開宗明義章第一        Chapter I         The Meaning and Purpose of Filial Piety  

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

諸侯章第三                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

聖治章第九                Chapter IX      Government by the Sage

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

五刑章第十一            Chapter XI      The Five Punishments

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

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

廣揚名章第十四        Chapter XIV    The Amplification of Leaving a Good Name for Posterity

諫諍章第十五            Chapter XV     The Duty of Remonstrance

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

事君章第十七            Chapter X VII Serving the Sovereign

喪親章第十八            Chapter XVIII Mourning for Parents






仲尼居,曾子侍。子曰:『先王有至德要道,以順天下, 民用和睦,上下無怨。女知之乎? 』曾子避席曰:『參不敏, 何足以知之? 』子曰:『夫孝,德之本也,教之所由生也。復坐,吾語女。身體髮膚,受之父母,不敢毀傷,孝之始也; 立身行道,揚名於後世,以顯父母,孝之終也。夫孝,始於事親,中於事君,終於立身。大雅》云:無念爾祖,聿脩厥德。』


今譯】孔子在家裏閒坐,他的學生曾參在旁邊陪坐。孔子說:『 從前的帝王有至高無上的德行和精要微妙的道理,用來教化全國,因此,人民百姓都能和睦相處,無論尊卑貴賤,都沒有怨言。你知道這是什麼原因嗎? 』曾參離開坐席恭敬地說:『 學生愚鈍不聰敏,哪裏能夠知曉呢? 』孔子說:『 孝道,是德行的根本, 是教化產生的源頭。你回到原位坐下,我把其中的道理告訴你。身軀、四肢、毛髮、皮膚,都是從父母那裏得來的,不敢有絲毫毀壞傷殘,這是孝道的基礎;能夠自立於世有所建樹,遵守仁德行事,揚名於後世,使父母榮耀,這是孝道的最終境界。孝道,開始於侍奉雙親;推廣於奉事君王;最終做到能自立於世而有所建樹。《詩經大雅》裏說:〔感念你的祖父,養成先王的美德。〕』



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:『愛親者,不敢惡於人;敬親者,不敢慢於人。愛敬盡於事親,而德教加於百姓, 刑於四海,蓋天子之孝也。《甫刑》云:一人有慶, 兆民賴之。〕


今譯孔子說:『親愛自己父母的人, 不敢厭惡別人的父母;尊敬自己雙親的人,不敢輕侮別人的雙親。竭盡愛敬之心侍奉父母,然後把德行和教化推及到百姓身上,垂範全國,這就是天子的孝道。《尚書甫刑》裏說:〔天子有美德善行, 天下臣民百姓都仰賴他。〕』



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.’




在上不驕, 高而不危; 制節謹度, 滿而不溢。高而不危, 所以長守貴也; 滿而不溢, 所以長守富也。富貴不離其身, 然後能保其社稷, 而和其民人, 蓋諸候之孝也。《詩》曰:『戰戰兢兢, 如臨深淵, 如履薄冰。』


今譯】身處高位而不驕傲, 卽使地位顯赫也不會有危險; 節制用度, 慎守法令, 卽使財富豐盈也不會外溢。地位顯赫而沒有危險, 因此能夠長久地保持尊貴; 府庫豐盈而不外溢, 因此能夠長久地保持富足。永遠保持其尊貴的地位和豐足的財富, 然後他才能夠保住他的江山社稷, 使他的人民和睦相處, 這就是諸侯的孝道。《詩經》裏說:『心存恐懼, 時刻警惕, 如同面臨深淵, 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;口無擇言,身無擇行;言滿天下無口過,行滿天下無怨惡,三者備矣,然後能守其宗廟。蓋卿、大夫之孝也。《詩》云:『夙夜匪懈, 以事一人。』


今譯】不是先王制定的合乎禮法的服飾,不敢穿戴;不是先王所說的合乎禮法的言語,不敢說;不是先王實行的品德、行為,不敢做。所以,不合禮法的話不說,不合道義的事不做;說話謹守先王禮法無可選擇,做事遵循先王德行無可選擇;所說的話雖傳佈四海也不會出現過錯,所做的事雖徧及天下也不會遭到怨恨。這三方面都具備了,然後才能夠保全世襲祿位。這就是卿,大夫的孝道。《詩經》裏說:『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.’





資於事父以事母,而愛同;資於事父以事君,而敬同。故母取其愛,而君取其敬,兼之者父也。故以孝事君則忠,以敬事長則順。忠順不失,以事其上,然後能保其祿位,而守其祭祀,蓋士之孝也。《詩》云:『夙興夜寐, 無忝爾所生。』


今譯】以奉事父親之心去奉事母親,愛心是相同的;以奉事父親之心去奉事君王,敬心是一樣的。所以,母親是取其愛心,而君王則是取其敬心,兼取其愛心,敬的是父親。因此,以孝道奉事君王,就會忠誠;以敬心奉事尊長,然後才能保有其俸祿和職位,長守其宗廟祭祀,這就是士的孝道。《詩經》裏說:『要早起晚睡,勤懇做事,不要辱沒生養你的父母 。』



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,天之經也,地之義也,民之行也。天地之經而民是則之,則天之明,因地之利,以順天下。是以甚教不肅而成,其政不嚴而治。先王見教之可以化民也,是故先之以博愛,而民莫遺其親, 陳之以德義,而民興行;先之以敬讓,而民不爭, 導之以禮樂,而民和睦,示之以好惡,而民知禁。《詩》云:〔赫赫師尹, 民具爾瞻。〕


今譯】曾參 (聽了孔子對孝道的說明後) 說 :這個孝道,是多麼博大高深啊! 孔子說 :孝道,是上天的常道,大地的至理,人民的行為準則。天地的道理是永恒不變的,而人民取法於天地,效法上天明照宇內的道理,善用大地孕育萬物的功用,以教化天下的百姓。因此 這種教化不嚴厲却能獲得成功,其政治不苛煩却能達到安定。從前的帝王見教化可以化育人民,所以率先實行博愛,就沒有一個人敢遺棄他的父母;廣佈道德仁義以感化人民,人民就和睦相處;用什麼事情值得喜歡,什麼事情應該厭惡明示人民,人民就知道禁忌而不再犯法。《詩經》裏說:〔聲名顯赫的太師尹氏,人們都在仰望着你呀!



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,不敢遺小國之臣,而況於公、侯、伯、子、男乎? 故得萬國之懽心,以事其先王。治國者不敢于鰥寡,而況于士民乎? 故得百姓之懽心,以事其先君。治家者不敢失於臣妾,而況於妻子乎? 故得人之懽心,以事其親。夫然,故生則親安之,祭則鬼享之,是以天下和平,災害不生, 禍亂不作。故明王之以孝治天下也如此。《詩》云:〔有覺德行,四國順之。〕


今譯】孔子說 :『從前聖明的帝王用孝道來治理天下,連對那些小國的國君都以禮相待不敢遺棄,更不用說對待那些公、侯、伯、子、男五等爵位的諸侯了, 所以得到了各國諸侯的懽心,使他能一心奉祀先王。治理封國的諸侯,連對那些鰥寡婦都不敢欺侮,更不用說對待那些士人和一般的民眾了,所以得到了廣大百姓的懽心,使他能一心祭祀祖先。管理采地食吧的卿、大夫,連對那些男僕女奴都不敢失禮,更不用說對待妻子兒女了,所以得到了大家的懽心,使他能一心奉事他的父母,那樣,父母在世的時候,就可以安心地接受他們的奉養;死了之後,在天之靈也可以享受他們的祭祀。因此,天下就會和平,災害不會出現,禍患動亂不會發生。所以,聖明的帝王用孝道來統治天下,就會產生這樣的效用。《詩經》裏說:〔帝王有崇高的道德品行,四方的國家就會都來歸順。〕』



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:『敢問聖人之德, 無以加於孝乎 :』 子曰 :『天地之性,人為貴。人之行,莫大於孝,孝莫大於嚴父,嚴父莫大於配天,則周公其人也。昔者周公郊祀后稷以配天,宗祀文王於明堂以配上帝,是以四海之內,各以其職來祭。夫聖人之德,又何以加於孝乎? 故親生之膝下,以養父母日嚴。聖人因嚴以教敬,因親以教愛。聖人之教一不肅而成,其政不嚴而治。其所因者本也。父子之道,天性也,君臣之義也。父母生之,續莫大焉;君親臨之,厚莫重焉。故不愛其親而愛他人者,謂之悖德;不敬其親而敬他人者,謂之悖禮。以順則逆,民無則焉。不在於善,而皆在於凶德,雖得之,君子不貴也。君子則不然,言思可道,行思可樂, 德義可尊,作事可法,容止可觀,進退可度, 以臨其民,是以其民畏而愛之,則而象之。故能其德教而行其政令。《詩》云:〔淑人君子,其儀不忒。〕


今譯】曾參說 :很冒昧地請教先生,聖人的德行有沒有比孝道更重大的呢? 孔子說 :『天地之間的萬物生命,人最為尊貴。人的行為之中,沒有什麼比孝道更為重大,孝道之中又沒有什麼比尊敬父親更為重大,尊敬父親又沒有什麼比天子祭天之時將自己的先祖配祀天帝更為重大,那麼,周公就是唯一做到這一點的人。從前周公代成王治理朝政, 在郊祭上天之時,把周的始祖后稷配天帝;在明堂祭祀五方上帝之時,又將父親文王配祀上去,因此,全國各地的諸侯,分別根據自己的職司前來助祭。由此可知,聖人的德行,又有什麼比孝道更重大呢? 所以, 親愛之心在孩提偎依父母膝下的時候就已產生了,後隨着奉養雙親,變得日益尊敬父母。聖人根據人們敬順父母的天性,教給人們愛的道理。因此,聖人的教化,無須嚴肅就能獲成功;聖人施政,無須嚴萬就能治理好,因為他所憑依的是做為根本的孝道。父慈子孝的父子關係,是出於人類自然的秉性,也是君明臣忠的君臣關係的自然義理。父母生下兒子,沒有什麼比這種使宗族得以延續的事更重大了;君王親自治理朝政,沒有什麼比這種厚澤更大的了。所以,不親愛自己的父母而去親愛他人,叫做違背仁德;不尊敬自己的父母而去尊敬他人,叫做違背禮法。以悖德悖禮為順就會發生混亂,人民就會無所適從。不依靠善而憑藉惡德,盡管得到了高官厚祿,有才德的人也不會看重。有才德的人就不是這樣,說話時,應考慮是否可以使人稱道;行事時,應考慮是否可以使人懽悅;立德行義,應能使自己受人尊敬;幹起事業,應人能夠效法; 容貌舉止合乎規矩,使人可以觀摩;進退得體,使人可以作為標準;他用這些行為規範來統治人民,所以他的人民敬服而愛戴他,取法他,倣效他。因此,能夠成就他的德行教化,實行他的措施法令。《詩經》裏說 :〔美德賢才的人啊,他的威儀端莊不差。〕            



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!’







今譯】孔子說:『孝子奉事父母,日家居就要表達他的恭,敬供養侍奉就要表達他的和悅,得病之時應表示他的憂慮,辦理喪事就要表達他的哀痛,祭祀之時就要表達他的嚴肅。這五項都能做到了,然後才稱得上能奉事父母。奉事父母,要居高位而不驕傲自大, 處下位而不犯上作亂,與眾人相處而能和順無爭。居高立而驕傲自大,就會自取滅亡; 處下位而犯上作亂,就會刑罰加身;與眾人相處而爭强好勝,就會兵刃相接。這三種情形不能消除 那麼,卽使每天用牛羊豕三牲去奉養、祭祀,也仍然算不上孝順。』      



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 :『五刑之屬三千,而罪莫大於不孝。要君者無上,非聖人者無法,非孝者無親。此大亂之道也。』


今譯】孔子說:『墨、劓、臏、宮割、大辟五刑所屬的犯罪條例有三千,而罪名沒有比不孝更大的。能脅迫君王的人沒有尊卑觀念,非議聖人的人沒有禮制法紀, 非議孝道的人沒有父母親人。這三種人,是導致天下大亂的根源』



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.”






子曰 :『教民親愛,莫善於孝;教民理順,莫善於悌;移風易俗,莫善於樂;安上治民,莫善於禮。禮者,敬而已矣。故敬其父則子悅,敬其兄則弟悅, 敬其君則臣悅。敬一人而千萬人悅, 所敬者寡,而悅者眾,此之謂要道也。』





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,非家至而日見之也。教以孝,所以敬天下之為人父者也;教以悌,所以敬天下之為人兄者也;教以臣,所以敬天下之為人君者也。《詩》云:〔愷悌君子,民之父母。〕非至德,其孰能順民如此其大者乎?


今譯】孔子說:『君子用孝道來教育天下,並不是要親身挨家挨戶去教,也並不是要每天見面才教。君子用孝道教人,是為了讓天下為人兒子的人都知道孝敬天下所有做父親的;用悌道教人,是為了讓天下為人弟的人都知道敬順天下所有做兄長的;用臣道教人,是為了讓天下為人臣的人都知道尊敬天下所有做君王的。《詩經》裏說 :〔和樂柔順的君子,是人民的父母。〕如果沒有至高無上的德行, 又有誰能夠順從民心竟達到這樣博大的程度?



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 :『君子事親孝,故忠可移於君。事兄悌,故順可移於長。居家理,故治可移於官。是以行成於內,而名立於後世矣。』






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:『若夫慈愛、恭敬、安親、揚名,則聞命矣。敢問子從父之令,可謂孝乎?』子曰:『是何言與,是何言與! 昔者天子有爭臣七人,雖無道,不失其天下;諸侯有爭臣五人,雖無道,不失其國;大夫有爭臣三人,雖無道,不失其家;士有爭友,則身不離於令名;父有爭子,則身不陷於不義。故當不義,則子不可以不爭於父,臣不可以不爭於君;故當不義則爭之。從父之令,又焉得為孝乎?


今譯】曾子說:『像那此慈愛親人, 恭敬長上、安養父母、顯揚聲名的孝道, 我已經聆聽先生的教誨了。我冒昧地請問先生,做兒子的聽從父親的命令,可以叫做孝順嗎?』孔子說:『這是什麼話, 這是什麼話! 從前,天子有七個能諌諍的官,盡管他本身無道,也不會失去他的天下; 諸侯有五個能諌諍的官員,卽使他身無道,也不會失去他的封國; 大夫有三個能諌諍的人,縱令他本身無道,也不會失去他的采邑;士有能直言相勸的朋友,那麼,就能始終保持他美好的名聲; 父親有能直言相勸的兒子,那麼,他就不會做出不義的事情、所以,遇到不符合道義的情況,做兒子的就不能不對父親直言勸阻,做臣下的也不能不對君王直言勸阻。因此,如果遇到不符合道義的情況,就要直言勸諌。一味地聽從父親的命令, 又哪能算是孝順呢?



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?”







今譯】孔子說:『從前聖明的帝,王侍奉父親孝順,所以奉事上天能夠明察天理,謹安四時;侍奉畆親孝順,所以奉後土能夠明察地,利因地制宜;長幼順序不亂,所以尊卑地位有條理。能夠明天地,神明就會光照天下。因此,卽使是天子, 也一定有他尊敬的對象, 那就是父親;也一定有讓先的人,那就是兄長。到宗廟祭祀,表遠敬意,這是不敢忘掉祖先;修養身心,謹慎行事,這是害怕辱沒先人。在宗廟祭祀,表遠敬意,祖先的神靈就會保佑他。孝敬父母,順從兄長, 盡心盡力,就可以與神衹溝通,而光照天下,沒有地方不能達到。《詩經》裏說:〔從要邊到東邊,從南邊到北邊,沒有人不想歸服。〕』



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,進思盡忠,進思補過,將順其美,匡救其惡,故上下能相親也。《詩》云 :〔心乎愛矣,遐不謂矣,中心藏之,何日忘之。〕』


今譯】孔子說 :『有才德的人奉事君,王在位就考慮如何竭盡忠貞之節,退居就考慮如何彌補自身的過錯;順從奉行君王的美德,糾正補救君王的欠缺,所以君臣上下能夠互相親愛。《詩經》裏說 :〔內心裏已經衷愛於他了,怎麼會不努力呢 ? 心中已經喜歡他了, 什麼時候又會忘記他呢?〕』



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 :『孝子之喪親也,哭不偯,禮無容,言不文,服美不安,聞樂不樂, 食旨不甘,此哀戚之情也。三日而食,教民無以死傷生,毀不滅性,此聖人之政也。喪不過三年,示民有終也。為之棺、槨、衣、衾而舉之,陳其簠簋而哀戚之;擗踴哭泣,哀以送之,卜其宅兆,而安措之,為之宗廟,以鬼享之;春秋祭祀, 以時思之。生事愛敬,死事哀戚,生民之本盡矣,死生之義備矣,孝子之事親終矣。』


今譯】孔子說 :『孝子失去了父母親,痛哭失聲而不拖尾腔,肅守禮節而不修容貌,這談質樸無華;穿上華美的服裝,就感到不安, 聽見動人的音樂,不感到快樂,喫到美味佳肴,也不感到好喫。這就是悲哀憂愁的真情。喪親後三天可以喫飯,是教人們不要因為哀掉死者而傷害生者,不要過於哀傷而喪失性命。這是聖人制定的政令。居喪守孝不超過三年,這是向人們表示居守孝有終結期限。父母親去世一孝子要做好棺、槨、衣、衾,然後舉行斂禮;陳列好簠簋等祭器,然後傷心哀悼;靈柩上路要捶胸頓足,痛哭流涕地哀送出殯;要占卜選墓穴安葬;要興建宗廟,招其魂靈而享獻他;一年四季要按時祭祀,以表思親之情。父母在世之時能以愛敬之心來奉養,去世之後能以哀慼之心來料理喪事,那麼,生民應盡的本份就都盡到了,送死養生的大義也都完備了,孝子奉事父母的孝行也可以完結了。』



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.”