Confucius, whose real name was actually Kong Qui, was born possibly in 551 BC. Not much is known about this famous Chinese philosopher's childhood and early life but some scholars have come up with their own assumptions.
Confucius was born in the district of Zou which was controlled by the Kings of Zhou, however, it was governed by the lords of Lu. His father, Kong He, was an elderly commander of the local garrison in Lu. He is thought to have passed away when Confucius was only 3 years of age. He was then raised by his mother, Yan Zhengzai, who followed in his father’s footsteps a few years later at the age of 40. He married a woman, Qiguan, at the age 19 and by the time he was 20 he had become a father to a boy named Kong Li.
Confucius was given education in the school of commoners where he studied the “Six Arts”. He is known to be born into an upper middle class family, a class that lands between aristocracy and the commoners. He is known to work several government jobs in his young adult age.
Philosophy and Teachings:
As the 6th century proceeded the competing Chinese states started to disrespect the rule of the Chou Empire which had ruled for 500 years. This is when China experienced a period of moral decline. Confucius seeing this, decided to develop and reinforce certain societal values of compassion and tradition. His philosophy circled around the concept of loving others (ren) while practicing self-discipline. He believed that the ren could be put into action using the Golden Rule of not doing unto others what you would not wish upon yourself.
His political beliefs advocated self-discipline. He said that the leader should exercise the discipline of self in order to remain humble and inspire his followers. According to Confucius, the leader should show compassion to their followers and motivate them to abide by the law by teaching them righteousness.
Confucius believed that his job as an educator was to teach people to live with integrity. Through his teachings, he worked to resurrect the traditional Chinese values of benevolence.
Death and Legacy:
Confucius died on November 21 479 B.C. His followers organized a funeral and dedicated a mourning period. As of 4th century B.C. Confucius was regarded as the man deserving much better recognition for his work during his time. By the 2nd century B.C. his ideas laid down the foundation to the ideology of the state.
About Amita Vadlamudi:
Reading and learning something new every day is a must to do for Amita Vadlamudi. She found the life and philosophy of Confucius a fascinating study, especially in light of the fact that this great philosopher lived about 2500 years ago.