Father and son relationship confucius

Confucius's Five Relationships by Alice Hu on Prezi

father and son relationship confucius

Keywords: Confucian family values, filial piety, family harmony, gender .. human relationships: ruler-minister, father-son, husband-wife, elder-younger. The first book in English that tackles the issues of father'son relationship through comparing Xunzi and Paul, two representatives of Confucian. The five relationships of Confucianism are father and son, elder brother and younger brother, husband and wife, older friend and younger friend, and ruler and.

He wishes quickly to become a man. Yet the mere shortcomings of youth are to be viewed charitably and judgment is to be suspended until time shall tell. This Confucius puts as follows: How do we know that his future will not be equal p. If he reach the age of forty or fifty, and has not made himself heard of, then indeed he will not be worth being regarded with respect. And one of the three things which he especially enjoins in relations to others is that all deal considerately with the young; he says in the "Analects" that his wishes are: The responsibilities of the father are of course more serious and grave.

They extend even to the avoidance of such comradeship with his son as might be misunderstood and so tend to impair the son's veneration. Thus, as has already been quoted, it is said: He must keep himself a veritable hero in his son's eyes, in order that he may command, and may be worthy to command, his admiration and reverence.

This also he must achieve in very truth and not by deception; for in the "Li Ki" it is said: Lest the son should thereby come to regard the.

father and son relationship confucius

The teacher must inculcate what is correct. When he inculcates what is correct and his lessons are not practised, he follows them up with being angry. When he follows them up with being angry, then contrary to what should be, he is offended with his son. When father and son come to be offended with each other, the case is evil. Such reproofs lead to alienation, and than alienation there is nothing more inauspicious.

And in book v. Therefore, the father has not absolute power over the son.

Content Pages of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Social Science

We must not presume to injure or to wound them. This is the beginning of filial piety. When we have established our character by the practice of this filial course, so as to make our name famous in future ages and thereby glorify our parents, this is the end of filial piety.

It is remarkable and significant that it should in these modern days be necessary to say "filial piety. Through this the meaning, "service of the Heavenly Father," has been derived. The Romans and the Greeks, however, scarcely at any time knew filial piety of the same type as this institution of the Chinese; for, though they possessed their "Lares and Penates," or household divinities, making sacrifices to departed ancestors was probably never erected into a well-established, long-cherished, everywhere honoured practice.

It called for the greatest reverence and devotion while the parent is yet living. Its most important phase, indeed, was the obligation it imposed to live an honourable and creditable life, that the parents might not have occasion to blush for their offspring. This feature cannot be overemphasized; for it is the chief sanction for ethical conduct, according to the morals of Confucius, aside from the ambition to become a superior human being as an end in, and of, itself. In the "Li Ki" this view is ascribed directly to Confucius, thus: His parents give birth to his person all complete and to return it to them complete may be called filial duty.

This is enjoined again and again in this book of the rules of propriety, as in the following: It is at its greatest when he respects himself. He is but an outgrowth from his parents; dare he do otherwise than preserve his self-respect? If he cannot respect himself, he injures them.

The following more detailed statement from the same book is ascribed to Tsang-Tsze, himself: If a man in his own house and privacy be not grave, he is not filial; if in serving his ruler he be not loyal, he is not filial; if in discharging the duties of office he be not reverent, he is not filial; if with friends he be not sincere, he is not filial; if on the field of battle he be not brave, he is not filial.

If he fail in these five things, the evil will reach his parents; dare he then do otherwise than reverently attend to them? The reverential service, due to parents as an act of filial piety, is not confined to service of the father, though he is the more frequently mentioned; the mother is equally the object of the devotion and love of their offspring.

As they serve their fathers, so they serve their rulers and they reverence them equally. Hence love is what is chiefly rendered to the mother and reverence is what is chiefly rendered to the ruler, while both of these things are given to the father. The effectiveness of filial piety as a motive of p. Of all man's actions there is none greater than filial piety.

Theology & Religion

Pious Regard for Living Parents. Thus in the "Li Ki" the nature of filial piety toward living parents is indicated. Much the same is yet more urgently inculcated in another passage from the same book: Not to disgrace himself and not to cause shame to his parents may be called filial duty. The duty to support parents is in the "Li Ki" enjoined in these sweeping terms: This is the filial piety of the common people.

Confucius was not wholly satisfied with this even as a statement of the duty of ordinary people. He deemed reverence, love, and obedience equally p. This colloquy taken from the "Analects" illustrates his position: The Master said, 'If, when their elders have burdensome duties, the young take the toil off them, and if, when the young have wine and food, they set them before their elders, is this to be deemed filial piety?

Again, in replying to the inquiry of another disciple, he refers to this as follows: The Master said, 'The filial piety of nowadays means the support of one's parents. But dogs and horses likewise are able to do something in the way of support; without reverence, what is there to distinguish the one support from the other? And to the query of yet another disciple he responded: In the "Li Ki" the same idea is put thus, involving both instant obedience and sincere respect: Since, then, remonstrance is required in the case of unrighteous conduct, how can mere obedience to a father be accounted filial piety?

And in the "Analects," Confucius lays down the true rule of action in the following: Remonstrance may not, however, be carried to excess and certainly not to such excess as is involved in exposing a father's shortcomings to the eyes of others or crying aloud his shame; for the "Li Ki" represents Confucius to declare, in conformity also with other sayings elsewhere: Mencius, apparently, would yet further limit the right of the son to reprove; indeed, he would all but destroy it for he says: But between father and son reproof is the greatest offence against that tenderness which should subsist.

In the same connexion, Mencius says: The first is laziness about employing legs and arms, resulting in failure to support parents.

The second, gambling and chess-playing and fondness for wine, with the same result. The third, prizing goods and money and selfish devotion to wife and children, with the same result. The fourth, giving way to the temptations that assail one's eyes and ears, thus bringing his parents to shame. The fifth, reckless bravery, fighting and quarrelling, endangering thereby the happiness and the support of one's parents.

Mencius also relates an extravagant but obviously apocryphal story of the filial piety of Shun, who however married without notifying his unforgiving parents, which act Mencius thus defends: That male and female should dwell together is the greatest of all human relations.

Had he informed his parents, he must have missed this greatest of human relations and thereby have incurred their just resentment. Therefore was it that he did not inform them. This is also quite in keeping with another clever saying of Mencius, which likewise embodies an ethical principle much insisted upon in China: Thus in the "Analects" it is related: In another place the test is made this: Other people say nothing of him different from the report of his parents and brothers.

King Wu is quoted in the "Shu King" as condemning unfilial and unfraternal behaviour in no uncertain terms as follows: As the son who does not reverently discharge his duty to his father but greatly wounds his father's heart; and the father who cannot love his son but hates him; as the younger brother who does not regard the manifest will of Heaven and refuses to respect his elder brother and the elder brother who does not think of the toil of their parents in bringing up their children and hates his younger brother.

In the "Analects," the disciple, Yu Tze, with feeling declares that all generous conduct flows from filial and fraternal sentiments, saying: Mencius bluntly declares that filial piety necessarily results from a benevolent spirit and that one cannot exist without the other: The assiduous, brooding care, resembling that of a mother for her infant child, which the son is expected to cultivate as regards his aging parents, is nowhere better illustrated than in this saying of Confucius: It is for this reason, also, i.

Pious Observances after the Death of Parents. If for three years he does not alter from the way of his father, he may be called filial. These passages from the "Doctrine of the Mean" and the "Analects" enjoin the continuance of filial piety, unabated, after the demise of parents. Confucius says of this: Mencius gives an interesting and reasonable, though scarcely verifiable, account of the origin of burial, in this abiding tenderness for the authors of one's being: When their parents died, they took the bodies up and cast them into some water-channel.

father and son relationship confucius

Afterwards, when passing by, they saw foxes and wildcats devouring the bodies and flies and insects covering p. The sweat burst forth upon their brows; they looked away, unable to bear the sight. For other people such perspiration did not burst out; but now their hearts' emotions affected their faces and their eyes. Instantly they hurried home, returned with spades and baskets, and covered the bodies. If this indeed was right, it is obvious that the filial son and virtuous man, in burying his parents, will behave according to propriety.

A stern duty, never to be shirked by a son, is to avenge his father if slain by the hand of an enemy. If the execution of the criminal law does this, well and good; but if not, the responsibility is on the son. In the "Li Ki" it is put thus: This mourning, however, must be the genuine expression of grief, deep and unassuageable; else the slight and feeble character of the son's piety is apparent.

Confucius deems this the severest and most reliable test of the earnestness and depth of filial devotion, saying: And he comments upon the mere show of it as comparable with two other destructive hypocrisies, as follows: The following is his statement about it and the reason for it: And three years' mourning is universally observed throughout the empire. During this period of mourning the son, if he can afford it, lives retired from the world, leaving the management of his affairs to others and abandoning p.

He utterly eschews meanwhile every alleviation of his sorrow, including very particularly the solace of music. But, with the expiration of this long period of retirement, his mourning is by no means at an end.

father and son relationship confucius

On the contrary it ends only with life itself. His father's name must not be spoken in his presence, except at the sacrifices upon the anniversary of his death; and never without tears.

Confucius Five relationships - SJS Wiki

Thus in the "Li Ki" it is said: That he does not do his ordinary work on that day, does not mean that it would be unpropitious to do so; it means that on that day his thoughts are occupied with them and he does not dare occupy himself, as on other days, with his private and personal affairs. The greatest of all filial obligations to deceased parents, however, is creditable conduct; for by that only can that which they have created, their son, worthily represent what they have sought to accomplish in the world through him.

The consideration of this phase of the Confucian conception of filial piety is most important since it is the sanction most relied upon to enforce all the injunctions, whether directly regarding self-development or its concomitant essential, propriety in relations with other human beings.

In the "Li Ki" the nature of this appeal is thus revealed: When he is inclined to do what is not good, he should think that he will thereby bring disgrace on the name of his parents and in no wise carry his wish into effect.

father and son relationship confucius

These supposed sayings of Confucius were written down 70 to 80 years after his death. Confucianism also includes the Five Classics: As the classics exist today, they were written after Confucius's time, but some version of them probably predated Confucius and influenced his thinking. Through the centuries, scholars have selected preferred ideas from the vast canon, sometimes combining them with notions from competing ideologies such as Taoism or Buddhism, and called their selections "Confucianism.

Untilan applicant's knowledge of Confucian classics was used for selecting state bureaucrats. Throughout China, state-supported Confucian temples were established.

Although deified by the state, Confucius was never a popular deity, and among the elite the acceptance of Confucius as a god steadily declined.

The ordinary people, until the late twentieth century, did not know Confucianism; however, aspects of this ideology, especially filial piety and all it implies, are part of Chinese Folk Religion. Confucianism has been an important influence on Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese cultures.

Each person must continually improve by learning how to carry out duties better so as to advance society. By and large, Confucianists do not consider human nature as inclined to evil; rather, each of us needs the right education to achieve wisdom, then we will spontaneously enact jen or humaneness. Although religious beliefs were accepted by Confucius, they remained in the background.

Self-cultivation does not depend on divine grace but on self-disciplined study. The reward for good behavior is not living in heaven after death; goodness is its own reward: We feel fulfilled, and society is harmonious.

The good person is courteous, considerate, avoids extremes such as by neither craving luxury nor practicing asceticismand follows the "golden rule": Confucianism presents the individual not as a detached entity but always as part of human relationships. Five such relationships are addressed specifically: In each relationship, both parties have obligations. For instance, the father should be kind, furnish security, and provide education. The son should be respectful, obedient, and care for his father in old age.

As Asian societies have modernized, Confucianism has been criticized for inhibiting democracy, being an obstacle to economic development, and justifying the subjugation of women.