Confucius(551BC- 479BC),whose personal name was Qiu and styled Zhongni,was born in the Lu State.Confucius was a great thinker and educator in the late Spring and Autumn Period.He was also the founder of Confucianism
Confucius was a descendant of a noble family in the song State,who descended from royals of the Yin Dynasty.When he was still a child,his father died,and his family went to a decline as a result,but he studied very hard.He once said “ From any three people walking, I will find something to learn for sure” .Later Confucius began to travel about and instruct disciples. In his life,Confucius had instructed more than 3,000 disciples,some were from poor families In this way,Confucius had gradually changed the tradition that nobody but nobilities had the right to receive eduation.In his later years,Confucius compiled and preserved many literary works of ancient times.including The book of Songs,The book of Documents and The book of Changes.
Even in modern times,many of Confucius’s ideas are quite valuable.For instance,Confucius established and developed a moral and ethical system called ren(benevolences.) To achieve “ ren”, he believed that one should show benevolence to others,and therefore : do as you would like to be done by others.” Confucius maintained that teachers should enlighten students to think independently,and that students should formulate their own opinions when acquiring knowledge from textbooks.
The sayings and behaviors of Confucius’s were compiled in The analects of Confucius by his disciples.Confucius’s ideology has been absorbed and carried forward by later generations,composing the essential part of Chiense traditinal ideology. It was also spread into the border regions and areas,building up a circle of culture of Confucianism exerting profound infuence on the whole East Asian Countries.
Confucius belongs to China.He is a household name in Chian, and most of the Chinese people have been influenced by Confucius in one way or another.Confucius also belongs to the world,UNESCO has labeled him on of the “Ten cultural Celebrities”.
Four books and Five Classics”
Four books came into existence before the Qin Dynasty,although they were not called “ Four books” at that time. The Analects of Confucius ,one of the Four books, is a collection of words and deeds of Confucius. The other three are Mencius(Mengzi),The Great learning(Da xue) and the Doctrine of the Mean(Zhong yong).Mencius recorded the political thought of Master Meng Ke who was another prominent figure of confucianism.
Four books were regarded as the elementary textbooks for Confucianism study. Five Classics refer to five ancient classics: The Books of Changes(Yi jing),The book of Documents(Shang shu), The Book of Poetry( Shi jing), The Records of Rites(Li ji) and The Spring and Autumn Annals(Chun qiu)
In the dynasties of Ming and Qing,the sentences from “Four books and Five Classics” were the basis for the Imperial Examinations.Examinees had to explain them according to The Collected Notes on Passage in the Four books.Therefore, “Four books and Five Classics” became the most important textbooks for scholars of the time. Then the Confucian thought of “Four books and Five Classics” became the guideline of behavior.Furthermore,as the most important ancient corpus of China,it still have great influence on the current generation.