顺天应人 – Chinese philosophy and culture

shùntiān-yìngrén 顺天应人

Follow the Mandate of Heaven and Comply with the Wishes of the People

顺应上天的旨意和民众的意愿。“天”即“天命”,指上天旨意。古人认为,有德行的人秉承上天意志而确立政权,成为君主,故称为“天命”。“人”指人心、民意。它与西方“君权神授”思想相似,但它还强调人心、民意,体现了人本思想。在古代它常被用于称扬新朝代的建立和社会重大变革的实施,以表明其正当性、合法性。

The ancient Chinese believed that virtuous men followed the will of heaven in establishing a political regime and becoming its sovereigns; hence their success came from the mandate of heaven. This thought is similar to the Western notion of the divine right of kings; but it also emphasizes the wishes and will of the people, or people-centered thinking. In ancient China, this phrase was often used in praise of the founding of a new dynasty, and the implementation of major social reforms to justify its legitimacy.

引例 Citation:

◎天地革而四时成。汤武革命,顺乎天而应乎人。(《周易·革》)

(天地有阴阳的变化而形成一年四季。商汤、周武王变革天命[推翻旧政权,建立新政权],是顺应了上天的旨意和人民的意愿。)

Changes of yin and yang in heaven and earth give rise to the four seasons. Following the mandate of heaven and complying with the wishes of the people, King Tang and King Wu overthrew old regimes and established the Shang and Zhou dynasties respectively. (The Book of Changes)

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