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
경원기미동에 선생문공이 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
명년에 선생이 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
우십년에 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.
二帝三王의 治天下之大經大法이 皆載此書로되
이제삼왕의 치천하지대경대법이 개재차서로되
I-je-sam-wang-eui Chi-cheon-ha-ji-dae-gyeong-dae-beop-i Gae-jae-cha-seo-ro-doe
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.
然이나 二帝三王之治는 本於道하고
연이나 이제삼왕지치는 본어도하고
Yeon-i-na I-je-sam-wang-ji-chi-neun Bon-eo-do-ha-go
得其心이면 則道與治를 固可得而言矣리라.
득기심이면 즉도여치를 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.
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.
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.
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 불가불구기도요
Hu-se-in-ju Yu-ji-eo-i-je-sam-wang-ji-chi-in-dae Bul-ga-bul-gu-gi-do-yo
求心之要는 舍是書하고 何以哉리요.
구심지요는 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
침이 자수독이래로 침잠기의하고
Chim-i Ja-su-dok-i-rae-ro Chim-jam-gi-eui-ha-go
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.
수택이 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
집전은 본선생의 소명고로
Jip-jeon-eun Bon-seon-saeng-eui So-myeong-go-ro
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
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 어요순우탕문무주공지심에 수미필능조기미나
Si-jeon-ya Eo-yo-sun-u-tang-mun-mu-ju-gong-ji-sim-e Su-mi-pil-neung-jo-gi-mi-na
嘉定 己巳 三月 旣望에 武夷 蔡沈은 序하노라.
가정 기사 삼월 기망에 무이 채침은 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
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.