Book review – Tao Te Ching

Always being curious about new books and looking into good reads, one day I decided to read the English translation by Jonathan Star of the book called Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu.

After reading the first few pages of the book, I was very eager to explore the history of the book. Curious to find out the origin of this sacred Chinese scripture, I googled the web for the meaning of the word Tao. 

The understanding I got after reading various definitions was that Tao or Dao (English pronunciation) is a Chinese word signifying ‘way’, ‘path’, ‘route’, ‘road’, ‘choose’, ‘key’ or sometimes more loosely ‘doctrine’, ‘principle’ or ‘holistic science’.

Hence the word Tao Te Ching  can be translated as “The Classic of the Way’s Virtues” or “The Book of the Way of Virtue.”

The Tao Te Ching is a Chinese Classic text also referred to as Laozi.

Laozi also known as Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher, writer, and the founder of philosophical Taoism. Taoism is a religious or philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony.

The Tao Te Ching is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. 

After gaining the understanding of Tao, Taoism, and reading about Laozi,  I found the book very inspiring and composed of many philosophical views about life.

The book is about ancient Chinese wisdom that was written around 500 B.C.

Tao Te Ching is an eastern text that has been translated by many scholars. The translation I read from Jonathan Star, is considered to be very close to the original text and is considered to be very relate-able to one’s life. It is also acclaimed that Star has done a great job in preserving the poetic phenomena of the text as well.

Throughout the book, the reference is made to Tao and Sage. For my understanding, I googled Sage again. As per Wikipedia definition, a Sage is someone who has attained the wisdom which a philosopher seeks.

The book is divided in to 81 verses. Each verse conveys a very important message related to life. Each verse grabs the reader’s attention by teaching the important message of living in harmony, and focusing on various wise teachings. The philosophy presented in the book embodies deep meanings of the existence of universe and how to live in peace. It talks about power of giving and not expecting back like water who nurtures every thing on Earth and need no return. The Tao Te Ching is the route in itself, the path to emptying the human mind of ambitions, schemes and desires and allow it to be flooded with humility, stillness, calmness and leading simple life. To summarize each verse of Tao Te Ching will take away from it’s original essence. One must read each verse over and over again to understanding the philosophy of Taoism.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is eager to learn and understand new dimensions and meaning of life.

Happy reading.

Review completed by N. Reflection

Resources referred: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tao_Te_Ching

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laozi

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