The Virtue of Humility, Stillness, Great States Need to Acquiesce,
Passivity is Power, Feminity, State, Serving, Humility, Large Country, Small Country,
Sea, Rivers, 謙德
"A great state, one that lowly flows, becomes the empire's union, and the
The wife always through quietude conquers her husband, and by quietude renders herself lowly.
Thus a great state through lowliness toward small states will conquer the small states,
And small states through lowliness toward great states will conquer great states.
Therefore some render themselves lowly for the purpose of conquering;
Others are lowly and therefore conquer.
A great state desires no more than to unite and feed the people;
A small state desires no more than to devote itself to the service of the people;
Both may obtain their wishes, the greater one must stoop."
- Translated by D. T. Suzuki and Paul Carus, 1913, Chapter 61
"What makes a great state is its being like a low-lying, down-flowing stream;
It becomes the centre to which tend all the small states under heaven.
To illustrate from the case of all females:
The female always overcomes the male by her stillness.
Stillness may be considered a sort of abasement.
Thus it is that a great state, by condescending to small states, gains them for itself;
And that small states, by abasing themselves to a great state, win it over to them.
In the one case the abasement leads to gaining adherents, in the other case to procuring favor.
The great state only wishes to unite men together and nourish them;
A small state only wishes to be received by, and to serve, the other.
Each gets what it desires, but the great state must learn to abase itself."
- Translated by James Legge, 1891, Chapter 61
"Here is the formula
of the original self
see yourself as a great river
identify wit the fountainhead in the mountains
identify with the watercourse across the land
identify with the emptying into the great sea
this is the receptive
rest peacefully within the shape of
an empty vessel
blanketing your bodymind with stillness
balances the naturally expressive
with the naturally receptive
see the great river within you
see the great river beneath you
see the great river above you
see yourself as small within the great river
the great and the small have no meaning
on their own
because they are the same thing
they wish to serve each other
bring them together
as the river connects the mountain spring
to the vast ocean
and the original self
- Translated by John Bright-Fey, 2006, Chapter 61
"A great nation is low, like a river delta,
where all the waters gather.
It is mother of the world.
The female overcomes the male with stillness,
Becomes the foundation by being still.
Thus a great nation should always place itself below a small one."
- Translated by Ned Ludd, Chapter 61
Tao Te Ching Translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo
Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching Translated by John C. WuLao-Tzu and the Tao-Te-Ching Translated by Livia Kohn
Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way Translated by Moss Roberts
"A great state that is useful is like a bond of unity
within the Empire; it is the Empire's wife.
The female controls the male by her quietude and submission.
Thus a great state by its service to smaller states wins their allegiance.
A small state by submission to a great state wins an influence over them.
Thus some stoop to conquer, and others stoop and conquer.
Great states can have no higher purpose than to federate states and feed the people.
Small states can have no higher purpose than to enter a federation and serve the people.
Both alike, each in his own way, gain their end, but to do so, the greater must practice humility."
- Translated by Dwight Goddard, 1919, Chapter 61
"The great country may be compared to a low-lying lake
where many rivers converge;
it is the mixing place of the world, the reservoir of all under heaven... the Feminine of the world.
Femininity always overcomes Masculinity, by stillness,
her tranquility gives rise to her humility.
Thus it is that the great country can win over the small country by this practicing of stillness and humility.
And the small state by the practice of humility and deference to the large country can gain the large country and become one with it.
So it is said that by practice of quiescence and humility the great can absorb and conquer the small without effort,
and the small and insignificant can gain riches and treasure by submitting to the great.
The great state wishes to keep and nourish its people, and help others.
The small state wishes to help its people by joining with the peace and strength of the larger state.
Both states get what they wish by submitting.
Greatness lies in placing oneself below."
- Translated by John Dicus, 2002, Chapter 61
"A large country is the low level of interflowing
It draws people to the sea-end of a valley
As the female draws the male,
Receives it into absorbing depth
Because depth always absorbs.
And so a large country, inasfar as it is deeper than a small country,
Absorbs the small-
Or a small country, inasfar as it is deeper than a large country,
Absorbs the large.
Some countnes consciously seek depth into which to draw others.
Some countries naturally have depth into which to draw others:
A large country needs to admit,
A small country needs to emit,
And so each country can naturally have what it needs
If the large country submit."
- Translated by Witter Bynner, 1944, Chapter 61
"A great kingdom is like the mouth of rivers; it is like
the female, or the hub of the world.
Females frequently win males with their serenity.
Serenity means humbleness.
Therefore when a great kingdom is humble, it wins small kingdoms.
When a small kingdom is humble, it wins great kingdoms.
This is why with humbleness one can win and will win.
A great kingdom should not excessively conquer.
A small kingdom should avoid undue vassalage.
In order for both great and small kingdoms to have their wishes, it is better for great kingdoms to be humble."
- Translated by Thomas Zhang, Chapter 61
"A great country is like low-lying land
into which all rivers flow.
It is the meeting place of everything upon the earth,
the female of the world.
The female can always overcome the male by stillness,
by taking up a lower place.
And so by taking up a lower place,
a great country can win over a smaller one.
By taking up a lower place,
a small country can win over a greater one.
The one wins by becoming low,
the other wins by remaining low.
A great country wants nothing more
than to unite and feed its people.
A small country wants nothing more
than to come and serve its people.
Both get what they desire,
but it is fitting that the greater should abase itself."
- Translated by Tim Chilcott, 2005, Chapter 61
"A large state is like low-lying land where the flowing
The female of the world.
It is the stillness of the feminine which overcomes the masculine.
Keeping still is to keep to the lower position.
Therefore the large state can conquer the small state by giving way to the small state.
And the small state can conquer the large state by submitting to the large state.
Thus, in order to conquer one must yield,
And those who conquer do so by yielding.
Since the large state wishes to take in more people,
And the small state wishes to serve the people,
Both have their wishes met.
It is right for a large state to yield."
- Translated by Keith H. Seddon, Chapter 61
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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 reference tool!
Yellow Bridge Dao De Jing Comparison Table, Chapter 61 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 commentary on each Chapter.
The Complete Works of Lao Tzu: Tao Teh Ching & Hua Hu Ching Translation and elucidation by Hua Ching Ni.
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Chapter 61 in the Rambling Taoist Commentaries by Trey Smith. The Rambling Taoists are Trey Smith and Scott Bradley.
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Das Tao Te King von Lao Tse The largest collection of very nicely formatted complete versions of the Tao Te Ching. The collection includes 209 complete versions in 27 languages, plus 28 Chinese versions. There are 112 English language versions of the Tao Te Ching available at this website. A variety of search methods and comparison methods are provided, as well a a detailed index.
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 61, Line by Line Comparisons of 27 Translations of the Tao Te Ching Compiled by the St. Xenophon Wayist Seminary
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices
Dao De Jing: A Philosophical Translation By Roger T. Ames and David T. Hall. Ballantine, 2003, 256 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.
Revealing the Tao Te Ching: In Depth Commentaries on an Ancient Classic. By Hu Huezhi. Edited by Jesse Lee Parker. Seven Star Communications, 2006. 240 pages.
Cloud Hands Blog Mike Garofalo writes about Taoism, Gardening, Taijiquan, Walking, Mysticism, Qigong, and the Eight Ways.
Tao Te Ching: A New Translation and Commentary. By Ellen Chen. Paragon House, 1998. 274 pages.
The Tao and Method: A Reasoned Approach to the Tao Te Ching. By Michael Lafargue. New York, SUNY Press, 1994. 660 pages.
The Whole Heart of Tao: The Complete Teachings from the Oral Tradition of Lao-Tzu. By John Bright-Fey. Crane Hill Publishers, 2006. 376 pages.
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