The Analects, or Lunyu (simplified Chinese: 论语; traditional Chinese: 論語; pinyin: Lún Yǔ; literally "Selected Sayings"), also known as the Analects of Confucius, is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius' followers. It is believed to have been written during the Warring States period (475 BC–221 BC), and it achieved its final form during the mid-Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). By the early Han dynasty the Analects was considered merely a "commentary" on the Five Classics, but the status of the Analects grew to be one of the central texts of Confucianism by the end of that dynasty. During the late Song dynasty (960-1279) the importance of the Analectsas a philosophy work was raised above that of the older Five Classics, and it was recognized as one of the "Four Books". The Analects has been one of the most widely read and studied books in China for the last 2,000 years, and continues to have a substantial influence on Chinese and East Asian thought and values today. Confucius believed that the welfare of a country depended on the moral cultivation of its people, beginning from the nation's leadership. He believed that individuals could begin to cultivate an all-encompassing sense of virtue through ren, and that the most basic step to cultivating ren was devotion to one's parents and older siblings. He taught that one's individual desires do not need to be suppressed, but that people should be educated to reconcile their desires via rituals and forms of propriety, through which people could demonstrate their respect for others and their responsible roles in society. He taught that a ruler's sense of virtue was his primary prerequisite for leadership. His primary goal in educating his students was to produce ethically well-cultivated men who would carry themselves with gravity, speak correctly, and demonstrate consummate integrity in all things.
The Analects of Confucius
The Master said, "Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application? "Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters? "Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?" The philosopher Yu said, "They are few who, being filial and fraternal, are fond of offending against their superiors. There have been none, who, not liking to offend against their superiors, have been fond of stirring up confusion. "The superior man bends his attention to what is radical. That being established, all practical courses naturally grow up. Filial piety and fraternal submission, -- are they not the root of all benevolent actions?" The Master said, "Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue." The philosopher Tsang said, "I daily examine myself on three points: -- whether, in transacting business for others, I may have been not faithful; -- whether, in intercourse with friends, I may have been not sincere; -- whether I may have not mastered and practiced the instructions of my teacher." The Master said, "To rule a country of a thousand chariots, there must be reverent attention to business, and sincerity; economy in expenditure, and love for men; and the employment of the people at the proper seasons." The Master said, "A youth, when at home, should be filial, and, abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in polite studies." Tsze-hsia said, "If a man withdraws his mind from the love of beauty, and applies it as sincerely to the love of the virtuous; if, in serving his parents, he can exert his utmost strength; if, in serving his prince, he can devote his life; if,...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document