Seojeonseomun

Preface to Shuzhuan (Commentary on The Book of Documents)

慶元己未冬에  先生文公이  令沈으로  作書集傳하라 하시고
경원기미동  선생문공  영침으로  작서집전하라 하시고

Gyeong-weon-gi-mi-dong-e Seon-saeng-mun-gong-i Yeong-chim-eu-ro Jak-seo-jip-jeon-ha-ra Ha-si-go

明年에  先生이  沒커시늘
명년  선생  몰커시늘

Myeong-nyeon-e Seon-saeng-i Mul-keo-si-neul

又十年에  始克成編하니  總若干萬言이라
우십년  시극성편하니  총약간만언이라

O-sip-nyeon-e Si-geuk-seong-pyeon-ha-ni Chong-yak-gan-man-eon-i-ra

In the era of the reign of Qingyuan (AD 1195-1200), in the winter of the Year of the Sheep (Gi-mi, 1199), Teacher Zhu Xi told me (Cai Shen) to compile a book by collecting the commentaries on The Book of Documents. He passed away in the following year. It took ten years to complete the book and the words were tens of thousands.

 


嗚呼라  書豈易言哉리요.
오호  서기이언재리요.

O-ho-ra Seo-gi-i-eon-jae-ri-yo

二帝三王의  治天下之大經大法이  皆載此書로되
이제삼왕  치천하지대경대법  개재차서로되

I-je-sam-wang-eui Chi-cheon-ha-ji-dae-gyeong-dae-beop-i Gae-jae-cha-seo-ro-doe

而踐見薄識으로  豈足以盡發蘊奧며
이천견박식으로  기족이진발온오

I-cheon-gyeon-bak-sik-eu-ro Gi-jok-i-jin-bal-on-o-myeo

且生於數千載之下하여  而欲講明於數千載之前하니
차생어수천재지하하여  이욕강명어수천재지전하니

Cha-saeng-eo-su-cheon-jae-ji-ha-ha-yeo I-yok-gang-myeong-eo-su-cheon-jae-ji-jeon-ha-ni

亦已難矣라
역이난의

Yeok-i-nan-eui-ra

Oh! How can I easily tell about The Book of Documents?
All the great teachings and laws on how to govern the world from the Two Emperors and the Three Kings are contained in this book. With my shallow knowledge and understanding, how am I going to reveal the deep and profound meaning? It is also difficult to unravel the work from thousands of years ago being born thousands of years later.

 

Remarks:

  • Seo-gyeong (The Book of Documents): One of the three Classics. It is a book which is said to be compiled by Confucius by collecting literature about political affairs from the dynasty of Yao and Shun until the Zhou dynasty;
  • I-je (Two Emperors): Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun;
  • Sam-wang (Three Kings): Yu the Great of the Xia dynasty, Tang of the Shang dynasty, King Wen and King Wu of the Zhou dynasty;

 


然이나  二帝三王之治는  本於道하고
이나  이제삼왕지치는  본어도하고

Yeon-i-na I-je-sam-wang-ji-chi-neun Bon-eo-do-ha-go

二帝三王之道는  本於心하니
이제삼왕지도  본어심하니

I-je-sam-wang-ji-do-neun Bon-eo-sim-ha-ni

得其心이면  則道與治를  固可得而言矣리라.
득기심이면  즉도여치  고가득이언의리라.

Deuk-gi-sim-i-myeon Jeuk-do-yeo-chi-reul Go-ga-deuk-i-eon-eui-ri-ra.

However, the ruling of the two emperors and three kings is based on the Dao, and the Dao of the Two Emperors and Three Kings is based on the mind, so if you catch that mind, you will be able to tell about the Dao and the ruling sincerely.

 

 

何者오
하자

Ha-ja-o

精一執中은  堯舜禹相授之心法也요
정일집중  요순우상수지심법야

Jeong-il-jip-jung-eun Yo-sun-u-sang-su-ji-sim-beop-ya-yo

建中建極은  商湯周武相傳之心法也요
건중건극은  상탕주무상전지심법야

Geon-jung-geon-geuk-eun Sang-tang-ju-mu-sang-jeon-ji-sim-beop-ya-yo

曰德曰仁曰敬曰誠은  言雖殊而理則一이니
왈덕왈인왈경왈성  언수수이리즉일이니

Wal-deok-wal-in-wal-gyeong-wal-seong-eun Eon-su-su-i-ri-jeuk-il-i-ni

無非所以明此心之妙也라.
무비소이명차심지묘야라.

Mu-bi-so-i-myeong-cha-sim-ji-myo-ya-ra.

Why it is that so?
To always keep one mind and not to lose the middle of mind is what Emperor Yao, Emperor Shun, and Yu the Great continually were teaching and learning from each other as the law of the mind. Keeping the state of the middle of mind and by that inducing people to set it as their life goal, is the law of the mind, which Tang of the Shang dynasty and King Wu of the Zhou dynasty were teaching and learning from each other. Virtue, benevolence, kindness, and sincerity – even the words are different, the truth is one, so there is nothing which does not reveal the subtlety of this one mind.

 

Remarks:

  • Jung-yong (middle of mind): Make sure to grab your mind well and to use it correctly so you don't lean to one side;
  • Deok (virtue): looking at things correctly in the state of one mind and acting according to it;
  • In (benevolence): treating each other by knowing that we are all same, as we came out from one root;
  • Gyeong (kindness): When you deal with people, do it right; when you say words and act, do it from your heart;
  • Seong (sincerity): If you have spoken, you must complete it. That means words and actions must be consistent;

 


至於言天則  嚴其心之所自出이오
지어언천즉  엄기심지소자출이오

Ji-eo-eon-cheon-jeuk Eom-gi-sim-ji-so-ja-chul-i-o

言民則  謹其心之所由施니
언민즉  근기심지소유시

Eon-min-jeuk Geuk-gi-sim-ji-so-yu-si-ni

禮樂敎化는  心之發也요
예악교화  심지발야

Ye-ak-gyo-hwa-neun Sim-ji-bal-ya-yo

典章文物은  心之著也요
전장문물은  심지저야

Jeon-jang-mun-mul-eun Sim-ji-jeo-ya-yo

家齊國治而天下平은  心之推也니
가제국치이천하평  심지추야

Ga-je-guk-chi-i-cheon-ha-pyeong-eun Sim-ji-chu-ya-ni

心之德이  其盛矣乎인저
심지덕  기성의호인저

Sim-ji-deok-i Gi-seong-eui-ho-in-jeo

 

Regarding Heaven, they were prudent about what originated from the mind. Regarding people, they were careful about the mind their behavior was based on. Decorum, music, and edification emerge from the mind. The products of the laws and cultures are manifestation of the mind. Arranging the household, ruling the country, bringing about peace in the whole world is the spreading of the mind. Therefore, the virtue of the mind is everywhere.

 


二帝三王은  存此心者也요
이제삼왕  존차심자야

I-je-sam-wang-eun Jon-cha-sim-ja-ya-yo

夏桀商受는  亡此心者也요
하걸상수  망차심자야

Ha-geol-sang-su-neun Mang-cha-sim-ja-ya-yo

太甲成王은  困而存此心者也라.
태갑성왕은  곤이존차심자야라.

Tae-gap-seong-wang-eun Gon-i-jon-cha-sim-ja-ya-ra.

存則治하고  亡則亂하나니
존즉치하고  망즉란하나니

Jon-jeuk-chi-ha-go Mang-jeuk-ran-ha-na-ni

治亂之分이  顧其心之存不存如何耳라.
치란지분이  고기심지존부존여하이라.

Chi-ran-ji-bun-i Go-gi-sim-ji-jon-bu-jon-yeo-ha-i-ra.

The Two Emperors and Three Kings were the people who kept this mind, King Jie of the Xia dynasty and King Zhou of the Shang dynasty were the people who lost this mind, King Taijia of the Shang dynasty and King Cheng of the Zhou dynasty were the people who kept this mind with much effort.
When one keeps this mind, order prevails. When one loses this mind, chaos ensues. So order or chaos depends on whether one kept the one mind or not.

 

後世人主  有志於二帝三王之治인대  不可不求其道요
후세인주  유지어이제삼왕지치인대  불가불구기도

Hu-se-in-ju Yu-ji-eo-i-je-sam-wang-ji-chi-in-dae Bul-ga-bul-gu-gi-do-yo

有志於二帝三王之道인대  不可不求其心이니
유지어이제삼왕지도인대  불가불구기심이니

Yu-ji-eo-i-je-sam-wang-ji-do-in-dae Bul-ga-bul-gu-gi-sim-i-ni

求心之要는  舍是書하고  何以哉리요.
구심지요  사시서하고  하이재리요.

Gu-sim-ji-yo-neun Sa-si-seo-ha-go Ha-i-je-ri-yo.

If the master for the days to come has the mind of ruling of the Two Emperors and Three Kings, he/she has no choice but to seek the Dao. If one has the mind of the Dao of the Two Emperors and Three Kings, he/she has no choice but to seek the mind. How can one find the way to seek the mind without having this book!

 


沈이  自受讀以來로  沈潛其義하고
이  자수독이래  침잠기의하고

Chim-i Ja-su-dok-i-rae-ro Chim-jam-gi-eui-ha-go

 

參考衆說하여  融會貫通일새
참고중설하여  융회관통일새

Cham-go-jung-seol-ha-yeo Yung-hoe-gwan-tong-il-sae

乃敢折衷이나  微辭奧旨는  多述舊聞이요
내감절충이나  미사오지는  다술구문이요

Nae-gam-jeol-chung-i-na Mi-sa-o-ji-neun Da-sul-gu-mun-i-yo

二典禹謨는  先生이  蓋嘗是正하사
이전우모는  선생이  개상시정하사

I-jeon-u-mo-neun Seon-saeng-i Gae-sang-so-jeong-ha-sa

手澤이 尙新하시니 嗚呼惜哉라.
수택 상신하시니 오호석재라.

Su-taek-i Sang-sin-ha-si-ni O-ho-seok-jae-ra.

Since reading The Book of Documents, I was thinking deeply to comprehend its meaning and also consulted the opinions of many people by gathering and combining them to find the common true meaning. Therefore, I dare to sort out and supplement the contents of the text, but almost all the finer words and deeper meanings I wrote the way I heard them before. The Canon of Yao, the Canon of Shun, and The Counsels of the Great Yu were already corrected by my teacher, and the imprints of his fingers are still on the book. Oh, what a pity.

 


集傳은  本先生의  所命故로
집전  본선생  소명고

Jip-jeon-eun Bon-seon-saeng-eui So-myeong-go-ro

凡引用師說은  不復識別하고
범인용사설은  불부지별하고

Beom-in-yong-sa-seol-eun Bul-bu-ji-byeol-ha-go

四代之書를  分爲六卷하니
사대지서를  분위육권하니

Sa-dae-ji-seo-reul Bun-wi-yuk-gweon-ha-ni

文以時異나  治以道同이라.
문이시이나  치이도동이라.

Mun-i-si-i-na Chi-i-do-dong-i-ra.

Compiling The Book of Documents was originally the calling of my teacher so I did not separately label all his words which I quoted. This book of four dynasties – which are the Yu Dynasty, the Xia Dynasty, the Yin Dynasty, and the Zhou Dynasty – was divided into six volumes. The writings are different depending on the era, but the way of ruling according to the Dao is one.

 


聖人之心이  見於書는  猶化工之妙가  著於物이니
성인지심이  현어서는  유화공지묘가  저어물이니

Seong-in-ji-sim-i Hyeon-eo-seo-neun Yu-hwa-gong-ji-myo-ga Jeo-eo-mul-i-ni

非精深이면  不能識也라.
비정심이면  불능식야라.

Bi-jeong-sim-i-myeon Bul-neung-sik-ya-ra.

The mind of the saint is shown in the text – similar to the special talent of a craftsman that is revealed through an object – so if you don’t look at it sincerely and deeply you cannot comprehend the meaning well.

 


是傳也  於堯舜禹湯文武周公之心에  雖未必能造其微나
시전야  어요순우탕문무주공지심  수미필능조기미

Si-jeon-ya Eo-yo-sun-u-tang-mun-mu-ju-gong-ji-sim-e Su-mi-pil-neung-jo-gi-mi-na

於堯舜禹湯文武周公之書에  因是訓誥하면
어요순우탕문무주공지서  인시훈고하면

Eo-yo-sun-u-tang-mun-mu-ju-gong-ji-seo-e In-si-hun-go-ha-myeon

亦可得其旨義之大略矣리라.
역가득기지의지대략의리라.

Yeok-ga-deuk-gi-ji-eui-ji-dae-ryak-eui-ri-ra.

嘉定  己巳  三月  旣望에  武夷  蔡沈은  序하노라.
가정  기사  삼월  기망  무이  채침  서하노라.

Ga-jeong Gi-sa Sam-weol Gi-mang-e Mu-i Che-Chim-eun Seo-ha-no-ra.

 

This commentary was not able to reveal the implicit meaning of the mind of Yao, Shun, Yu, Tang, Wen, Wu, and the Duke of Zhou, but if you follow the teachings of these sages you will also approximate the meaning.
I, Cai Shen, write this preface on the 16th of March in the Year of the Snake (Gi-sa, 1209) in the era of the reign of Jiading (AD 1208-1225).

 

 

 

Source: Commentary on the Book of Documents by Cai Shen

Translation, remarks, commentary: Jinju2Saram

Commentary:

Gang Jeung-san's successor Go Su-bu said about the Preface to Shuzhuan:
“The writings show that the Dao, the law, and the political affairs are interrelated with the cleaning of the mind, the acting, and the ruling.”
[Source: 'Seonjeongweongyeong', written by Go Min-hwan, a follower of Go Su-bu]

The Preface to Shuzhuan is a scripture which contains the secret of God (the Jade Emperor). If you can understand the meaning of the mind (心) correctly by studying this text, you understood the secret correctly.