Chapter 31

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing)
Classic of the Way and Virtue



By Lao Tzu (Laozi)


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California

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Chapter 31

Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu

 

English and Chinese (Wade-Giles) Terms:  Fine or Excellent (chia), Evil, Auspicious or Good Omens (hsiang), Create Don't Destroy, Tool or Instrument (ch'i), Things (wu), The Way or The Course of Events (Tao), Weapons, Arms or Soldiers (ping), Army (chiang), War or Battle (chan), Leader or Officer (chün), Likely or Perhaps (huo), Wars, Detest or Hate (wu), Not or No (pu), Pacifism, Stop or Stay (ch'u), Sage, Delight Not in Warfare, Master or Ruler (chün), Course of Nature or The Way or Universe (Dao), Philosopher or Wise Person (tzu), Home or Dwelling (chü), Peace, Honors or Values (kuei), Respects, Left or Weaker (tso), Useful (yung), Calmness, Obtain or Gain (), Cease or Avoid (yi), Self-Defense, Quiet or Flat (tan), Best (shang), Enjoy or Delight (mei), Glad or Happy (lo), Murder or Killing (sha), Wishes or Desires (chih), Heaven (t'ien), Fortunate or Lucky (chi), Events or Affairs (shih), Unfortunate or Unlucky or Sorrowful (hsiung), Right Side (yu), Superior (shang), Weeping, Bitter, Speak or Say (yen), Ceremony or Rite or Rituals (li), Observed or Celebrated (ch'u), Funeral or Mourning (sang), Lament or Grieve (ai), Weep or Cry (ch'i), Peaceful (t'ien), Non-Violence, Avoid Wars,  偃武  


Términos en Español:  Mal, Presagios, Crear no los Destruya, Armas, Querras, Pacifismo, Sabio, Paz, Calma, Defensa Propia, Asesinato, Matar, Llorando, Ritos, Rituales, Funeral, Izquierda, Derecha, Saldados, Gobernantes, No Violencia, Batalla, Evitar las Guerras, Cosas, Muy Bien, Excelente, Auspicioso, Herramienta, instrumento, Probable, Detesta, Odio, Negación, Alto, Quédate, Señor, Rey, Filósofo, Sabiduría, Inicio, Vivienda, Valores, Honores, Aspectos, más Débil, útil, Obtener, ganancia, Cesar, Evita, Pacífica, Tranquila, Piso, Mejor, Disfrutar, Deleite, Me Alegro, Feliz, Deseos, Cielo, Afortunado, Suerte, Eventos, Relaciones, Desafortunado, Mala Suerte, Ejército, Jefe, Oficial, Superior, Habla, Por Ejemplo, Ceremonia, Funeral, Luto, Lloran, Guerra, Observado, Celebrado, Honrado.

 

 

 

"Now arms, however beautiful, are instruments of evil omen, hateful, it may be said, to all creatures.
Therefore they who have the Tao do not like to employ them.
The superior man ordinarily considers the left hand the most honorable place, but in time of war the right hand.
Those sharp weapons are instruments of evil omen, and not the instruments of the superior man.
He uses them only on the compulsion of necessity.
Calm and repose are what he prizes; victory by force of arms is to him undesirable.
To consider this desirable would be to delight in the slaughter of men.
He who delights in the slaughter of men cannot get his will in the kingdom.
On occasions of festivity to be on the left hand is the prized position; on occasions of mourning, the right hand.
The second in command of the army has his place on the left.
The general commanding in chief has his on the right; his place, that is, is assigned to him as in the rites of mourning.
He who has killed multitudes of men should weep for them with the bitterest grief.
The the victor in battle has his place according to those rites."
-  Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Weapons of war are instruments of fear,
and are abhorred by those who follow the Tao.
The leader who follows the natural way
does not abide them.
The warrior king leans to his right,
from whence there comes his generals' advice,
but the peaceful king looks to his left,
where sits his counselor of peace.
When he looks to his left, it is a time of peace,
and when to the right, a time for sorrow.
Weapons of war are instruments of fear,
and are not favoured by the wise,
who use them only when there is no choice,
for peace and stillness are dear to their hearts,
and victory causes them no rejoicing.
To rejoice in victory is to delight in killing;
to delight in killing is to have no self-being.
The conduct of war is that of a funeral;
when people are killed, it is a time of mourning.
This is why even victorious battle
should be observed without rejoicing."
-  Translated by Stan Rosenthal, 1984, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Now, weapons are instruments of ill omen;  Divinity abhors them.
Therefore, one who abides in Dao does not abide weapons.

The Superior Person, at home, honors the more powerful Left-side;
on the battlefield, the more gentle Right-side;
they put Peace above all else,
and refuse to glorify weapons.
If one glorifies weapons, this propagates killing.
One who delights in killing people has no influence with Heaven.

On occasions of celebration, one honors the Left-side;
on occasions of grief, the Right-side is honored more.
A Deputy General stands on the Left side;
their Commander stands at the Right..
in other words, they stand in the order of their gravity of offense.

The killing of masses of people we ought bewail with sorrow and grief.
Victory in battle we ought commemorate with mournful rites."
-  Translated by Jerry C. Welch, 1998, Chapter 31 

 

 

"The Master who is a Captain of soldiers
Does not give blessings with his weapons.
Soldiers' weapons are hated by most men,
Therefore he who has the Tao gives them no place.
In the dwelling of the man of peace the left side is the place of honour.
In soldiers' usage the right side is the place of honour.
A soldier does not give blessings with his weapons.
They are not the instruments of a man of peace.
A man of peace will not possess them, nor use them;
He gives the first place to calmness and repose.
If he conquers, he does not rejoice.
Without joy is he who wounds and kills men.
The Master who wounds and kills men
Cannot succeed in ruling his kingdom.
In time of joy, the left hand is preferred,
In time of mourning, the right hand is preferred.
In war, the second in command is placed on the left,
The first in command is placed on the right,
That is, he stands in the place of mourning.
He who has killed many men should weep with many tears.
He who has conquered in battle should stand in the place of mourning."
-  Translated by Isabella Mears, 1916, Chapter 31 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching   Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni
The Tao Te Ching of Lao Tzu   Translated by Brian Walker
Tao Te Ching  Translated by Arthur Waley
Tao - The Way   Translated by Lionel and and Herbert Giles
Taoism: An Essential Guide   By Eva Wong

 

                             

 


 

"Even victorious arms are unblest among tools, and people had better shun them.
Therefore he who has Reason does not rely on them. 
The superior man when residing at home honors the left.
When using arms, he honors the right. 
Arms are unblest among tools and not the superior man's tools.
Only when it is unavoidable he uses them.
Peace and quietude he holdeth high.  
He conquers but rejoices not.
Rejoicing at a conquest means to enjoy the slaughter of men.
He who enjoys the slaughter of men will most assuredly not obtain his will in the empire."
-  Translated by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 31 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

 

"Arms and weapons,
Being instruments of destruction, Are despised by all.
They are avoided by followers of the Tao.
As instruments of evil, they are spurned by good leaders,
Being used with calm restraint only when no other choice prevails.
A good leader does not regard victory with rejoicing,
For to delight in victory is to delight
in the slaughter of people.
To delight in slaughter is to fail
in one's purpose.
In ancient social custom -
The left is the place of honor
for ceremonies at home.
At war, the place of honor is at the right.
Thus,
Good omen and happy occasions favor the left.
Ill omen and such sad occasions as
funeral rites, favor the right.
Observe then with grief and sorrow the slaughter
accompanying victory of arms, for,
Victory of arms and funeral ceremony
truly share the same rite."
-  Translated by Alan B Taplow, 1982, Chapter 31

 

 

"Weapons, even lovely ones, are terrible things.
They are forged from greed. 
Abandon them into the Tao. 
Rulers who pursue peace and freedom 
mourn when they must fight. 
If you are forced to fight, 
do so solemnly, with clarity and forbearance. 
Do not display weapons proudly or ostentatiously; 
that merely displays a love of killing. 
If you love killing, you yourself cannot survive. 
When you gather to plan a military campaign, 
it ought to be like gathering for a funeral. 
When you see the dead on the field of battle, 
allow yourself to feel grief and remorse. 
If you win the war, mourn."
-   Translated by Crispin Starwell, Chapter 31  

 

 

 

Lieh-Tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living  Translated by Eva Wong
The Daodejing of Laozi   Translated by Philip Ivahoe 
Daoism: A Beginner's Guide   By James Miller
Early Daoist Scriptures  Translated by Stephen Bokencamp
Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons
Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander and Annellen Simpkins
Practical Taoism  Translated by Thomas Cleary
Daoism and Chinese Culture  By Livia Kohn

 

                                       

 

 

 

"Sharp weapons are inauspicious instruments.
Everyone dislikes them.
Hence, those who follow the way of Dao avoid using them.
In times of peace, a person of virtue favors the left side.
Only during war does the right side become the preferred choice.
A weapon is an instrument of bad omen.
It is never the favorite object of the man of virtue.
Even as the last resort when military force has to be used,
It should be used with great restraint and equanimity.
In victory, one should not glorify the war.
He who glorifies war must be a bloodthirsty person.
No bloodthirsty person has ever won universal respect or approval.
The left side represents good auspices.
The right side augurs bad omen.
The second-in-command resides on the left side, whereas the commander-in-chief resides on the right.
In conducting the war, the mood is as dark and solemn as that of a funeral rite.
During the conflict, you should still mourn for the heavy casualties you have inflicted.
In victory, you should bury the dead with appropriate ceremony."
-  Translated by Han Hiong Tan, Chapter 31 

 

 

 

A Chinese Language Version of Chapter 31 of the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
A note on my style of displaying the Chinese characters of the Tao Te Ching

 

 

夫佳兵者不祥之器.
物或惡之, 故有道者不處. 
君子居則貴左.
用兵則貴右. 
兵者不祥之器.
非君子之器.
不得已而用之.
恬淡為上. 
勝而不美.
而美之者, 是樂殺人. 
夫樂殺人者, 則不可以得志於天下矣. 
吉事尚左.
凶事尚右. 
偏將軍居左.
上將軍居右.
言以喪禮處之. 
殺人之衆, 以哀悲泣之.
戰勝以喪禮處之. 
-  Chinese characters, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31 

 

 

fu chia ping chê pu hsiang chih chi'i.
wu huo wu chih, ku yu tao chê pu ch'u.
chün tzu chü tsê kuei tso.
yung ping tsê kuei yu.
ping chê pu hsiang chih ch'i.
fei chün tzu chih ch'i.
pu tê yi erh yung chih.
t'ien tan wei shang.
shêng erh pu mei.
erh mei chih chê, shih lo sha jên.
fu lo sha jên chê, tsê pu k'o yi tê chih yü t'ien hsia yi.
chi shih shang tso.
hsiung shih shang yu.
p'ien chiang chün chü tso.
shang chiang chün chü yu.
yen yi sang li ch'u chih.
sha jên chih chung, yi ai pei ch'i chih.
chan shêng yi sang li ch'u chih.
-  Wade-Giles Romanization, Tao Te Ching, Chapter 31
 

 

Audio Version in Chinese of Chapter 31 of the Tao Te Ching

 


fu bing zhe bu xiang zhi qi.
wu huo wu zhi, gu you dao zhe bu chu.
jun zi ju ze gui zuo.
yong bing ze gui you.
bing zhe bu xiang zhi qi.
fei jun zi zhi qi.
bu de yi er yong zhi.
tian dan wei shang.
sheng er bu mei.
er mei zhi zhe, shi le sha ren.
fu le sha ren zhe, tse bu ke yi de zhi yu tian xia yi.
ji shi shang zuo.,
xiong shi shang you.
pian jiang jun ju zuo.
shang jiang jun ju you.
yan yi sang li chu zhi.
sha ren zhi zhong, yi ai bei qi zhi.
zhan sheng yi sang li chu zhi.
-  Pinyin Romanization, Dao De Jing, Chapter 31 

 
 
 

 

 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English (includes a word by word key) from YellowBridge

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 

Laozi Daodejing: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English. 

Chinese and English Dictionary, MDGB

Chinese Character Dictionary

Dao De Jing Wade-Giles Concordance by Nina, Dao is Open

Dao De Jing English and Wade-Giles Concordance by Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization with Chinese characters, WuWei Foundation

Tao Te Ching in Pinyin Romanization

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters and English

Tao Te Ching: English translation, Word by Word Chinese and English, and Commentary, Center Tao by Carl Abbott

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, English, Word by word analysis, Zhongwen

Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character by Jonathan Star 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters: Big 5 Traditional and GB Simplified

Convert from Pinyin to Wade Giles to Yale Romanizations of Words and Terms: A Translation Tool from Qi Journal

Chinese Characters, Wade-Giles and Pinyin Romanizations, and 16 English Translations for Each Chapter of the Daodejing by Mike Garofalo. 

Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin and Wade Giles Romanization spellings, English; a word for word translation of the Guodian Laozi Dao De Jing Version. 

Lao Zi's Dao De Jing: A Matrix Translation with Chinese Text by Bradford Hatcher. 

 

 

"Weapons at best are tools of bad omen ...
Weapons at best are tools of bad omen,
Loathed and avoided by those of the Way.
In the usage of men of good breeding,
Honor is had at the left;
Good omens belong on the left
Bad omens belong on the right;
And warriors press to the right!
When the general stands at the right
His lieutenant is placed at the left.
So the usage of men of great power
Follows that of the funeral rite.
Weapons are tools of bad omen,
By gentlemen not to be used;
But when it cannot be avoided,
They use them with calm and restraint.
Even in victory's hour
These tools are unlovely to see;
For those who admire them truly
Are men who in murder delight.
As for those who delight to do murder,
It is certain they never can get
From the world what they sought when ambition
Urged them to power and rule.
A multitude slain!- and their death
Is a matter for grief and for tears;
The victory after a conflict
Is a theme for a funeral rite."
-  Translated by Raymond Blakney, 1955, Chapter 31

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching  Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo  

Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching  Translated by John C. Wu

Lao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching  Translated by Livia Kohn

Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts

 

                             

 

 

 

"Weapons of war are omens of doom,
To be loathed by every living thing
And shunned by those who keep the Way.
Presiding at court the leader honours the left.
Resorting to war he honours the right.
But weapons are never the leader’s choice.
Weapons of war are omens of doom,
Not to be used unless compelled.
Above all, with mind and heart unstirred,
To arms give no glory:
For to glory in arms
Is to sing and rejoice in the slaughter of men.
And singers in praise of the slaughter of men
Shall not in this world gain their ends.
Thus the left is for deeds that are blessed,
The right is for deeds that bring death.
To the left the minor commander,
To the right the chief general:
Placed for the rites to honour the dead.
When the slaughter is great,
Let the leader come forth to keen for the slain;
The victory won,
To perform solemn rites in mourning the day."
-  Translated by Moss Roberts, 2001, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Even the finest warrior is defeated
     when he goes against natural law
By his own hand he is doomed
     and all creatures are likely to despise him

One who knows Tao
     never turns from life calling
When at home he honors the side of rest
When at war he honors the side of action
Peace and tranquility are what he holds most dear
     so he does not obtain weapons
But when their use is unavoidable
     he employs them with fortitude and zeal

Do not flaunt your excellence
Do not rejoice over victory
With the loss of others
     weep with sorrow and grief
After winning a battle
     do not celebrate
     observe the rites of a funeral

One who is bound to action, proud of victory,
    and delights in the misfortune of others
will never gain a thing
     from this world below Heaven"
-  Translation by Jonathan Star, 2001, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Weapons of war are instruments of death.
All people fear them.
Therefore, all men of peace avoid them.

The sage prefers Infinity.
The man of war prefers the earth.

Weapons are instruments of death
and the tools of a warrior.
The sage avoids them at all cost;
and sometimes prefers death rather
than touching them.

Peace and harmony are the sage's reality.
She considers victory to be the bastard
child of war.

If you revel in victory,
then you sanction war and the killing of
human beings.
If you accept killing,
you have forgotten your oneness with all
beings.

In time of celebration the left is the dominant
position;
In times of grief the right.
During wartime the general always stands on the
left
and the king on the right.

If even one person is killed in war,
it is cause for great grief and mourning.
Victory is simply the maker of widows and orphans."
-  Translated by John Worldpeace, Chapter 31   

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance  By Alexander Simkins. 
The Tao of Daily Life: The Mysteries of the Orient Revealed  By Derek Lin. 
Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony   By Ming-Dao Deng. 
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
The Tao of Pooh   By Benjamin Hoff. 
Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life  By Ming-Dao Deng. 
Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook  Translated by Thomas Cleary. 

 

                             

 

 

 

"Even successful arms, among all implements, are unblessed.
All men come to detest them.
Therefore the one who follows Dao does not rely on them.
Arms are of all tools unblessed, they are not the implements of a wise man.
Only as a last resort does he use them.
In propitious affairs the place of honor is the left, but in unpropitious affairs we honor the right. 
Peace and quietude are esteemed by the wise man, and even when victorious he does not rejoice, because rejoicing over a victory is the same as rejoicing over the killing of men.
If he rejoices over killing men, do you think he will ever really master the Empire? 
The strong man while at home esteems the left as the place of honor, but when armed for war it is as though he esteems the right hand, the place of less honor.
Thus a funeral ceremony is so arranged.
The place of a subordinate army officer is also on the left and the place of his superior officer is on the right.
The killing of men fills multitudes with sorrow; we lament with tears because of it, and rightly honor the victor as if he was attending a funeral ceremony."
-  Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Fine weapons are things of ill omen.
All beings may dislike them;
Therefore, one who follows the Way does not live with them.
Ordinarily, a superior man values the left side;
Using an army, he values the right side.
Weapons are things of ill omen, not a superior man's things.
He uses them only when unavoidable.
He regards contentment as best.
Even if he wins, victory is not beautiful.
To find a victory beautiful is to rejoice at killing people.
One who rejoices at killing people can never attain his will in the world.
On fortunate occasions, the left side is elevated;
On unfortunate occasions, the right side is elevated.
The lieutenant-general stays on the left;
The supreme general stays on the right.
Deal with military affairs as if they were funeral rites.
Mourn for the killing of many people.
Observe funeral rites for the winning of a war."
-  Translated by Yi Wu, Chapter 31  

 

 

"Truly, it is because arms are instruments of evil, which for ever are loathed by all beings, that one who has the Way has no concern with them.
At home a nobleman values the left as the place of honour, but when he bears arms, he values the right as the place of honour.
Arms are instruments of evil and not the instruments proper to a nobleman.
Only when forced to do so he bears them, and peace and quiet he sets above all.
Even when he conquers, he finds no beauty in it.
Should he find beauty in it, he would take pleasure in the slaughter of men.
He who takes pleasure in the slaughter of men, will never get his will in All-under-heaven.
On joyful occasions the left is valued as the place of honour; on sad occasions the right is valued. The second-in-command is posted on the left, the commander-in-chief is posted on the right, which means that they are placed in accordance with the mourning rites.
The slaughter of multitude of men is bewailed with sorrow and lamentation.
Therefore, upon a victory in war, they are placed in accordance with the mourning rites."
-  Translated by Jan J. L. Duyvendak, 1954, Chapter 31

 

 

 

Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic  By Hu Xuzehi
Tao Te Ching  Annotated translation by Victor Mair  
Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation  By Ha Poong Kim
The Philosophy of the Daodejing  By Hans-Georg Moeller  

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation  By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall
Tao Te Ching on The Art of Harmony   By Chad Hansen. 
The Way and Its Power: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching and Its Place in Chinese Thought   By Arthur Waley

 

                             

 

 

 

"Armies are tools of violence;
They cause men to hate and fear.
The sage will not join them.
His purpose is creation;
Their purpose is destruction.
Weapons are tools of violence,
Not of the sage;
He uses them only when there is no choice,
And then calmly, and with tact,
For he finds no beauty in them.
Whoever finds beauty in weapons
Delights in the slaughter of men;
And who delights in slaughter
Cannot content himself with peace.
So slaughters must be mourned
And conquest celebrated with a funeral."
-  Interpolated by Peter Merel, 1992, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Arms are tools of ill omen,
Detested by everybody.
And a man of the Tao does not use them.
The gentleman usually favours the left,
But when being at war, he favours the right.
Arms are tools of ill omen,
Not the instruments of the gentleman.
Even if compelled to use them,
The gentleman does not use them with pleasure.
Even if being the victor,
The gentleman does not glorify the victory.
He who glorifies the victory
Is such one as takes delight in killing.
He who takes delight in killing
Can never be successful in winning the empire.
On occasions of auspicious celebration the left is favoured;
On occasions of mourning the right is favoured.
A lieutenant's position is on the left;
A general's position is on the right.
That is to say, mourning rites should be observed in military operations.
War brings about heavy casualties,
So one should take part in it with deep sorrow.
When winning the victory, victors should treat the dead by observing the rites of mourning."
-  Translated by Gu Zengkun, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Weapons are the bearers of bad news; all people should detest them.
The wise man values the left side, and in time of war he values the right.
Weapons are meant for destruction, and thus are avoided by the wise.
Only as a last resort will a wise person use a deadly weapon.
If peace is her true objective how can she rejoice in the victory of war?
Those who rejoice in victory delight in the slaughter of humanity.
Those who resort to violence will never bring peace to the world.
The left side is a place of honor on happy occasions.
The right side is reserved for mourning at a funeral.
When the lieutenants take the left side to prepare for war,
the general should be on the right side, because he knows the outcome will be death.
The death of many should be greeted with great sorrow,
and the victory celebration should honor those who have died."
-  Translated by John H. McDonald, 1996, Chapter 31 

 

 

 

Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with the Tao Te Ching by Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum

The Tao of Zen by Ray Grigg

Tao Te Ching: Zen Teachings on the Taoist Classic by Takuan Soho 

Buddhism and Taoism Face to Face: Scripture, Ritual, and Iconographic Exchange in Medieval China by Christine Mollier  

 

                                     

 

 

 

"Fine weapons are none the less ill-omened things.
People despise them; therefore,
Those in possession of the Tao do not depend on them.
That is why, among people of good birth,
In peace the left-hand side is the place of honour,
But in war this is reversed and the right-hand side is the place of honour.
Weapons are ill-omened things, which the superior man should not depend on.
When he has no choice but to use them,
The best attitude is to retain tranquil and peaceful.
The Quietist, even when he conquers, does not regard weapons as lovely things.
For to think them lovely means to delight in them,
And to delight in them means to delight in the slaughter of men.
And he who delights in the slaughter of men
Will never get what he looks for out of those that dwell under heaven.
Thus in happy events,
The left-hand side is the place of honour, in grief and mourning,
The right-hand is the place of honour.
The lieutenant general stands on the left,
While the supreme general stands on the right,
Which is arranged on the rites of mourning.
A host that has slain men is received with grief and mourning;
He that has conquered in battle is received with rites of mourning."
-  Translated by Arthur Waley, 1934, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Good weapons are instruments of evil.
Even things seem to hate them.
Therefore the man of the Way does not set his heart upon them.
A superior man prefers the left side when at home, prefers the right side when in war.
Weapons are instruments of evil.
They are not the instruments of the superior man.
He uses them when he has no choice.
He prefers peace and quiet.
To him victory is not beautiful.
To glorify a victory is to rejoice over killing men.
If one rejoices over killing men, one will not conquer the will of the world.
Many people have been killed, one should weep over them with sorrow.
A victory is also a funeral."
-  Translated by Tien Cong Tran, Chapter 31  

 

 

"Weapons, however handsome, are none the less implements of evit portent, distrusted by all.
The man of Tao keeps them at a distance.
The man of breding, at home and at peace, esteems the left-hand place the place of honour.
But in war-time, when arms are used, things are reversed, and the right-hand becomes the place of honour.
Weapons are of il-omen, avoided by the wise man, who resorts to them only if he must.
To him, quiet and peace are his chief delight.
He takes no delight in conquest.
To delight in conquest is to delight in slaughter.
He who delights in slaughter cannot hope to work his will in the world."
-  Translated by Herman Ould, 1946, Chapter 31

 

 

 

Further Teachings of Lao-Tzu: Understanding the Mysteries (Wen Tzu)   By Thomas Cleary

The Lunar Tao: Meditations in Harmony with the Seasons   By Deng Ming-Dao

Awakening to the Tao   By Lui I-Ming (1780) and translated by Thomas Cleary

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo

Zhuangzi: The Essential Writings with Selections from Traditional Commentaries   Translation and commentary by Brook Ziporyn

The Inner Chapters of Chuang Tzu (Zhuangzi)   Translated by A. C. Graham

 

                                  

 

 

 

"Warlike arms, however fine, are not the tools of joy,

But of hateful omen to humanity,

Which those who have the Tao will not employ with willingness,

Nor linger where they ever chance to be.

 

Superior men, at home, deem the honorable place

To be the left hand, but in time of strife

The men who go to war esteem the right to be the best,

For with it they handle sword, and spear, and knife.

 

They are tools of evil omen, not for the superior man,

Who will only keep and use them when he must,

For peace and quietude are what he prizes most,

And victory is only good when just.

 

To delight in victory is to delight in scenes of blood,

Where myriads to sudden death are hurled,

And the man who thus enjoys is never fit for power or place,

And will fail to hold possession in the world.

 

In prosperous affairs the left is honored most,

But in matters of adversity the right,

So the second in command of the army takes the left,

And the opposite the one of greater might.

 

So the order is, I say, just as at a funeral,

And justly so, for who has thousands slain,

Should weep for those who fell with the bitterness of grief,

As he passes with his melancholy train."
-  Translated by Isaac Winter Heysinger, 1903, Chapter 31 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81                  

 

 

 

 

 

"Of all things, soldiers are instruments of evil,
   Hated by men.
Therefore the religious man (possessed of Tao) avoids them.
The gentleman favors the left in civilian life,
But on military occasions favors the right.

Soldiers are weapons of evil.
   They are not the weapons of the gentleman.
When the use of soldiers cannot be helped,
   The best policy is calm restraint.

Even in victory, there is no beauty,
And who calls it beautiful
   Is one who delights in slaughter.
He who delights in slaughter
   Will not succeed in his ambition to rule the world.

[The things of good omen favor the left.
The things of ill omen favor the right.
The lieutenant-general stands on the left,
The general stands on the right.
That is to say, it is celebrated as a Funeral Rite.]

The slaying of multitudes should be mourned with sorrow.
A victory should be celebrated with the Funeral Rite."
-  Translated by Lin Yutang, 1955, Chapter 31  

 

 

"Waffen sind unheilvolle Geräte,
alle Wesen hassen sie wohl.
Darum will der, der den rechten Sinn hat,
nichts von ihnen wissen.
Der Edle in seinem gewöhnlichen Leben
achtet die Linke als Ehrenplatz.
Beim Waffenhandwerk
ist die Rechte der Ehrenplatz.
Die Waffen sind unheilvolle Geräte,
nicht Geräte für den Edlen.
Nur wenn es nicht anders kann, gebraucht er sie.
Ruhe und Frieden sind ihm das Höchste.
Er siegt, aber er freut sich nicht daran.
Wer sich daran freuen wollte,
würde sich ja des Menschenmordes freuen.
Wer sich des Menschenmordes freuen wollte,
kann nicht sein Ziel erreichen in der Welt.
Bei Glücksfällen achtet man die Linke als Ehrenplatz.
Bei Unglücksfällen achtet man die Rechte als Ehrenplatz.
Der Unterfeldherr steht zur Linken,
der Oberführer steht zur Rechten.
Das heißt, er nimmt seinen Platz ein
nach dem Brauch der Trauerfeiern.
Menschen töten in großer Zahl,
das soll man beklagen mit Tränen des Mitleids.
Der im Kampfe gesiegt,
der soll wie bei eines Trauerfeier weilen."
-  Translated by Richard Wilhelm, 1911, Chapter 31 

 

 

"The Killing Fields: War is a last resort

Now, weapons are instruments of misfortune,
and despised by the whole world.
So those who are with the Tao will have nothing to do with them.

When a noble person is at home
he grants most importance to those at his left side.
But when he is at war
he grants most importance to those at his right side.

Weapons are instruments of misfortune.
They are not the instrument of the noble person.
Only when he has no choice will he use them.

It is best to be cool and calm. Victory is not beautiful.
But those who think it is beautiful, enjoy killing people.
Those who enjoy killing people
will not find what they want anywhere in the world.

In good times the place of honor is on the left.
In bad times the place of honor is on the right.
It is the second-in-command of the army who sits on the left,
and the first-in-command of the army who sits on the right.
This is to say;
these are the same positions they would take when at a funeral.

When a great number of people have been killed,
it is an occasion for sorrow and mourning.
When the battle is won, conduct a funeral for those slain."
-  Translated by Roderic and Amy Sorrell, 2003, Chapter 31  

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching: An Illustrated Journey   Translated by Stephen Mitchell

Tao Te Ching   Translated by David Hinton

The Book of Tao: Tao Te Ching - The Tao and Its Characteristics   Translated by James Legge

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Growth of a Religion   By Isabelle Robinet

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tsu), Daoist Scripture: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes

Zhuangzi: Basic Writings   Translated by Burton Watson

Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature   An illustrated comic by Chih-chung Ts'ai

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons

 

                                              

 

 

 

"Even the finest arms are an instrument of evil,
A spread of plague,
And the way for a vital man to go is not the way of a soldier.
But in time of war men civilized in peace
Turn from their higher to their lower nature.
Arms are an instrument of evil,
No measure for thoughtful men
Until there fail all other choice
But sad acceptance of it.
Triumph is not beautiful.
He who thinks triumph beautiful
Is one with a will to kill,
And one with a will to kill
Shall never prevail upon the world.
It is a good sign when man's higher nature comes forward,
A bad sign when his lower nature comes forward,
When retainers take charge
And the master stays back
As in the conduct of a funeral.
The death of a multitude is cause for mourning:
Conduct your triumph as a funeral."
-  Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 31 

 

 

"Those who are superior at warfare do not have good fortune.
They are likely to be detested.

The emergence of the Tao does not stop.
The honorable ruler dwells in and emulates this (the Tao) because they favor the left side.
Using weapons emulates and favors the right side.
Weapons are not a blessing and are not useful.
The honorable ruler does not obtain these instruments! Yet they still can function.
Tranquility and quiet become supreme.

Conquering has no beauty because it is as if you rejoice and delight at the slaughter of people.
Truly to rejoice at the killing of people means you will not be able to fulfill your ambitions for Heaven below (the sacred body)!

Joyful activities add to the left side.
Cruel activities add to the right side.
The person who acts from below will approach the battle and dwell in the left side.
The person who acts from above will approach the battle and dwell in the right side.

Speak as though performing funeral rites.
Killing causes the people to grieve and weep with sorrow.
Tremble at victory because life will be like a funeral ceremony."
-  Translated by Barbara Tovey and Alan Sheets, 2002, Chapter 31 

 

 

"So far as arms are concerned, they are implements of ill-omen.
They are not implements for the man of Tao.
For the actions of armies will be well requited; where armies have quartered, brambles and thorns grow.
Great wars are for certain followed by years of scarcity.
The man of Tao when dwelling at home makes the left as the place of honour, and when using arms makes the right the place of honour.
He uses them only when he cannot avoid it.
In his conquests he takes no delight.
If he take delight in them, it would mean that he enjoys the slaughter of men.
He who takes delight in the slaughter of men cannot have his will done in the world."
-  Translated by Ch'u Ta-Kao, 1904, Chapter 31

 

 

"Les armes les plus excellentes sont des instruments de malheur.
Tous les hommes les détestent.
C'est pourquoi celui qui possède le Tao ne s'y attache pas.
En temps de paix, le sage estime la gauche; celui qui fait la guerre estime la droite.
Les armes sont des instruments de malheur; ce ne sont point les instruments du sage.
Il ne s'en sert que lorsqu'il ne peut s'en dispenser, et met au premier rang le calme et le repos.
S'il triomphe, il ne s'en réjouit pas.
S'en réjouir, c 'est aimer à tuer les hommes.
Celui qui aime à tuer les hommes ne peut réussir à régner sur l'empire.
Dans les événements heureux, on préfère la gauche; dans les événements malheureux, on préfère la droite.
Le général en second occupe la gauche; le général en chef occupe la droite.
Je veux dire qu'on le place suivant les rites funèbres.
Celui qui a tué une multitude d'hommes doit pleurer sur eux avec des larmes et des sanglots.
Celui qui a vaincu dans un combat, on le place suivant les rites funèbres."
-  Translated by Stanislas Julien, 1842, Chapter 31

 

 

 

Spanish Language Versions of the Tao Te Ching (Daodejing)
Tao Te Ching en Español


Lao Tsé Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Anton Teplyy

Tao Te Ching   Traducido por Stephen Mitchell, versión española  

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por el Padre Carmelo Elorduy

Lifestyle Advice from Wise Persons   Consejos de Estilo de Vida de Sabios

Tao Te Ching en Español

Lao Tzu-The Eternal Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Yuanxiang Xu y Yongjian Yin 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices   By Mike Garofalo    Maduración Duraznos: Estudios y Prácticas Taoístas por Mike Garofalo

Tao Te Ching - Wikisource

Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por William Scott Wilson. 

Lao Tzu - Tao Te Ching   Traducido al español por Javier Cruz

Tao te king   Translated by John C. H. Wu, , versión española  

Daodejing   Español, Inglés, y Chino Versiones Lingüísticas de la Daodejing


 

                                      

 

 

 

"Los soldados son herramientas de violencia, temidos por todos;
El sabio no los empleará.
Su propósito es la creación;
El de ellos es la destrucción.

Las armas son herramientas para la violencia, no para el sabio;
El las usará cuando no hay otra elección,
Pues valora la paz y no se deleita en la conquista.

Pues quien se deleita en la conquista
Se deleita en el sufrimiento de los hombres;
Y quien se deleita en el sufrimiento de los hombres no puede controlarlos.

Los que matan en la guerra deberían llorar
Y celebrar la conquista con un funeral."
-  Translated by Antonio Rivas Gonzálvez, 1998,
Capítulo 31 

 

 

"Las armas son instrumentos nefastos.
El hombre del Tao nunca se sirve de ellas.
El hombre de bien considera a la izquierda
como sitio de honor,
pero se inclina a la derecha cuando porta armas.
El sabio prefiere la izquierda.
El soldado prefiere la derecha.
Las armas son instrumentos nefastos,
no adecuados para el hombre de bien.
Sólo las usa en caso de necesidad,
y lo hace comedidamente,
sin alegría en la victoria.
El que se alegra de vencer
es el que goza con la muerte de los hombres.
Y quien se complace en matar hombres
no puede prevalecer en el mundo.
Para los grandes acontecimientos
el sitio de honor es la izquierda,
y la derecha para los hechos luctuosos.
En el ejército,
El comandante adjunto se coloca a la izquierda,
El comandante en jefe, a la derecha.
Esta es la misma disposición que se usa en los ritos fúnebres.
Esto significa que la guerra se compara a un servicio funerario.
Cuando ha sido matada mucha gente,
sólo es justo que los supervivientes lloren por los muertos.
Por esto, incluso una victoria es un funeral."
-  Translation from Wikisource, 2013,
Capítulo 31 

 

 

"Las armas son instrumentos de aflicción. 
Éstas merecen ser desechadas.
Por ese quien sigue a Tao no las usa. 
Un gobernador digno es condescendiente. 
Sólo para la defensa, tal governador aplica la fuerza. 
Él o ella emplea todos los medios para mantener la paz. 
Glorificarse con una victoria militar significa regocijarse con la matanza del las personas.
Y acaso puede ser repetado aquel se alegra del la matanza?
Y el respeto conlleva el bienestar. 
El bienestar contribuye al proceso creativo.
En cambio, la violencia conlleva la aflicción.
Si asesinan a muchas personas, hay que dolerse amargamente. 
La victoria militar debe ser con una ceremonia fúnebre."
-  Translated by Anton Teplyy, 2008,
Capítulo 31 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This webpage work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0

 

 

 

 

Lao Tzu

 

 

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Chapter and Thematic Index to the Tao Te Ching 

 

 

 

 

Tao Te Ching
Commentary, Interpretations, Research Tools, Resources
Chapter 31

 

Tao Te Ching, Translations into English: Terebess Asia Online (TAO).  124 nicely formatted complete English language translations, on separate webpages, of the Daodejing.  Alphabetical index by translators.  Each webpage has all 81 chapters of the Tao Te Ching translated into English.  An outstanding collection─ the Best on the Internet. 


Daodejing by Laozi: Chapters with Chinese characters, seal script, detailed word by word concordance, Pinyin (tone#), German, French and English.  This is an outstanding resource for serious students of the Tao Te Ching


Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table   Provides side by side comparisons of translations of the Tao Te Ching by James Legge, D. T. Suzuki, and Dwight Goddard.  Chinese characters for each paragraph in the Chapter are on the left; place your cursor over the Chinese characters to see the Pinyin Romanization of the Chinese character and a list of meanings. 


Center Tao.  Includes a brief commentary on each Chapter.  A keyword glossary for each chapter is provided. 


Tao Te Ching Commentaries - Google Search 


Tao Te Ching in Chinese characters, Pinyin Romanization, English and German by Dr. Hilmar Alquiros. 


Translators' Index, Tao Te Ching Translators Sorted Alphabetically by Translator, Links to Books and Online Versions


Taoism and the Tao Te Ching: Bibliography, Resources, Links


Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching, Daodejing en Español


Concordance to the Daodejing


Tao Te Ching: The Definitive Edition  By Jonathan Star.  Translation, commentary and research tools.  New York, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Penguin, 2001.  Concordance, tables, appendices, 349 pages.  A new rendition of the Tao Te Ching is provided, then a verbatim translation with extensive notes.  Detailed tables for each verse provide line number, all the Chinese characters, Wade-Giles Romanization, and a list of meanings for each character.  An excellent print reference tool! 


Two Visions of the Way: A Study of the Wang Pi and the Ho-Shang Kung Commentaries on the Lao-Tzu.  By Professor by Alan Kam-Leung Chan.   SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  State University of New York Press, 1991.  Index, bibliography, glossary, notes, 314 pages.  ISBN: 0791404560.     


Chinese Reading of the Daodejing  Wang Bi's Commentary on the Laozi with Critical Text and Translation.  By Professor Rudolf G. Wagner.  A SUNY Series in Chinese Philosophy and Culture.  English and Mandarin Chinese Edition.  State University of New York Press; Bilingual edition (October 2003).  540 pages.  ISBN: 978-0791451823.  Wang Bi (Wang Pi, Fusi), 226-249 CE, Commentary on the Tao Te Ching.


Chapter 31 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith.  The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley. 


Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In-Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic  By Hu Xuzehi.  Seven Star Communications, 2006, 240 pages. 


The Philosophy of the Daodejing  By Hans-Georg Moeller.  Columbia University Press, 2006, 176 pages.  


Valley Spirit, Gu Shen, Concept, Chapter 31 


Lao-tzu's Taoteching
 Translated by Red Pine (Bill Porter).  Includes many brief selected commentaries for each Chapter draw from commentaries in the past 2,000 years.  Provides a verbatim translation and shows the text in Chinese characters.  San Francisco, Mercury House, 1996, Second Edition, 184 pages.  An invaluable resource for commentaries.   


Reading Lao Tzu: A Companion to the Tao Te Ching with a New Translation  By Ha Poong Kim.  Xlibris, 2003, 198 pages. 


Chapter 31, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary 


Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation  By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall.  Ballantine, 2003, 256 pages. 


Tao of Inner Peace.  By Diane Dreher.  Revised Edition.  New York, Plume, Penguin, 2000.  Notes, 318 pages. 


Thematic Index to the 81 Chapters of the Tao Te Ching


Lao Tzu: Te-Tao Ching - A New Translation Based on the Recently Discovered Ma-wang-tui Texts (Classics of Ancient China) Translated with and introduction and detailed exposition and commentary by Professor Robert G. Henricks.  New York, Ballantine Books, 1992.  Includes Chinese characters for each chapter.  Bibliography, detailed notes, 282 pages. 

 

 

 

                                               

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Laozi, Dao De Jing

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching

 

Research and Indexing by
Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California
Green Way Research, 2011-2015. 
Indexed and Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo

 

This webpage was last modified or updated on August 5, 2015. 

This webpage was first distributed online on March 18, 2011. 

 

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Created by Michael P. Garofalo, Green Way Research, Valley Spirit Center, Gushen Grove Notebooks, Red Bluff, California, © 2015 CCA 4.0


 

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail

Brief Biography of Michael P. Garofalo, M.S.

Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California 

Study Chi Kung or Tai Chi with Mike Garofalo 

 

 

 


Ripening Peaches: Daoist Studies and Practices

Taoism: Resources and Guides

Cloud Hands Blog

Valley Spirit Qigong

Ways of Walking

The Spirit of Gardening

Months: Cycles of the Seasons

Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Zhuang Zhou, Master Chuang)  369—286 BCE

Chan (Zen) and Taoist Poetry

Yang Style Taijiquan

Chen Style Taijiquan

Taoist Perspectives: My Reading List

Meditation

Bodymind Theory and Practices, Somaesthetics

The Five Senses

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

Grandmaster Chang San Feng

Virtues

Qigong (Chi Kung) Health Practices

One Old Daoist Druid's Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian of Gushen Grove

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Index to Cloud Hands and Valley Spirit Websites

 

Gushen Grove Notebooks for the Tao Te Ching 

Introduction

Bibliography  

Index to English Language Translators of the Tao Te Ching

Thematic Index 1-81  

Chapter Index 1-81    

Concordance to the Daodejing

Recurring Themes (Terms, Concepts, Leimotifs) in the Tao Te Ching

Spanish Language Translations of the Tao Te Ching

The Tao Te Ching (Dao De Jing) by Lao Tzu (Laozi) circa 500 BCE

 

 

 

Cloud Hands Blog

 

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Tao Te Ching
 Chapter Number Index


Standard Traditional Chapter Arrangement of the Daodejing
Chapter Order in Wang Bi's Daodejing Commentary in 246 CE
Chart by Mike Garofalo
Subject Index
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80
81