弟子规夏令营 | 传统文化公益论坛 | 中华经典 | 弟子规网 | 公益网

当前位置: 主页 > 弟子规资料 > 弟子规教材 >

弟子规英文版(序)

时间:2011-05-26 19:26来源:中国弟子规网 作者:弟子规 点击:
Di Zi Gui Standards for Being a Good Student and Child CONTENTS Introduction Outline Chapter 1: At Home, Be Dutiful to Your Parents Chapter 2: Standards for a Younger Brother When Away from Home Chapter 3: Be Cautious in Your Daily Life Cha

Di Zi Gui
Standards for Being a Good Student and Child

 

CONTENTS

Introduction
Outline
Chapter 1: At Home, Be Dutiful to Your Parents
Chapter 2: Standards for a Younger Brother When Away from Home
Chapter 3: Be Cautious in Your Daily Life
Chapter 4: Be Trustworthy
Chapter 5: Love All Equally
Chapter 6: Be Close to and Learn from People of Virtue and Compassion
Chapter 7: After All the Above Are Accomplished, Study Further and Learn
                 Literature and Art to Improve Your Cultural and Spiritual Life

INTRODUCTION

Many of you will probably wonder what this book is all about. What is in this book that made it so important in ancient China? Can it still be relevant today? If we teach this book today, what can it do for us and what kind of influence will it have on our present society?

     Di Zi Gui, in English, means standards for being a good student and child. It is an ancient Chinese book handed down to us from ancient Chinese Saints and sages. The source for the outline of this book was selected from Analects of Confucius, Book 1, Chapter 6, where Confucius said: ¨A good student and child must first learn to be dutiful to his parents, and be respectful and loving to his siblings. Next he must be cautious with all people, matters and things in his daily life, and be a trustworthy person. He must believe in the teachings of the ancient saints and sages and put their teachings into practice. Then he must learn to love all equally and be close to and learn from people of virtue and compassion. Only after all the above duties have been accomplished, if he has the time and energy, he should then further study and learn literature and art to improve the quality of his cultural and spiritual life.〃

     Since the main outline of this book is based on the teachings of Confucius, let us find out who he is. Confucius was a great Chinese scholar, teacher and educator. He was born in China about twenty-five hundred years ago, about the same time that Shakyamuni Buddha was born in India. Confucius deeply influenced Chinese culture, and this influence extends throughout the world even today. He believed that moral principles, virtues, and discipline should be the very first lessons to be taught to a child, and that a child needs to practice them daily. Unlike modern day parents who disapprove of physical punishment, ancient Chinese parents actually encouraged and thanked the teacher when their children were punished for misbehaving. It was most important to ancient Chinese parents that their children learned the moral principles and virtues first, before any other subject, because without moral principles and virtues as a foundation, the learning of all other subjects would be futile.

     The sequence of ancient Chinese educational system based on the Confucian teachings is as follows: First a child learns the subject on Virtues, after which he studies Language, then Methods in Dealing with People, Matters and Things, and lastly Literature and Art. We need to understand that Confucius and Shakyamuni Buddha shared almost the same principles and teaching methods. They both taught us that being dutiful to oneˇs parents and being respectful to oneˇs teachers are the basis of a personˇs good virtues. If we can appreciate the fact that the study of Virtues was a childˇs first subject in school, then we will realize how important it was for a child to be dutiful to his or her parents at home.

     If you ask a student who follows Confucian teachings whether he or she can explain in a short sentence what Confucian teachings are all about, the student will tell you this: The principles of Confucian teachings make it a personˇs duty to strive to be fully enlightened, to practice universal love and to be a perfectly good person. This is the summation of Confucian beliefs. For a person to practice universal love, he or she must begin at home, and learn to be a dutiful child and a loving sibling. If you ask a follower of Shakyamuni Buddha whether he or she can explain Buddhaˇs teachings in one sentence, you will get the following reply: Shakyamuni Buddhaˇs forty-nine years of teaching never deviated from the principle that a person has to be dutiful to his or her parents, and be respectful and be of service to his or her teachers. This person must be all loving and must not kill any living beings. He or she must be a fervent practitioner of the ten good conducts. Therefore, both Confucius and Shakyamuni Buddha shared the same beliefs and felt that following these principles are our only duties here on earth.

     The important duties stated in Analects of Confucius were used as chapters in this book. Altogether there are seven chapters, with each chapter listing one duty. They are presented in sequence according to the ancient Chinese educational system. The original text written in classical Chinese is in the form of verses that can be easily recited and memorized by young Chinese students.

     The contents of this book were actually compiled and edited over a period stretching thousand of years; it contains the recommended standards of being a good student and child. The outline starts out by telling us that those standards were taught by Confucius, Mencius and all the past Chinese saints and sages. They all agreed that those duties are the very basic disciplines a child should learn and practice every day while still young. Even though they seem stringent by todayˇs standards, it is apparent that the people of that time felt it was important that the child should be well disciplined and taught moral principles and virtues at an early age. They felt that without strict discipline and moral standards, a child would amount to nothing. Without knowing what it meant to be dutiful to oneˇs teachers, a child would grow up not listening to or respecting anyone. Such a child would become a person without virtues. At that time, ¨a person without virtue〃 was not qualified to serve in the imperial court, thereby depriving that person the opportunity to serve his country and his people.

     Ironically today, the educational system is just the opposite. Many parents listen to the child instead of the other way around. Additionally, teachers are afraid to teach and discipline children because they are fearful of violating the childrenˇs legal rights, or even being sued by the parents. Currently, we live in a world where the relationships between people, between people and their environment, between parents and children, between husbands and wives, and between employers and employees are disintegrating. Parents no longer act like parents. Children do not act like children. Without proper education our minds become polluted and our family system disintegrates, as evidenced by an ever-increasing divorce rate. Soon planet Earth will no longer be fit for us to live on. Many of us are fearful for our futures and the futures of our children. We hope that by reintroducing this book, it will provide guidance for parents and children. In this way, future generations will benefit from it and our world and society at large will be more at peace, and we will all have a better place to live.

     As mentioned before, Confucius said: ¨A good student and child must first learn to be dutiful to his parents, and also be respectful and loving to his siblings.〃 In accord with the ancient Chinese educational system, this book starts by teaching us how to be a good dutiful child when we are at home, and how to be a respectful and loving sibling when we are away from home, including how to be respectful to our elders. Therefore, these two duties are the headings for the first two chapters. The first chapter is on ¨Xiao,〃 which is a Chinese word that means being dutiful to oneˇs parents. All the ancient saints and sages thought ¨Xiao〃 was the most important duty in a personˇs life. This chapter teaches children the proper conduct on how to talk to and behave in front of parents, and what their correct attitudes and manners should be.

     The second chapter states the principle and standard of conduct for the younger sibling towards the older sibling when the younger siblings are away from home. In Chinese, the word ¨Ti,〃 which means sincere fraternal love, describes the love between siblings. In Buddhism, its meaning extends further to include conduct towards all persons who are older and as the same generation as ourselves. This chapter then further expands this concept towards our elders. It teaches us how to show respect to the elders and what our correct attitudes and manners should be.

     Even though in this book there is no separate chapter on the standard of conduct towards our teachers, it is understood that all the principles and standards taught in this book should also be applied to our teachers.

     The third chapter teaches us how we should be cautious in whatever we do daily, whether we are interacting with people, matters or things. The fourth chapter teaches us how to be a trustworthy person. It teaches us that we need to be cautious in the language we use, in our behavior, and in our thoughts. We must also believe in the teachings of the saints and sages. A saint is a person who truly and thoroughly understands the facts about life, and about this universe. In China we call them saints. In India, people call them Buddhas. In western culture people call him God. Actually we are all talking about the same thing. All their teachings come from hearts that were true and pure. They have all seen the truth and this truth will never change with time. Therefore, no matter who they are as long as they are saints, Buddhas or God, they speak the same truth and if it is the truth, then their messages are the same.

     The fifth chapter tells us that a person must love all equally. The love it talks about is universal love, not worldly love. It teaches us that as human beings we should have compassion for all people. To be a person of compassion, we must first start by being filial children: respecting our parents and by loving our siblings. Then we should learn how to expand this love and respect to include all who are parents and siblings. Eventually we will learn to love all people equally.

     The sixth chapter teaches us to be close to and learn from people of virtue and compassion. There is an old Chinese saying that a person with virtue and compassion has no enemies. ¨Xiao〃 and ¨Ti〃 have been the very foundation of Chinese culture for five thousand years. Those two qualities separate a person from an animal. ¨Xiao〃 and ¨Ti〃 are the minimum requirements for being a human, while compassion and virtue are the highest standards set by Confucius for being a human. For us to reach the highest standards, we must first fulfill our duties to our parents. But where can we find these people who are truly compassionate and virtuous so that we can be close to them and learn from them? The world today is in great turmoil. It would be a difficult task if not impossible to find even one person. If we cannot find that person, the next best thing is to follow the teachings of saints and sages from the past and learn from them. If we belong to a religious group, we can always follow the teachings of our religion. We can select from any one of the groups just mentioned and just follow the respective teachings to be our guide in this life.

     The seventh chapter tells us that after we have accomplished all the above duties, we should further study literature and art to improve our cultural and spiritual life. Confucius set a standard for us as to what kind of books we should read and what kind of books we should avoid. The kind of books we should read had to have a positive effect on us. Any book that causes a negative impact should always be avoided. Confucius expected every one of his students to be a balanced person, whose inner qualities, like a personˇs virtues and integrity, had to match that of outside, which were developed from the study of literature and art. Only then will this person become a truly refined person, with integrity and a noble character.

     According to Shakyamuni Buddha, we are currently living in the Dharma Ending Age. In this period, people will be constantly fighting each other. Today, endless conflicts are taking place everyday. Our current society is the result of our educational system, which has already been proven to be a great failure. The educational system of today only promotes teachings that lead our young people to a world of competition, which will eventually turn them into hell-beings, hungry ghosts and animals. When we lose our moral standards, and search instead for money and fame, we leave the world of humans and heavenly beings, and degenerate into a lower form of being. Therefore, education that is based on moral principles is extremely important for our world today. This is the only way we can help our young discover their true self-nature, which is supposed to be all knowing and virtuous. All the ancient saints and sages recommended that the first step we must take is to start communicating and working with family members at home. That is why both Confucius and Shakyamuni Buddha said: ¨Our virtues are based and build on the foundation of being dutiful children to our parents.〃 This book, Di Zi Gui, helps our children put the teachings of the ancient saints and sages into actual practice, and that is why this book is so important for our educational system today. It is definitely still relevant today, actually even more so.

     Finally we must add a note here to help us understand these standards. Those standards were used in ancient China, at a time when the society was centered on the male, and when only the male child was allowed to enter a school. Therefore, all the pronouns used in the translation are of the male gender. For todayˇs society, it applies to all children, both male and female.

 

(责任编辑:admin)
顶一下
(1)
50%
踩一下
(1)
50%
------分隔线----------------------------
发表评论
请自觉遵守互联网相关的政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
栏目列表









推荐内容