100 Tao Te Ching Quotes From The Religious Chinese Text | Kidadl


100 Tao Te Ching Quotes From The Religious Chinese Text

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Why Tao Te Ching Quotes?

Laozi, also known as Lao Tzu or Lao-Tze, is known to be the writer of the Chinese religious text Tao Te Ching. Tao Te Ching meaning "The Classic Way of Virtue", is the basis of the long-lost religion of Taoism (also known as 'Daoism' in Chinese). Written in Classical Chinese, the text has a debatable history for being a work by Laozi, for it has no contextual proof of historical events, places, things, or people. 'Tao Te Ching' is brief and one of the greatest examples of classical literature, which has been translated into more than 200 languages worldwide. Tao Te Ching's main idea is about the true way of life in harmony and peace. It has inspired many artists and serves as a guide to how one must live in sync with the universe and all things that exist. Read on for the best quotes from Tao Te Ching.

What Parents Should Know

The Tao Te Ching is an excellent classical Chinese text written around 400 BC.

The Tao Te Ching contains approximately 5,000 Chinese characters in 81 short chapters or sections.

This text deals with the way (or way) and how it is expressed through the virtues (de). In particular, the text emphasizes the virtues of naturalness and inaction.

What to discuss with kids

Many artists, including poets,  calligraphers, painters, and gardeners, use Tao Te Ching as a needed source of motivation and inspiration.

Its influence has spread far and wide, making it one of the most translated texts in world literature.

The main idea of ​​"Tao Te Ching" revolves around a proper way of living in harmony and peace.

Quotes From The Tao Te Ching

Taoism or Daoism is both religious and philosophical. It proposes that one must adapt to whatever comes his way and accept reality. The 'Three Jewels' or 'Three Virtues' of Taoism are compassion, moderation, and humility. The first virtue is the essence of everything, which is love, or parental love. The second is simplicity, which means free from all desires. The third virtue is to live to the fullest, avoiding premature death. Find below some sayings of Taoism.

1. "Yet mystery and reality
emerge from the same source.
This source is called darkness."

2. "The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the Named is the mother of all things."

3. "Freed from desire, you can see the hidden mystery.
By having desire, you can only see what is visibly real."

4. "Darkness born from darkness.
The beginning of all understanding."

5. "If you overly esteem talented individuals,
people will become overly competitive.
If you overvalue possessions,
people will begin to steal."

6. "Practice not-doing and everything will fall into place.

7. "Do not display your treasures
or people will become envious."

8. "The Tao is like an empty container:
it can never be emptied and can never be filled.
Infinitely deep, it is the source of all things.
It dulls the sharp, unties the knotted,
shades the lighted, and unites all of creation with dust."

9. "It is better not to speak of things you do not understand."

10. "Heaven and Earth are impartial;
they treat all of creation as straw dogs.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she treats everyone like a straw dog."

11. "The spirit of emptiness is immortal.
It is called the Great Mother
because it gives birth to Heaven and Earth."

12. "It is like a vapor,
barely seen but always present.
Use it effortlessly."

13. "Simplicity, patience, compassion.
These three are your greatest treasures.
Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being.
Patient with both friends and enemies,
you accord with the way things are.
Compassionate toward yourself,
you reconcile all beings in the world."

14. "If you understand others you are smart.
If you understand yourself you are illuminated.
If you overcome others you are powerful.
If you overcome yourself you have strength.
If you know how to be satisfied you are rich.
If you can act with vigor, you have a will.
If you don't lose your objectives you can be long-lasting.
If you die without loss, you are eternal."

15. "Countless words
count less
than the silent balance
between yin and yang"

16. "Some say that my teaching is nonsense.
Other call it lofty but impractical.
But to those who have looked inside themselves,
this nonsense makes perfect sense.
And to those who put it into practice,
this loftiness has roots that go deep."

17. "Not-knowing is true knowledge.
Presuming to know is a disease.
First realize that you are sick;
then you can move toward health."

18. "Failure is an opportunity.
If you blame someone else,
there is no end to the blame.
Therefore the Master
fulfills her own obligations
and corrects her own mistakes.
She does what she needs to do
and demands nothing of others."

19. "True perfection seems imperfect,
yet it is perfectly itself.
True fullness seems empty,
yet it is fully present.

True straightness seems crooked.
True wisdom seems foolish.
True art seems artless."

20. "Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing yourself is true wisdom.
Mastering others is strength;
mastering yourself is true power."

21. "So the unwanting soul
sees what’s hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants."

22. "A sage traveling all day
is never far from the supplies in his cart,
and however spectacular the views
he remains calm and composed."

23. "Heaven and earth
begin in the unnamed:
name’s the mother
of the ten thousand things."

24. "Misery and fortune share a trust.
Happiness hides in misery."

25. "A tree too big to embrace
Is born from a slender shoot.
A nine-storey tower
Rises from a pile of earth.
A thousand-mile journey
Begins with a single step."

Tao Te Ching Water Quotes

Lao Tzu explains the seven virtues of water and their connection with the way of life. Water is the true embodiment of humility, depth, kindness, integrity, unbiased nature, versatility, and going with the flow. Like water, one must be content and adapt to things according to time, without changing one's actual composition. Here are some Lao Tzu 'Tao Te Ching' quotes on water.

26. "They were careful
as someone crossing an frozen stream in winter.
Alert as if surrounded on all sides by the enemy.
Courteous as a guest.
Fluid as melting ice.
Whole as an uncarved block of wood.
Receptive as a valley.
Turbid as muddied water."

27. "The supreme good is like water,
which benefits all of creation
without trying to compete with it.
It gathers in unpopular places.
Thus it is like the Tao."

28. "Water is the softest and most yielding substance.
Yet nothing is better than water,
for overcoming the hard and rigid,
because nothing can compete with it."

29. "A large country should take the low place like a great watershed,
which from its low position assumes the female role.
The female overcomes the male by the power of her position.
Her tranquility gives rise to her humility.
If a large country takes the low position,
it will be able to influence smaller countries.
If smaller countries take the lower position,
then they can allow themselves to be influenced.
So both seek to take the lower position
in order to influence the other, or be influenced."

30. "Just as fish remain hidden in deep waters,
it is best to keep weapons out of sight"

31. "Know the masculine,
but keep to the feminine:
and become a watershed to the world.
If you embrace the world,
the Tao will never leave you
and you become as a little child."

32. "Who can be still
until their mud settles
and the water is cleared by itself?
Can you remain tranquil until right action occurs by itself?"

33. "Why is the sea king of a hundred streams?
Because it lies below them.
This is why the sea is king of a hundred streams."

34. "Nothing in the world is soft and weak as water. But when attacking the hard and strong Nothing can conquer so easily.
Weak overcomes strong, Soft overcomes hard.
Everyone knows this, No one attains it."

35. "The supreme goodness is like water.
It benefits all things without contention.
In dwelling, it stays grounded.
In being, it flows to depths.
In expression, it is honest.
In confrontation, it stays gentle.
In governance, it does not control.
In action, it aligns to timing.

It is content with its nature,
and therefore cannot be faulted."

Tao Te Ching Quotes On Love

Giant Buddha Statue in Tian Tan, Hong Kong.

Love is the center of everything in the world, and our world begins with us. Unconditional love for oneself and others is the path to peace. The ability to give without expectations relieves one of the desires. Here are some quotes from the 'Tao Te Ching' which explain love.

36. "Embracing Tao, you become embraced.
Supple, breathing gently, you become reborn.
Clearing your vision, you become clear.
Nurturing your beloved, you become impartial.
Opening your heart, you become accepted.
Accepting the World, you embrace Tao.
Bearing and nurturing,
Creating but not owning,
Giving without demanding,
Controlling without authority,
This is love."

37. "When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."

38. "Love is a decision - not an emotion!"

39. "Thirty spokes converge at the hub,
but emptiness completes the wheel.
Clay is shaped to make a pot,
and what’s useful is its emptiness.
Carve fine doors and windows,
but the room is useful in its emptiness.
What is beneficial, while what is not
also proves useful."

40. "Always without desire we must be found,
If its deep mystery we would sound;
But if desire always within us be,
Its outer fringe is all that we shall see."

41. "If you are compassionate,
you can be truly courageous;
if you are economical, you can be truly generous;
if you are humble, you can be truly helpful. If you are brave but lack compassion,
are generous but lack economy,
and try to help others but lack humility,
you’ve lost the way."

42. "He who overcomes by violence will be overcome by violence"

43. "When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith."

Tao Te Ching Quotes About The Universe

We have compiled a list of quotes by 'Tao Te Ching' related to life and the universe. There are difficulties and problems which commonly occur in our lives. These outstanding quotes might help in encountering fear and deal with suffering.

44. "Close your mouth,
block off your senses,
blunt your sharpness,
untie your knots,
soften your glare,
settle your dust.
This is the primal identity."

45. "When there is no desire,
all things are at peace."

46. "Thus it is said:
The path into the light seems dark,
the path forward seems to go back,
the direct path seems long,
true power seems weak,
true purity seems tarnished,
true steadfastness seems changeable,
true clarity seems obscure,
the greatest are seems unsophisticated,
the greatest love seems indifferent,
the greatest wisdom seems childish.
The Tao is nowhere to be found. 
Yet it nourishes and completes all things."

47. "Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped."

48. "The gentlest thing in the world
overcomes the hardest thing in the world.
That which has no substance
enters where there is no space.
This shows the value of non-action.

Teaching without words,
performing without actions:
that is the Master's way."

49. "The great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Be aware when things are out of balance."

50. "Simplicity without a name
Is free from all external aim.
With no desire, at rest and still,
All things go right as of their will."

51. "Тhe gentle overcomes the rigid.
The slow overcomes the fast.
The weak overcomes the strong.

Everyone knows that the yielding overcomes the stiff,
and the soft overcomes the hard.
Yet no one applies this knowledge."

52. "If you want to govern the people,
You must place yourself below them.
If you want to lead people,
You must learn how to follow them."

53. "When I let go of what I am
I become what I might be."

54. "Chase after money and security
And your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
And you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity."

55. "He who defines himself can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others can't empower himself."

56. "The wise, while valuing themselves,
do not overestimate themselves.
They reject flattery and gain true merit."

57. "They put others first,
and so become great. They are not focused on outcomes or achievements;
therefore they always succeed."

58. "Matter is necessary to give form,
but the value of reality lies in its immateriality. Everything that lives has a physical body,
but the value of a life is measured by the soul."

59. "The wise attend to the inner truth of things
and are not fooled by outward appearances.
They ignore matter and seek the spirit."

60. "To live till you die
Is to live long enough"

61. "Upon disaster depends good fortune;
within good fortune hides disaster.
Where will it end?
For nothing is certain;
what is correct goes astray;
what is right goes wrong.
Our confusion goes on and on."

62. "They mingle their life with the world,
they mix their mind up with the world.
Ordinary people look after them.
Wise souls are children."

63. "Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you."

64. "Having to live on, one knows better than to value life too much."

65. "The world is a sacred vessel that cannot be changed.
He who changes it will destroy it.
He who seizes it will lose it."

66. "Know the strength of man,
 But keep a woman's care!
 Be the stream of the universe!
 Being the stream of the universe,
 Ever true and unswerving,
 Become as a little child once more.

 Know honour,
 Yet keep humility.
 Be the valley of the universe!
 Being the valley of the universe,
 Ever true and resourceful,
 Return to the state of the uncarved block."

67. "Manifest plainness,
Embrace simplicity,
Reduce selfishness,
Have few desires."

68. "When the people are too foolish to recognize danger,
disaster will surely come."

Quotes On Tao

Tao is considered the natural order of the universe, whose character and intuition must discern to realize the potential for respective wisdom, it originated in the context of East Asian philosophy, East Asian religions, or any other philosophy or religion that conforms to this principle.

69. "The Tao doesn't take sides;
it gives birth to both good and evil.
The Master doesn't take sides;
she welcomes both saints and sinners.

The Tao is like a bellows:
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
The more you use it, the more it produces;
the more you talk of it, the less you understand.

Hold on to the center."

70. "Whoever is planted in the Tao
will not be rooted up.
Whoever embraces the Tao
will not slip away.
Her name will be held in honor
from generation to generation.

Let the Tao be present in your life
and you will become genuine.
Let it be Present in your family
and your family will flourish.
Let it be present in your country
and your country will be an example
to all countries in the world.
Let it be present in the universe
and the universe will sing.

How do I know this is true?
by looking inside myself."

71. "In harmony with the Tao,
the sky is clear and spacious,
the earth is solid and full,
all creatures flourish together,
content with the way they are,
endlessly repeating themselves,
endlessly renewed.

when man interferes with the Tao
the sky becomes filthy,
the earth becomes depleted,
the equilibrium crumbles,
creatures become extinct."

72. "Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.

The more you know,
the less you understand.

The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing."

73. "He who stands on tiptoe
doesn't stand firm.
He who rushes ahead
doesn't go far.
He who tries to shine
dims his own light.
He who defines himself
can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others
can't empower himself.
He who clings to his work
will create nothing that endures.

If you want to accord with the Tao,
just do your job, then let go."

74. "The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery."

75. "The sage gives more than he takes;
how can he do this?
because he has the richness of Tao"

76. "Humanity is the child of earth;
Earth is the child of the universe;
The universe is the child of the Tao."

77. "The Tao is by nature immaterial,
yet all the world calls it great.
It is because the Tao does not put on appearances
that it is great."

78. "The Tao is divine.
The Tao is the Eternal.
Death is not to be feared."

79. "Attain complete emptiness,
Hold fast to stillness.

Understanding the ordinary:
Mind opens.

Mind opening leads to compassion,
Compassion to nobility,
Nobility to heavenliness,
Heavenliness to TAO.

TAO endures.
Your body dies.

There is no danger."

80. "If you follow the Tao,
you will understand where to stop.
Knowing where to stop,
you will be free from danger."

Inspirational Tao Te Ching Quotes

Tao is an unnoticed but not transcendent force that is both powerful and humble. It is an ideal that is at the root of all things. As the author of the 'Tao Te Ching', Lao Tzu is regarded as the founder of philosophical Taoism and as a deity in both religious Taoism and other traditional Chinese religions. Below are some inspiring quotes to help you live better.

81. "Gentle flexibility
is the way of the humble master"

82. "To know that there are some things
you cannot know
is wisdom."

83. "When the world's on the Way,
they use horses to haul manure.
When the world gets off the Way,
they breed warhorses on the common.

The greatest evil: wanting more.
The worst luck: discontent.
Greed's the curse of life.

To know enough's enough
is enough to know."

84. "Knowledge of the eternal is all-embracing.
To be all-embracing leads to righteousness,
Which is majestic.
To be majestic leads to the Heavenly.
To be Heavenly leads to the Way."

85. "Who thinks his great achievements poor
Shall find his vigour long endure."

86. "Those who dare risk death have courage;
but those who death cannot destroy are immortal."

87. "Those who know others are intelligent;
those who understand themselves are enlightened."

88. "The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best."

89. "Seeing details is called clarity,
Holding on to the soft is called strength,
Utilize the light,
Return to the clarity,
Leaving no disasters for the self,
This is called practicing constancy"

90. "The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long."

91. "If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve."

92. "A leader is best
When people barely know he exists
Of a good leader, who talks little,
When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,
They will say, “We did this ourselves."

93. "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

94. "Give evil nothing to oppose
and it will disappear by itself."

95. "A good traveler has no fixed plans
and is not intent upon arriving.
A good artist lets his intuition
lead him wherever it wants.
A good scientist has freed himself of concepts
and keeps his mind open to what is."

96. "The mark of a moderate man
is freedom from his own ideas.
Tolerant like the sky,
all-pervading like sunlight,
firm like a mountain,
supple like a tree in the wind,
he has no destination in view
and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way."

97. "A man with outward courage dares to die.
A man with inward courage dares to live."

98. "To attain knowledge, add things everyday.
To attain wisdom, remove things every day."

99. "Wild winds never last all morning
and fierce rains never last all day."

100. "What calamity is greater than no contentment,
and what flaw greater than the passion for gain."

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