Zhijia geyan 治家格言 "Maxims of regulating one's family", also called Zhu Bailu xiansheng zhijia geyan 朱柏廬先生治家格言, Zhuzi zhijia geyan 朱子治家格言, Zhuzi jiaxun 朱子家訓 or shortly Geyan 格言, is a traditional textbook for children compiled by the early Qing-period 清 (1644-1911) scholar Zhu Yongchun 朱用純 (1617-1688), courtesy name Zhiyi 致一, style Bailu 柏廬.
Zhu hailed from Kunshan 昆山, Jiangsu, and was a private teacher who never accepted any office under the Qing dynasty. Zhu Yongchun has also written the book Quanyan 勸言 and commentaries on the Confucian Classics Daxue 大學 and Zhongyong 中庸. His collected writings are called Kuine ji 愧訥集, Wuqilu 毋欺錄 and Bailu waiji 柏廬外集.
The most important versions of this textbook are the (anonymous?) commentary Geyan zhuji 格言注解, the collection Ruxian xunyao shisi zhong 儒先訓要十四種 (part of the Dongtingyutang kanshu 東聽雨堂刊書 of Zhang Chengxie 張承燮), and Shi Xiaogui's 史孝貴 Gujin jiaxun xinbian 古今家訓新編.
Zhu Yongchun was a traditional scholar who was influenced by the teachings of the Neo-Confucian masters of the Song period 宋 (960-1279) , the brothers Cheng Hao 程顥 (1032-1085) and Cheng Yi 程頤 (1033-1107), and Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). As a teacher he instructed his disciples in the so-called "Minor Learning" (xiaoxue 小學) and Zhu Xi's discussions Jinsilu 近思錄 in the style of the old Academy of the White Deer Cavern 白鹿洞書院.
Fearing that the teachings of his lectures would be forgotten in daily practice, he decided to compile a short text in which the fundaments of the Neo-Confucian view of the universe and society were laid down. Daily progress, he said, was only possible when virtue was cultivated, proprieted exercised and ameliorisation brought into effect. In this way, the study of texts as the basis was put into practice and could so change society.
The Zhijia geyan was a very widespread book and served as a kind of textbook of Neo-Confucian teaching. The text adhorts young people to be diligent, arduous, clean, upright, sincere and self-sufficient. There is a commentary called Zhijia geyan fanyi 治家格言繹義 written by Dai Yiqing 戴翊清. The Geyan was translated into Manchurian (in an enlarged version compiled by the scholar Deboo (Chin. Debao 德保, 1719-1789) and many other East Asian languages.