Yi indicates that with firm correctness there will be good fortune (in what is denoted by it). We must look at what we are seeking to nourish, and by the exercise of our thoughts seek for the proper aliment.彖传: 颐贞吉, 养正则吉也. 观颐, 观其所养也; 自求口实, 观其自养也. 天地养万物, 圣人养贤, 以及万民; 颐之时大矣哉! Tuàn zhuàn: Yí zhēn jí, yǎng zhèng zé jí yě. guānyí, guān qí suǒ yǎng yě; zì qiú kǒu shí, guān qí zì yǎng yě. Tiān dì yǎng wàn wù, shèng rén yǎng xián, yǐ jí wàn mín; yí zhī shí dà yǐ zāi!
‘Yi indicates that with firm correctness there will be good fortune:’ - when the nourishing is correct, there will be good fortune. ‘We must look at what we are seeking to nourish:’ - we must look at those whom we wish to nourish. ‘We must by the exercise of our thoughts seek the proper aliment:’ - we must look to our own nourishing of ourselves. Heaven and earth nourish all things. The sages nourish men of talents and virtue, by them to reach to the myriads of the people. Great is (the work intended by this) nourishing in its time!象传: 山下有雷, 颐; 君子以慎言语, 节饮食. Xiàng zhuàn: Shān xià yǒu léi, yí; jūn zǐ yǐ shèn yán yǔ, jié yǐn shí.
(The trigram representing) a mountain and under it that for thunder form Yi. The superior man, in accordance with this, (enjoins) watchfulness over our words, and the temperate regulation of our eating and drinking.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, (seems to be thus addressed), 'You leave your efficacious tortoise, and look at me till your lower jaw hangs down.' There will be evil.象传: 观我朵颐, 亦不足贵也. Xiàng zhuàn: Guān wǒ duǒ yí, yì bù zú guì yě.
'You look at me till your (lower) jaw hangs down:' - (the subject of the line) is thus shown unfit to be thought noble.
The second ‘six’, divided, shows one looking downwards for nourishment, which is contrary to what is proper; or seeking it from the height (above), advance towards which will lead to evil.象传: 六二征凶, 行失类也. Xiàng zhuàn: Liù èr zhēng xiōng, xíng shī lèi yě.
'The evil of advance by the subject of the second ‘six’, (divided),' is owing to his leaving in his movements his proper associates.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows one acting contrary to the method of nourishing. However firm he may be, there will be evil. For ten years let him not take any action, (for) it will not be in any way advantageous.象传: 十年勿用, 道大悖也. Xiàng zhuàn: Shí nián wù yòng, dào dà bèi yě.
'For ten years let him not take any action:' - his course is greatly opposed (to what is right).
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows one looking downwards for (the power to) nourish. There will be good fortune. Looking with a tiger's downward unwavering glare, and with his desire that impels him to spring after spring, he will fall into no error.象传: 颠颐之吉, 上施光也. Xiàng zhuàn: Diān yí zhī jí, shàng shī guāng yě.
'The good fortune attached to looking downwards for (the power to) nourish,' shows how brilliant will be the diffusion (of that power) from (the subject of the line's) superior position.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows one acting contrary to what is regular and proper; but if he abide in firmness, there will be good fortune. He should not, (however, try to) cross the great stream.象传: 居贞之吉, 顺以从上也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jū zhēn zhī jí, shùn yǐ cōng shàng yě.
'The good fortune from abiding in firmness' is due to the docility (of the subject of the line) in following (the subject of the line) above.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows him from whom comes the nourishing. His position is perilous, but there will be good fortune. It will be advantageous to cross the great stream.象传: 由颐厉吉, 大有庆也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yóu yí lì jí, dà yǒu qìng yě.
'The good fortune, notwithstanding the peril of his position, of him from whom comes the nourishing,' affords great cause for congratulation.
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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