Commentary by Buddhist monk, Shou Yuan and preliminary translated and commented on by Steve Moore.
[No.1: Three Kingdoms, 220-265]
Prediction No. 1 100001 middle lower
Wu li hui tian ---------------------------- Ju gong jin cui
Yin ju yang fu --------------------------- Ba qian nu gui
Powerless to restore the nation -------------------------- Bowed down I exhaust my energy
Dwelling in yin, opposing yang---------------------------- Eight thousand female demons
The image yang yin yin yin yin yang is of the hexagram Yi (No. 27: ‘Corners of the Mouth’).
The commentary of Shou Yuan says: Zhuge’s descendants later had to submit to the rule of Wei.
Additional commentary by Allan Lian:
In this very first prophecy or omen of the Ma Qian Ke, the Book of Changes foretold Zhuge Liang a number of important things including his various illnesses (tumours and ulcers) and that of his impending death (signified by Daoist priests and graves).
In line with Heaven and Earth, Zhuge Liang, the holy man was to provide nourishment for persons of worth and thus reaches the whole people. Probably, arising from this guidance, he proceeded to provide thirteen more prophecies on the destiny of China, so that persons of worth down the respective ages would correctly interpret his prophecies and provide the proper nourishment (or information on the omens) to the populace.
On seeing his return blocked by a mountain and with his energy exhausted because of illnesses, he bowed down to lament his powerlessness to return to Heaven. (Wu li hui tian) (Ju gong jin cui)
The doubling of Kun confirms his impending death for whence ever has a person shrouded by double yin (death) escape to yang (life)? From the hexagram and trigrams, he perceived that tens of years after his death, the power of Wei, his sworn enemy based in the North East of Shu, was destined to ascend. Therefore in a play on words he cryptically wrote Wei’s name down as Eight thousand female ghosts, forewarning his Shu people and hoping to keep the enemy ignorant. (Yin ju yang fu) (Ba qian nu gui)
The hexagram is fortune indicated as middle lower since the related fortune would be below average.
1) This very first prophecy or omen is fascinating in that Zhuge Liang, also known as Kongming, had seen so many things that the Book of Changes has had told him. His utmost sincerity has shown through by following ancient thoughts contained in the Tuan Chuan or Commentary on the decision and by writing out the prophecies consigned to posterity for persons of worth to nourish the multitude in China.
2) As a Daoist and/or neidan adept, his very wish was to return to Heaven. However, Fate had placed the mountain right in front of his return. With his failing health and impending death, his ability to climb the mountain for the return diminished.
3) Kongming has had used a combination of the Hexagram, the Images, its Trigrams, and the attributes to interpret this particular prophecy or omen. Anyone with a proven ability to interpret Yi omens can see that. Therefore the accompanying Hexagram is genuine.
4) If readers want to appreciate the supernatural skills of Zhuge Liang to divine like a spirit (Shen), I suggest you read the preliminary translation of the entire Ma Qian Ke by Steve Moore and his thoughts on it; at http://www.biroco.com/yijing/Maqian_ke.pdf
5) The commentary by Buddhist monk Shou Yuan, with respect to him, depicts a rather limited ability, if at all, in interpreting prophecies or omens. What with his bland comment that “Zhuge’s descendants later had to submit to the rule of Wei”. Anyone who have had studied the history of the Three Kingdoms would probably know that too. By commenting on the prophecies of a famous historical personage with such superfluous statements and without due care, he has really embarrassed himself. This Shou Yuan is certainly not a person of worth, in my books. What more can I say about this lazy bugger? Since it only took me a couple of hours to tie up what Kongming saw and interpreted to his four appended verses. Writing out a fuller commentary and these notes took longer than the two hours.
6) It is my suggestion for Steve Moore to exercise a bit more care when he decides to ‘fine tune’ his preliminary translation. The translation from the Chinese should be more direct instead of what he perceives the verses to be. I noted that he knows that the first verse is actually, “Powerless to return to Heaven”, yet he posted it as “Powerless to restore the nation.” The other - although minor - mistake, if I can say so, is that if the Chinese and Pin Yin is Gui, do not change the translation to Demon (Mo). Ghosts (Gui) are very different from demons (Mo) in the minds of the Chinese and the Daoists. Please take note of the sentiments of different cultures.
7) Perhaps, it is a trend set by modern translators in that they think they really know what the Chinese texts are all about. And I have seen a number of them made a hash of their projects. I certainly have no wish for Steve Moore to fail in his translation of the Ma Qian Ke by making the same mistakes as these translators. So take care.