讼 Sòng Strife Contention [hexagram 6]
Month 3 ; Host or Controlling line : 5
有孚, 窒. 惕中吉. 终凶. 利见大人, 不利涉大川. Sòng: yǒu fú, zhì. tì zhōng jí. zhōng xiōng. lì jiàn dà ren, bù lì shè dà chuān.
Song intimates how, though there is sincerity in one's contention, he will yet meet with opposition and obstruction; but if he cherish an apprehensive caution, there will be good fortune, while, if he must prosecute the contention to the (bitter) end, there will be evil. It will be advantageous to see the great man; it will not be advantageous to cross the great stream.彖传: 讼, 上刚下险, 险而健讼. 讼有孚窒, 惕中吉, 刚来而得中也. 终凶; 讼不可成也. 利见大人; 尚中正也. 不利涉大川; 入于渊也. Tuàn zhuàn: Sòng, shǎng gāng xià xiǎn, xiǎn ér jiànsòng. sòng yǒu fú zhì, tì zhōng jí, gāng lái ér dé zhòng yě. Zhōng xiōng; sòng bù kě chéng yě. Lì jiàn dà ren; shàng zhōng zhèng yě. bù lì shè dà chuān; rù yú yuān yě.
The upper portion of Song is (the trigram representing) strength, and the lower (that representing) peril. (The coming together of) strength and peril gives (the idea in) Song. ‘Song intimates how, though there is sincerity in one’s contention, he will yet meet with opposition and obstruction; but if he cherish an apprehensive caution, there will be good fortune:’ - a strong (line) has come and got the central place (in the lower trigram). ‘If he must prosecute the contention to the (bitter) end, there will be evil:’ - contention is not a thing to be carried on to extremity. ‘It will be advantageous to meet with the great man:’ - what he sets a value on is the due mean, and the correct place. ‘It will not be advantageous to cross the great stream:’ - one (attempting to do so) would find himself in an abyss.象传: 天与水违行, 讼; 君子以作事谋始. Xiàng zhuàn: Tiān yú shuǐ wéi háng, sòng; jūn zǐ yǐ zuò shì móu shǐ.
(The trigram representing) heaven and (that representing) water, moving away from each other, form Song. The superior man, in accordance with this, in the transaction of affairs takes good counsel about his first steps.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows its subject not perpetuating the matter about which (the contention is). He will suffer the small (injury) of being spoken against, but the end will be fortunate.象传: 不永所事, 讼不可长也. 虽有小言, 其辩明也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù yǒng suǒ shì, sòng bù kě cháng yě. Suī yǒu xiǎo yán, qí biàn míng yě.
‘He does not perpetuate the matter about which (the contention is):’ - contention should not be prolonged. Although ‘he may suffer the small (injury) of being spoken against,’ his argument is clear.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject unequal to the contention. If he retire and keep concealed (where) the inhabitants of his city are (only) three hundred families, he will fall into no mistake.象传: 不克讼, 归而逋也. 自下讼上, 患至掇也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù kè sòng, guī ér bū yě. Zì xià sòng shǎng, huàn zhì duō yě.
‘He is unequal to the contention; he retires and keeps concealed, stealthily withdrawing from it:’ - for him from his lower place to contend with (the stronger one) above, would be to (invite) calamity, as if he brought it with his hand to himself.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows its subject keeping in the old place assigned for his support, and firmly correct. Perilous as the position is, there will be good fortune in the end. Should he perchance engage in the king's business, he will not (claim the merit of) achievement.象传: 食旧德, 从上吉也. Xiàng zhuàn: Shí jiù dé, cóng shǎng jí yě.
‘He confines himself to the support assigned to him of old:’ - (thus) following those above him, he will have good fortune.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject unequal to the contention. He returns to (the study of Heaven's) ordinances, changes (his wish to contend), and rests in being firm and correct. There will be good fortune.象传: 复即命, 渝安贞; 不失也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fù jí mìng, yú ān zhēn; bù shī yě.
‘He returns to (the study of Heaven’s) ordinances, changes (his wish to contend), and rests in being firm and correct:‘ - he does not fail (in doing what is right).
S% DF (The) %> fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject contending - and with great good fortune.象传: 讼元吉, 以中正也. Xiàng zhuàn: Sòng yuán jí, yǐ zhōng zhèng yě.
‘He contends; - and ’with great fortune: - this is shown by his holding the due mean and being in the correct place.
The topmost ‘nine’, undivided, shows how its subject may have the leathern belt conferred on him (by the sovereign), and thrice it shall be taken from him in a morning.象传: 以讼受服, 亦不足敬也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yǐ sòng shòu fú, yì bù zú jìng yě.
‘He receives the robe through his contention:’ - but still be is not deserving of respect.
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.