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Jingshi yizhuan 京氏易傳 "Master Jing's Commentary and Transmission of the Book of Changes"


The Jingshi yizhuan 京氏易傳 "Master Jing's commentary and transmission of the Book of Changes" is a commentary to and alternative version of the Confucian Classic Yijing 易經 "Book of Changes" written by the Han period 漢 (206 BCE-220 CE) Confucian scholar Jing Fang 京房 (77-37 BCE). He was a disciple of Jiao Yanshou 焦延壽 (Jiao Gan 焦贛) and left the capital because he had some arguments with a high official, Shi Xian 石顯. He became governor (taishou 太守) of the commandery of Weijun 魏郡 and was later executed for political reasons.
Jing Fang saw the Yijing not as a philosophical book, but in its original sense as a book on divination. He extended the teachings of Jiao Yanshou about the "trigrams of the eight palaces" (bagong gua 八宮卦), the "adaption of the cyclical sign jia" (najia 納甲), the Five Processes (wuxing 五行), and the energy of the hexagrams (gua qi 卦氣). Some ideas explained by Jing Fang came from his teachers Duan Jia 段嘉, Yao Ping 姚平 or Cheng Hong 乘弘. On the other side, the 3 juan "scrolls" long Jingshi yizhuan was the base for many later divination methods, like pointing at the relation of hexagrams and the world (shiying 世應), hidden and open manifestations of change (feifu 飛伏), the arrangement of the six hexagram lines (liuwei 六位), combinations of hexagrams with the ten celestial stems (shijia 十甲), the five stars (wuxing 五星) influencing human life, the four energies (siqi 四氣) in the human body producing fluids or controlling the organs, the six closer family relationships (liuqin 六親), and the nine kinsbonds (jiuzu 九族), the "palace of fortune and virtue" (fude 福德), and mutual displacement (xing 刑).
Except the Yizhuan, Jing Fang has also written the books Zhouyi zhangju 周易章句, Zhouyi cuogua 周易錯卦, Zhouyi yaozhan 周易妖占, Zhouyi zhanshi 周易占事, Zhouyi shoulin 周易守林, Zhouyi feihou 周易飛候, Zhouyi feihou liuri qifen 周易飛候六日七分, Zhouyi sishi hou 周易四十候, Zhouyi hundun 周易混沌, Zhouyi weihua 周易委化, Zhouyi nici zhan zaiyi 周易逆刺占災異 and Yizhuan jisuan fa zazhan tiaoli 易傳積算法雜占條例 of which only fragments survive.
In spite of its name, the Yizhuan is not really a commentary (zhuan 傳) to the oracle book Yijing, but an explanation of a similar, but different system of hexagrams, meaning, a different tradition (chuan 傳). The names of the hexagrams are identical to the Yijing, but the arrangement is different. They are grouped to eight series of "palace hexagrams" (gong ba gua 宮八卦), in which the head hexagrams changes seven times and so display the relation between hexagram lines and the state (shiying 世應 "correspondence to the world"), visible and hidden relations between hexagrams and their lines (feifu 飛伏 "flying and crouching"), changes to other hexagrams by the transformation of one line (youhun 游魂 "wandering spirits") and the return to the original hexagram (guihun 歸魂 "returning spirits") etc. on the transformation of all circumstances under Heaven, including politics and personal life.

Arrangement of hexagrams in the Jingshi yizhuan
乾宮八卦 大有
震宮八卦 大過
坎宮八卦 既濟 明夷
艮宮八卦 大畜 中孚
坤宮八卦 大壯
巽宮八卦 小畜 家人 無妄 噬嗑
離宮八卦 未濟 同人
兌宮八卦 小過 歸妹

The last juan of the Yizhuan explains the invention of the divination of changes by using milfoil stalks, the method of combining hexagrams with the Celestial Stems (najia fa 納甲法), the combination of hexagrams with the twenty-four calendric terms (ershisi qihou 二十四氣候), the change concering Heaven, Earth, and the world of humans and ghosts, and the meaning of hexagrams lines for relatives, spouses, fortune and office, the appearance of auspicious dragons and inauspicious tigers in hexagram lines, and the correlation to the Five Processes 五行 and their mutual production and extinction. The more modern method of divination by a coin (qianbu 錢卜) also originates in these descriptions, as well as a divination method called "fire pearls" (huozhulin 火珠林) that was described by Xiang Shi'an 項世安.
The Jingshi yizhuan was commented by Wu Luji 吳陸績. It is included in the collectanea Han-Wei congshu 漢魏叢書, Jindai mishu 津逮秘書 and Xuejin taoyuan 學津討原.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, vol. 2, p. 1789. Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

November 29, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail