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HomeChinese Classical Literature《菜根谭》(积累念难、倾覆思易) ~ with English Translations

《菜根谭》(积累念难、倾覆思易) ~ with English Translations

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《菜根谭》是明朝还初道人洪应明收集编著的儒家经典,是一部论述修养、人生、处世、出世的语录集。其文字简炼明隽,兼采雅俗,言辞中流露出山林意趣,渗透着万物一体的世界观。开出的处世之方偏重心态和人事,悟虚妄真实之理,指出贫富、尊卑、穷达因为心念使善恶、祸福相互转换,告诫世人及时转念,戒贪少欲,取中庸之道。著作前后内容和深度有所不同,反映出了不同的阅历和境界。

《菜根谭》(积累念难、倾覆思易)

问祖宗之德泽,吾身所享者是,当念其积累之难;问子孙之福祉,吾身所贻者是,要思其倾覆之易。

When we consider that the merits which we benefit from today were earned by our forefathers, we should reflect on the difficulties they had to undergo in order to acquire those merits. When we wonder what happiness our descendants will enjoy, we should consider how easy it will be for them to squander the legacy we bequeath to them.

(保罗·怀特 译)

The life we have today is just the bounties our forefathers had left over to us. Therefore, we should appreciate all the time the hardships they had gone through to accumulate them. The fortune our descendants will inherit from us lies in the wealth we have created. Therefore, we should constantly remind them of the aptness there might be to ruin it.

(周文标 译)

To know the merits and favours left by one’s ancestors, one needs only to look at what one is enjoying at present; one must not forget all the trouble they went to in order to accumulate them. To know the happiness to be received by one’s descendants, one needs only to look at what one is leaving behind; one must remember all the risk they may run of losing it.

(蒋坚松 译)

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