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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

In case you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex page.

Ancient Chinese coins

易經
het Hexagrammenboek

In case you prefer to ask a question or if you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex.






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

Select a hexagram from the drop-down list.
The hexagrams are ordered by number:








大过

28. Da Guo

Preponderance of the Great



<
上六:过涉灭顶,凶,无咎。

Six at the top means:

One must go through the water.
It goes over one's head.
Misfortune. No blame.



Here is a situation in which the unusual has reached a climax. One is courageous and wishes to accomplish one's task, no matter what happens. This leads into danger. The water rises over one's head. This is the misfortune. But one incurs no blame in giving up one's life that the good and the right may prevail. There are things that are more important than life.
九五:枯杨生华,老妇得士夫,无咎无誉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

A withered poplar puts forth flowers.
An older woman takes a husband.
No blame. No praise.



A withered poplar that flowers exhausts its energies thereby and only hastens its end. An older woman may marry once more, but no renewal takes place. Everything remains barren. Thus, though all the amenities are observed, the net result is only the anomaly of the situation. Applied to politics, the metaphor means that if in times of insecurity we give up alliance with those below us and keep up only the relationships we have with people of higher rank, an unstable situation is created.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九四:栋隆,吉;有它吝。

Nine in the fourth place means:

The ridgepole is braced. Good fortune.
If there are ulterior motives, it is humiliating.



Through friendly relations with people of lower rank, a responsible man succeeds in becoming master of the situation. But if, instead of working for the rescue of the whole, he were to misuse his connections to obtain personal power and success, it would lead to humiliation.
九三:栋桡,凶。

Nine in the third place means:

The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
Misfortune.



This indicates a type of man who in times of preponderance of the great insists on pushing ahead. He accepts no advice from others, and therefore they in turn are not willing to lend him support. Because of this the burden grows, until the structure of things bends or breaks. Plunging willfully ahead in times of danger only hastens the catastrophe.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:枯杨生稊,老夫得其女妻,无不利。

Nine in the second place means:

A dry poplar sprouts at the root.
An older man takes a young wife.
Everything furthers.



Wood is near water; hence the image of an old poplar sprouting at the root. This means an extraordinary situation arises when an older man marries a young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the situation, all goes well. From the point of view of politics, the meaning is that in exceptional times one does well to join with the lowly, for this affords a possibility of renewal.
初六:藉用白茅,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

To spread white rushes underneath.
No blame.



When a man wishes to undertake an enterprise in extraordinary times, he must be extraordinarily cautious, just as when setting a heavy thing down on the floor, one takes care to put rushes under it, so that nothing will break. This caution, though it may seem exaggerated, is not a mistake. Exceptional enterprises cannot succeed unless utmost caution is observed in their beginnings and in the laying of their foundations.
the Sign of hexagram Preponderance of the Great vis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

This hexagram consists of four strong lines inside and two weak lines outside. When the strong are outside and the weak inside, all is well and there is nothing out of balance, nothing extraordinary in the situation. Here, however, the opposite is the case. The hexagram represents a beam that is thick and heavy in the middle but too weak at the ends. This is a condition that cannot last; it must be changed, must pass, or misfortune will result.

The Sequence:
Without provision of nourishment one cannot move; hence there follows the hexagram of Preponderance of the Great.

Nourishing without putting to use finally evokes movement. Movement without end leads finally too far, to overweighting.

Miscellaneous notes:
Preponderance of the Great is the peak.

The peak refers to the image of the ridgepole mentioned in the Judgment. The hexagram shows great strength within. Both the nuclear trigrams are Qian, whose attribute is strength. But underneath is the gentle Xun, penetrating indeed, but ethereal as well, while above is the joyous Dui, the lake. Thus the outer ends are not equal to the weight of the strong structure within; hence the great in preponderance. This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one.

Appended judgments:
In ancient times the dead were buried by covering them thickly with brushwood and placing them in the open country, without burial mound or grove of trees. The period of mourning had no definite duration. The holy men of a later time introduced inner and outer coffins instead. They probably took this from - the hexagram of Preponderance of the Great.

The hexagram represents wood that has penetrated below ground water; this gives the coffin image. Another explanation holds that the two yin lines (above and below) represent the earth and trees of the burial place, while the yang lines between indicate the coffin. When the dead are thus well cared for, they enter (Xun) the earth and are happy (Dui). This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one in this further respect, that the former shows the provisions of nourishment for the living, and the present one shows the care provided for the dead.
the Judgement for hexagram Preponderance of the Great vis:

大过:栋桡,利有攸往,亨。

Preponderance of the Great.
The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Success.



The weight of the great is excessive. The load is too heavy for the strength of the supports. The ridgepole on which the whole roof rests, sags to the breaking point, because its supporting ends are too weak for the load they bear. It is an exceptional time and situation; therefore extraordinary measures are demanded. It is necessary to find a way of transition as quickly as possible, and to take action. This promises success. For although the strong element is in excess, it is in the middle, that is, at the center of gravity, so that a revolution is not to be feared. Nothing is to be achieved by forcible measures. The problem must be solved by gently penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner trigram, Xun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful. It demands real superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time.

Commentary on the Decision:

大过,大者过也。栋桡,本末弱也。刚过而中,巽而说行,利有攸往,乃亨。大过之时大矣哉!

Preponderance of the Great. The great preponderates. The ridgepole sags to the breaking point because beginning and end are weak.
The firm preponderates and is central. Gentle and joyous in action: then it furthers one to have somewhere to go, then one has success.
Great indeed is the time of Preponderance of the Great.



The name is explained on the basis of the structure. The great, that is, the yang element, outnumbers with its four lines the two lines of the yin element. This by itself would not mean preponderance, but the great is within, although it belongs without. Similarly, the small preponderates (cf. hexagram 62) when weak lines are in the majority and without, for by their nature they belong within. As representing preponderance of the great, the hexagram suggests the image of a ridgepole, the top beam of a house, on which the whole roof rests. Since beginning and end are weak, there arises the danger of a too great inner weight and of consequent sagging to the breaking point.
Despite this extraordinary situation, action is important. If the weight were to remain where it is, misfortune would arise. By means of movement, however, one gets out of the abnormal condition, chiefly because the ruler in the lower trigram is central and strong. The attributes of the trigrams, joyousness and gentleness, also indicate the right behavior for successful action.
the Image going with hexagram Preponderance of the Great vis:

泽灭木,大过;君子以独立不惧,遯世无闷。

The lake rises above the trees:
The image of Preponderance of the Great.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.



Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like flood times when the lake rises over the treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Xun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands alone, and the attribute of Dui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world.




the nuclear hexagram:

1. Qian
the Creative

a
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Dui , Trigram Dui, the Joyous, the lake
   below Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven
   below Trigram Qian , the Creative, the heaven

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

This hexagram consists of four strong lines inside and two weak lines outside. When the strong are outside and the weak inside, all is well and there is nothing out of balance, nothing extraordinary in the situation. Here, however, the opposite is the case. The hexagram represents a beam that is thick and heavy in the middle but too weak at the ends. This is a condition that cannot last; it must be changed, must pass, or misfortune will result.

The Sequence:
Without provision of nourishment one cannot move; hence there follows the hexagram of Preponderance of the Great.

Nourishing without putting to use finally evokes movement. Movement without end leads finally too far, to overweighting.

Miscellaneous notes:
Preponderance of the Great is the peak.

The peak refers to the image of the ridgepole mentioned in the Judgment. The hexagram shows great strength within. Both the nuclear trigrams are Qian, whose attribute is strength. But underneath is the gentle Xun, penetrating indeed, but ethereal as well, while above is the joyous Dui, the lake. Thus the outer ends are not equal to the weight of the strong structure within; hence the great in preponderance. This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one.

Appended judgments:
In ancient times the dead were buried by covering them thickly with brushwood and placing them in the open country, without burial mound or grove of trees. The period of mourning had no definite duration. The holy men of a later time introduced inner and outer coffins instead. They probably took this from - the hexagram of Preponderance of the Great.

The hexagram represents wood that has penetrated below ground water; this gives the coffin image. Another explanation holds that the two yin lines (above and below) represent the earth and trees of the burial place, while the yang lines between indicate the coffin. When the dead are thus well cared for, they enter (Xun) the earth and are happy (Dui). This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one in this further respect, that the former shows the provisions of nourishment for the living, and the present one shows the care provided for the dead.


the Judgement:

大过:栋桡,利有攸往,亨。

Preponderance of the Great.
The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Success.



The weight of the great is excessive. The load is too heavy for the strength of the supports. The ridgepole on which the whole roof rests, sags to the breaking point, because its supporting ends are too weak for the load they bear. It is an exceptional time and situation; therefore extraordinary measures are demanded. It is necessary to find a way of transition as quickly as possible, and to take action. This promises success. For although the strong element is in excess, it is in the middle, that is, at the center of gravity, so that a revolution is not to be feared. Nothing is to be achieved by forcible measures. The problem must be solved by gently penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner trigram, Xun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful. It demands real superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time.

Commentary on the Decision:

大过,大者过也。栋桡,本末弱也。刚过而中,巽而说行,利有攸往,乃亨。大过之时大矣哉!

Preponderance of the Great. The great preponderates. The ridgepole sags to the breaking point because beginning and end are weak.
The firm preponderates and is central. Gentle and joyous in action: then it furthers one to have somewhere to go, then one has success.
Great indeed is the time of Preponderance of the Great.
 


The name is explained on the basis of the structure. The great, that is, the yang element, outnumbers with its four lines the two lines of the yin element. This by itself would not mean preponderance, but the great is within, although it belongs without. Similarly, the small preponderates (cf. hexagram 62) when weak lines are in the majority and without, for by their nature they belong within. As representing preponderance of the great, the hexagram suggests the image of a ridgepole, the top beam of a house, on which the whole roof rests. Since beginning and end are weak, there arises the danger of a too great inner weight and of consequent sagging to the breaking point.
Despite this extraordinary situation, action is important. If the weight were to remain where it is, misfortune would arise. By means of movement, however, one gets out of the abnormal condition, chiefly because the ruler in the lower trigram is central and strong. The attributes of the trigrams, joyousness and gentleness, also indicate the right behavior for successful action.


the Image:

泽灭木,大过;君子以独立不惧,遯世无闷。

The lake rises above the trees:
The image of Preponderance of the Great.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.



Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like flood times when the lake rises over the treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Xun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands alone, and the attribute of Dui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world.


the Lines:


上六:过涉灭顶,凶,无咎。

Six at the top means:

One must go through the water.
It goes over one's head.
Misfortune. No blame.



Here is a situation in which the unusual has reached a climax. One is courageous and wishes to accomplish one's task, no matter what happens. This leads into danger. The water rises over one's head. This is the misfortune. But one incurs no blame in giving up one's life that the good and the right may prevail. There are things that are more important than life.


九五:枯杨生华,老妇得士夫,无咎无誉。

Nine in the fifth place means:

A withered poplar puts forth flowers.
An older woman takes a husband.
No blame. No praise.



A withered poplar that flowers exhausts its energies thereby and only hastens its end. An older woman may marry once more, but no renewal takes place. Everything remains barren. Thus, though all the amenities are observed, the net result is only the anomaly of the situation. Applied to politics, the metaphor means that if in times of insecurity we give up alliance with those below us and keep up only the relationships we have with people of higher rank, an unstable situation is created.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九四:栋隆,吉;有它吝。

Nine in the fourth place means:

The ridgepole is braced. Good fortune.
If there are ulterior motives, it is humiliating.



Through friendly relations with people of lower rank, a responsible man succeeds in becoming master of the situation. But if, instead of working for the rescue of the whole, he were to misuse his connections to obtain personal power and success, it would lead to humiliation.


九三:栋桡,凶。

Nine in the third place means:

The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
Misfortune.



This indicates a type of man who in times of preponderance of the great insists on pushing ahead. He accepts no advice from others, and therefore they in turn are not willing to lend him support. Because of this the burden grows, until the structure of things bends or breaks. Plunging willfully ahead in times of danger only hastens the catastrophe.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九二:枯杨生稊,老夫得其女妻,无不利。

Nine in the second place means:

A dry poplar sprouts at the root.
An older man takes a young wife.
Everything furthers.



Wood is near water; hence the image of an old poplar sprouting at the root. This means an extraordinary situation arises when an older man marries a young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the situation, all goes well. From the point of view of politics, the meaning is that in exceptional times one does well to join with the lowly, for this affords a possibility of renewal.


初六:藉用白茅,无咎。

Six at the beginning means:

To spread white rushes underneath.
No blame.



When a man wishes to undertake an enterprise in extraordinary times, he must be extraordinarily cautious, just as when setting a heavy thing down on the floor, one takes care to put rushes under it, so that nothing will break. This caution, though it may seem exaggerated, is not a mistake. Exceptional enterprises cannot succeed unless utmost caution is observed in their beginnings and in the laying of their foundations.