Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sima Qian on Confucius

China commemorated the 2558th birthday of Confucius (b 551 BC) on 28th September. (Refer to related entry in The Useless Tree blog)

To commemorate the great sage, this blogger shares the following comments from Sima Qian as recorded in the Records of the Historian (Shiji) more than two thousand years ago:

One of the songs says, “The great mountain, I look up to it! The great road, I travel it!”

Although I cannot reach him, my heart goes out to him. When I read the works of Confucius, I try to see the man himself. In Lu I visited his temple and saw his carriage, clothes and sacrificial vessels. Scholars go regularly to study ceremony there, and I found it hard to tear myself away.

The world has known innumerable princes and worthies who enjoyed fame and honour in their day but were forgotten after death, while Confucius, a commoner, has been looked up to by scholars for ten generations and more.

From the emperor, princes and barons downwards, all in China who study the Six Arts take the master as their final authority. Well is he called the Supreme Sage!

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