Confucius

Confucius FOUNDERS Confucius is the founder of Confucianism.

The name Confucius is the Latin name for Kong Qiu-zi. Confucius was born in the village of Zou in the country of Lu in 551 BC. He was a poor descendant of a disposed noble family. As a child, he held fake temple rituals; as a young adult, quickly earned a reputation for fairness, politeness, and love of learning, and he was reputed to be quite tall.When he was 35 years old, Duke Zhao of Lu led his country to war, this was routed and fled to Qi. While he was there, Duke Zhao would frequently go to him for advice, but after the counsel of one of his minister, Zhao was unable to give Confucius land and eventually stopped seeking advice.

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He eventually went back to Lu. At age 50, he was approached by the Baron of Qi to help defend against a rebellion, but he declined. Later on he became a city magistrate by the new Duke of Lu, and under his administration the city flourished; he got promoted several times, eventually becoming Grand Secretary of Justice, and at age 56, Chief Minister of Lu. Neighboring countries were afraid that Lu was becoming too powerful, so they sent gifts and dancers to distract the Duke during a sacrifice holiday.

As the Duke was abandoning his duties, Confucius resigned and left the country. Confucius spent the next five years wandering China with his disciples, finding that his presence at royal courts was rarely tolerated for long before nobles would begin plotting to drive him out or have him killed. He was once arrested and jailed for five days, and at age 62 he was pursued, along with his disciples onto the countryside by a band of soldiers sent by jealous nobles, until he was able to send a messenger to the sympathetic king of a nearby country, who sent his own soldiers to rescue them. Once again, Confucius was to be given land, but he denied it upon counsel of another minister. After more wandering, he eventually returned t Lu at age 67.Although they welcomed him there, he was not offered public office anymore, and he did not seek it. Instead he spent the rest of his years teaching and writing.

He died at age 72. After his death Confucius’ followers spread this system of belief. It had a major impact on the Chinese culture.SYMBOLS A symbol that is used or associated with the religion of Confucianism is the yin-yang. Yin-yang are the two countervailing forces of the universe, each necessary for balance yet each constantly changing in power. Yin refers to any thing that is negative, yang refers to anything that is positive.

The irony is that these two things tell people everything they know, it is impossible for the both not to be in coexistence with each other.This is saying that life attracts opposites, such as: good and evil, light and darkness, and war and peace. It shows the two opposites, yin and yang, eternally pursuing each other in a harmonious way.It is true they are opposites, but there is no conflict, there is only balance. This drawing symbolizes the way life should be lived. No one can hope for all pleasure and no pain, or all life and no death, or all happiness and no waiting, or all agreement and no disagreement. This means that no one’s life can be set to perfection, there is always room for adjustments.

If harmonious interplay between yang and yin is the goal of one’s life then the question is how to achieve it? Confucianism answers the question by stressing tradition and stressing to be rational. Related to the yin and the yang theory is the idea that all things are composed of the five elements: wood, metal, fire, water, and earth. Like yin and yang, these elements are continually influencing each other in the balance of nature. The number five had a great significance in the Chinese view of the universe. Each of the five elements was identified with one of the five primary colors, the five directions, the five principal grains, and the five planets.The Five Elements Correspondence Wood Fire Earth Metal Water Seasons Spring Summer Autumn Winter Animals sheep fowl ox dog pig Grains wheat beans panicled millet hemp millet Organs spleen lungs heart liver kidneys Numbers 8 7 5 9 6 Colors green red yellow white black Tastes sour bitter sweet acrid salty Smell goatish burning fragrant rank rotten Directions East South center West North Creatures scaly feathered naked hairy shell-covered Beasts of Green Scarlet Yellow White Black The Directions Dragon Bird Dragon Tiger Tortoise Virtues benevolence wisdom faith righteousness decorum Planets Jupiter Mars Saturn Venus Mercury Officers Minister Minister Minister Minister Minister Of Agriculture Of War Of Works Of Interior Of Justice GODS/GOD Confucianism is not a religion. It does not teach about God, heaven, and life after death. It is a philosophy that teaches people a way to live on earth wisely.

SACRED PLACES ? Confucius’ mother grave gave birth to him in a cave in Qufu. ? The Xing Tan or Apricot Temple, where Confucius lectured his students is part of the complex buildings at Qufu. ? The stone stele in front of Confucius’ burial mound was erected in his honor in 1443.? Among the buildings at Qufu is the Da Cheng Diah, or Hall of Great Accomplishments. This Confucian temple contains statues of Confucius, his four major disciples, and the twelve other followers who were called sages. ? In the Confucian Educational Institute, Confucians believe that their form of Confucian philosophy is closest to the original doctrines of Master Kong. SCRIPTURES OR HOLY BOOKS There are two books that must be read and used in Confucianism. One is called The Five Classics, The second book is called The Analects.

The Five Classics The Five Classics are the basic writings of Confucianism. Confucius referred them to his teaching. Many scholars say that the Duke of Zhou and Confucius’ ideal ruler may have written some parts of them. Parts of The Five Classics are from ancient times, but they were added and modified through the centuries since Confucius lived. ? Books of Poetry The Shijing contains the oldest Chinese poetry.

It is a collection of more than three hundred poems, they were sometimes called songs because at that time they were sung. Many of the poems describe experiences common to all people, such as: love, work, and war. The other poems are court poems.

They include praise of the founders of the Zhou dynasty and hymns used in sacrificed rites. Confucius loved to sing, so he selected the poems for the book. He urged his students to memorize them and used them in his teachings. ? Book of Rites This book consists of three separate ritual writings: The Rites of Zhou, which describes the bureaucratic system of the Zhou dynasty; The Ceremonial, which contains descriptions of the etiquette of events in the life of the aristocracy, such as: weddings, banquets, sacrifices, funerals, and archery contests; and The Liji, which describes government regulations as well as providing instructions on how to manage a household, cook, behave at a dinner party or funeral, drive a carriage, and naming a baby.The Book of Rites, as it is known today, is not one that Confucius studied himself. It contains a collection of stories and essays put together during the Han dynasty from earlier writings, this includes many stories about Confucius. They described Confucius’ comments on ancient sacrifices.

The Book if Rites today describes Confucius as saying: To treat the dead as dead would show lack of love and therefore cannot be done; to treat the dead as living would show a lack of wisdom and likewise cannot be done. This describes ways of treating the deceased and law to grieve properly. ? Book of History The Shujing is the source of Chinese history. This begins with the legendary emperors who brought the tools of civilization to the Chinese.

This book is sometimes called the Book of Documents, and Confucius himself referred to it that way. This is a more accurate description of its contents, which include decrees, speeches, advice from counselors, and similar reports on government affairs. The Chinese think of history as the present. So it was taught and educated, because they believed by studying one’s history they would not be doomed to repeat it. ? Spring and Autumn Annals The Chun Qiu is a brief chronicle of the events in Confucius’ home state of Lu between the years 722 BC and 481 BC.The officials of the state of Lu complied it as a season-by-season record of events because the end date comes so close to the death of Confucius. His followers often thought that he was the actual author. The writings is hard to understand and has been the subject of many commentaries dating back as far as the Han dynasty.

? Book of Changes The Yijing book of divination that helps its followers foretell future events and understand human existence and natural occurrences. The book consists of sixty-four hexagrams with accompanying interpretations.The Yijing filled a need in Confucian thought that was not met by the other Classics. Confucian scholars were concerned with ethical and political problems, but the Yijing provided a mystical key to the workings of the universe. Later Confucian scholars wrote many volumes linking its messages to Confucian thought. The Analects The Analects were written from the followers of Confucius. They wrote down what they had heard from Confucius. The Analects consists of 497 verses.

The Analects doe not say anywhere that Confucius discussed philosophical principles or detailed regulations for a way of life. The Analects gives insight into the wisdom of Great Master Kong. The Analects basically served as a guide to life for billions of people since the time it was written.

Students of Confucianism memorized the whole entire book as the first step of their education, but they were not expected to understand it full, but since they memorized they would create a mind-set that would deepen in significance, as they grew older. It would make them contemplate its meaning and discovering how it applied to their own lives for the rest of their lives.The Analects has remained to be on eof the most read writings all around the world because through young adulthood, middle age, and old age, one comes to understand Confucius’ words more fully and appreciate their importance. RITES/RITUALS Family Rituals The emperor was the chief priest of the nation, and every father of a family that lived within were also priests.

Tablets with their ancestors’ names were kept in shrines within their house. It was the duty of these priests to report family matters and to make sacrifices to these shrines. His eldest son or wife sometimes assisted him, but only the father could identify the ancestors by name. Larger homes typically contained offering hall located east of the main room. The offering was also used for events, such as a marriage or a child’s achieving adulthood.

In later centuries, foreign travelers noted that virtually every home in China possessed a copy of Zhu Xi’s book. From the 13th to the 20th centuries, it served as a household guide to ritual and belief. It was also used in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. Births The different treatment of boys and girls began at birth. As soon as possible children were taught to show proper behavior and show respect to their elders.When the children …