Confucianism as a religion is now practiced by five million people, most of them in Asia. Confucius is the Latinized name of Kung Fu Tzu. Confucius, a Chinese philosopher and a social reformer. Confucius was born at Shantung in China in 6th century B.C. The speciality of the period was during that time all over the world great philosopher were born and all preached heterodox ideas. At the same time in India Vardhamana Mahavira was born and he preached Jainism and Gouthama Buddha (Siddhartha) was born and he preached Buddhism. His real name was Kung Fu Tzu. He studied History and Archaeology. He had to earn his livelihood at a very young age. He got married at 16. After he was influenced by Taoism, he decided to follow an alternate path. He had no worldly desires. He was a court philosopher. He told Chinese rulers to lead by inner virtue. He laid great stress on good character. He planned for eradication of poverty in China.
Confucius was a historical writer. He knew many languages His experiences in life he wrote in his book entitled ‘Chin chinking’. He collected poems, stories and legends and put them in a series of books They arronsidered as classics of Chinese literature.
They are :
Book of odes
Book of tradition
The book of rites
book of changes
They have been read by innumerable people. He opened a school where he taught lessons on virtuousness. Confucianism, preached by Kung Fu-Tzu is a religion practiced. It preaches universal virtues of benevolence, courtesy and wisdom and ideals like good faith, integrity, respect, propriety etc. Confucius believed that morality should rule the state and society. ‘The rulers themselves should set an example and allow people to follow the same’ he said.
Once he said, “Do not treat others in a manner that you would not like others to treat you” His teachings have been followed by many people. In 120 B.C. Chinese regarded confucianism as the official religion.