Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 54

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 54

J Legge

What (Tao’s) skilful planter plants
Can never be uptorn;
What his skilful arms enfold,
From him can ne’er be borne.
Sons shall bring in lengthening line,
Sacrifices to his shrine.

Tao when nursed within one’s self,
His vigour will make true;
And where the family it rules
What riches will accrue!
The neighbourhood where it prevails
In thriving will abound;
And when ’tis seen throughout the state,
Good fortune will be found.
Employ it the kingdom o’er,
And men thrive all around.

In this way the effect will be seen in the person, by the observation of different cases; in the family; in the neighbourhood; in the state; and in the kingdom.

How do I know that this effect is sure to hold thus all under the sky? By this (method of observation).

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 54

J H McDonald

That which is well built
will never be torn down.
That which is well latched
cannot slip away.
Those who do things well
will be honored from generation to generation.

If this idea is cultivated in the individual,
then his virtue will become genuine.
If this idea is cultivated in your family,
then virtue in your family will be great.
If this idea is cultivated in your community,
then virtue will go a long way.
If this idea is cultivated in your country,
then virtue will be in many places.
If this idea is cultivated in the world,
then virtue will be with everyone.

Then observe the person for what the person does,
and observe the family for what it does,
and observe the community for what it does,
and observe the country for what it does,
and observe the world for what it does.
How do I know this saying is true?
I observe these things and see.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 54

Lin Yutang

Who is firmly established is not easily shaken.
Who has a firm grasp does not easily let go.
From generation to generation his ancestral sacrifices
Shall be continued without fail.

Cultivated in the individual, character will become genuine;
Cultivated in the family, character will become abundant;
Cultivated in the village, character will multiply;
Cultivated in the state, character will prosper;
Cultivated in the world, character will become universal.

Therefore:
According to (the character of ) the individual,
judge the individual;
According to (the character of ) the family,
judge the family;
According to (the character of ) the village,
judge the village;
According to (the character of ) the state,
judge the state;
According to (the character of ) the world,
judge the world.
How do I know this is so?
By this.

 

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