Great quotes from The Analects

The Analects, or Lunyu, also known as the Analects of Confucius, is the collection of sayings and ideas attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius and his contemporaries, traditionally believed to have been written by Confucius’ followers.

There are 20 chapters in the Analects and are grouped by individual themes, but the chapters are not arranged in any sort of way so as to carry a continuous stream of thoughts or ideas. (Source: Wikipedia)

1 學而 Xue Er “Learning”
2 為政 Wei Zheng “Exercising Government”
3 八佾 Ba Yi “Eight pantomimes”
4 里仁 Li Ren “Virtuous manners in neighbourhood”
5 公冶長 Gongye Zhang (name of a person)
6 雍也 Yong ye “There is Yong”
7 述而 Shu er “Transmitting”
8 泰伯 Taibo (name of a person)
9 子罕 Zi han “[What the] Master seldom [speak of]”
10 鄉黨 Xiangdang “In the village”
11 先進 Xian jin “Men of former times”
12 顏淵 Yan Yuan “A disciple of Confucius”
13 子路 Zi lu “name of a person”
14 憲問 Xian wen “Xian asked”
15 衛靈公 Wei Linggong “name of a ruler”
16 季氏 Ji shi “[The head of] the Ji clan”
17 陽貨 Yang huo “name of a person”
18 微子 Wei zi “The viscount of Wei”
19 子張 Zizhang “a disciple of Confucius”
20 堯曰 Yao yue “Yao said”

1.1 子曰:「學而時習之,不亦說乎?有朋自遠方來,不亦樂乎?人不知而不慍,不亦君子乎?」  Confucius said, “To study and consistently practise what you have learned, is it not joyous? To have friends come from afar to share about learning, is it not happiness? To be unperturbed when not appreciated by others, is he not a true gentleman?”
1.2 有子曰。其爲人也孝弟、而好犯上者、鮮矣。不好犯上、而好作亂者、未之有也。君子務本、本立而道生。孝弟也者、其爲仁之本與 You Zi said: “For those who are being filial and fraternal, it is rare to find amongst  them who enjoy offending their superiors.  For those who do not enjoy offending against their superiors, never has there been one who is an agitator. (Jun Zi) The Gentleman concerns himself with the fundamentals. Once the fundamentals are established, the proper way appears. Hence, filial piety and respecting elders are the fundamentals of humanity and benevolence.
5.15 子貢問曰:「孔文子何以謂之『文』也?」

子曰:「敏而好學,不恥下問,是以謂之『文』也。」 公冶長 十五

Zi gòng (子貢), asked his teacher Confucius the reason why a great man by the name of Kǒng yǔ孔圉, an official of country WEI (衛國) was being highly regarded.

To which Confucius replied, he is hardworking yet eager to learn new knowledge; he asks questions to people lower rank than him.

 7.20  子曰:“我非生而知之者,好古,敏以求之者也。”《论语》述而篇第二十  Confucius said, I am not born with all my knowledge. I love and learn from traditional culture; I put in great effort to attain them.
7.37 子溫而厲,威而不猛,恭而安。 述而第七《三十七》 According to his students, Confucius is serious and stern however gentle when you get close to him; A man with dignity however not fierce; Respectful and serene.

溫 – 溫和  Friendly or gentle

厲 – 嚴肅 Serious or stern

威 – 威嚴 Dignity, quality of being worthy of honour or respect

不猛 – 不剛猛 Not fierce or aggressive

恭 – 謙恭 Respectful, Act or posture of lowering oneself in relation to others

安 – 安適 Serene, calm and peaceful

This is how a student of Confucius view about his teacher. Confucius believes in the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behaviour and words.



Confucius replied that when a person possesses FIVE virtues, he is considered to be a person with Benevolence.

Zi Zhang asked again, “What are the Five Virtues?”

“Respect, Magnanimity, Trustworthy, Hardworking and Graciousness.”

“Have Respect for others, and you will not be humiliated, Magnanimous and be recognized.

“Be Trustworthy and you will be trusted, Hardworking to get work done, and Graciousness and you can command others.”