Jing literally means ‘The Book of Changes’. What the
Vedas is to the Hindus, the Yi Jing is to the Chinese!
Practically everything from the Chinese astrology, Feng
Shui, miang xiang et al, all have their origins in the
it is a well known fact, change is the only constant
force in the universe. The entire universe is made up of
energies. We have given this force or energy many
names-one of them being God! All living creatures are
made up of this energy and thus we draw parlance from
quantum physics that energy cannot be created nor
destroyed. It just changes from one form to another.
Thus, all creatures, the soul, and even man made
creations only change form, but cannot be annihilated.
snow melts when the sun shines, watering and nourishing
vegetation and thus follows spring. Spring gives way to
summer. The blazing heat of the sun evaporates water and
turns it into clouds, which decide to return to the
earth as rain, further nurturing trees and plants. When
trees are laden with overripe leaves, they soon turn
yellow and fall, only to make space for new foliage in
autumn. And once again, autumn transposes into winter.
above, so below”, said Lao Tzu the famous Chinese
philosopher. Man has for centuries adjusted according to
the laws of the universe and adapted himself to the
various changes in seasons. The farmer ploughs, sows,
cultivates and reaps according to the changing seasons.
The universe operates according to the laws of nature.
Whenever this law is defied, what results is an
imbalance, out of which follows chaos, stress and
conflict, ultimately culminating in decay. This decay or
degeneration extends not only to living organisms, but
also to thought processes, beliefs, systems and laws.
does the yi jing come into the picture?
literally translates as ‘change’. Change but not
death. Jing means classics. The fundamental principle of
the yijing is again the ‘yin’ and the ‘yang’,
anima and animus. Yin and yang are merely the two sides
of the same coin. Each is present in the other, each
occurs after the other, just as day follows night and
night follows day. The age old proverb, “Darker the
night, closer the dawn”, fits here. Anything that has
been stressed to its capacity has to regain its original
position. This is the promise of the yijing!
to popular belief, yin is not weak and yang is not
strong. This is only for representative purposes. Night,
darkness, dampness, cold, stillness, the feminine are
all considered yin and day, brightness, dryness,
masculinity, movement are all considered yang. However,
it is a fallacy to consider the masculine as strong and
the feminine as weak. Each cannot exist without the
other. Nature functions only when there is a balance, or
rather nature restores semblance and balance whenever
there is an imbalance.
is said, heaven bestows, while earth receives. The rains
rain on the parched earth, enabling the earth to be
fertile and productive. Man proposes and the woman
yields. Does it mean that only men or the masculine
force should take the initiative? No! While one assumes
leadership, the other co-operates. The word is ‘co’
and ‘operation’. Both operate as colleagues, as a
company! This can be applied anywhere. The wise have
always warned, “It takes two to clap!” in days of
yore, it was the man who went out to win his bread, made
decisions as he knew how much wealth he creates and will
also know how to distribute that wealth. The woman kept
house, cooked, raised children and educated them. Today,
with women walking shoulder to shoulder with men, the
equations have changed. However, the wisdom of the yi
jing is more pronounced today. Expert marriage
counselors today advise, “Never get angry together.
When your partner is angry, you must allow them to vent
their feelings.” These counsellors never say husband
or wife, they only say ‘partner’, which means the
person can be either a woman or a man!
psychologist Carl Jung was the one to coin the word
anima and animus. According to Jung, a man possesses 70%
of masculine qualities, 15% feminine and another 15%
childlike traits. Similarly, a woman also possesses
femininity, masculinity and childlike traits in the same
proportion. When a man holds his infant close to his
heart and kisses the child, isn’t he displaying his
feminine, caring side? When a woman reprimands a deviant
behavior in a child, isn’t she displaying the
assertive masculine side of her nature? When men and
women are joyous and display joy, they are reflecting
the childlike nature within.
anima and the animus, yin and the yang have their
rudiments in the Hindu philosophy of Shiva and Shakti.
While Shiva is the seed, the body, Shakti is the energy,
the primordial life force that breathes life into the
body and brings the seed to fruition!
can apply this principle to any situation. In the polar
region where the maximum sun’s rays do not reach, man
brings warmth by lighting fire and wearing woolen
clothes. The opposite can be told about tropical
regions. Thus, nature only strives to strike a balance.
weather, climatic conditions, farming etc are all
rational principles, human behaviour, nature and events
depend largely on the fickle human mind! And who can
predict what the mind is capable of the next minute?
ancient China, yi jing was used as an oracle, many
thousands of years ago and even today, the yi jing is a
powerful tool to predict events. When we need answers,
the universe gives the answers through certain omens.
Thus, the Chinese and the Indians follow the same
principle that the God is in you and me. Yi Jing is used
as a tool to predict events where coins are dropped as
‘heads’ or ‘tails’ six times to ascertain the
outcome of an event. Depending upon the number of
‘heads’ or ‘tails’ lines are drawn as solid,
unbroken yang lines and broken yin lines. As coins are
thrown 6 times, 6 lines are formed, divided into 2 sets
of three lines each. Each set of three lines is called a
‘triagram, and 2 triagrams (6 lines) one on top of the
other make a hexagram. Thus, a triagram or a hexagram
contains broken or unbroken lines. An unbroken line is
yang and a broken one is yin.
broken line can change into a solid line and vice-versa
in the final hexagram and the changing lines portend the
final outcome of the situation. When you know hwo life
will treat you, won’t you be forewarned and armed too?
answers your queries?
call it nature, but the eastern philosophy says that it
is your own subconscious mind answering you. Human mind
and consciousness is the divine and holds all answers to
life’s queries. It is akin to asking someone, “What
would happen if you kill someone?” you need not ask
the law-keepers or the lawyer. You have the answer. But,
when the mind is stressed out with tensions, conflict
and other’s opinions, it becomes clouded and reasoning
is the time outside forces like the coins etc are made
use of. Ultimately, the coins and the lines reflect your
condition, render the best advice and hint at the
ultimate outcome of the situation. The answer is coming
forth through you, as the yi is you and God is in you.
When your reasons are clouded, you need external aid to
beauty of the Yi Jing is the kind of lessons it has to
offer through the lines that are formed. “As above, so
below can mean a wealth of things”. The conditions of
heaven are reflected on earth. The clouds on the heavens
descend as water on earth. It could mean children behave
the way elders do by imitating the elders. The success
and failures of future generations depend on the family
heads of the former generations. What you eat will show
on your health. Unhealthy food upsets the stomach. What
you give you receive, what you sow, you reap.
doesn’t mean that the strong has to forever be strong.
The strong gains inner strength by lending its strength
and power and submitting itself to the weak. The weak
conquers by allowing itself to be subdued. Sometimes,
what is needed in a situation is relenting to a force.
By taming one’s inherent energies, one can conquer.
What cannot be tamed by force, can be tamed by love and
by yielding. Water collects at a basin!
parents are opposed to the choice of their children’s
partners, no amount of threats can deter the children.
That’s the time the mother uses emotional blackmail
and this at times works!
one of the important lessons that the Yi Jing teaches is
that the mighty powers have to descend like the vast sky
that looks down at the earth and the clouds that move
down to shower. In the absence of such a phenomenon what
results is ‘stagnation’. When creativity is stifled,
what follows is stagnation! The rational, tamed,
dutiful, obedient and reasoning force has to give way to
the irrational, untamed, unruly, spontaneous force.
regimented system cannot sustain itself and life comes
to a standstill, due to underlying tension and conflict.
It is in giving only shall you receive.
yi jing as a divination tool advises just this. It casts
a ray of hope when a situation has worsened, or advises
caution when a situation is at its best. Nature and the
wisdom in the yi jing predict the outcome and help you
to prepare for the battle ahead, armed with wisdom.