the dukes, marquises, counts, viscounts and barons! So they won the ready obedience of all states and could keep their mind on the sacrificial services to the former kings.  The rulers of the states dared not slight widowers and widows, let alone the officials and the people in general, so they won the ready obedience of all the people and could keep their mind on the sacrificial services to the former princes.  The high officials in their respective fiefs dares not show discourtesy to their servants and concubines, let alone to their wives sons and daughters.  Therefore, they won the ready obedience of all under them and could keep their mind on serving their parents.  Thus, while alive, their parents led a happy life under the care from their sons and after they passed away, their souls could enjoy the offerings in heaven.  Therefore, peace and harmony prevailed all over the world disasters and calamities did not occur misfortunes and rebellions did not arise.  Such was the result of government by filial piety as was practised by the illustrious kings  It is said in The Book of Songs:


‘If a king adorns himself with the highest virtue

All the states will show him their obedience.’




曾子曰:‘敢问圣人之德, 无以加于孝乎 :’ 子曰 :‘天地之性,人为贵。人之行,莫大于孝,孝莫大于严父,严父莫大于配天,则周公其人也。昔者周公郊祀后稷以配天,宗祀文王于明堂以配上帝,是以四海之内,各以其职来祭。夫圣人之德,又何以加于孝乎? 故亲生之膝下,以养父母日严。圣人因严以教敬,因亲以教爱。圣人之教一不肃而成,其政不严而治。其所因者本也。父子之道,天性也,君臣之义也。父母生之,续莫大焉;君亲临之,厚莫重焉。故不爱其亲而爱他人者,谓之悖德;不敬其亲而敬他人者,谓之悖礼。以顺则逆,民无则焉。不在于善,而皆在于凶德,虽得之,君子不贵也。君子则不然,言思可道,行思可乐, 德义可尊,作事可法,容止可观,进退可度, 以临其民,是以其民畏而爱之,则而象之。故能其德教而行其政令。《诗》云:〔淑人君子,其仪不忒。〕


今译】曾参说 :很冒昧地请教先生,圣人的德行有没有比孝道更重大的呢? 孔子说 :‘天地之间的万物生命,人最为尊贵。人的行为之中,没有什么比孝道更为重大,孝道之中又没有什么比尊敬父亲更为重大,尊敬父亲又没有什么比天子祭天之时将自己的先祖配祀天帝更为重大,那么,周公就是唯一做到这一点的人。从前周公代成王治理朝政, 在郊祭上天之时,把周的始祖后稷配天帝;在明堂祭祀五方上帝之时,又将父亲文王配祀上去,因此,全国各地的诸侯,分别根据自己的职司前来助祭。由此可知,圣人的德行,又有什么比孝道更重大呢? 所以, 亲爱之心在孩提偎依父母膝下的时候就已产生了,后随着奉养双亲,变得日益尊敬父母。圣人根据人们敬顺父母的天性,教给人们爱的道理。因此,圣人的教化,无须严肃就能获成功;圣人施政,无须严万就能治理好,因为他所凭依的是做为根本的孝道。父慈子孝的父子关系,是出于人类自然的秉性,也是君明臣忠的君臣关系的自然义理。父母生下儿子,没有什么比这种使宗族得以延续的事更重大了;君王亲自治理朝政,没有什么比这种厚泽更大的了。所以,不亲爱自己的父母而去亲爱他人,叫做违背仁德;不尊敬自己的父母而去尊敬他人,叫做违背礼法。以悖德悖礼为顺就会发生混乱,人民就会无所适从。不依靠善而凭藉恶德,尽管得到了高官厚禄,有才德的人也不会看重。有才德的人就不是这样,说话时,应考虑是否可以使人称道;行事时,应考虑是否可以使人欢悦;立德行义,应能使自己受人尊敬;干起事业,应人能够效法; 容貌举止合乎规矩,使人可以观摩;进退得体,使人可以作为标准;他用这些行为规范来统治人民,所以他的人民敬服而爱戴他,取法他,仿效他。因此,能够成就他的德行教化,实行他的措施法令。《诗经》里说 :〔美德贤才的人啊,他的威仪端庄不差。〕            



Chapter IX


Government by the Sage


Zeng Shen said“May I venture to ask whether there was nothing greater than filial piety in all the virtues of the sages?”  Confucius replies“Of all creatures in the world, man is the noblest.  Of all the acts of man there is none greater then filial piety.  In filial piety, there is nothing greater than the reverence for one’s father.  In the reverence shown to one’s father, there is nothing greater than making him an equal of Heaven.  And the Duke of Zhou was the first man who performed this.  During the period when, he administered government affairs on behalf of King Cheng, the Duke of Zhou scarified to Hou Ji (the earliest ancestor of the Zhou Clan) at the suburban altar as an equal of Heaven, and again in the Bright Temple he honoured King Wen, his father, and sacrificed to him as an equal of God.  As a result, from all the states within the four seas, the princes came in accordance with their respective duties to assist him in performing sacrifices.  Thus, what can be greater than filial piety in the virtues of the sages?  The feeling of affection grows at the parents’ knees during the time of infancy, and later, while they are supporting and taking care of their parents, the feeling of reverence springs and increases with the passage of time.  The sages taught people the principle of reverence from the latter’s natural instincts of respect and obedience, and taught people the principle of love from the latter’s natural instincts of affection.  So their teachings, without being severe, obtained satisfactory results while their administration, without harsh measures, achieved great success.  The basic reason was that they concentrated on what is of fundamental importance, filial piety.  The relation of loving father and dutiful son is rooted in the nature of man, and is a source from which spring the principle of righteousness between an enlightened ruler and his loyal ministers.  The parents give life to the son, nothing is more important than the continuation of the clan.  The ruler administers in person the affairs of government, then there is nothing greater than his beneficence.  So he who does not love his parents, but loves other people, is to act against virtue and he who does not revere his parents, but reveres other people, is to act against propriety.  If such perversity is taken as the right principle, law and order will not exist, and people will not have the right course to take.  Though he may get a high position and a big salary by hook or by crook, yet men of ability and virtue do not make much of him.  The practice of superior man is quite different before he speaks he thinks if his speech will gain the approval of other people before he takes action, he considers if his action is likely to give pleasure to others.  His virtue and righ6ousness merit esteem whatever he engages in will be an example for others to follow his appearance and demeanour conform with the established manner and are creditable his advancing an retiring befits his position and is suited to the occasion.  So his behaviour can be regarded as criterion.  If he presents himself thus to the people, they will revere and love him imitate and follow him.  Therefore, he makes his teachings of virtue quite a success and effectively has his directives and measures carried out.  It is said in The Book of Songs:



‘The virtuous man the sagacious one,

How dignified and correct his deportment is!’







今译】孔子说:‘孝子奉事父母,日家居就要表达他的恭,敬供养侍奉就要表达他的和悦,得病之时应表示他的忧虑,办理丧事就要表达他的哀痛,祭祀之时就要表达他的严肃。这五项都能做到了,然后才称得上能奉事父母。奉事父母,要居高位而不骄傲自大, 处下位而不犯上作乱,与众人相处而能和顺无争。居高立而骄傲自大,就会自取灭亡; 处下位而犯上作乱,就会刑罚加身;与众人相处而争强好胜,就会兵刃相接。这三种情形不能消除 那么,即使每天用牛羊豕三牲去奉养、祭祀,也仍然算不上孝顺。’      



Chapter X


The Filial Piety of a Son



Confucius said“In serving his parents a pious son demonstrates his sincere reverence while at home he supports them with great pleasure when they are ill, he shows his anxiety in mourning for them he feels the deepest grief in sacrificing to them he manifests his greatest solemnity.  If he has fulfilled these five duties, then he is regarded as serving well his parents.  For a man who serves his parents well, he is never conceited when in a high position he is never insubordinate to his superiors when in a low position and he never quarrels with his equals.  To be conceited in a high position leads him to ruin to be insubordinate in a low position leads to punishment and to quarrel with is equals leads to open hostilities.  If these three evil acts are not done away with, even if a son provides excellent dishes such as beef, mutton, and pork for his parents, he is still not considered a pious son.”




子曰 :‘五刑之属三千,而罪莫大于不孝。要君者无上,非圣人者无法,非孝者无亲。此大乱之道也。’


今译】孔子说:‘墨、劓、膑、宫割、大辟五刑所属的犯罪条例有三千,而罪名没有比不孝更大的。能胁迫君王的人没有尊卑观念,非议圣人的人没有礼制法纪, 非议孝道的人没有父母亲人。这三种人,是导致天下大乱的根源’



Chapter XI


The Five Punishments



Confucius said“There are three thousand offences, for which five punishments (tattooing the face, cutting off the nose cutting off the knee, castration and decapitation) are instituted, of which none is greater than being impious to one’s parents.  He who imposes constraint upon a ruler has no sense of duty of an inferior to a superior he who challenges the sage’s authority is a lawless man he who decries filial piety renounces his parents.  These three kinds of people are the root cause of great disorder under heaven.”




广 第十     


子曰 :‘教民亲爱,莫善于孝;教民理顺,莫善于悌;移风易俗,莫善于乐;安上治民,莫善于礼。礼者,敬而已矣。故敬其父则子悦,敬其兄则弟悦, 敬其君则臣悦。敬一人而千万人悦, 所敬者寡,而悦者众,此之谓要道也。’





Chapter XII


The Amplification of an Important Rule of Conduct



Confucius said“For teaching people to love one another, nothing is better than filial piety for teaching people to be gentle and obedient, nothing is better than fraternal duty for changing social customs and manners, nothing is better than music for securing tranquility for the ruler and peace for the people, nothing is better than etiquette.  Etiquette is nothing but reverence.  If the father is revered his sons will be happy if the elder brother is revered, all his younger brothers will be happy if a ruler is revered, all his subjects will be happy.  To revere the One Man -------the Son of Heaven --------will please thousands upon thousands of his people.  Reverence for just a few makes many feel happy -----this is what is called an important rule of conduct.”













子曰 :‘君子之教以孝也,非家至而日见之也。教以孝,所以敬天下之为人父者也;教以悌,所以敬天下之为人兄者也;教以臣,所以敬天下之为人君者也。《诗》云:〔恺悌君子,民之父母。〕非至德,其孰能顺民如此其大者乎?


今译】孔子说:‘君子用孝道来教育天下,并不是要亲身挨家挨户去教,也并不是要每天见面才教。君子用孝道教人,是为了让天下为人儿子的人都知道孝敬天下所有做父亲的;用悌道教人,是为了让天下为人弟的人都知道敬顺天下所有做兄长的;用臣道教人,是为了让天下为人臣的人都知道尊敬天下所有做君王的。《诗经》里说 :〔和乐柔顺的君子,是人民的父母。〕如果没有至高无上的德行, 又有谁能够顺从民心竟达到这样博大的程度?



Chapter XIII


The Amplification of the Loftiest Virtue



Confucius said“The teaching of filial piety by the superior man does not require him to go to each household from door to door, and see them one by one every day.  His teaching of filial piety is just to make all sons show reverence for all fathers under heaven his teaching of fraternal duty is to make all the younger brothers show obedience to all elder brothers under heaven his teaching of the duty of a subject to his ruler is to make all subjects pay due respect to all rulers under heaven.  It is said in The Book of Songs:



‘The cheerful and kind sovereign

Is loved by the people as their parent.’


If he does not possess the loftiest virtue, how can he educate his people so well and to such an extent?”





子曰 :‘君子事亲孝,故忠可移于君。事兄悌,故顺可移于长。居家理,故治可移于官。是以行成于内,而名立于后世矣。’






Chapter XIV


The Amplification of Leaving a Good Name for Posterity



Confucius said“The superior man serves his parents with filial piety, from which develops loyalty to the sovereign he serves his elder brother with fraternal duty, from which develops deference to all the elders he runs his family properly, and his management ability can be transferred to the administration of state affairs.  Therefore, if a man has cultivated a noble moral character, he is sure to leave a good name for posterity.”




曾子曰:‘若夫慈爱、恭敬、安亲、扬名,则闻命矣。敢问子从父之令,可谓孝乎?’子曰:‘是何言与,是何言与! 昔者天子有争臣七人,虽无道,不失其天下;诸侯有争臣五人,虽无道,不失其国;大夫有争臣三人,虽无道,不失其家;士有争友,则身不离于令名;父有争子,则身不陷于不义。故当不义,则子不可以不争于父,臣不可以不争于君;故当不义则争之。从父之令,又焉得为孝乎?


今译】曾子说:‘像那此慈爱亲人, 恭敬长上、安养父母、显扬声名的孝道, 我已经聆听先生的教诲了。我冒昧地请问先生,做儿子的听从父亲的命令,可以叫做孝顺吗?’孔子说:‘这是什么话, 这是什么话! 从前,天子有七个能諌诤的官,尽管他本身无道,也不会失去他的天下; 诸侯有五个能諌诤的官员,即使他身无道,也不会失去他的封国; 大夫有三个能諌诤的人,纵令他本身无道,也不会失去他的采邑;士有能直言相劝的朋友,那么,就能始终保持他美好的名声; 父亲有能直言相劝的儿子,那么,他就不会做出不义的事情、所以,遇到不符合道义的情况,做儿子的就不能不对父亲直言劝阻,做臣下的也不能不对君王直言劝阻。因此,如果遇到不符合道义的情况,就要直言劝諌。一味地听从父亲的命令, 又哪能算是孝顺呢?



Chapter XV


The Duty of Remonstrance



Zeng Shen said“I have heard your instructions on the love for family members, on respect and reverence for elders, on supporting and looking after parents, and on leaving a good name for posterity.  I would venture to ask if a son can be called pious if he obeys his father’s every command.”  Confucius replied“What kind of talk is yours!  What kind of talk is yours!  In ancient times if the Son of Heaven had seven ministers who would remonstrate with him, he would not lose his empire even though he was himself imperfect if the prince of a state had five ministers to remonstrate with him, he would not lose his state even though he was himself imperfecta high official who had three men to remonstrate with him would not lose his fief even though he himself was imperfect.  Similarly, if a lower official had a friend who made strong remonstrances from time to time, he would keep his good reputation and if the father had a son who reasoned with him and gave him sound advice, he would not be engulfed in unrighteous deeds.  Therefore, in case an unrighteous conduct is contemplated, a son must in no way refrain from remonstrating with his father, nor a minister from remonstrating with his sovereign.  So remonstrance is needed whenever there is a contemplated unrighteous conduct.  How can blind obedience of a son to every command of his father be regarded as filial piety?”







今译】孔子说:‘从前圣明的帝,王侍奉父亲孝顺,所以奉事上天能够明察天理,谨安四时;侍奉亩亲孝顺,所以奉后土能够明察地,利因地制宜;长幼顺序不乱,所以尊卑地位有条理。能够明天地,神明就会光照天下。因此,即使是天子, 也一定有他尊敬的对象, 那就是父亲;也一定有让先的人,那就是兄长。到宗庙祭祀,表远敬意,这是不敢忘掉祖先;修养身心,谨慎行事,这是害怕辱没先人。在宗庙祭祀,表远敬意,祖先的神灵就会保佑他。孝敬父母,顺从兄长, 尽心尽力,就可以与神衹沟通,而光照天下,没有地方不能达到。《诗经》里说:〔从要边到东边,从南边到北边,没有人不想归服。〕’



Chapter XVI


The Response to Filial Piety



Confucius said“In ancient times, the illustrious kings served their fathers with filial piety, and accordingly they served Heaven with intelligence and according to the climatic change of seasons they served their mothers with filial piety, and accordingly they served Earth discreetly, distinguishing the advantages and disadvantages of different soils so as to use them properly perfect harmony existed between the superiors and the inferiors because the elder and the younger generations were in proper order.  Because Heaven and Earth were properly served, the brilliance of the gods illuminated all places under heaven.  Therefore, even for the Son of Heaven, there must be someone to whom he pays reverence, that is, his father there must be someone to whom he should concedes the precedence, that is, his elder brothers.  In the ancestral temple he displays his utmost reverence, to show that he dare not forget his ancestors he cultivates his moral character, and is discreet in words and deeds, for fear that he should bring disgrace to his ancestors.  He displays his greatest reverence in the ancestral temple, and the spirits of his ancestors will bless and protect him.  Filial piety and fraternal duty to the acme of perfection lead to the communion with the spirit world and their light illuminates all over the empire and leaves no place not shone over.  It is said in The Book of Songs:



‘From the west to the east,

From the south to the north,

There is no one who does not pledge allegiance.’





子曰 :‘君子之事上也,进思尽忠,进思补过,将顺其美,匡救其恶,故上下能相亲也。《诗》云 :〔心乎爱矣,遐不谓矣,中心藏之,何日忘之。〕’


今译】孔子说 :‘有才德的人奉事君,王在位就考虑如何竭尽忠贞之节,退居就考虑如何弥补自身的过错;顺从奉行君王的美德,纠正补救君王的欠缺,所以君臣上下能够互相亲爱。《诗经》里说 :〔内心里已经衷爱于他了,怎么会不努力呢 ? 心中已经喜欢他了, 什么时候又会忘记他呢?〕’



Chapter X VII


Serving the Sovereign



Confucius said“In serving his sovereign the man of talent and virtue considers how to discharge his duty faithfully while in office when he retires, he considers how to make up for his own errors he obediently carries out the policy conceived in the virtue of the sovereign and rectifies his errors and saves him from evil, with the result that cordial relations develop between them.  It is said in The Book of Songs:


‘In my heart I cherish affection for him

How can I not exert myself?

In my heart I adore him,

How can I forget him?’




子曰 :‘孝子之丧亲也,哭不偯,礼无容,言不文,服美不安,闻乐不乐, 食旨不甘,此哀戚之情也。三日而食,教民无以死伤生,毁不灭性,此圣人之政也。丧不过三年,示民有终也。为之棺、椁、衣、衾而举之,陈其簠簋而哀戚之;擗踊哭泣,哀以送之,卜其宅兆,而安措之,为之宗庙,以鬼享之;春秋祭祀, 以时思之。生事爱敬,死事哀戚,生民之本尽矣,死生之义备矣,孝子之事亲终矣。’


今译】孔子说 :‘孝子失去了父母亲,痛哭失声而不拖尾腔,肃守礼节而不修容貌,这谈质朴无华;穿上华美的服装,就感到不安, 听见动人的音乐,不感到快乐,吃到美味佳肴,也不感到好吃。这就是悲哀忧愁的真情。丧亲后三天可以吃饭,是教人们不要因为哀掉死者而伤害生者,不要过于哀伤而丧失性命。这是圣人制定的政令。居丧守孝不超过三年,这是向人们表示居守孝有终结期限。父母亲去世一孝子要做好棺、椁、衣、衾,然后举行敛礼;陈列好簠簋等祭器,然后伤心哀悼;灵柩上路要捶胸顿足,痛哭流涕地哀送出殡;要占卜选墓穴安葬;要兴建宗庙,招其魂灵而享献他;一年四季要按时祭祀,以表思亲之情。父母在世之时能以爱敬之心来奉养,去世之后能以哀戚之心来料理丧事,那么,生民应尽的本份就都尽到了,送死养生的大义也都完备了,孝子奉事父母的孝行也可以完结了。’



Chapter XVIII


Mourning for Parents


            Confucius said“When a pious son is mourning for a deceased parent, he is choked with tears, but does not wail with a prolonged sobbing in performing the ceremony he pays no attention to his appearance his words are simple and unpolished he feels uneasy to wear fine clothes he takes no pleasure in listening to the music he has no appetite for food including delicaciesall this reflects his real sentiments of grief and sorrow.  Three days after the death of his parent, he begins to have food, thereby the people are taught that the living should not be injured because of the dead, and that the mourning must not be carried so far as to destroy the life of the living this is the rule set by the sages.  The duration of mourning does not exceed three years, thus showing that there must be an end to the mourning.  When the father or mother passes away, a pious son should have the inner and outer coffins made the corpse should be put on with grave ---clothes and then covered with a shroud, the body is lifted and put into the inner coffin.  The sacrificial vessels are set out, to be followed by mourning with sorrow.  While the coffin is being carried to the grave, the mourners beat their breasts and stamp their feet in deep sorrow.  They select the grave by divination, where they lay the body in peace.  The ancestral temple is built to call back the soul of the departed to receive sacrifices.  Sacrificial offerings should be presented regularly to show the remembrance.  When parents are alive, they are supported and looked after with affection and reverence when they are dead, arrangements for their funeral are made with sorrow and grief.  Then the fundamental duty of the living is performed.  The cardinal principles of righteousness are observed, and a pious son’s service of his parents is accomplished.”