Translations at a glance

J Legge    J H McDonald   Lin Yutang

Tao Te Ching Chapter 50

J Legge

Men come forth and live; they enter (again) and die.

Of every ten three are ministers of life (to themselves); and three are ministers of death.

There are also three in every ten whose aim is to live, but whose movements tend to the land (or place) of death. And for what reason? Because of their excessive endeavours to perpetuate life.

But I have heard that he who is skilful in managing the life entrusted to him for a time travels on the land without having to shun rhinoceros or tiger, and enters a host without having to avoid buff coat or sharp weapon. The rhinoceros finds no place in him into which to thrust its horn, nor the tiger a place in which to fix its claws, nor the weapon a place to admit its point. And for what reason? Because there is in him no place of death.

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 Tao Te Ching Chapter 50

J H McDonald

Those who leave the womb at birth
and those who enter their source at death,
of these; three out of ten celebrate life,
three out of ten celebrate death,
and three out of ten simply go from life to death.
What is the reason for this?
Because they are afraid of dying,
therefore they cannot live.

I have heard that those who celebrate life
walk safely among the wild animals.
When they go into battle, they remain unharmed.
The animals find no place to attack them
and the weapons are unable to harm them.
Why? Because they can find no place for death in them.

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Tao Te Ching Chapter 50

Lin Yutang

Out of life, death enters.
The companions (organs) of life are thirteen;
The companions (organs) of death are (also) thirteen.
What send man to death in this life are also (these) thirteen.
How is it so?
Because of the intense activity of multiplying life.

It has been said that the who is a good preserver of hi life
Meets no tigers or wild buffaloes on land,
Is not vulnerable to weapons in the field of battle.
The horns of the wild buffalo are powerless against him.
How is it so?
Because he is beyond death.

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