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Chinese Literature
(Qinding) Xieji bianfang shu (欽定)協紀辨方書 "(Imperially Endorsed) Treatise on Harmonizing Times and Distintuishing Directions"


The (Qinding) Xieji bianfang shu (欽定)協紀辨方書 "(Imperially Endorsed) Treatise on Harmonizing Times and Distintuishing Directions" is a compendium on astrology compiled on imperial order under the supervision of Prince Yunlu 允祿 and finished in 1739. The book is 36 juan "scrolls" long and divided into eleven parts, XXX 本原二卷、義例六卷、立成宜一卷、忌用事一卷、公規二卷、annual tables (nianbiao 年表), month tables (yuebiao 月表), day tables (ribiao 日表), 利用二卷、附錄一卷、辨偽一卷。 The book is a concise description of the Chinese art of Fengshui, a para-science often translated as "geomancy". It explains how and where suitable places were to be selected that would promise a positive influence on the life of the inhabitants of a house or of corpses in a tomb. The skill of Fengshui masters takes into consideration time, the Five Processes (wuxing 五行), and the movements of the celestial bodies, in order to determine luck and misfortune. The preface to the book was written by the Qianlong emperor 乾隆 (r. 1736-1795) himself who explained that it was important for the Son of Heaven to respect the guidelines of Heaven and the directions of the Earth. This kind of respect (jing 敬) was important to create a cohesion between the people, the emperor, and Heaven. The Xieji bianfang shu is included in the imperial collectaneum Siku quanshu 四庫全書.
There is s partial translation into English by Thomas F. Aylward, The Imperial Guide to Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology, London: Watkins, 2007.


Source: Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文鬰 (1996). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典, Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe, vol. 2, p. 1793.

Chinese literature according to the four-category system

January 1, 2014 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail