《双语园地》Emperors Yao and Shun Honored Xu You 帝尧、帝舜师事许由

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Xu You was a person of noble spirit in ancient China with high moral standards. He had broad knowledge and considered moral principles more important than personal gain. According to ancient historical texts, Xu You was the teacher of both Emperor Yao and Emperor Shun. All three were considered sages.

许由是上古时代一位高洁清节之士,“庄子•天地”篇云:「尧之师曰许由」,“吕氏春秋•孟夏纪•尊师”篇云:「帝舜师许由」,许由曾为尧,舜两位圣君的老师。他学识渊博,道德高尚,重义轻利,与尧,舜一样称为圣人。

The land of China was peaceful and prosperous during the reign of Emperor Yao. Although Emperor Yao appointed many wise persons to assist with the governance of the country, he was still worried about possibly overlooking many qualified people. To uncover these people, Emperor Yao often searched everywhere, including outlying villages and remote mountains. When Emperor Yao heard of a man called Xu You who was virtuous and had high morals, he traveled a long way to visit him. After a conversation, Xu realized that Emperor Yao was indeed a virtuous ruler with extraordinary aspirations. Emperor Yao admired Xu for his profound knowledge of the universe’s principles, and asked him to be his teacher.

史载帝尧治理天下万民,使海宇清平,举贤任能,可谓人才济济。但他仍唯恐埋没人才,还常常深入山野之间去寻查细访,求贤问道,他听说许由是有道之名士,于是千里相访。帝尧与许由见面倾谈后,许由了解到帝尧志趣不凡,的确是位圣主,帝尧对许由讲述的天下之理佩服之极,因此就拜其为师。

After returning to the palace, Emperor Yao thought of handing over his reign to Xu You. He thus asked the Secretary of Agriculture to take care of the nation’s business and set out to invite Xu to the palace. When he found Xu in a swamp, Emperor Yao was very respectful to him and treated him with formal etiquette of a student.

Emperor Yao said, “I, your student, am poor in virtue and weak in ability. When I took over the country, I made a vow that I would rule it temporarily. I said that I would visit all sages and invite one of them to lead the country. I thoroughly believe that your ability and virtues are as bright as the sun and moon, and no sage can eclipse you. I am willing to give you the country. Please accept this for the sake of the people. There is nothing more fortunate than this.”

Xu responded, “Through your majesty’s rule, the world has received great leadership. The nation is in peace and the people are prosperous. This is all due to your majesty’s efforts. If I were to take over right now, wouldn’t it mean that I am doing it to gain fame?” Emperor Yao persistently tried to persuade Xu to take the position, but Xu firmly declined. When Emperor Yao went to visit Xu the next day, he was gone, and no one knew where he went.

帝尧还都后,就想把这个天下让给许由,他将朝政交大司农等代理,即日命驾,往访许由,朝拜许由于沛泽之中。帝尧对他极为恭敬,执弟子之礼,北面而朝之,说道:。「弟子德薄能鲜当初即位之时,曾经发愿,暂时忝摄大宝,过一过渡,必定要访天下之圣贤,将这天下让给他现在弟子细想,老师才德好比太阳和月亮,并世圣贤无过于老师愿将这天下让与您,请您慨然担任以安万民,不胜幸甚」许由说:。「帝治理天下,天下已经得到大治了,国泰民安,万民丰乐,这一切都是帝的功劳,而现在让我来接替,我是为名而来吗?」帝尧一再相让,许由坚辞不肯。次日,帝尧再访许由,许由竟不知到何处去了.

By Hui Zhi