Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching Chapter 34

Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 34

J Legge

All-pervading is the Great Tao! It may be found on the left hand and on the right. All things depend on it for their production, which it gives to them, not one refusing obedience to it. When its work is accomplished, it does not claim the name of having done it. It clothes all things as with a garment, and makes no assumption of being their lord;–it may be named in the smallest things. All things return (to their root and disappear), and do not know that it is it which presides over their doing so;–it may be named in the greatest things.

Hence the sage is able (in the same way) to accomplish his great achievements. It is through his not making himself great that he can accomplish them.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 34

J H McDonald

The great Tao flows unobstructed in every direction.
All things rely on it to conceive and be born,
and it does not deny even the smallest of creation.
When it has accomplishes great wonders,
it does not claim them for itself.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn’t seek to master the smallest creature.
Since it is without wants and desires,
it can be considered humble.
All of creation seeks it for refuge
yet it does not seek to master or control.
Because it does not seek greatness;
it is able to accomplish truly great things.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 34

Lin Yutang

he Great Tao flows everywhere,
(Like a flood) it may go left or right.
The myriad things derive their life from it,
And it does not deny them.
When its work is accomplished,
It does not take possession.
It clothes and feeds the myriad things,
Yet does not claim them as its own.
Often (regarded) without mind or passion,
It may be considered small.
Being the home of all things, yet claiming not,
It may be considered great.
Because to the end it does not claim greatness,
Its greatness is achieved.

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