Tao-te ching Comments

The Sage Follows the Tao...

Gravity is the root of lightness; stillness, the ruler of movement.

Therefore a wise prince, marching the whole day, does not go far from his baggage waggons. Although he may have brilliant prospects to look at, he quietly remains (in his proper place), indifferent to them. How should the lord of a myriad chariots carry himself lightly before the kingdom? If he do act lightly, he has lost his root (of gravity); if he proceed to active movement, he will lose his throne. (Ch. 26, Legge).


This chapter is stressing on the urge to follow the middle pass between gravity and lightness or stillness and movement. Middle means balance.

The sage is content to remain in his own place without any concern with exciting things (prospects or projects). Thus he acts as the Tao  - called here "the lord of a myriad chariots".

Ma Kou* too seems to support my interpretation as he translates "the lord of a myriad chariots" as "the lord of ten-thousand", that is the Tao. The meaning is that the sage acts like Tao does, keeping the balance.

This chapter was interpreted differently by different authors. Moss Roberts, for instance, states that it deals with military and things related to warfare.

*Tao Te King, Lao tseu, Albin Michel, chapter 26, translated from French.

Commentary by Jhian



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