lipu Pona la: kasi nanpa 79 pi lipu Nasin Pona

和大怨   After settling down for great anger
必有馀怨   There are always resentments left over.
安可以为善   How can this be considered as good?
是以圣人执左契   Therefore the sage keeps her part of the deal1,
而不责于人   And doesn’t badger the other party.
有德司契   The virtuous ascertain the content of the contract itself; 2
无德司彻   Those without virtue are concerned about it’s being exacted. 2
天道无亲   The Heavenly Way has no favorites:
常与善人   It always raises up the Good3.

Sitelen Sitelen Renderer by Olaf Janssen.

  1. Muller: “左契 literally means the “left side of the tally.” Ancient contracts in East Asia were made by writing the agreement on a wooden board that would be broken in half, and rematched when the contract had been fulfilled.” 

  2. Muller: “The interpretation of 司契 and 司徹 here varies considerably among translators. We take it as one of the plethora of expressions of the pervasive notion of wu-wei in the Daodejing, which implies doing things by focusing on the content, and what one can actual do well, rather than on expectations of a rapid conclusion. Cf. the translations by D.C. Lau, Richard Llynn, Ellen Chen, John Wu, and others.”  2

  3. Muller: “Cf. Analects 4:10: The Master said: “When the noble man deals with the world he is not prejudiced for or against anything. He does what is Right.” 子曰。君子之於天下也、無適也、無莫也、義之與比。” 

Acknowledgements / Notes