Thursday, November 03, 2005

杖之銘曰

According to the sources used by Dai De 戴德 (c.100ce) in his Da Dai li ji 大戴禮記 (The elder Dai’s ritual record) “Wu wang jian zuo 武王踐阼 (King Wu ascends the royal steps),” ch.59, the following was inscribed on the staff of King Wu 武王 (r.1049/45-1043), first king of the Zhou dynasty 周代 (1045-221bce):

惡乎危?於忿疐。
惡乎失道?於嗜慾。
惡乎相忘?於富貴。

Who knew that the Martial king”, famed for his fighting skill and bloodiness in conquest, was such a sage?

It said:
Why does danger arise? From falling into anger.
Why does one lose the way? From relishing desires.
Why does one forget this? From wealth and status.

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