Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Qu Yuan 屈原

Qu Yuan 屈原 was a member of the royal family of the kingdom of Chu in the time of Warring State. He was also the designated priest for the royal family. He wrote many beautiful poems that still existed till this day. His poems kept many valuable historical information: the mythologies, religious belief, part of funeral ritual of calling back the spirit of the dead, the type of food they eat, etc. He could have kept his position in court, but he could not stand to see the king of Chu being cheated by Qin's sweet words. He kept trying to advise the king not to believe Qin, but the king of Chu did not listen to him. His first Chu king was eventually kidnapped by Qin and died in Qin, and his second king did not listen still. He was exiled. When he was in exile, he met a fisherman. The fisherman asked him, "Aren't you the Dafu of San Lu (administrator of 3 royal clans)? Why are you here (in exile)?" He said, "The world are dirty and I am clean. The world are drunk and I am awake. Therefore, here I am." The fisherman said, "The men with De would not be limited by their environment. If the world is dirty, why don't you float with the dirt? If the world is drunk, why don't you drink with them? Why do you want to think too much and get exiled?" Qu Yuan said, "I have heard that a man who has just washed his hair would clean the dirt from his hat before wearing it, and a man who has just bathed would clean the dirt of his clothes before putting it on. How can I corrupt my clean self with dirt? I would rather jump into the river. How can I cover my pure reputation with the dirt of the world?" The fisherman smiled, turned around and sang, "Canglang river's water is pure, and it could wash the belt on my hat. Canglang river's water is dirty, and it could wash my dirty feet." Afterward, the fisherman left without saying one more word. Eventually, Qu Yuan killed himself by jumping into MiLuo river.

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