Di Zi Gui


Di Zi Gui (弟子规 or Ti Tzu Kui, Standards for being a Good Pupil and Child) was written in the Qing Dynasty during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor (r. 1661-1722) by Li Yuxiu. The book is based on the ancient teaching of the Chinese philosopher Confucius that emphasises the basic requisites for being a good person and guidelines for living in harmony with others. Like the San Zi Jing (another classic Chinese children’s text), it is written in three-character verses. The source for the main outline of it is from Analects of Confucius, Book 1, Chapter 6, where Confucius said:

“A young man should be a good son at home and an obedient young man abroad, sparing of speech but trustworthy in what he says, and should love the multitude at large but cultivate the friendship of his fellow men. If he has any energy to spare from such action, let him devote it to making himself cultivated.”

And here’s a translation more faithful to the original Chinese text than James Legge’s 19th century version above:

“A student should show filial piety at home and respect people outside, behave prudently and trustfully, love all universally, and draw close to sages. While he has energy to spare, he should study edification by the sage.”

There are altogether seven chapters in Ti Tzu Kui, with each chapter listing one duty that a good person should follow in life.

>Read the Book.



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