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群書治要-4
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Qunshu Zhiyao (A Compendium of the Essentials of Governance)    (Lecture 4) by Professor Yuli Liu  File No.: 56-167-0004-0

群書治要  (第四集)  劉余莉教授  

 

Respected friends, greetings!

尊敬的諸位朋友,大家好!

 

Today we will continue with the Third Passage of Qunshu Zhiyao 360.

我們今天繼續學習《群書治要360》,我們看第三條:

 

Alas! Duke of Rong covets monopoly and does not understand it is a great calamity.  As all things on earth and under heaven create profits that benefit people and all creatures, a monopoly will produce many detriments.  People and all creatures on earth and under heaven have a need for them, how can anyone have a monopoly?  It will incite the wrath of the people.  To teach Your Majesty monopoly without preparing for such great calamity, can Your Majesty’s rule last long?”

【夫榮公好專利而不知大難。夫利。百物之所生也。天地之所載也。而有專之。其害多矣。天地百物皆將取焉。何可專也所怒甚多。而不備大難。以是教王。王其能久乎

 

This passage is selected from Qunshu Zhiyao, Shiji (Records by the Grand Historian)[1], Part I.

這句話出自於《群書治要.史記上》。

 

In Wei Zheng’s preface to Qunshu Zhiyao, he mentioned the principle in the meticulous selection process for this compendium on governance to ensure that no stones are left unturned or “not a single tooth or horn was left outside the compendium; all plumage was included in the selected events.”  It means that all the crucial points or important contents in the selected books were not excluded from the compilation.  For example, if the compilers were excerpting from the Analects, then all the verses containing the essence of personal cultivation, family order, state governance, and world peace in the Analects will be included.  If a historical event was selected, the whole picture will be presented without leaving out any details.  From this principle we can perceive the painstaking efforts of Wei Zheng and his team and their best intentions in the compilation of this compendium.  Their purpose was to enlighten future generations with good role models and to provide reference materials to draw lessons from.  We should reaffirm our confidence in Qunshu Zhiyao based on Wei’s good will.  Due to their careful scrutiny to distill the essence from voluminous books, this canon of governance took five years to finish, demonstrating the rigorous scholarly attitude of the ancients.  Compared to them, modern people seem impetuous, restless, and aim for quick success and instant profits.  This comparison leads us to a conclusion that technological development and social advance do not mean that modern people have higher intelligence than the ancients.

我們都知道魏徵在《群書治要》的序言中提到,在編輯《群書治要》的時候採取了一個原則,那就是「一書之內,牙角無遺;一事之中,羽毛咸盡」什麼意思?就是他所選錄的典籍之中,凡是重要的內容都沒有遺漏。譬如說我們選的《論語》,那麼《論語》中關於修身齊家治國平天下的精華,哪一點都沒有遺漏。如果選錄的是一個歷史事件,這個歷史事件的內容也非常地完整,甚至連細節也都照顧全面。那我們從中能夠體會到,魏徵大人他們編輯《群書治要》時候的良苦用心,目的就是給後人最好的借鑑和啟示。我們從魏大人的存心,也應該對《群書治要》這部書生起信心。我們看這個寶典用了五年的時間才編輯完成,說明古人治學的態度非常地認真,確實是從古籍之中精挑細選,把精華給挑出來了。而與古人相比,現代人心浮氣躁,急功近利。所以我們不能認為科技發展了,社會進步了,現代人就比古人更有智慧。

 

There are two reasons that made the ancients wiser than us.  The first was because their mind was very pure and tranquil.  Wisdom arises from a pure mind.  The mind can be analogized to water (to reflect our moods).  If the water is always turbulent like when we are angry or enraged, the surface of the water is like the boiling sea with roaring waves surging high and can no longer reflect the external world truthfully.  Sometimes there may be ripples on the surface of the water like when we are dissatisfied or vexed; the mind is not totally tranquil like the still waters, and things on our mind will be slightly distorted.  Only when our mind is perfectly still, as water without any ripples (or undercurrents), like a mirror with a smooth surface, then our mind can reflect the outside world truthfully and objectively.  The wisdom of the ancients was an illustration of the tranquility of their minds which were much purer than modern people.  The second reason is because their magnanimous minds embraced the world and their heart strings were attached to the common people.  All their thoughts circled around how to benefit people all over the world and how to have good governance to achieve world peace.  Their magnanimity and aspiration made their wisdom well up uninterruptedly like the fountainhead.  When Taizong of Tang commanded Wei Zheng to compile Qunshu Zhiyao, Taizong also had the same magnanimous mind that embraced the world and the aspiration to have a good government that would truly benefit the people.  We should have the same magnanimous attitude when studying Qunshu Zhiyao so that we can receive the wisdom of the ancients.

古人他之所以比現代人有智慧,有兩個原因:第一就是他的心很清淨,清淨才能生智慧。我們的心就像水一樣,這個水總是起大風大浪。譬如說我們生氣了、發怒了,這個時候就像水波濤洶湧,對外界的映照就不是如實的了。有的時候還會起小波紋,就像我們不滿意了、不高興了,這個心也不是完全心如止水,這個時候對外界的映照也有些許的歪曲。只有當我們水平如鏡、波瀾不興,這個時候對外物的映照才是如實客觀的。所以古人比現代人有智慧之處,就體現在他的心比現代人清淨。第二就是古人他襟懷天下,心繫蒼生。念念都是想著怎麼樣利益天下的人,怎麼樣能夠把國家治理好,甚至使天下太平。他有這樣的氣度和胸襟,所以他的智慧也會源源不斷地湧出來。所以唐太宗之所以派魏徵大人等編輯《群書治要》,就是因為他有胸懷天下的心,確實想把國家治理好,給老百姓帶來真實的利益。那我們能夠用這種心去學習《群書治要》,這個智慧我們才能夠領納。

 

Chairman Xi can be said to be a sagacious leader with a vision.  In many reports of his New Year’s celebration speech, we found that the book he likes to read the most is Qunshu ZhiyaoThere are many pictures in his office[A1] .  In one of the pictures there is a bookshelf filled with his favorite books and the recent addition of tomes in several volumes.  One of the tomes is Qunshu Zhiyao.  In Chairman Xi’s speeches, he stressed several times: “To have good governance of today’s China, we must have a profound understanding of Chinese history and traditional culture.  We also need to actively summarize our exploration and the wisdom of the governance of ancient China.”  Qunshu Zhiyao has been lauded as the essence of the wisdom of China’s traditional governance.  Using the words of the Venerable Master Chin Kung, it is the crème de la crème of the excellent traditional Chinese culture.  Therefore, reading this compendium will give us a penetrative understanding of the political wisdom of the governance of ancient China.  It is not a coincidence that Chairman Xi loves this book and his father wrote “the ancient mirror that reflects the present” on the flyleaf of the book.  It shows that they both have a thorough understanding of Qunshu Zhiyao.

我們的習主席可以說是很有智慧、很有眼光的一位領導人。從今年元旦賀詞的很多報導中,我們看到習主席最愛讀的書是《群書治要》。因為在習主席的辦公室裡有很多的照片,其中有一個書架放著他平時最喜歡讀的書,還添了幾部大部頭的書,這個就是指的《群書治要》。我們看習主席的講話,他也曾多次強調:「要治理好今天的中國,需要對中國歷史和傳統文化有深入了解,也需要對中國古代治國理政的探索和智慧進行積極總結。」而《群書治要》被譽為是中國傳統政治智慧的精粹,用我們尊敬的上淨下空老法師的話來說,那就是中華優秀傳統文化的精華之精華。所以讀了這一部書,對中國古代的治國理政智慧就有了深入的了解。所以習主席喜歡這一部書,他的父親為這部書題字「古鏡今鑑」絕對不是偶然的,說明他們對《群書治要》這部書也是非常地了解和通達。

 

This Passage is from Part I of Shiji (Records by the Grand Historian).  There is a story behind this passage, which we need to understand fully.  According to the records of Shiji, after King Li (died in 828 BC) of Zhou dynasty ascended the throne (reigned 877–841 BC or 857–842 BC)[2], he coveted riches and was very close to Duke Yi of Rong.  Fortunately, he had a loyal subject called Ray Liang-fu.  Ray remonstrated with the king and said: “The royal family is in decline!”  Then he said the selected passage: “Alas! Duke of Rong covets monopoly and does not understand it is a great calamity.”  Duke of Rong liked to have a monopoly on all natural resources without understanding its dire consequences to the society.  “As all things on earth and under heaven create profits that benefit people and all creatures, a monopoly will produce many detriments.”  All creatures between heaven and earth depend on the profits and riches created from natural resources to survive.  If there is a monopoly, there will be inequity in the distribution of goods and resources, causing great detriments.  “People and all creatures on earth and under heaven have a need for them, how can anyone have a monopoly?”  Everyone needs to profit from natural resources.  How can anyone monopolize them?  “It will incite the wrath of the people.  To teach Your Majesty monopoly without preparing for such great calamity, can Your Majesty’s rule last long?”  A monopoly on all profits created from natural resources will infuriate many people.  Duke of Rong, not realizing its dire consequences, taught and abetted the king to profit (at the expenses of the people) through this devious means.   How can the king’s rule last for long?

我們看這句話出自《史記上》,這裡邊有一個典故,我們要把這個故事完整了解一下。在《史記》上記載,周厲王登位,貪圖財利,親近榮夷公。這個時候有一位忠臣叫芮良夫,就勸諫他說:「王室大概要衰微了吧!」為什麼?下邊就說到了這一句話。說到這句話,就是說『夫榮公好專利而不知大難』。這個榮夷公他喜歡獨佔利益,卻不知道會因此造成嚴重的社會問題。『夫利百物之所生也天地之所載也而有專之其害多矣』這個財利是天地之間萬物所依賴生存的資源,而要有獨佔的現象,造成資源分配不均,害處可就大了。『天地百物皆將取焉何可專也』因為大家都需要用到這些財利,怎麼可以獨佔?『所怒甚多而不備大難以是教王王其能久乎』專有獨佔財利,所惹怒的人一定會很多,他這樣做卻不知道有大的患難、大的禍患,還用這個方法、這樣的道理來教唆君王,這個君王的統治怎麼能夠持久?

 

The counsel and remonstration of Ray Liang-fu was very sincere and direct.  It can be said that he was admonishing the king under the risk of losing his life.  This had been the proper way or the Dao of loyal subjects in ancient times.  They would not ignore their ruler’s mistakes without censure.  To do otherwise, they would sink into unrighteousness, losing their Dao.  Ray advised:  “As a king, Your Majesty should foster productions, develop the land, distribute equitably to all classes of people, from high to low, so that Heaven (Nature), people, and all things and creatures are in harmony and in their proper places.  Even thusly, Your Majesty should be prudent and apprehensive daily of the incurrence of people’s grudges and grievances.  Instead, Your Majesty is now wishing to have a monopoly (and barred people to profit from communal forests and lakes[3]).  How can this work?  The common people who monopolize profits from natural resource are called poachers.  If Your Majesty does this, the number of people taking refuge under your wings will decline.  If Your Majesty relies on Duke of Rong to rule, Zhou dynasty will definitely collapse.” 

這裡邊芮良夫的勸諫非常地誠懇、也非常地直接,可以說是不惜冒著生命的危險來勸諫君王這是古代忠臣一貫的做法,不能看著君王做錯事不去勸告,陷他於不義。他還接著說:「作為君王,應該獎勵生產、開發地力,公平分配給上上下下的人,使自然,也就是天、人和萬事萬物都各得其分。即使如此,還要每天警惕,怕招來怨恨。但是現在您卻要獨佔財利,這怎麼能夠行得通?普通人獨佔財利,還被稱為是強盜。您如果幹這樣的事,歸附您的人就會很少了。榮夷公若被重用,周朝必定會衰敗。」

 

Unfortunately, King Li of Zhou dynasty would not listen to his advice and still appointed Duke of Rong as chancellor to administer governmental affairs.  King Li of Zhou ruled with tyranny.  He was arrogant, cruel, and extravagant[A2] .  All the people living in the capital animadverted on his despotic ways.  At this time, Duke Mu of Zao (died 780 BC)[4] came to censure him saying: “People can’t stand Your Majesty’s decrees any more!”  King Li was furious and found a wizard from the duchy of Wei (or state of Wei) and asked him to spy on people who criticized him.  Whomever the wizard reported as having animadverted on him, he would kill them immediately.  Consequently, the public discussed less and less of political affairs and the dukes no longer sought his audience.

但是可惜的是周厲王卻沒有聽從勸諫,還是任用榮夷公為卿士,讓他主管國事。周厲王施行暴虐的統治,奢侈驕傲,國都的民眾都紛紛議論他的過失。這個時候,召公(也就是召公)又來勸諫他了。他說:「民眾都忍受不了您的政令了」。結果厲王很惱怒,就找到一個從衛國來的巫師,叫他去監視那些指責自己的人,只要這個巫師來報告有誰誹謗自己,便立刻把他殺掉。於是議論朝政的人愈來愈少了,諸侯也不來朝見了。

 

King Li’s rule became more severe to the point whereas “people would not dare to speak and greet each other on the street by exchanging a look.”  Nobody dared to talk and when they met on the streets they would just look at each other as greetings.  This made King Li very happy and boasted to Duke Mu of Zao saying: “I have quieted all complaints; the public dare not slander me now.”  Duke Mu replied: “It is just a blockage (an obstruction).  The damage of banning people’s speech is more dreadful than blocking the flow of water.  If water’s navigation is blocked, it overflows, and the damage to the people caused by flooding will be severe.  The same is with people.  Therefore, the way to manage water is to channel its flow.  The way to mange people is to let them speak their minds.”  The advice given by Duke Mu of Zao—“The damage of banning people’s speech is more dreadful than blocking the flow of water” — became a famous saying in history.  Duke Mu admonished King Li saying that he just gagged people.  The consequence of censoring people’s speech is more severe than blocking the flow of rivers.  When river’s navigation is blocked by the accumulation of mud or levee, once it overflows or breaks the levee, the flooding will cause great damages to people’s properties and their lives.  Censoring people’s speech has the same effect.  Those who are good at controlling flood will dredge the river to let it flow freely (without any blockage).  The governance of people should be the same; also let people speak their minds and express their opinions.  People’s speech is just like the rivers and mountains on earth[A3] .  People’s wealth and livelihood come from mountains, forests, and rivers.  It is also like the different types of geographic landscapes on earth, such as the highlands, the low basins, the wetlands, and the dry deserts, all of them can produce the food and clothing people need.  To let people have freedom of speech and discuss politics can reflect the good or bad of government policies.  People will say whatever they think.  Their mature and constructive opinions can be adopted and implemented.  If a ruler puts a ban on people’s speech, how many people will support such a ruler?

厲王更加嚴厲,結果怎麼樣?結果「國人莫敢言,道路以目」。也就是國都的民眾都沒有人敢講話了,在路上相遇時,也只能是互相用眼色示意一下。這下周厲王高興了,得意告訴召公說:「你看,我能消除非議了,民眾都不敢亂講話了。」召公說:「是障之也。防民之口,甚於防水。水壅而潰,傷人必多,民亦如之。是故為水者,決之使導;為民者,宣之使言。」召公這句話也是成為歷史名言了。他說,你這不過是塞住民口罷了。堵住人民的嘴巴比堵住河流的後果還要嚴重。河水堵塞蓄積,一旦決口,受到傷害的人一定很多。堵住民眾的口也是如此。所以,擅於治水的人要疏通河道,使水流通暢;治理民眾的人,要讓民眾發泄,讓他們講話。民眾有嘴巴,正像大地有山河,人類的財富用度都是從這裡產出;又好像大地有高低乾濕等各種類型的土地,人類的衣服食物也都是從這裡產出。放手讓民眾講話,政事的好壞得失都可以從這裡反映出來。民眾想在心裡,說在嘴上,成熟的意見便予以推行。若是堵住他們的嘴巴不讓他們發表意見,那麼支持您的能有幾個人呢?

 

King Li still would not listen.  Thereafter, nobody dared to speak.  Three years later, people revolted and exiled King Li to a place called Zhi.  When his son, King Xuan, ascended the throne, he reestablished order in the government, emulated the paradigm set by his ancestors, the first four Kings of Zhou dynasty Wen, Wu, Cheng and Kang.  All the dukes returned to pay homage to Zhou dynasty.  This is the complete story behind the Third Passage.

厲王仍然不聽,於是國內沒有人敢說話了。三年之後,大家都聯合起來反叛,襲擊周厲王。周厲王就逃跑到彘地。宣王即位了,他整頓政事,效法文武、成康的遺風,結果諸侯重新歸附周朝。這就是這一典故的全部內容。

 

There are at least four edifying points in this story.  First, why King Li would listen to Duke of Rong but not his loyal subject Ray Liang-fu and turned a blind ear to the famous advice of Duke Mu of Zao?  In the Book of Changes, the first hexagram, symbolized by the Heaven, stated:  “Notes of the same key respond to one another; creatures of the same nature seek one another.[5]”  People of like virtues will naturally team together to work towards a common goal.  The personality of a ruler determines the kind of people s/he will use.  The level of the ruler’s cultivation determines with whom s/he is compatible.  “From the Son of Heaven down to the mass of the people, all must consider personal cultivation as the root of everything[6],” so it is stated in the Great Leaning.  When the rulers have cultivated their persons, they will find that to achieve family order, state governance, and world peace are not that difficult.

看了這一個典故,給了我們至少有四點啟發。第一、為什麼周厲王任用榮夷公,而不聽芮良夫、召穆公的勸諫?《易經》上說「同聲相應,同氣相求」志同道合的人就自然會走到一起。君主自己是什麼樣的人,他也就喜歡任用什麼樣的人;自己的修身達到什麼樣的程度,也會感召什麼樣的人來到自己的身邊。所以《大學》上說:「自天子以至於庶人,壹是皆以修身為本。」所以君主自己的身修好了,就會發現齊家治國平天下也不是很難的事了。

 

There is another pertinent story in Qunshu Zhiyao, “Lei-zi[A4] .”  Prince Zhung of Chu (died 591 BC), one of the Five Hegemons who tried to wrest control of China from the Zhou dynasty[7], asked Zhan Ho on governance.  Master Zhan replied:  “Why Your Highness understands the cultivation of the person but not the governance of the state?”  Prince Zhung of Chu said reverently:  “I have the privilege to pay respect in the ancestral temple and to rule the state.  I wish to learn how to protect them.”  We can see from this dialogue that Prince Zhung of Chu was a very responsible ruler; wholeheartedly aspiring to make Chu a great state so that his people could live in peace and prosperity.  Master Zhan answered:  “I have never heard of a self-disciplined ruler whose state is chaotic or in disorder.  Neither have I heard of an undisciplined ruler whose state is peaceful and in order.  Thus the root cause of good governance is in the ruler’s personal cultivation and anything else is secondary.  Things secondary to personal cultivation, I dare not speak of them to Your Highness.”  Prince Zhung said:  “Greatly! You have put it well.”  From this story we can discern that the majority of the contents in Qunshu Zhiyao, this compendium on the essentials of good governance, are relevant to the personal cultivation of leaders and politicians, teaching them how to cultivate the person.  There is also a rationale to the arrangement of Qunshu Zhiyao 360 as it begins with the Dao of Rulers.  The first heading under the Dao of Rulers is Personal Cultivation, and Personal Cultivation begins with the Prohibition of Covetousness.  This is in accordance with the order of governance when the ancients ruled their kingdoms. 

所以在《群書治要.列子》上,就有這樣一個典故,楚莊王來向詹何請教說:「怎麼治國?」詹何怎麼回答的?詹何說:「您為什麼明白修身卻還不明白治國的道理呢?」楚莊王很真誠說:「我得以尊奉宗廟、擁有整個國家,我希望學會怎樣來守護它。」從這裡我們也看到,楚王他是一個非常有責任心的人,一心一意想把楚國治理得強大,讓百姓安居樂業。詹何回答說:「我不曾聽說過君主自身修養很好而他的國家卻沒有秩序的,也不曾聽說過君主自身修養不好而他的國家卻安定的。所以,根本就在於自身修養,像治理國家這種次要的事情,次於修身的事情,我就不敢對您講了。」楚莊王聽了之後說:「你講得很好。」所以我們看到在《群書治要》這本講治國理政的思想精粹的書中,有大量的篇幅都是告訴在位者、從政者應該如何修身。所以我們看到《群書治要360》的編排也非常地有道理。首先講君道,君道的第一個內容就是修身,修身又從戒貪來開始。這個是非常合乎古人治天下的次第的。

 

If rulers are sagacious, they will definitely use sagacious courtiers.  In the Book of Documents, it stated:  “Rulers transcending their generations will use subjects who surpassed their generations; subjects surpassing their generations will accomplish deeds that transcend their generations.”  After the 18th CPC National Congress, our government’s anti-corruption policy has turned over a new leaf and is greatly effective.  It is all because the paradigm set by our leader, Chairman Xi, who started the anti-extravagance reform with himself first and rigorously practiced frugality.  When he was touring the South, he would only stay in three-star motels and eat cheap buffets.  His actions stimulated the leading cadres to emulate his examples one after another.  He also used those truly sagacious and honest cadres.  We can foresee that his future accomplishments will be outstanding.  “Rulers transcending their generations” means that not every generation can produce a sagacious ruler and not every generation can have outstanding accomplishments.  This is also the reason why we have confidence in our current national leader.

一個君主如果是賢德的君主,他也必然會用賢明的臣子。所以《書經》上說:「有不世之君,必能用不世之臣;用不世之臣,必能立不世之功。」在十八大之後,我們看到國家的反腐倡廉面貌一新,取得了很大的效果,這是什麼原因?原因就是我們的領導者習主席,自己率先垂範,能夠從自身做起,反對奢靡之風,厲行節儉。他到南方去考察的時候,只住三星級的賓館,吃簡單的自助餐,他這樣來做、來力行,下面的領導幹部一看,也都紛紛效法。而且他也能夠用那個真正賢德的、能夠廉潔的臣子,所以也一定能夠立不世之功。這個「不世之君」就是不是世代都出現的君主,也不是每一個時代都可建立的功勛。這也是我們對國家領導人有信心的原因。

 

The second edifying point from the story behide the Third Passage is that leaders must eradicate greed; especially those who are local administrators.  They should not compete for profits against the people.  If they were to monopolize profits, they will invoke the wrath of the people and even incur their own ruination.  The reason Taizong of Tang dynasty could establish the Reign of Zhenguan cannot be separated from his familiarity with the teachings in Qunshu Zhiyao.  From the recorded dialogues in the Essentials of the Reign of Zhenguan, we have discovered that Taizong had indeed rigorously implemented these teachings in his governance.

從這裡邊我們得到的第二個啟示,那就是在位者一定要戒止貪心,特別是為民父母者,不能夠與民爭利。如果想獨佔財利,必定會招致民怨,甚至導致滅亡。唐太宗李世民之所以能夠創下貞觀之治,和他熟讀《群書治要》這本書密不可分。所以我們看《貞觀政要》上記載著唐太宗李世民對臣子的談話,他確實是把這些教誨厲行在治國之中。

 

For example in the Essentials of the Reign of Zhenguan, “Discourse on Avarice and Niggardliness,” it recorded a dialogue between Taizong and his courtiers.  In the first year of Zhenguan, Taizong told his courtiers:  “Anyone who owns a pearl worthy of a city would treasure it.   If that person uses it to shoot birds, it will be a misfortune[A5] , won’t it?  However, people’s lives are more precious than such a pearl.  Those officials who will immediately forget their fear of punishment by law and accept the bribes of gold and silver bars, luxurious items, and properties do not understand the preciousness[A6]  of life.  As a precious pearl external to life should not be used to shoot birds; how can anyone gamble life which is more precious than pearls for properties?  If all our government officials can be responsible and loyal, act with integrity and justice to benefit our country and people, they will get any position and noble ranks they desire.  They do not need to resort to bribery in order to acquire wealth and high ranks.  Once their dirty money and proceeds of crime are exposed, they will be executed.  Their malfeasance is really absurd.”  Taizong’s metaphor of “shooting birds with precious pearls” created a very graphic image.  It is a metaphor to ridicule corrupt officials, who do not treasure their government positions, exchanged power for private gains, took bribes, and ended in death.   Indeed, the loss is not worth the gain.

譬如說在《貞觀政要.論貪鄙》上就記載貞觀初年,太宗皇帝對侍臣們說:「如果人有一顆明珠,一個價值連城的明珠,那沒有不視之為寶貴的,但是如果拿著寶珠去射鳥雀,豈不是很可惜嗎?而人的性命是比明珠要珍貴得多的,但一看到金銀錢帛而不畏懼法律的懲罰,立即就收受,這就是不懂得愛惜性命。明珠是身外之物,尚且不能拿去射鳥雀,怎麼能用比明珠更加貴重的生命來換取財物呢?群臣如果能夠盡忠職守、正直公道,有益於國家、有利於百姓,那麼官職、爵位立即就可得到,一律不必用這種受賄的手段求取榮華富貴,隨便收受財物。贓物、賄賂暴露以後,自身也將受到損害,確實是很可笑的。你看,他在這裡用了一個很形象的比喻,就是「明珠射鳥雀」。來比喻一個人拿著自己的官位不珍惜,去貪污受賄、以權謀私,結果確實是得不償失。

 

In the second year of Zhenguan, Taizong told his courtiers: “I have said before those who are greedy do not understand the proper way to be rich.  For example, the government officials ranked fifth and above already have ample income.  If they accepted others’ bribes, they only gained several thousands dollars more than their annual salaries.  However, if they are caught, they will lose their positions and their future income.  How can this be the proper way to be rich?  They are penny wise and dollar foolish.  Their loss is more than their gain.  In the past the prime minister of Lu, Gongyi Xiu, loved to eat fish but never accepted others’ gift of them.”

貞觀二年,唐太宗又對侍臣說:「我曾經說過,貪婪的人不懂得愛財的道理。例如,五品以上的官員,俸祿優厚,一年所得的收入本來就很多。如果接受別人的財物賄賂,不過得到幾萬錢而已。然而,一旦醜行暴露,就會被革去官職和俸祿,這樣做哪裡是懂得愛財的道理?他們是因小失大,得不償失。過去魯國的丞相公儀休很喜歡吃魚,但從不接受別人送的魚。」

 

Qunshu Zhiyao has also selected this story of Gongyi Xiu[A7] He was the prime minister of Lu and had been selected in Shiji (Records by the Grand Historian) as one of the “Upright Officials.”  He was very honest and strict with himself and his subordinates.  He had never competed with the people for profits either.  Interestingly, he had a craving for fish and people would gift him with such.  However, he would look at them and send his servants to return them.  His younger brother was puzzled and asked him why he would return them.  Gongyi replied:  “It is just because I love to eat fish that I cannot accept the gift of them.  I am the prime minister.  I have a craving for fish.  With my salary I can easily afford them daily.  Why don’t I just buy them myself?  If I were to accept their gifts, sooner or later I will be sent to jail for bribery.  Will I be able to eat fish in jail?  Will they gift me with fish anymore?”  Gongyi Xiu was very wise.

這個也是在《群書治要》上的一個典故。魯國的宰相公儀休,他為官很清廉,而且對屬下要求也很嚴格,從來不與民爭利。他有一個嗜好就是特別喜歡吃魚,結果有人就會投其所好,送了他很多魚。但是他看了一下,又派人給送回去了。這個人就覺得奇怪,他說,我知道您愛吃魚,所以特意選了一些上好的魚送給您,為什麼您不接受,又給送回來了?公儀休怎麼說的?公儀休說:「正是因為我愛吃魚,所以我今天才不能接受您的魚。為什麼?我愛吃魚,我是宰相,我自己去買不就好了嗎?但是如果我今天接受了您的魚,改一天因為貪污受賄被抓到監獄裡,當我坐到監獄的時候,請問我還能再吃到魚嗎?還有誰再送給我魚?」你看,公儀休他很明智。

 

To be able to cite the story of Gongyi Xiu demonstrates that Taizong had indeed read widely.  He concluded:  “Never accept other’s gifts of fish can let him have fish for a long time.  Besides, a greedy king will lose his kingdom; a greedy subject will lose his life.”  The last verse also became a famous saying.  If the monarch is greedy, the monarchy will perish.  If the subject is greedy, let’s change “subject” with today’s terminology--if the leading cadres are greedy, they will definitely lose their lives.  Taizong also quoted many historical events and numerous examples to warn us not to do such things that will result in higher losses than the gain.  From this dialogue we have observed that Taizong as an emperor often warned his courtiers and other court officials to take such lessons as a warning.

所以,唐太宗他確實也是博覽群書,在這裡就引用了這一個典故,並且得到了這樣一個結論,說:「從不接受別人送的魚,他就得以長久吃得上魚。且為主貪,必喪其國;為臣貪,必亡其身。」這句話也成為一名言了。他說如果國君很貪婪,必定亡國;做臣子的,用我們現在話,做領導的很貪婪,必定喪命。他還舉了歷史上的一些故事說,這樣的例子不勝枚舉,告訴我們不要做這樣得不償失的事。所以你看唐太宗做為皇帝,也是時時警告身邊的侍臣還有朝廷百官,讓他們都引以為戒。

 

In the fourth year of Zhenguan, Taizong told his subjects: “Your Sovereign is vigilant every day.  Not only do I worry and care about my people, I also want all of you to keep your wealth and ranks.  The heaven is high, the earth is immense.  Your Sovereign has been prudent, reverent, and fearful of heaven and earth.  If all of you can be law-abiding the way I am reverent and fearful of heaven and earth, the common people will be able to live in peace and happiness, and all of you will have life-long happiness as well.  The ancients said:  ‘Abundant wealth erodes the will of the wise; abundant wealth instigates the transgressions of the poor’. ” The ancients had said it well.  “Abundant wealth erodes the will of the wise” mean that people may be wise but with abundant wealth, they will become supercilious, extravagant, indulge in depravity, and rest on their laurels.  They will not be as resolute as before in their aspirations for advancement.  It is a truism that “since ancient times, all noble houses had humble beginnings.”  Many successful people lived in poverty when young.  They were able to strive for success.  Their aspirations were not contaminated by decadence and the resilience of their will was tempered with poverty.  “Abundant wealth instigates the transgressions of the poor” mean that if foolish people were to have great wealth, they will use the money to do all kinds of evils.  In Buddhist terminology, they will create bad karma for themselves. For example, they would kill hundreds of lives in a single meal.  Their bad karma is truly an unnecessary tragedy.  They could have used their abundant wealth to benefit their country and other people, to propagate traditional culture; thus accumulating greater merits or good karma for themselves.  Instead, they indulge in depravity and decadence.  Generally speaking, their wealth cannot last for more than three generations, or even less.  Some will become bankrupt before their life is over.

在貞觀四年,太宗對公卿說:「朕整天都不敢懈怠,不但憂念、愛惜百姓,也想讓你們能夠長守富貴。天高地厚,朕長久以來小心謹慎以敬畏天地。你們如果能小心遵守法令,總是像朕敬畏天地那樣,不但百姓安樂,自己也可常得快樂。古人說:『賢者多財損其志,愚者多財生其過。』」這句話說得很好。「賢者多財損其志」,你看,雖然有智慧的人,但是財富一多了,可能就會驕奢淫逸,過著放縱的生活,不思進取。他這個志願就不像以前那麼堅定了。所以「自古公卿出白屋」,很多的有成就的人,年輕的時候生活都很貧苦,為的是讓自己長守這種清白的志向,能夠磨鍊自己的意志。「愚者多財生其過」,沒有智慧的人,給了他很多的錢,結果拿著這個錢無惡不作。用我們現在話說就是造業,最後一餐飯殺掉了幾百條的生命。你看,這個是很冤枉的事,不知道拿著錢去做利國利民的事、弘揚傳統文化的事,為自己累積更大的福報,反而拿著這個去驕奢淫逸,結果不僅是富不過三代,甚至是富不過當代,這一生還沒有過完,就已經敗落了。

 

Taizong continued saying:  “This proverb should be taken as a warning.  If people follow their desires and take bribes, they will violate the law and harm the people.  Even if they are not caught yet, won’t they be apprehensive constantly?  Many would die from such intense apprehension.”  Those corrupt officials are constantly in fear of being exposed.  When they hear sirens, they would think:  “Alas! Are the police coming for me?  Am I going to be caught?”  Such pressure and anxiety will cause them to be agitated.  Many premature deaths are closely connected to such unnecessary pressure and worry.

所以他說:「這話可以引以為戒。如果徇私貪污,不但破壞國法,傷害百姓,即使事情沒有敗露,心中怎能不常懷恐懼?恐懼多了也有因此而導致死亡的。」貪官心裡都是戰戰兢兢,只要外邊警笛聲一響,他就想:「哎喲,不知道是不是來找我的、來抓我的?」你看他這種壓力、緊張,讓自己的身心都不得安定,所以很多人確實是英年早逝,和這種不必要的壓力也是密切相關。

 

“How can superior people ruin themselves, wreck their families, and bring shame to their descendants due to their avarice for material goods?”  Corruption not only harms us but also brings shame to our family and posterity once we are imprisoned.   Wherever they go, people will comment behind their backs and say:  “You know somebody in their family took bribes and was put in jail.”  From Taizong’s words we can discern that he was truly a wise ruler.  Not only did he say those words, but he also practiced what he preached.  From the following two stories we will find that Taizong took the lead and set himself as an example for his subjects to emulate.

「大丈夫豈能為了貪求財物,而害了自己的身家性命,使子孫總是蒙受羞恥?」不僅僅害了自己你看,一旦鋃鐺入獄,自己的家人、兒孫都跟著蒙羞走到哪裡,人家都在背後指著說:「你看他們家的誰誰誰,因為貪污受賄,被關到監獄裡了。」所以唐太宗他是一個真正明理的人,他自己不僅是這樣說的,也是這樣去率先垂範、身體力行的。這也從兩個故事中可以看到。

 

In the seventh year of Zhenguan, Taizong toured the country and visited Pu-zhou for an inspection of the place.  The governor of Pu-zhou at the time was Zhao Yuan-kai.  Governor Zhao was a former subject of the preceding Sui dynasty.  In the twelfth year of Daye, Emperor Yang of Sui visited Jiangdu, today’s Yang-zhou, Zhao provided fine wine and delicacies to Emperor Yang, Queen Xiao, and the emperor’s favorite concubines. The royal family was drinking wine like water.  Zhao was immediately promoted to mayor of Jiangdu due to his “offerings of exotic foods.”  Since his fawning won him favors with the emperor of Sui, he decided to repeat this tactic.  He ordered the elders to wear yellow chiffon and lined up the roadsides as welcoming groups.  He lavishly decorated the official residences, the street buildings, and the city walls of Pu-zhou.  In addition, he procured hundreds of lambs and thousands of fish to be offered to the royal family.

在貞觀七年的時候,唐太宗駕幸蒲州,就是到蒲州這個地方去參觀考察。當時的蒲州刺史趙元楷是隋朝的舊臣。在隋大業十二年,隋煬帝遊江都的時候也就是今天的揚州的時候,就是趙元楷負責供應美酒、飲食。煬帝與蕭后以及寵幸的美女酒杯不離口,所以趙元楷也因「獻異味」被提升為江都郡丞,初嘗「媚主」的甜頭。現在唐太宗又來蒲州巡視,他就故伎重演,他是怎麼做的?他令老年人穿著黃紗單衣,準備在路旁迎接拜見皇帝,並且大肆修飾官署的房屋,修飾、裝飾城樓城牆以討好太宗。除此之外,他還暗地飼養了幾百頭的羊、幾千條的魚,準備送給皇親貴戚。

 

When Taizong learned of this, he summoned Zhao and castigated him saying:  “I have inspected the regions between the Yellow River and the Luo River and toured several prefectures.  All my sustenance was provided by local officials.  You have now procured lambs, fish, and decorated the government residences following the decadent customs of the demised Sui dynasty, which should not be practiced any more.  You should understand my meaning and reform your old habits.”  Taizong said those words to caution Zhao who was used to be obsequious and not a decent person.  Taizong’s castigation made him contrite and fearful.  Zhao could not eat and after several days he died.  From this story we can understand why the Sui dynasty only lasted for 37 years and the reason Taizong could restore social order in a short time and created the flourishing Reign of Zhenguan.  He learned from the lessons of the classics and understood their core values.

唐太宗知道這件事後是怎麼做的?他把趙元楷招來並且斥責說:「我巡察黃河、洛水之間的地區,經過了幾個州,凡是用度所需,都是由官府的物資提供。你給我們飼養羊、魚,雕飾庭院屋宇,這種行為無疑是已滅亡的隋朝的壞風氣,現在不能再實行了,你應該理解我的心意,改變舊習。」這是因為趙元楷他已經習慣於阿諛奉承,為人很不正派,所以太宗就說這樣的話來警他。結果趙元楷聽後又慚愧、又害怕,幾天不吃東西而默默死去了。所以你看,從這裡我們就知道了為什麼隋朝很快就滅亡,而唐太宗能夠在短短的時間就恢復安定,創下了貞觀之治。就是因為他自己能夠真從古籍之中汲取經驗教訓,明白道理。

 

In the tenth year of Zhenguan, the deputy minister of Internal Affairs[8], Guan Wan-ji, reported that “silver mines had been discovered in the big mountains of Xuan-zhou and Rao-zhou.  If excavated, the mines can produce millions of silver dollars annually.”  Upon hearing such reports, leaders who are greedy and chase after profits will immediately order their excavation and approve such proposals.  However, Taizong of Tang who truly understood the classics said: “I am the exalted Son of Heaven and lack of nothing.  What I do need are proposals of good policies that benefit the people.  Moreover, how can a few million dollars’ annual increase in national revenues compare to the recruitment of a sagacious and talented subject?”  What Taizong said are in complete accord with the teachings of the saints and sages.  The ancients did not regard gold, silver, and jewels as precious treasures but deemed talents as precious jewels.  Taizong continued with a reprimand:  “You did not recommend any sagacious and capable persons, propose any good policies, nor did you expose any evil doers to intimidate the local bullies and the powerful nobles.  You only talk about how to make profits by mining silvers.  In the past, the legendary emperors Yao and Shun earned their good reputations for millenniums by throwing away Jade disks into the mountains or deep forests and sinking the jewels into the abyss.  The emperors Huan and Lin of the later Han dynasty earned their bad reputations as fatuous rulers in recent history by chasing after profits and ignoring righteousness.  By your actions, are you putting me in the category of emperors Huan and Lin?”  From this dialogue, we can perceive that the paradigms of sagacious rulers are indeed different from the ordinary.  Besides issuing this rebuke, Taizong suspended Guan and ordered him to stay home.

的時候,治書侍御史權萬紀上書說:「宣州、饒州的大山有很多銀坑,如果開採出來,利潤很大,每年可收入銀錢幾百萬貫。」你看一般的領導者聽到這樣的建議會怎麼樣?如果是貪財好利之人,一定會非常高興,說他的建議好,馬上去開採。但是唐太宗確實是熟讀經書,他怎麼說的?他說:「我貴為天子,這些東西一點兒也不缺乏。我缺乏的是什麼?我需要的是什麼?我只需要有好的建議,來推行善事,以有益於百姓。更何況國家增加幾百萬貫的錢,怎麼比得上得到一個德才兼備的人才呢?」這全都是古聖先賢的教誨古人不以金銀財寶為寶,而是以人才為寶。他接著說:「你不推舉賢能,建議善事,也不揭發奸邪之人,使權貴豪強震驚敬肅,只會說出出租出售銀坑以獲取利益的事。過去堯舜把璧玉扔進山林,把寶珠沉沒於深淵,因而美名被稱頌千古。後漢的桓帝、靈帝卻重利輕義,是近代有名的昏庸之君。你這樣做,是要把我當作桓帝、靈帝嗎?」你看看,從這一個對話之中,我們就能夠看出這個明君的風範確實與眾不同。不僅如此,他當天就勒令權萬紀停職回家。

 

In the Analects, Confucius said:  “If rulers were not covetous, even if they reward people to steal, they would not do so.”  When the rulers are not greedy, even if they reward people for stealing, they will not do so.  Since whatever the leaders do the followers will emulate, if rulers are greedy and covet curios, profits, and properties, the whole society will compete for profits.  From these stories we can conclude that it was no coincidence that Taizong could govern Tang dynasty well, create unprecedented prosperity during his reign, and become the “Emperor in a Millennium.”

在《論語》上說:「苟子之不欲,雖賞之不竊。」如果在上位者沒有貪欲之心,你就去獎賞人們,人們都不會去偷盜的。如果在上者特別喜歡這些珍奇之物,喜歡貪財好利,那麼上行而下效,整個社會老百姓也都會競相去追逐利益。所以你看唐太宗他能夠把唐朝治理好,創下一代盛世,成為一代明君,確實不是偶然的。

 

In the sixteenth year of Zhenguan, Taizong told his courtiers:  “The ancients said, ‘Birds, fearing the branch they perched on was not high enough, would nest on the top of the tree.  Fish, fearing the waters they swam in were not deep enough, would live in the caves at the bottom of the ocean.’  Nonetheless, they were still caught by people because they could not resist temptations and were trapped by their greed.  Today’s officials once they accepted their appointments, occupied high positions and enjoyed good salaries should perform their duties with loyalty, honesty, and integrity.  They should be selfless and incorruptible to avoid personal ruinations and thusly maintain their ranks and wealth for a long time!  The ancient said:  ‘There are no doors to fortune and calamity except through the actions of each individual[9].’  People who test the law with their lives are covetous of profits and properties.  How are they different from those birds and fish?  All of you should ponder on this, take it as a caveat, and draw lessons from it.”

在貞觀十六年的時候,太宗又對侍臣說他說:「古人說飛鳥棲息於樹林,還唯恐樹木不夠高,所以要築巢於樹木的頂端;魚藏於水中,還唯恐水不夠深,所以穴居於水底洞穴之中。然而牠們仍然被人們所捕獲,什麼原因?就是因為牠們貪圖誘餌、抵不住誘惑的緣故。現在大臣接受任命,居高官、享厚祿,應當要履行忠誠正直,遵循清廉無私,這樣才沒有災禍,長守富貴!古人說:禍福無門,惟人自召。那些以身試法的,都是因為貪圖財利,這與那些魚和鳥又有什麼不同?你們應當好好想想這些話,做為借鑑和告誡。」

 

Confucius in the Classic of Filial Piety[10] told us that we should “be apprehensive, be cautious, as if on the brink of a deep abyss, as if walking on thin ice when others tempt us with luxury, beauties, rich, and fame.  When you are offered with money and beautiful girls, don’t believe you can walk on air and gloat: “I am a high-ranking official so they must show obsequious deference to me.”  Actually, they are just entrapping us with baits and hoping we will jump off the high cliff with one false step.  If we cannot hold onto our moral compass and slip into the trap, it will be too late for our regrets.  Regrets are predicated on “too late.”    A false step will cause eternal regrets.

你看古人告訴我們,面對財色名利,要有一種戰戰兢兢、如臨深淵、如履薄冰的態度。當別人拿著金錢美色來誘惑你的時候,你不要覺得自己很得意,你看我是高官,他們都來在諂媚巴結我。實際上,人家不過是拿著誘餌誘惑我們,希望我們跳下這個懸崖,結果我們把持不好,把腳踏進了這個懸崖,還想後悔,後悔後悔,那都是後面才悔,悔之晚矣,一失足而成千古恨。

 

Why can the study of Qunshu Zhiyao help in anti-corruption?  It is because after reading these historical lessons and the paradigm set by Taizong’s actualization of the teachings of the saints and sages, we will realize that the result of coveting for riches is like storing water in a bamboo-weaved basket full of holes.  The loss is indeed greater than the gain.  When we understand the meanings of the sayings“There are no doors to fortune and calamity except through the actions of each individual”; The family that accumulates goodness is sure to have superabundant happiness; and the family that accumulates evil is sure to have superabundant misery”—we dare not to be corrupt and take bribes even when the money is in front of us.  From these stories we have observed how Taizong, Lee Shi-min, applied the teachings in Qunshu Zhiyao.  They are applicable in the past and still applicable today.  They are applicable in China and also applicable in the West.

所以我們學習《群書治要》,為什麼對於我們反腐倡廉有幫助?你讀一讀這些歷史的教訓,你看一看唐太宗是怎麼樣身體力行聖賢教誨的,你就知道貪財好利的結果都是竹籃打水一場空,確實是得不償失。這裡邊說:「禍福無門,惟人自召。」「積善之家,必有餘慶;積不善之家,必有餘殃。」這些道理明白了,讓你去貪污受賄,把錢擺在你的面前,相信你也不敢去妄取了。這個就是我們看到唐太宗李世民他對《群書治要》的運用。這一句話在古代適用,在今天也適用;在中國適用,在西方也適用。

 

For example, in 2001 we have seen the infamous bankruptcy of Enron Corporation (“Enron”).  The Enron scandal was caused by the top management’s monopoly of corporate profits.  Before the scandal, Enron was ranked seventh in the Fortune Global 500 companies and reported revenues in billions of U.S. dollars.  We know that Western countries emphasized the establishment of corporate systems.  Their corporate systems seemed to be reasonable.  Companies will hire a CEO to run the business.  CEOs are paid with high salaries plus bonuses in company’s stocks to motivate them to work hard for company’s profits.

譬如說我們看到,在二00一年的時候,有一個著名的公司叫安然公司,結果突然破。為什麼破產的?其實根本原因就是那些在位者、公司的領導者想獨佔財利而導致的。在二00一年的時候,安然公司是世界五百強公司的第七位,它的營業額有上億美元,可以說是實力非常雄厚的一個公司。這樣的一個公司為什麼說破產就破產了?我們知道在西方國家,他們很重視制度建設,他們的制度看似很合理要聘請一個公司的CEO首席執行官,光給他工資是不夠的,還必須持有公司的股份,這樣才能調動他的積極性,使他願意為公司的利益去打拼。

 

However, a company’s growth is similar to the vicissitudes of life with ups and downs.  When company’s profits are low, the prices of the company’s stocks will go down, which in turn affect the bonuses of the CEOs.  Therefore, these smart guys, wishing to guarantee the performance of the company stock so that their bonus income would not incur losses, started to fabricate company profits.  In a short few years, they falsified U.S. $600 millions in financial records and covered up $2.9 billions in company losses.  In addition, the 29 members of the board of directors, holding 1,730,000 shares of Enron stocks, profited U.S. $1.1 billions.

但是我們知道,一個公司的發展也像一個人的成長一樣,有起有伏,有上升的時候,也有下降的時候。當公司的經營效果不是很好的時候,這個公司的股票就不會增長了,這樣就會影響CEO的收入。股票不增長怎麼辦?這些聰明人就想辦法了,他想了什麼辦法?為了保證自己的收益不受損失,這個公司沒有利潤,他就開始做假帳創造收益。結果怎麼樣?結果他們在短短的幾年時間,為公司做了六億美元的假帳,掩蓋了二十九億美元的負債。這樣的話,他們董事會的二十九個成員,因為持有一百七十三萬股的安然公司的股票,獲益高達十一億美元。

 

When we divide U.S. $1.1 billions among the 29 board members, each member indeed made huge profits.  It is a great temptation but such a scandal will be exposed sooner or later.  After the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, the CEO was prosecuted and sentenced to jail for 165 years.  A board director killed himself with a gun in the expensive car he just bought after the scandal was exposed.  A lot of them did not get a chance to enjoy the U.S. $1.1 billions.

那我們想一想這十一億美元讓二十九個人分,每個人分的確實很多,誘惑也很大。但是這樣的醜行遲早會暴露。結果安然公司破產以後,它的CEO被判處有期徒刑一百六十五年。而它的另一位董事會的高級成員,剛用這個貪得的錢買了一輛豪華轎車,還沒等享受,這個事情就敗露,最後他在豪華轎車中開槍自殺,這十一億美元都沒有享受到。

 

Enron was once a Fortune Global 500 company operating under the American advanced corporate system.  So how did the scandal happen?  The answer is simple.  “Profits drive the wise crazy.”  People lose their common sense in front of profits and foolishly made irrational decisions.  After the scandal, Enron filed for bankruptcy, and the once Fortune Global 500 Company imploded in a day.

你看這世界五百強的企業,而且在美國這樣所謂的先進的企業制度之下,為什麼還會出現這樣的問題?原因很簡單,就是「利令智昏」。在利益的面前,人們就失去了冷靜,昏頭昏腦,最後做出了這樣不理智的行為。那麼事情敗露之後,安然公司就宣布破產,這個五百強的企業毀於一旦。

 

The Enron bankruptcy had been analogized to 911 of the American business world.  Not only because it was the largest case in the fabrication of financial records, but also because after its bankruptcy, the American government started to investigate the syndrome of fabricating financial records in multi-national corporations.  The investigation report shocked America.  Almost all multi-national corporations had experiences in fabricating financial reports.  For example, a famous telecommunication company had fabricated U.S. $3.8 billions in a year and a quarter.  Another famous multi-national corporation fabricated U.S. $6 billions in five years.  Each case is more serious than the other.  By 2002, the American government issued a report and indicated that the fabricated financial reports of American multi-national corporations caused the U. S. government to incur economical losses in the amount of U.S. $200 billions in 2001.

而安然公司的破產被譽為美國經濟界的「九一一」事件,並不是因為安然公司做假帳的數額最為巨大,而是因為在安然公司破產之後,美國政府開始重視、調查各大跨國企業做假帳的現狀結果不調查不要緊,一調查嚇了一大跳。為什麼?因為各大跨國企業幾乎都有做巨額假帳的經歷。譬如說,有一家著名的通訊公司,在一年零一個季度之內,偽造了三十八億美元的假帳。而另一家著名的國際企業,在五年之內做了六十億美元的假帳可以說是一個比一個更嚴重。到二00二年的時候,美國政府發表了一個報告,在這個報告中指出:二00一年美國各大企業因為這些假帳,給美國政府造成的經濟損失是兩千億美元。

 

From the Enron case we understood why the Subprime Mortgage Crisis will implode in America?  It is all due to people’s immorality, dishonesty, and avarice.  To recover from such financial crisis, government cannot just rely on one or two systems or policies.  People must understand the root cause and renounce their covetousness.  They must realize that “persistence in evil brings self-destruction.”

從這個案例中我們就明白了,為什麼金融危機會在美國爆發?這都是因為人們的貪欲人們的不誠信、不道德所導致的。所以要想從金融危機中恢復過來,那也不是靠一、二個制度、政策就能解決的,必須讓人們明白道理,戒止人的貪欲,要明白「多行不義必自斃」。

 

If we have learned these truisms earlier, we can avoid many pitfalls and mistakes in life so that we need not be remorseful later.  Our regrets had always been too late.  This is the second edifying points.

所以你看這些道理,如果我們現在人學了,及早學了,他的人生就可以走很多的彎路,很多的錯誤就可以避免,不至於到後面才悔,悔之晚矣。這個是給我們的第二點啟示。

 

The third edifying point is the famous quote:  “The damage of banning people’s speech is more dreadful than blocking the flow of water.”  In addition, the continued advice of Duke Mu:  “If water’s navigation is blocked, it overflows, and the damage to the people caused by flooding will be severe.  The same is with people.  Therefore, the way to manage water is to channel its flow.  The way to mange people is to let them speak their minds.”  If rulers censored people’s speech, it is like blocking the flow of rivers.  Once it floods, the damage will be devastating.  The same principle can be applied to the governance of people.  Those who are good at flood control understand how to channel the water flow.  Those who are good at governing people will do everything to find ways to make people’s voice be heard by the government.  They will have open forums and good systems to let people express their views from the heart.

第三點啟示,就是這裡邊所說的「防民之口,甚於防水」。這句話也成為一個名言。後面還說「水壅而潰,傷人必多,民亦如之。是故為水者,決之使導;為民者,宣之使言。」就是你把老百姓的口給堵住,就像把這個洪水堵住一樣,危害很大。這個水流被堵塞了,如果一旦決口,傷害的人一定會很多,人民也是如此。所以善於治水的人,要懂得疏通水道;善於治理人民的人,一定要想方設法讓民眾的心聲得以上達,還要想方設法地設置好的措施、設置好的制度,使他們的心聲能夠表現出來。

 

In the Chronicles of Zhou[11], “Thirty-One Years of the Rule of Duke Xiang of Lu,” (572-542 BC), recorded the story of Zi-Chan (died 522 BC), prime minister of the duchy of Zhen, who would not destroy village schools.  Village schools also served as public gathering places for villagers to discuss political affairs in ancient times.  People of the duchy of Zhen would have recreational activities in the village school and debate over the good or bad of government policies.  The majordomo of Duke of Zhen, Ren-min, said to Prime Minister Zi-chan:  “How about let’s destroy the village school?”  Zi-chan replied:  “Why destroy it?  People gather there to discuss and debate the good or bad of government policies after tilling the land.  What they like, we implement; what they abhor, we rectify.  They are my teachers.  Why destroy the village school?  I have heard that doing our utmost in good will reduce grievances.  I have never heard of using authority to oppress grievances.  To censor speech is very easy, isn’t it?  However, censorship is like stopping the flow of rivers with levee.  The flooding of water once the levee breaks down will cause great damages to many people that I cannot salvage.  It is better to have a small opening to channel the water.  We might as well listen to people’s animadversions and take them as medicines for a cure.”  Upon hearing this, Ren-min replied:  “I now know that you truly have the acumen to accomplish great deeds.  This humble servant has no talent.  If we do as you say, it will not just benefit us, a few courtiers; but the sovereignty of Zhen can be supported.”  Upon hearing this, Confucius commented:  “Based on this dialogue, I would not believe anyone who criticizes Zi-chan as being malevolent.”  We can conclude that open-minded leaders would do their utmost to understand people’s views; to let people express their opinions from the heart; and not just censoring their speech and animadversions. 

在《左傳.襄公三十一年》有一個子產不毀鄉校的故事。這個鄉校就是古代鄉間的公共場所,既是學校,又是鄉人聚會議事的地方。鄭國人都到鄉校休閒聚會,並經常議論執政者施政措施的好壞。鄭國大夫然明就對子產說:「把鄉校毀了,怎麼樣?」子產說:「為什麼要毀掉?人們早晚幹完活回來到這裡聚一下,議論一下施政措施的好壞。他們喜歡的,我們就推行;他們討厭的,我們就改正。這是我們的老師。為什麼要毀掉它?我聽說盡力做好事以減少怨恨,沒有聽說過依權仗勢來防止怨恨的。很快制止這些議論不是很容易的嗎?然而那樣做就像堵塞河流一樣,河水大決口造成的損害,傷害的人一定會很多,我是挽救不了的;不如開個小口導流,不如我們聽取這些議論把它當作治病的良藥。」然明聽了之後說:「我從現在起才知道您確實可以成大事,小人確實沒有才能。如果真的這樣做,恐怕鄭國就有了依靠,豈止是有利於我們這些臣子!」孔子聽了這番話之後就說:「照這些話看來,人們說子產不仁,我不相信。」你看這些開明的領導者,都是想方設法地要了解百姓的心聲,要讓百姓把他們的建議傳達出來,而不是一味地把他們嘴巴堵住,不讓他們說話、發表建議。

 

This story also clarifies many people’s misconception of traditional culture that the Chinese are not democratic.  It is just the opposite.  The Chinese had believed in “people being the foundation of a country” since ancient times. Rulers put stress on listening to the voices of the people and adopting their suggestions.  Historically, there were many channels and political systems to accomplish this.  Open-minded rulers also had the courage to use subjects who had the audacity to admonish them.  They would listen to their animadversions and adopt their suggestions.  The story between Zhao Jan-zi (died 476 BC) and Zhou Sher was a classic example.

這個使我們很多人對傳統文化的誤解就可以解除;很多人認為中國人沒有民主,其實恰恰相反,中國人講「民本」,很注意讓民眾反映心聲,很注重汲取民眾的建議。在歷史上也有很多的制度,很多開明的領導者,他們也是要任用那些敢於犯直諫的臣子,聽取他們對自己的批評和意見。譬如說,我們所了解的趙簡子和周舍的故事就是一個典型。

 

According to the Exoteric Traditions of the Hán Version of the Poems, Zhao Jan-zi was the chancellor of Duke of Jin.  The story begins with his subordinate named Zhou Sher who stood outside his front gate for three days and nights.  Chancellor Zhao asked him:  “What do you want?  Why do you stand outside for three days and nights?”  Zhou replied:  “I don’t ask anything for myself.  I just want to be a subordinate who can follow you everywhere you go, record all you words and actions, especially your transgressions, and admonish you with impunity.”  Chancellor Zhao was very happy upon hearing this and allowed him the privilege to follow him everywhere and record his every word and action, especially his transgressions.

 

在《韓詩外傳》上記載著,趙簡子有一個臣子叫周舍,在他的門外站了三天三夜,趙簡子就派人去問,說你有什麼乞求嗎?為什麼在門外站了三天三夜?周舍就說,他說:「我別無乞求,只想做一個能夠犯直諫的臣子,每一天跟在您的身後,把你的一言一行、一舉一動,特別是你的過失給記錄下來。」趙簡子一聽很高興,從此以後他走到哪裡,周舍就跟到哪裡,很小心地把他的一言一行,特別是他的過失給記錄下來。

 

Unfortunately, Zhou Sher passed away shortly thereafter.  Once Zhao was drinking with other ministers and everyone was high and happy, but he laid his head on the table and started to cry.  Everybody stopped drinking, left their seats, and inquired:  “We understand that we have much misconduct.  Please tell us our mistakes.  Please give us your wise counsel.”  Zhao said:  “None of you have done anything wrong.  I just thought of my friend whose name is Zhou Sher.  He once told me that one thousand lamb skins are not worth a piece of the fox gland.  One thousand mediocre subjects cannot benefit me as one subject who had the audacity to admonish me.  Historically, the tyrannical king Zho of Shang dynasty censored his subjects and his dynasty perished.  The subjects of the sagacious king Wu of Zhou dynasty could point out his mistake to his face and Zhou dynasty flourished.  Ever since the death of Zhou Sher, I have not heard any criticisms of my mistakes.  I know I am not far away from my downfall.  This is why I am crying.”

但是沒有過多久,周舍過世了。有一次趙簡子在洪波台和諸大夫飲酒,大家都喝得很高興的時候,他卻趴在桌子上哭了起來。大家一看不敢再繼續飲酒了,紛紛離開坐席向他請教,說:「我們知道自己有過失,但是不知道自己錯在何處?還請您明示!」趙簡子說,他說:「諸位大夫都沒有什麼過失。我不過是想到了自己的一個朋友叫周舍,給我說過這樣一句話,他說一千張羊羔皮都不如一個狐腋有價值;一千個唯唯諾諾的臣子,都不如一個敢犯直諫的臣子對我有幫助。從歷史上看,你看商紂王的臣子都閉口不言了,所以商朝就滅亡了;而周武王的臣子卻可以當面指正他的過失,所以周朝就興盛起來了。但是自從周舍過世之後,我沒有聽到過自己的過失了,那我知道自己離滅亡的日子已經不遠了,所以我才哀泣!」

 

From this story, we can see that ancient leaders were very open-minded and knew to select subjects who could truly assist them.  They would do their utmost to exhort their suggestions and different views.  In addition, they would provide channels so that people’s opinions can reach the top officials and the decisions from the top will reflect the needs of the people.  Consequently, they would have the support of the people.

我們看了這樣的故事,就知道古代的領導者非常地開明他知道任用什麼樣的臣子對自己是真正有幫助,而且還想方設法的鼓勵臣子給他提意見,提出不同的建議。這樣才能夠使民眾的意見傳達到上面,上面的決策才能夠體現民心,受到人們的擁護。

 

The fourth edifying point from the background story of this Passage is based on the ending of the story, after King Li was exiled.  “King Xuan, ascended the throne, he reestablished order in the government, emulated the paradigm set by his ancestors, the first four Kings of Zhou dynasty: Wen, Wu, Cheng, and Kang.  All the dukes returned to pay homage to Zhou dynasty.”  Why is it that King Xuan can restore order and change social morés in such a short time?  The reason is very simple.  He set up moral education.  “To establish states and to govern people, ruler’s first priority is to educate the people.”  This is also why the kings of Wen, Wu, Cheng and Kang could establish a thriving Zhou dynasty.  They all ruled the dynasty well due to their emphasis on moral education.  As long as we focus on moral education and teach people to be ethical, the world will be peaceful and social order will be quickly re-established.

我們從這一個故事中得到的第四點啟示就是最後一句話,說「宣王即位,修政,法文、武、成、康遺風,諸侯復宗周」。周宣王即位之後,他整頓朝政,而且效法周文王、周武王、周成王、周康王的遺風。結果怎麼樣?諸侯又重新來向周朝來朝拜了。為什麼在短短的時間內,周宣王就改變了這個風氣?這個原因很簡單,就是因為興起了道德教化。「建國君民,教學為先」這文、武、成、康之所以能夠創下盛世,能夠把國家天下治理得好,就是因為他們重視道德教育。只要我們重視道德教育,把人教好,那麼天下太平,立刻也可以恢復安定。

 

Especially we have to mention a few years ago our eminent Venerable Master Chin Kung’s experiment in establishing a model town at his birthplace, Tongchi, in the province of Anhui.   Within a short two years, the townspeople were ethical and courteous; and the social moré completely changed for the better.  Their accomplishments attracted international focus.  Teachers were invited to report at UNESCO.  This wonderful experiment was attributed to our Master’s personal confidence in traditional culture and thorough understanding of the Chinese education on ethical relations and moral conducts.  He firmly believed in “Primordially, peoples self-natures were good. Since peoples true natures were innately good, they can be taught to be good and can be easily taught as well.  Currently, the elderly Master is also developing a multi-cultural model city in Toowoomba, Australia and has achieved excellent results to be reported to UNESCO soon.

特別是在前幾年,尊敬的上淨下空老法師在家鄉安徽省湯池縣建設和諧示範鎮,結果短短兩年時間就把人民教好了,社會風氣煥然一新。他們的這個成績引起了國際關注,他們還應邀到聯合國教科文組織去匯報經驗。這是什麼原因?這個就是因為老法師他本人,對於中國傳統倫理道德教育的經驗非常地通達、非常地有信心。所以他相信人「人之初,性本善」,人既然有本性本善,所以是可以教得好的,而且也是很好教的。現在老法師又在澳洲圖文巴建設多元文化示範市,也是取得了很好的效果,也即將到聯合國教科文組織去匯報經驗。

 

In addition, many of the Master’s students in the cities of Chao-zhou and Su-zhou are setting up branches of Academy of Virtues and Dao and running harmonious and happy businesses.  They all have many successful experiences which are without exceptions based on the concept that “Teaching is the First Priority.”  A priori, the crux of the matter is whether we have confidence in traditional Chinese culture.

此外,像老法師的學生在潮州、在蘇州興辦道德講堂、構建和諧幸福企業,都有很多成功的經驗。這些成功經驗無一例外的都是秉持了「教學為先」的理念,所以關鍵在於我們對傳統文化有沒有信心。

 

The famous British historian, professor Arnold Toynbee, after systematically analyzed the historical civilizations of myriads of countries in the world, he proposed the theory that “the future belongs to China.”  He opined that future is the time when Chinese culture will be disseminated globally.  Professor Toynbee, a Westerner, had great faith in traditional Chinese culture. How about us?  Indeed, it may be said that Westerners have many times more the confidence in traditional Chinese culture than we Chinese.  They are eager to learn and vigorously studying traditional Chinese culture.  As to us Chinese, although Chairman Xi had on numerous occasions stressed the importance of the propagation of traditional Chinese culture, many of us are still ambivalent.  Some even think that it is a regression, which indicates a total lack of confidence.

你看英國人,著名的歷史哲學家湯恩比教授,在系統研究了各個國家文明歷史的基礎上,提出了「未來屬於中國」的論斷,認為未來世界是中華文化得以普遍宣揚的世界。你看一個外國人對我們的中華傳統文化都深具信心,那我們自己呢?可以說現在確實外國人對中華文化的信心,比中國人自己還要強很多倍。外國人很熱衷學習、研究中華傳統文化,但是我們自己,儘管習總書記多次強調弘揚中華文化的重要性,但是仍有很多人半信半疑,甚至還認為我們在走回頭路,沒有信心。

 

The word “teaching” implies the following key questions:  what should we teach? How to teach? Who should teach?  In the future lectures we will probe these questions.  Today’s lesson will end here.  I welcome everyones corrections and criticisms due to my insufficiencies.  Thank you all!

這個「教」,教什麼、怎麼教,誰來教、怎麼教,都是很關鍵的問題。在我們今後的講座之中,也會一一給大家講述。我們今天的課就先講到這裡,不足之處,歡迎大家批評指正。謝謝大家。



[1] Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian) is a monumental history of ancient China and the world, finished around 109 BC, by the Han dynasty official Sima Qian, considered the father of Chinese historiography. Later generations refer to him as the Grand Historian (Chinese: 太史公; Tàishǐ Gōng or tai-shih-kung) for his monumental work; a work which in later generations would often only be somewhat tacitly or glancingly acknowledged as an achievement only made possible by his acceptance and endurance of punitive actions against him, including imprisonment, castration, and subjection to servility. The work covers the world as it was then known to Chinese and a 2500-year period from the age of the legendary Yellow Emperor to the reign of Emperor Wu of Han in the author's own time. The Recordsset the model for the 24 subsequent dynastic histories of China. Unlike Western historical works, the Records do not treat history as "a continuous, sweeping narrative," but rather break it up into smaller, overlapping units dealing with famous leaders, individuals such as heroes, assassins, and major topics of significance.

See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sima_Qian and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_of_the_Grand_Historian; visited on March 20, 2015.

 

 

[3] King Li was a corrupt and decadent king. To pay for his pleasures and vices, King Li raised taxes and caused misery among his subjects. It is said that he barred the commoners from profiting from the communal forests and lakes. He enstated a new law which allowed him to punish anyone, by death, who dared to speak against him.  See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Li_of_Zhou, visited on March 21, 2015.

 

[4] During the revolt, Duke Mu hid the crown prince in his home and sacrificed his son to die pretending to be the crown prince to pacify people’s wrath.  After King Li died, he helped the prince to the throne, who was King Xuan, the 11th king of Western Zhou dynasty.   See, http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8F%AC%E7%A9%86%E5%85%AC

 

[5] Translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/book-of-changes/qian

 

[6] Translation by James Legge.  See, http://ctext.org/liji/da-xue

 

[9] This prologue from the Treatise on Response of Rewards and Retribution has been attributed to Laozi.

 

[11] Chronicles of Zhou is traditionally attributed to Zhou Quiming, thus named Chronicles of Zhou.  It was published no later than 389 BC.  It is among the earliest Chinese works of narrative history, covering the period from 722 to 468 BC. It is one of the most important sources for understanding the history of the Spring and Autumn period (Chunqiu). Together with the Gongyang Zhuan and Guliang Zhuan, the work forms one of the surviving Three Commentaries on the Spring and Autumn Annals.  With its vivid and concise language, Zuo Zhuan is also a gem of classical Chinese prose. This work and the Shiji or Records of the Grand Historian, were regarded as the ultimate models by many generations of prose stylists in ancient China. See, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuo_Zhuan

 

 


 [A1]因為在習主席的辦公室裡有很多的照片,其中有一個書架放著他平時最喜歡讀的書,還添了幾部大部頭的書,這個就是指的《群書治要》。  This is not very clear to me.  I hope the translation is correct.

 [A2]王行暴虐侈傲,國人謗王。召公諫曰:「民不堪命矣。」王怒,得衛巫,使監謗者,以告則殺之。其謗鮮矣,諸侯不朝。

 [A3]

 

民之有口也,猶土之有山川也,財用於是乎出:

猶其有原隰衍沃也,衣食於是乎生。

口之宣言也,善敗於是乎興。

行善而備敗,所以產財用衣食者也。

夫民慮之於心而宣之於口,成而行之。若壅其口,其與能幾何?」

 

王不聽。於是國莫敢出言,三年,乃相與畔,襲厲王。厲王出奔於彘。

 [A4]楚莊王問詹何曰:「治國奈何?」

對曰:「何明於治身,而不明于治國?」

楚王曰:「寡人得立宗廟社稷,願學所以守之。」

 

詹何對曰:「臣未嘗聞身治而國亂者也,

未嘗聞身亂而國治者也。

故本任於身,不敢對以末。」

 

楚王曰:「善。」

 

故老子曰:「修之身,其德乃真也。」

 

 [A5]Unfortunate? Regrettable? A Pity?

 [A6]贞观初,太宗谓侍臣曰:人有明珠,莫不贵重。若以弹雀,岂非可惜?

况人之性命甚于明珠,

见金钱财帛不惧刑网,径即受纳,乃是不惜性命。

明珠是身外之物,尚不可弹雀,

何况性命之重,乃以博财物耶?

 

群臣若能备尽忠直,益国利人,则官爵立至。

皆不能以此道求荣,遂妄受财物,赃贿既露,其身亦殒,实可为笑。

 

 

 [A7]公儀休相魯而嗜魚,一國盡爭買魚而獻之,

公儀子不受,其弟諫曰:「夫子嗜魚而不受者何也?」

對曰:「夫唯嗜魚,故不受也。

夫即受魚,必有下人之色,

有下人之色,將枉於法,

枉於法則免於相,

雖嗜魚,此不必能自給致我魚,

我又不能自給魚。

雖嗜魚,我能長自給魚。」

此明夫恃人不如自恃也,

明於人之為己者不如己之自為也。

 

原出韓非子 外儲說右下

 

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