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The I Ching, also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes, Zhouyi and Yijing, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. The book contains a divination system comparable to Western geomancy or the West African Ifá system; in Western cultures and modern East Asia, it is still widely used for this purpose.
Traditionally, the I Ching and its hexagrams were thought to pre-date recorded history, and based on traditional Chinese accounts, its origins trace back to the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE. Modern scholarship suggests that the earliest layers of the text may date from the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, but place doubts on the mythological aspects in the traditional accounts. Some consider the I Ching the oldest extant book of divination, dating from 1,000 BCE and before. The oldest manuscript that has been found, albeit incomplete, dates back to the Warring States period (475–221 BCE).
During the Warring States Period, the text was re-interpreted as a system of cosmology and philosophy that subsequently became intrinsic to Chinese culture. It centered on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change.
The standard text originated from the Old Text version transmitted by Fei Zhi (c. 50 BCE-10 CE) of the Han Dynasty, which survived Qin’s book-burning. During the Han Dynasty this version competed with the bowdlerized new text version transmitted by Tian He at the beginning of the Western Han. However, by the time of the Tang Dynasty the Old Text version became accepted as standard.
Traditionally it was believed that the principles of the I Ching originated with the mythical Fu Xi. In this respect he is seen as an early culture hero, one of the earliest legendary rulers of China (traditional dates 2800 BCE-2737 BCE), reputed to have had the 8 trigrams revealed to him supernaturally. By the time of the legendary Yu 2194 BCE – 2149 BCE, the trigrams had supposedly been developed into 64 hexagrams (lìu shí sì gùa), which were recorded in the scripture Lian Shan (Lián Shān; also called Lian Shan Yi). Lian Shan, meaning "continuous mountains" in Chinese, begins with the hexagram Bound (gèn), which depicts a mountain mounting on another and is believed to be the origin of the scripture's name.
After the traditionally recorded Xia Dynasty was overthrown by the Shang Dynasty, the hexagrams are said to have been re-deduced to form Gui Cang (Guī Cáng; also called Gui Cang Yi), and the hexagram responding (kūn) became the first hexagram. Gui Cang may be literally translated into "return and be contained", which refers to earth as the first hexagram itself indicates. At the time of Shang's last king, Zhou Wang, King Wen of Zhou is said to have deduced the hexagram and discovered that the hexagrams beginning with Initiating (qián) revealed the rise of Zhou. He then gave each hexagram a description regarding its own nature, thus Gua Ci (guà cí, "Explanation of Hexagrams").
When King Wu of Zhou, son of King Wen, toppled the Shang Dynasty, his brother Zhou Gong Dan is said to have created Yao Ci (yáo cí, "Explanation of Horizontal Lines") to clarify the significance of each horizontal line in each hexagram. It was not until then that the whole context of I Ching was understood. Its philosophy heavily influenced the literature and government administration of the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE-256 BCE).
Later, during the time of Spring and Autumn Period (722 BCE-481 BCE), Confucius is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (shí yì, "Ten Wings"), a group of commentaries on the I Ching. By the time of Han Wu Di (Hàn Wǔ Dì) of the Western Han Dynasty (c. 200 BCE), Shi Yi was often called Yi Zhuan (yì zhùan, "Commentary on the I Ching"). Together with the commentaries by Confucius, I Ching is also often referred to as Zhou Yi (zhōu yì, "Changes of Zhou"). All later texts about Zhou Yi were explanations only, due to the classic's deep meaning.
Sergio A. S. Pettezzoni part of our Lifestyle and have average installs from 1000 to 5000. Last Update Feb. 23, 2014. Google play rating is 37.5. Current verison is 1.0. Actual size 1.5 MB.
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I CHING Book of Changes Tossing of coins that are read by reading of the coins then translated into Hexagrams. Which is an Ancient chinese practice that goes back to ancient times. Gives insight to the future endeavors\ situations that will arrive