Li indicates that, (in regard to what it denotes), it will be advantageous to be firm and correct, and that thus there will be free course and success. Let (its subject) also nourish (a docility like that of) the cow, and there will be good fortune.彖传: 离, 丽也; 日月丽乎天, 百谷草木丽乎土, 重明以丽乎正, 乃化成天下. 柔丽乎中正, 故亨; 是以畜牝牛吉也. Tuàn zhuàn: Lí, lì yě; rì yuè lì hū tiān, bǎi gǔ cǎo mù lì hū tǔ, chóng míng yǐ lì hū zhèng, nǎi huà chéng tiān xià. róu lì hū zhōng zhèng, gù hēng; shì yǐ chù pìn niú jí yě.
Li means being attached to. The sun and moon have their place in the sky. All the grains, grass, and trees have their place on the earth. The double brightness (of the two trigrams) adheres to what is correct, and the result is the transforming and perfecting all under the sky. The weak (second line) occupies the middle and correct position, and gives the indication of 'a free and successful course;' and, moreover, 'nourishing (docility like that of) the cow' will lead to good fortune.象传: 明两作离, 大人以继明照于四方. Xiàng zhuàn: Míng liǎng zuò lí, dà ren yǐ jìmíng zhào yú sì fāng.
(The trigram for) brightness, repeated, forms Li. The great man, in accordance with this, cultivates more and more his brilliant (virtue), and diffuses its brightness over the four quarters (of the land).
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows one ready to move with confused steps. But he treads at the same time reverently, and there will be no mistake.象传: 履错之敬, 以辟咎也. Xiàng zhuàn: Lǔ: cuò zhī jìng, yǐ bì jiù yě.
'The reverent attention directed to his confused steps' is the way by which error is avoided.
The second ‘six’, divided, shows its subject in his place in yellow. There will be great good fortune.象传: 黄离元吉, 得中道也. Xiàng zhuàn: Huáng lí yuán jí, dé zhòng dào yě.
'The great good fortune (from the subject of the second line) occupying his place in yellow' is owing to his holding the course of the due mean.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject in a position like that of the declining sun. Instead of playing on his instrument of earthenware, and singing to it, he utters the groans of an old man of eighty. There will be evil.象传: 日昃之离, 何可久也. Xiàng zhuàn: Rì zè zhī lí, hé kě jiǔ yě.
'A position like that of the declining sun:' - how can it continue long?
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the manner of its subject's coming. How abrupt it is, as with fire, with death, to be rejected (by all)!象传: 突如其来如, 无所容也. Xiàng zhuàn: Tū rú qí lái rú, wú suǒ róng yě.
'How abrupt is the manner of his coming!' - none can bear with him.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject as one with tears flowing in torrents, and groaning in sorrow. There will be good fortune.象传: 六五之吉, 离王公也. Xiàng zhuàn: Liù wǔ zhī jí, lí wáng gōng yě.
'The good fortune attached to the fifth ‘six’, divided),' is due to its occupying the place of a king or a prince.
The topmost ‘nine’, undivided, shows the king employing its subject in his punitive expeditions. Achieving admirable (merit), he breaks (only) the chiefs (of the rebels). Where his prisoners were not their associates, he does not punish. There will be no error.象传: 王用出征, 以正邦也. Xiàng zhuàn: Wáng yòng chū zhēng, yǐ zhèng bāng yě.
'The king employs him in his punitive expeditions:' - the object is to bring the regions to a correct state.
This translation of the YiJing classic text uses the original Chinese including the 象传 Xiàng zhuàn commentary converted to modern simplified characters and pinyin.
The English translation is based on William Legge (1899) ➚ which is now out of copyright. We have changed some wording and converted to American spelling.
We hope to replace this with a more modern translation.
In the first few paragraphs each gua is described. The name of the gua (hexagram) is followed by the two trigrams that make it up (lake, mountain, fire, water, earth, heaven, thunder and wind). Each gua has a controlling element (earth, fire, water, metal and wood). After this information there are three related guas. The Opposite gua is the one where all yang is changed to yin and yin to yang - it is usually opposite in meaning. The Inverse gua is the gua with the order inverted so first is last and vice versa. The mutual gua is a more complex combination and re-ordering of the internal trigrams making up the gua. Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host yao is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.
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