舜的傳說 Legend of Shun

所屬名錄: 第三批國家名錄

編號: I-90

申報地區或單位: 山西省沁水縣,山東省諸城市

Inscribed list: National List, Third Batch

Inventory no.: I-90

Nominating unit(s): Shanxi Province, Qinshui County; Shandong Province, Zhucheng City

舜在後期被尊稱為帝舜,他是一位古代中國傳奇領袖。在朝代之前,由於缺乏文字記錄的關係,真實所發生的事情並不清楚。因此上古中國領䄂的故事是透過口耳相傳方式被記錄。

根據傳說,舜生於一個貧困家庭,與其家人同居。生母歿後,他的瞎父瞽首(意指「瞎了的老人」)再娶一位冷酷的繼母,舜亦得到了一位同父異母的弟弟 — 象,以及一位同父異母的妹妹敤首。縱使舜受到其父母及弟弟的冷待,舜仍然以孝服待他們,並為家庭打理農地。但有時候,當他得知其父母及弟弟要殺自己的時候,他會離開其家,並在事情平息後才回去。

舜的孝心亦感動他人。後來,當堯帝在尋覓繼承人的時候,他從其他領袖得知關於舜的事情。在史記中,堯聽從從其他部落首領的建議後,他決定把其一對姊妹及女兒 — 娥皇及女英下嫁舜,以試驗舜的孝道,結果成功。舜不但為適合的繼承人,還是兩位妻子的好丈夫。

舜從照顧妻子至打理政治,在多方面取得成就。不過,舜仍遭受其家人的嫉妒及憎恨,尤其是其雙親,因為他們想象娶那對姊妹。於是,他們就計劃燒毀谷倉以殺死舜。計劃失敗後,他們以計把舜引出屋外並把他埋在土𥚃,意圖把他殺死,然後再企圖把堯帝送給舜的財產佔有。但舜均在兩次磨難中存活,並繼續對家人不離不棄。在《説文解字》中,以及《列女傳》,敤首,有別於其他家庭成員,她得知家人們的陰謀後,選擇通知其兄的妻子,助兄長逃過一劫。

之後,堯帝讓舜管理政治。他不僅舉薦賢能,亦把反抗者清除。多次任務後,他得到堯帝禪讓王位。登基後,他在政治、司法及社會行政上取得成就,並命令大禹治水解決水災問題。因為其子嗣資質平庸,所以他會退位後把帝位傳給大禹。當然,在位其間,他的家人及兄弟並沒有把陷入危險中,皆因他們被舜的孝心感動了。

舜的孝順故事是「二十四孝」中的其中一則故事。在儒家及墨家中,帝舜及帝堯受到世人尊敬,因帝舜是孝道的模範者,與儒家的觀點相符。在胡南及淅江,當地有舜廟及舜耕,這地點是傳說中舜的居所。從戰國到清朝時期的學者及史書,包括孟子嘗試猜其身世,並一致同意他的家鄉在中國東部。

雖然部分學者會根據傳説出現時間對舜是否有真人而展開討論,舜之傳說已經深入人心,並成為一位神秘亦傳奇的領袖。

Shun, later known as Emperor Shun or Shun the Great, is one of the legendary leaders of ancient China, regarded as some as one of the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors. Little is known about the period before the Xia-Shang dynasty, due to the lack of written records. Therefore, most stories about the pre-historic leaders of China were transmitted orally.

 

According to legend, Shun was born into a poor family. After the death of Shun’s  mother, his blind father, Gusou (瞽叟; which means “blind elderly”), was re-married to a cold stepmother, who gave birth to Shun’s half-brother, Xiang (象), and a half-sister named Ke Shou (敤首). Despite suffering abuse from his step-mother and half-brother, and his father turning a blind eye to his abuse, Shun remained filial towards them while helping the household to take care of the crops. Whenever he learned of his family’s plots to his to murder him, he would stay away from his home until the coast was clear.

 

The filial and compassionate heart of Shun moved everyone around him. Later, when Emperor Yao () was seeking a successor for his position, he soon learned of Shun. In Records of the Grand Historian, after Emperor Yao overheard the advice from other tribal leaders, Yao decided to let Shun marry his two daughters—named Ehuang (娥皇) and Nuying (女英)—intending to test Shun’s character. Shun proved to be a good husband and showed to be a perfect candidate to be Yao’s successor.

 

Shun achieved great respect for his peace-making skills and wisdom. However, his family members were jealous of him, and plotting to kill Shun and to have Xiang take the two sisters, they devised a plan to lure Shun to a barn and burn it down. After that failed, they decided to lure him out of his home and buried him underground to murder him, before proceeding to occupy all his properties granted by the emperor. But Shun survived both ordeals while remaining loyal to his family. In Shuowen Jiezi (說文解字) and Biographies of Exemplar Women (列女傳), Ke Shou, unlike the rest of her family, decided to help her brother by informing her brother’s wives when she learned of the plots to kill him.

 

Afterwards, Yao allowed Shun to become politically involved. Shun was intelligent and hardworking; he also banished those who were unable to cooperate with the ruler. Several tasks later, he was officially recognized by Emperor Yao as his successor. While in leadership, he made many political, judiciary and social reforms, and commanded Yu the Great to eradicate the problems had with regular flooding.  Deciding that none of his children were up to the task, he decided to pass the reigns of his leadership to Yu the Great. During his rulership, neither his parents nor his step-brother tried to bring him further harm, as they were finally moved by his filial and kind heart.

 

The story of Shun was included in The Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars (二十四孝), a classic text of Confucian filial piety written by Guo Jujing during the Yuan dynasty. In Confucianism and Mohism (墨家), Shun and Yao are well-respected as role models of filial piety, in line with Confucian values. In Henan and Zhejiang, there is respectively the Temple of Shun, and the Fields of Shun (舜耕), the latter allegedly being the residence of the legendary emperor. Several scholars and historical books from the Warring states to the Qing Dynasty, including Mencius (孟子), have conjectured as to the true origins of Shun, but they all agree that he is most likely from the eastern side of China.

 

Although some scholars might debate on the real existence of Shun, the Legend of Shun has successfully been transmitted through hundreds of generations, and remain one of the most legendary yet mysterious leaders in Chinese history.

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