Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 46

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 46

J Legge

When the Tao prevails in the world, they send back their swift horses to (draw) the dung-carts. When the Tao is disregarded in the world, the war-horses breed in the border lands.

There is no guilt greater than to sanction ambition; no calamity greater than to be discontented with one’s lot; no fault greater than the wish to be getting. Therefore the sufficiency of contentment is an enduring and unchanging sufficiency.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 46

J H McDonald

When the world follows the Tao,
horses run free to fertilize the fields.

When the world does not follow the Tao,
war horses are bread outside the cities.

There is no greater transgression
than condoning peoples selfish desires,
no greater disaster than being discontent,
and no greater retribution than for greed.

Whoever knows contentment will be at peace forever.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 46

Lin Yutang

When the world lives in accord with Tao,
Racing horses are turned back to haul refuse carts.
When the world lives not in accord with Tao,
Cavalry abounds in the countryside.

There is no greater curse than the lack of contentment.
No greater sin than the desire for possession.
Therefore he who is contented with contentment
shall be always content.

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