|Portrait of Mencius
Mencius(孟子, Meng Zi) (372BC-289BC) was historically known by his birth name Ke and Zi Yu. Mencius. Mencius was born in State of Zou during the Warring State Period, and said to be the descendent of Qing Fu(庆父), a deadly infamous person of Lu State, there was a saying going : The Catastrophe of Lu State would not stop if Qing Fu does not die. It was said that Mencius was the fourth generation of Confucianism and taught by Zi Si(子思), the grandson of Confucius. Mencius inferior to Confucius was highly respected as Ya Sheng(亚圣), or Inferior Saint to Confucius. Confucius was Chinese anciently famous ideologist, statesman and educationist. He was the most famous representative of Chinese Confucianism in Period of Warring States. His classics was named after his name. Chinese People widely call it Meng Zi. Mencius succeeded to the ideological system of Confucius. Confucius and Mencius were together called Kongmeng(孔孟), which became an idiom on behalf of Confucianism.
Mencius’ life was named Ji and his mother’s family name was Ji. Mencius’ name and literary name were not recorded at all in the books before Han Dynasty, but in the period of Wei and Jin Dynasties, Mencius’ name and literary name appeared. These different types of name probably were fabricated, but they are all not dependable. Mencius’ ancestry was Three Privileged Families of Lu State, Exactly, one of which had the family name Meng Sun(孟孙), but later, this branch of three privileged families turned to declination, and they moved to Zou State. Mencius’ father died when Mencius was only three years old. Mencius was absolutely brought up by his mother.
Three Moves of Mencius’ Mother to Teach Mencius
|The Stoy of Mencius' Mother
Cut down a Part of Loom
to Educate Mencius
There was a famous idiom about how Mencius’ Mother how to teach Mencius. In history, we call it Meng Mu San Qian(孟母三迁, Three Moves of Mencius’ Mother). It is traditionally accepted as the measure and principle of teaching children in different generations. This story was quite welcome and popular in history of Chinese education and culture. In many classic books, this story was vividly recorded. For cultivating and educating Mencius well, Mencius’ Mother moved their house for three times successively. Originally, Mencius’ family stayed nearby tomb area, and the young Mencius all the day learnt how to cry for the dead and join in the funeral of other people. It made Mencius consider this was not the considerably ideal residential area. They moved to another area, but their new neighbor was a businessman (anciently, businessman was not equally considered as social member), hence, Mencius always learnt how to do business. It made Mencius’ mother angry and they moved to another place where was near to a teaching hall. The comers and goers were all the officials and Confucians. Mencius learnt from them to learn the knowledge of rites and morals from Confucianism. Mencius thought it was a perfect place for educating Mencius and they settled down here and sent Mencius to school. One day, Mencius truanted and turned back home when Mencius’ mother was weaving the cloth. Mencius’ mother was quite angry with Mencius and cut down a part of loom. She angrily and seriously told Mencius” You can not do any great thing like this broken loom if you do not learn well and hard”. Mencius got shocked. From then on, Mencius learnt quite hard and later became a fairly authoritative Confucian.
Cultural and Academic Contribution
Mencius’ book Meng Zi is a collection themed with Mencius’ Analects compiled by Mencius and his students. It records the political viewpoints, political activities and some quotes of Mencius. In his book, a quantity of new thoughts was highly mentioned, like Benevolent Politics, The Differentiation of Wang and Ba, People-Centered Theory and so on. It was a classic of Confucianism: The Four Books and Five Classics.
Learnt from Confucius, Mencius led his students visited many states but refused mostly by many lords and kings. Later, they retreated and wrote books with their students together. This book is comprised of fourteen chapters：Two chapters named Liang Hui Wang(梁惠王), two chapters named Gong Sun Chou(公孙丑), two chapters named Teng Wen Gong(滕文公), two chapters named Li Lou(离娄), two chapters named Wan Zhang(万章), two chapters named Gao Zi(吿子) and two chapters named Jin Xin (尽心). This book is called Four Books (四书)together with The Great Learning (大学),The Doctrine of the Mean (中庸) and The Analects of Confucius (论语). Four Books were compiled by Zhu Xi(朱熹), the subsequent famous Confucian in South Song Dynasty, and became the textbooks or the official-pointed books for imperial examination.
Writer: David from Seeraa International
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