26 Da4 Chu4 (or Xu4) 大畜

The lower: Qian2 (perseverance, heaven). The upper: (keeping still, the mountain).

Da Chu: large storage (like herding and raising livestock on a large scale) and great restraint (like holding water in a dam); to enhance and discipline oneself, or to respect and develop virtuous people.






After Wu Wang (no pretence, no misbehaviour, etc.) people can store up ability and virtue; therefore Da Chu is granted. Wu Wang (25) steps onto the stage of the I Ching after masculine solidity returns in hexagram Fu (24). Solidity is that which can be stored up; there-fore hexagram Da Chu follows. The solidity of masculinity is taken here for people’s talent and ability. On the other hand, after goodness returns and there is no misbehaviour, virtue can accumulate. chu4 or xu4 signifies to store up, like herding livestock to raise and breed; it also signifies holding back water to create a reservoir. da4 means largeness which refers to the masculine. Da Chu is the reverse hexagram of Wu Wang (25) which highlights calamity caused by undeserved thoughts and deeds. In contrast, Da Chu emphasises acting at the right time, the right moment.

The lower trigram Qian2 represents heaven, while the upper trigram Gen is the mountain. Heaven inside the mountain signifies that what the mountain can store is large. Trigram Gen is also designated as stopping; stopping heaven exhibits great restraint.

Hexagram Xiao Chu (9) is one feminine line serving 5 masculine lines; therefore it can only achieve small storage and restraint. Da Chu is the large masculine dealing with large masculine as both trigrams Qian2 and Gen are masculine. Therefore it is large storage and great restraint.

Its inner hexagram, Gui Mei (54), advises that undertaking a venture is ominous and nothing is favourable in going forth; this suggests that people should enhance and discipline themselves in hexagram Da Chu as this moment still entails a possible crisis and failure. Its changing hexagram is Cui (45), to gather together, signifying that elites will gather and power will converge afterward. Therefore hexagram Da Chu emphasises acting with the right time. On the other hand, after virtue has been amassed and burgeoning livestock herded, people can righteously make a living for themselves and nourish others in hexagram Yi (27).


Text: 大畜(be advantageous or appropriate)(not)(home)(eat)(be instrumental in)(wade)(great)(river)

Da Chu (large storage and great restraint): It is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist; not to eat at home (i.e. not to eat alone), which is of auspiciousness; it is instrumental in crossing a great river.

Commentary on the text: Da Chu (large storage and great restraint): The lower trigram Qian2 is of firmness and perseverance, and the upper trigram Gen is of honesty and sincerity; their interplay sparks creating brilliant light, and renewing their virtue daily which is the norm of Da ChuThe one of rigidity (i.e. line 6) stays above the feminine line 5 at the king's position symbolising the king is in a position to respect virtuous people, and the upper trigram Gen is in a position to restrain (i.e. to discipline and create a reservoir of) perseverance of the lower trigram Qian2, which is the great and righteous norm of Da Chu.  Not to eat at home (i.e. not to eat alone), which is of auspiciousness: this signifies to raise virtuous people.  It is instrumental in crossing a great river, which is due to the fact that the host line 5 is in correlation with heaven.

Text explanation:

To persist in enhancing one's virtue and ability is advantageous, as is respecting virtuous and able people. It is auspicious not to keep what one possesses but rather share it with virtuous and able people. This is instrumental in overcoming difficulties to undertake what is intended.

Trigram Qian2 possesses the characteristics of firmness and perseverance like those of masculine and heaven. Trigram Gen possesses honesty and sincerity like the earnestness and reliability of a mountain. Their virtues are complementary so are able to enhance each other.

Masculine line 6 stays above feminine line 5, the king, and is sustained by it. This symbolises the king respecting virtuous people. Additionally line 5 correlates with line 2, the representative line of the lower trigram Qian2, like trigram Gen stopping trigram Qian2. This signifies that it is capable of gathering and restraining talented people (denoted by the masculine solidity of trigram Qian2). These are the great and righteous norms of hexagram Da Chu.

Not eating at home means that the king should not keep the herded livestock just for himself but rather share with able and virtuous people. This is auspicious because more able and virtuous people will join. Line 5, in correlation with line 2, responds to heaven by offering able and virtuous people an avenue of unhindered development. Therefore, after the enhanced line 2 moves to position 5, the great river is crossed and it can undertake what is intended as illustrated below by hexagram Jia Ren (37), wherein the household will attain successful, outward development through its internal discipline.



Commentary on the image: Heaven within mountain: Da Chu.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, acquaints himself with many sayings from antiquity and many deeds of the past in order to store up his virtue.

The mountain is large, but the heavens are much larger. The mountain accommodates heaven signifying its bearing. A gentleman must study the ancient teachings, which are unlimited like the heavens, to enhance his virtue and talent so as to enlarge himself.


Large storage and great restraint can be understood as a person intensively enhancing and disciplining himself to increase his ability and virtue for a future mission. It is advantageous to persist. It can be also signified as the large masculine accommodating and restraining the large masculine, like a king reverently recruiting virtuous and talented people and properly managing them; it is auspicious not to monopolise (resources, power, positions, etc) but rather to share with others. This is instrumental in overcoming difficulties in undertaking what is intended.

Da Chu possesses the virtues of advantage twice and preservation (expressed in the form of persistence bringing forth benefit and being instrumental). This signifies that large storage makes use of the preserved benefit to create more.

The changing hexagram of Da Chu is Cui (45), to gather together, where elites gather like herbs flourishing around a marsh.

Commentary on the image suggests that one can make use of others' experience to enhance and discipline oneself.





Storage means to enhance one’s virtue and ability (through accumulation) in order to achieve in the future. Restraint here signifies disciplining oneself to prevent wrongdoing.

The masculine tends to move; therefore the lower, masculine trigram Qian2 is eager to move upward, i.e. to achieve something. However talented people are told to accumulate their virtue and ability rather than seek achievement too soon. The upper trigram Gen is designated to stop; therefore trigram Qian2 is restrained from moving upward so as to form a reservoir of virtue and ability. Discipline is further provided in trigram Gen to curtail possible wrongdoing after the reservoir is created. Only after talented people become virtuous will they be respected by the king, like line 5 sustaining line 6, so it can be free to achieve what is intended.  

Correlation offers access for the lines of the upper trigram Gen to impose restriction on those of the lower trigram Qian2. Line 1 is easily restrained by line 4 because it has less energy in the initial phase. Line 2's masculine momentum is growing sturdy; therefore line 5 must use its wits to restrain it. On the other hand, line 2 can be restrained without discontent because it is moderate. Lines 3 and 6 are not in correlation with each other; as a result line 3 competes with line 6 (i.e. an able and virtuous person who is respected by the king) to enhance itself. Line 6 doesn’t restrain line 3 but offers it an avenue of unhindered development after it undergoes discipline at positions 4 and 5.

As Chu in Chinese signifies “to herd and raise the livestock”, horse, cattle and swine appear in the text.


The 1st line

Text: (exist but not literally translated)利已(stop)

Going forward will lead to sternness and cruelty, so it is advantageous (or appropriate) to stop.

Text explanation:

The process will be stern and cruel, and the result could be calamitous if one isn't strong enough when trying to achieve something. Therefore it is better to stop seeking merit but enhance oneself at this (beginning) stage.

Line 1 is masculine which tends to move; however its masculinity in the initial stage lacks energy. Therefore, going for achievement now is stern and cruel. As it is in correlation with, and restrained by, line 4 it should remain still to enhance itself. 

Commentary on the image: Going forward will lead to sternness and cruelty and it is advantageous (or appropriate) to stop, signifying not to risk calamity.

Should line 1 move to position 4, the image from line 1 to 5 would appear in an enlarged form of Kan (the abyss, water), peril, signifying the way all along to position 4 is stern and cruel. The hexagram would become Ding (50), where the incompetent line 4 fails at its job and is humiliated.


Enlightenment through nine one: stop undertaking what isn't right for one's status, and enhance oneself. The recently herded livestock are in an untamed state; to domesticate them is a priority. In the beginning of Da Chu, talented people are still less able. If they eagerly seek achievement, the process will be dangerous and the result could be calamitous. Therefore it is appropriate for them to remain still and enhance themselves. Should this line change to feminine, it would act with no restriction, and the hexagram would become Gu (18), long bred evil like insatiable ambition, which can make people unconsciously follow it and must be removed.


The 2nd line

Text: 輿(cart)(take off, get loose, escape)(spoke)

A cart is disconnected from the spoke.

Text explanation:

Trigram Kun1 (submissiveness, earth) is a cart, while the upper trigram Gen is designated to stop and looks like a cart missing wheels on one side. Line 2, in correlation with line 5, is restrained by the motionless cart; therefore it stops completely.



Although masculine tends to move, it is restrained by line 5, like a talented person being suspended and reviewed by the king. On the other hand, position 2 is where the line is ready to take action but what can be done is still limited; therefore one should stop undertaking what is intended but rather continue enhancing oneself and wait for the right time.

Commentary on the image: A cart is disconnected from the spoke; the middle (i.e. the principle of moderation) leads to no discontent.

Line 2 correlates with line 5. Seemingly it is refused by the king, but is actually being disciplined by him, as he looks for talent as well as virtue. Line 2 won’t feel discontent because, staying in the middle of the lower trigram, it possesses the principle of moderation (i.e. neither blaming others nor abandoning oneself). It stops moving forward and continues enhancing itself.

Enlightenment through nine two: 1) to find out what is at fault and make improvements, or 2) be moderate in receiving restraint. The cart stops, not because of the livestock that pull it but because of poor maintenance; therefore able people should continue enhancing themselves. Should this line change to feminine and lose correlation with line 5, the hexagram would become Bi4 (22), to grace, which provides brilliant appearance or lubricant for moving smoothly but might conceal the essence required for others' recognition.


The 3rd line

Text: (good)(horse)(run after)(be advantageous or appropriate)(be in difficulty but endure)(persist)(daily)(familiar with)輿(carriage)(defense)(be instrumental in)(have)(place)(go)

The subject is in a state of good horses galloping to catch one another; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist adamantly while being in difficulty.  It engages in daily practice of pulling a carriage and armed defence; it is instrumental to go somewhere.

Text explanation:

Good horses gallop to catch each another exhibiting their speed and stamina. Daily practice of pulling a carriage and armed defence enables a horse always to be ready to provide service. After the enhancements at positions 1 and 2, talented people can exhibit their ability through various tests; it is difficult but advantageous to persist adamantly. Their service must be readily available; this is instrumental to undertake what is intended.

Lines 3 and 6 are both masculine and do not correlate with each other, signifying that line 3 can be free to move forward without line 6 restraining it. The masculine tends to move; therefore lines 3 and 6 compete like two horses galloping to catch each other. The lower trigram Qian2 denotes a good horse and the inner upper trigram is Zhen (to move), indicating that line 3 is galloping behind line 6.


Trigram Kun1 (submissiveness, earth) denotes a big cart; here the inner upper trigram Zhen acts like a moving cart, and the lower trigram Qian2 is the good horse that pulls the carriage.



The image from line 4 to 6 is similar to that of trigram Li (clinging, fire) which is referred to as war as Li denotes armour and weaponry. The stillness of the upper trigram Gen is above, symbolising that it is the armed defence.



Line 3 reaches the end of the lower trigram Qian2 where intensive enhancements have been carried through. Masculine line 3 tends to move and is at the position for marching upward. However the mountain of the upper trigram Gen is in front, therefore it must persist and exert itself to reach the top of the mountain, i.e. the avenue of the heavens.

Commentary on the image: it is instrumental in going somewhere, signifying to meet the aspiration of the one above.

Line 6 offers able and virtuous people opportunities to achieve; therefore line 3's actions accord with the aspiration of line 6, the one above.

Enlightenment through nine three: to properly prepare oneself for what is required in achieving a future mission. Talented people must qualify themselves for a variety of challenges, and prepare readily for providing their service. This is instrumental to undertake what is intended, as what they offer conforms to the wishes of those above. However, this won't lead to success if action to achieve is taken now. The hexagram would become Sun (41), loss, if this line changed to feminine. This shows that it gets restrained (through correlation with line 6) again as it doesn't act righteously, and signifies that it needs discipline before it can undertake what is intended. Hexagram Sun also suggests self-restraint through restraining anger and lessening desire. 


The 4th line

Text: 童牛(calf)(a preposition to mark preceding phrase as the possessive of following word)(born-board)(great)

The subject is in a state of installing the horn-board (i.e. a wooden plank mounted on the horns) of a calf to prevent them from hurting people, which is of great auspiciousness.

Text explanation:

To restrain something at the initial stage is greatly auspicious. Line 4 here offers preventive measures.

Line 4 correlates with line 1 and is designated to restrain it as it is still young and less energetic at this stage; therefore the restraint acts like a board mounted on the horns of a calf. Using the horn-board to prevent cattle from hurting people is auspicious. To do this from the beginning, like restraining a calf or talented people before they are beyond control, is greatly auspicious.

Trigram Kun1 (submissiveness, earth) denotes cattle, while the upper trigram Gen is signified as to stop; line 4 here acts like the horn-board of the cattle.


Commentary on the image: Great auspiciousness of line 4: there is happiness.

If able people can be restrained at the right time from using their talent to hurt others, happiness is taken for granted. Line 4 represents the inner lower trigram Dui (joy), signifying that the job has been accomplished.

Enlightenment through six four: to discipline people and prevent wrongdoing ahead of time. To restrain talented people from wrongdoing at the beginning, like mounting the horn-board on a calf, is greatly auspicious. The calf is controlled to prevent injuring people in future, and talented people are disciplined before doing wrong, i.e. their talent will be properly channelled; all this is joyful. If this line changes to masculine, the hexagram will become Da You (14), abundant possessions, wherein line 4 is advised to restrain itself from showing off (i.e. acting ostentatiously or pretentiously) to avoid calamity.


The 5th line

Text: 豶豕(castrated boar)之牙(tusk)

The subject is in a state of dealing with the tusk of a castrated boar, which is of auspiciousness.

Text explanation:

It is difficult to restrain beings after they grow stronger. To tame and then restrain is a way to achieve targets.

Line 5 correlates with line 2 and is designated to restrain line 2. However, once the masculine reaches position 2, signifying that it has significant momentum, feminine line 5 will have difficulty restraining it. Therefore it is better to tame line 2 in time, like castrating a boar before it beyond control. The tusk will be harmless once the castrated boar loses its violent temper.

The inner lower trigram Dui (joy, the marsh) resembles a mouth; line 2 is located at the tooth's position and is taken here for the tusk. By changing masculine line 2 to neutral, where masculinity exists together with femininity, the inner lower trigram emerges as Kan which denotes a pig and here is referred to as a castrated boar.



Commentary on the image: The auspiciousness of line 5: there is a celebration.

Talented people must be tamed to become obedient before they are permitted to achieve in their own right. From the viewpoint of line virtue, line 2, staying in the middle of the lower trigram, possesses the principle of moderation (i.e. hardness coupled with softness). Line 5, the king, correlates with it, and also restrains it, like managing an able and moderate courtier; this deserves a celebration. The lower trigram Qian2, represented by line 2, denotes talented people. Qian2 is also associated with celebration as it is entirely composed of the bright masculine; this signifies that all talented people are under control.

Enlightenment through six five: 1) to convert an untamed force into something useful, and 2) to act in a moderate manner. The tusk will become harmless when the boar is castrated and loses its violent temper. Talented people won't offend others once they behave moderately. When this line is triggered, the hexagram tends toward Xiao Chu (9), little storage or restraint, where the small feminine serves and plays games with the large masculine; it is a contest of wits. The castrated boar will grow fat and be offered as a sacrifice in celebration. Talented and moderate people will bring their talent into full play and benefit society. When this line ends up as masculine, the hexagram becomes Xiao Chu. Here line 5 is bound by sincerity and trust and shares its merit with line 4 (the one serves it).


The 6th line

Text: 何天(heaven)之衢(thoroughfare)

The subject ought to shoulder () the avenue of the heavens; smooth progress is provided to all able and virtuous people.

Text explanation:

The avenue of the heavens means an avenue which extends in all directions. Line 6 has no correlation with those below; therefore it won’t impose any restrictions on them. It reaches the top of hexagram Da Chu, changing from restraint to the avenue in the heavens and offering free development to all able and virtuous people; this is because they are sustained and respected by the king, line 5.

The inner upper trigram Zhen (to move, thunder) denotes an avenue, while the upper trigram Gen is a footpath. The avenue overlaps with the footpath leading everywhere.



he2 depicts a man () bending with a heavy burden on his back () and signifies to shoulder.

Commentary on the image: Line 6 ought to shoulder the avenue of the heavens, signifying the norm is greatly carried out (or, the road is extensive for free movement).

According to the commentary on the hexagram text, Da Chu suggests respecting able and virtuous people. After talented people are enhanced and disciplined to become virtuous, they are free to achieve what is intended and the norm of Da Chu is fully realised.

Enlightenment through nine six: undertake the planned task and achieve what is intended. After the planned enhancement and discipline are accomplished, people are free to achieve, like moving along the avenue of the heavens where various opportunities are offered to able and virtuous people. After this line is activated accordingly, the hexagram becomes Tai (11), (where those above and below engage in) a smooth and unobstructed, as well as harmonious and peaceful state. Tai is also regarded as prosperity.