The Inner Teachings of Chuang Tzu: Enjoyment of Untroubled Ease (In Chinese)    
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Today’s Between Master and Disciples – “The Inner Teachings of Chuang Tzu: Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease” will be presented in Chinese with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech-Slovak, English, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Mongolian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish and Thai.

The great philosopher Chuang Tzu lived from approximately 370 to 301 BCE. He is considered one of the greatest literary and philosophical figures of China. His philosophy is contained in the book bearing his name, Chuang Tzu. His teachings were true to wu-wei, the Taoist doctrine which means to refrain from action contrary to Nature. He espoused a way of life which is simple and natural, yet fulfilling. He advocated for a flexible and pragmatic approach to understanding concepts. Today, we present to you excerpts from “Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease” from The Inner Teachings of Chuang Tzu.

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Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Planet Earth: Our Loving Home, up next right after Noteworthy News. May Providence guide you in light, wisdom and peace.
Enjoyment in Untroubled Ease In the Northern Ocean there is a fish, the name of which is Kun – I do not know how many li in size. It changes into a bird with the name of Peng, the back of which is also - I do not know how many li in extent. When this bird rouses itself and flies, its wings are like clouds all round the sky. When the sea is moved (so as to bear it along), it prepares to remove to the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the Pool of Heaven.

There is the book called Qi Xie, a record of marvels. We have in it these words: “When the peng is removing to the Southern Ocean it flaps its wings on the water for 3000 li. Then it ascends on a whirlwind 90,000 li, and it rests only at the end of six months.” But similar to this is the movement of the breezes which we call the horses of the fields, of the dust which quivers in the sunbeams, and of living things as they are blown against one another by the air. Is its azure the proper color of the sky? Or is it occasioned by its distance and illimitable extent? If one were looking down from above, the very same appearance would just meet his view.

And moreover, to speak of the accumulation of water; if it be not great, it will not have strength to support a large boat. Upset a cup of water in a cavity, and a straw will float on it as if it were a boat. Place a cup in it and it will stick fast; the water is shallow and the boat is large. So it is with the accumulation of wind; if it be not great, it will not have strength to support great wings. Therefore, the peng ascended to the height of 90,000 li, and there was such a mass of wind beneath it; thenceforth the accumulation of wind was sufficient. As it seemed to bear the blue sky on its back, and there was nothing to obstruct or arrest its course, it could pursue its way to the South.

A cicada and a little dove laughed at it, saying, “We make an effort and fly towards an elm or sapanwood tree; and sometimes before we reach it, we can do no more but drop to the ground. Of what use is it for this creature to rise 90,000 li, and make for the South?” He who goes to the grassy suburbs, returning to the third meal of the day, will have his belly as full as when he set out; he who goes to a distance of 100 li will have to pound his grain where he stops for the night; he who goes 1,000 li, will have to carry with him provisions for three months.

What should these two small creatures know about the matter? The knowledge of that which is small does not reach to that which is great; the experience of a few years does not reach to that of many. How do we know that it is so? The mushroom of a morning does not know what takes place between the beginning and end of a month; the short-lived cicada does not know what takes place between the spring and autumn. These are instances of a short term of life. In the south of Chu there is the tree called Ming-ling, whose spring is 500 years, and its autumn the same; in high antiquity there was that called Da-chun, whose spring was 8,000 years, and its autumn the same. And Peng Zu is the one man renowned to the present day for his length of life: if all men were to wish to match him, would they not be miserable?

In the questions put by Tang to Ji we have similar statements: “In the bare and barren north there is the dark and vast ocean – the Pool of Heaven. In it there is a fish, several thousand li in breadth, while no one knows its length. Its name is the kun. There is also a bird named the peng; its back is like the Tai mountain, while its wings are like clouds all round the sky. On a whirlwind it mounts upwards as on the whorls of a goat’s horn for 90,000 li, till, far removed from the cloudy vapors, it bears on its back the blue sky, and then it shapes its course for the South, and proceeds to the ocean there.”

A quail by the side of a marsh laughed at it, and said, “Where is it going to? I spring up with a bound, and come down again when I have reached but a few fathoms, and then fly about among the brushwood and bushes; and this is the perfection of flying. Where is that creature going to?” This shows the difference between the small and the great. Thus it is that men, whose wisdom is sufficient for the duties of some one office, or whose conduct will secure harmony in some one district, or whose virtue is befitting a ruler so that they could efficiently govern some one state, are sure to look on themselves in this manner like the quail, and yet Rongzi of Song would have smiled and laughed at them.

This Rongzi, though the whole world should have praised him, would not for that have stimulated himself to greater endeavor, and though the whole world should have condemned him, would not have exercised any more repression of his course; so fixed was he in the difference between the internal judgment of himself and the external judgment of others, so distinctly had he marked out the bounding limit of glory and disgrace. Here, however, he stopped. His place in the world indeed had become indifferent to him, but still he had not planted himself firmly in the right position. There was Liezi, who rode on the wind and pursued his way, with an admirable indifference to all external things, returning, however, after fifteen days, to his place. In regard to the things that are supposed to contribute to happiness, he was free from all endeavors to obtain them; but though he had not to walk, there was still something for which he had to wait.

But suppose one who mounts on the ether of Heaven and Earth in its normal operation, and drives along the six elemental energies of the changing seasons, thus enjoying himself in the illimitable – what has he to wait for? Therefore it is said, “The Perfect man has no thought of self; the Spirit-like man, none of merit; the Sagely-minded man, none of fame.”

Yao, proposing to resign the throne to Xu You, said, “When the sun and moon have come forth, if the torches have not been put out, would it not be difficult for them to give light? When the seasonal rains are coming down, if we still keep watering the ground, will not our toil be labor lost for all the good it will do? Do you, Master, stand forth as sovereign, and the kingdom will at once be well governed. If I still continue to preside over it, I must look on myself as vainly occupying the place - I beg to resign the throne to you.”

Xu You said, “You, Sir, govern the kingdom, and the kingdom is well governed. If I in these circumstances take your place, shall I not be doing so for the sake of the name? But the name is but the guest of the reality; shall I be playing the part of the guest? The tailor-bird makes its nest in the deep forest, but only uses a single branch; the mole drinks from the river, but only takes what fills its belly. Return and rest in being ruler – I will have nothing to do with the throne. Though the cook was not attending to his kitchen, the representative of the dead and the officer of prayer would not leave their cups and stands to take his place.”

Jian Wu asked Lian Shu, saying, “I heard Jie Yu talking words which were great, but had nothing corresponding to them in reality; once gone, they could not be brought back. I was frightened by them; they were like the Milky Way which cannot be traced to its beginning or end. They had no connection with one another, and were not akin to the experiences of men.”

“What were his words?” asked Lian Shu, and the other replied, that “Far away on the hill of Gu Ye there dwelt a Spirit-like man whose flesh and skin were smooth as ice and white as snow; that his manner was elegant and delicate as that of a virgin; that he did not eat any of the five grains, but inhaled the wind and drank the dew; that he mounted on the clouds, drove along the flying dragons, rambling and enjoying himself beyond the four seas; that by the concentration of his spirit-like powers he could save men from disease and pestilence, and secure every year a plentiful harvest.” These words appeared to me wild and incoherent and I did not believe them.

“So it is,” said Lian Shu. “The blind have no perception of the beauty of elegant figures, nor the deaf of the sound of bells and drums. But is it only the bodily senses of which deafness and blindness can be predicated? There is also a similar defect in the intelligence; and of this your words supply an illustration in yourself. That man, with those attributes, though all things were one mass of confusion, and he heard in that condition the whole world crying out to him to be rectified, would not have to address himself laboriously to the task, as if it were his business to rectify the world. Nothing could hurt that man; the greatest floods, reaching to the sky, could not drown him, nor would he feel the fervor of the greatest heats melting metals and stones till they flowed, and scorching all the ground and hills.

From the dust and chaff of himself, he could still mould and fashion Yaos and Shuns – how should he be willing to occupy himself with things?” A man of Song, who dealt in the ceremonial caps of Yin, went with them to Yue, the people of which cut off their hair and tattooed their bodies, so that they had no use for them. Yao ruled the people of the kingdom, and maintained a perfect government within the four seas. Having gone to see the four Perfect Ones on the distant hill of Gu Ye, when he returned to his capital on the south of the Fen water, his throne appeared no more to his deep-sunk oblivious eyes.

Huizi said to Zhuangzi, “I have a large tree, which men call the Ailantus. Its trunk swells out to a large size, but is not fit for a carpenter to apply his line to it; its smaller branches are knotted and crooked, so that the disk and square cannot be used on them. Though planted on the wayside, a builder would not turn his head to look at it. Now your words, Sir, are great, but of no use – all unite in putting them away from them.”

Zhuangzi replied, “You, Sir, have a large tree and are troubled because it is of no use – why do you not plant it in a tract where there is nothing else, or in a wide and barren wild? There you might saunter idly by its side, or in the enjoyment of untroubled ease sleep beneath it. Neither bill nor axe would shorten its existence; there would be nothing to injure it. What is there in its uselessness to cause you distress?”
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