An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Juyelu 居業錄

Sep 23, 2013 © Ulrich Theobald

Juyelu 居業錄 "Records of sitting at studying the cause (of Confucianism)" is a Confucian treatise written by the Ming-period 明 (1368-1644) scholar Hu Juren 胡居仁 (1434-1484), courtesy name Shuxin 叔心, style Jingzhai 敬齋. He haield from Yugan 余幹, Jiangxi, and was a disciple of Wu Yubi 吳與弼 (1391-1469). Hu Juren never aspired official career but preferred to live in his rural mansion, where he studied the ancient writings in the style of the White Deer Cavern Academy 白鹿書院. The Juyelu was only published by his son-in-law, Yu You 余祐 (1465-1528). The title of the book is derived from a sentence in the Yijing "Book of Changes", where it is said that the well-educated man's "attention to his words and establishing his sincerity are the way by which he occupies in his sphere" (transl. Legge).

The 8 juan-long book is divided into twelve chapters and more than a thousand sub-chapters that cover all important aspects of Confucian teaching, from the description of sage persons and worthy ministers of highest virtue, the study of the Confucian Classics to the duty of learning and studying, self-cultivation the search for the naturally good character in oneself. The author criticizes the teachings of Buddhism and Daoism and supports the teachings of the brothers Cheng Yi 程頤 (1033-1107) and Cheng Hao 程顥 (1032-1085) and the Neo-Confucian philosopher Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). The center of their teachings was that all outer aspects of the world were reflected in one's own heart, and the heart therefore was identical to the good universal order (xin yu li yi 心與理一). This original substance was integrated in the matter (qi 氣 "breath") of one's own body. The purer this matter was, the brighter was the universal order to be seen. The noble man (junzi 君子) would overcome his desires ( 欲) and perform the Confucian virtues loyalty, filial piety, kindheartedness and benevolence. The Heavenly order (tianli 天理) was transformed in the way of the ruler (wangdao 王道) and human relationship inside a family and a social network. The performance of propriety (yi 義) would overcome all attempts at personal profit (li 利). Self-cultivation was able to "exhaust" the naturally integrated universal order (qiong li 窮理), which mostly happened in the form of studying the ancient writings.

During the Zhengde reign-period 正德 (1506-1521), Zhang Jiceng 張吉曾 compiled an abridged version of the book that was published under the title Juyelu yaoyu 居業錄要語. A shortened version by Wu Tingyu 吳廷舉 (1459-1526) is called Juyelu cuiyan 居業錄粹言, one compiled by Chen Fengwu 陳鳳梧 (1475-1541), Juyelu leibian 居業錄類編. Yet these abridged versions do often not express the original intention of the author and therefore experienced no greatere demand. During the late Ming period the Juyelu was also published in a joint edition with Xue Xuan's 薛瑄 (1389-1464) Dushulu 讀書錄 and Luo Qingshun's 羅欽順 (1465-1547) Kunzhiji 困知記, under the title San xiansheng yulu 三先生語錄.

The Juyelu is to be found in the series Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Zhengyitang quanshu 正誼堂全書 and Congshu jicheng chubian 叢書集成初編.

Table 1. Contents of the Juyelu 居業錄
1 道體 Daoti The substance of the Way
2 為學 Weixue Preparing ground for learning
3 主敬 Zhujing Making respect the master of the mind
4 致知 Zhizhi The perfection of knowledge
5 力行 Lixing The strengthening of action
6 出處 Chuchu Taking office
7 治體 Zhiti The structure of government
8 教人 Jiaoren The education of man
9 警戒 Jingjie Awareness of restrictions
10 辨異端 Bianyiduan Discourse on differences and important ends
11 觀聖賢 Guanshengxian Looking at saints and worthies
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰, eds. (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1568.