A great Philosopher
Confucius was born in 551 BC in the Lu State. This state was in The South of modern-day Shandong Province. He was a great thinker and social philosopher, whose teaching and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese thought of life. His philosophy largely impressed personal and administrative morality, the accuracy of social relationships, justice, and dedication. These values gained projection in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism during the Han Dynasty. His thoughts have been flourished into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism.
The formal name of Confucius was Kong Qiu and he was also called Zhongni. He was from a warrior family; his father was a famous warrior who had military exploits in two battles. He lost his father when he was just three years old. He was educated in a common school where he studied and learned Six Arts. He worked in different government jobs during his early 20s. He also worked as a bookkeeper and a caretaker of sheep and horses.
Lu state was headed by Ducal house which was succeeded by three hereditary families and expelled Ducal to leave Lu. Confucius desired to return the authority of the state to Ducal by dismantling the barricades of the city strongholds belonging to the three families. Through this, he could establish a centralized government but due to complex political issues between different political rivalries, Confucius was deeply disappointed and resolved to leave Lu and seek better opportunities. He returned home to his native place where Ji Kangzi who was the Chief minister to start teaching and transmit his old wisdom through a set of texts called the Five Classics invited him.
Despite the secular nature of Confucianism’s teaching, it is based on a worldview that is religious. Confucianism considers elements of the afterlife and views interest in Heaven. Confucius had believed in astrology and he puts the greatest emphasis on the importance of the study. His moral teachings considered self-cultivation, mirroring of moral illustration and the fulfillment of skilled judgment rather than knowledge of rules.
His political thought is based upon his ethical thought. He said that the best way to govern is through rights and natural morality, and not by using bribery and force. If the people led by laws and to be punished if commit a crime, they will try to avoid the punishment but have no sense of shame but if they led by the virtue and equality through the rules, they will have the sense of shame. He said once “Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus makes them crimes”.
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