YellowBridge Chinese Language & Culture
Chinese Language Center

Dao De Jing [Tao Te Ching]

Move mouse pointer over any Chinese character to see its meaning and pronunciation.

Chapter 81

The Manifestation of Simplicity

Propounding the Essential / The Nature of the Essential

  Original Legge's Translation Susuki's Translation Goddard's Translation
1 Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere. Those who are skilled (in the Dao) do not dispute (about it); the disputatious are not skilled in it. Those who know (the Dao) are not
extensively learned; the extensively learned do not know it.
True words are not pleasant; pleasant words are not true. The good are not contentious; the contentious are not good. The wise are not learned; the learned are not wise.

Faithful words are often not pleasant; pleasant words are often not faithful. Good men do not dispute; the ones who dispute are not good. The learned men are often not the wise men, nor the wise men, the learned.


The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that
he gives to others, the more does he have himself.

The holy man hoards not. The more he does for others, the more he owns himself. The more he gives to others, the more will he himself lay up an abundance.

The wise man does not hoard, but ever working for others, he will the more exceedingly acquire. Having given to others freely, he himself will have in plenty.

3 With all the sharpness of the Way of Heaven, it injures not; with all the doing in the way of the sage he does not strive. Heaven's Reason is to benefit but not to injure; the holy man's Reason is to accomplish but not to strive. Tao of heaven benefits but does not injure. The wise man's Dao leads him to act but not to quarrel.
Index Previous  Next Random