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 Interpretation of the 24th Good General in Zhuge Liang's Art of War

   date:2020-09-18 19:04:20     read:55   

Interpretation of the 24th Good General in Zhuge Liang's Art of War

The 24th good general

——The way of the general to govern the army

There are four kinds of good generals in ancient times: show them to advance and retreat, and the old people know the prohibition; Induce them with benevolence and righteousness, and the old people know the courtesy; We should focus on right and wrong; Reward and punishment will be given to the old man. Prohibition, courtesy, persuasion and faith are the great classics of teachers. There is no straight line and the eyes are not comfortable, so if you can fight, you will win, and if you attack, you will win. The mediocre general is not, the retreat cannot be stopped, and the advance cannot be banned, so they will perish together with the army. Without admonition, people will be rewarded and punished for misbehavior. People do not know how to believe, but the virtuous and virtuous will retreat and obsequious will be used. It is because the war will be lost.


From ancient times to the present, there are four principles for generals who are good at leading the troops in war. They should make a mountain of orders and explain to their subordinates what is advance, what is retreat and what should not be done; Educate the subordinates with benevolence and righteousness, so that the soldiers can be knowledgeable and polite; Warn the subordinates to distinguish right from wrong, so that the soldiers can encourage each other, discipline and persuade each other; Strict rewards and punishment will make the soldiers dare not to be lax and have credibility. The four basic principles mentioned above are: prohibition, courtesy, persuasion and trust are important norms in the army. If these four points are completely achieved, it will be as if the main support has been set up, and other details will naturally spread out. With laws and regulations, the specific content will be clear, so that the army can win the war and get what it needs when attacking. The incompetent generals can't do these four things: there is no regulation, once the order to retreat, the soldiers do not listen to the command, and scurry; When ordering an attack, there is no restraint, the pace is not uniform, and even one after another escapes, neglects and delays, and the whole army is doomed to perish; The admonition is not clear, the rewards and punishment are excessive, and the people who break their trust cannot concentrate on it. The virtuous people go away one after another, and the flattering and cunning villains gain power. The troops led by such generals will be defeated in every battle.


This article discusses the principle of leading troops in detail from both positive and negative aspects. He summed up these principles as four: prohibition, courtesy, persuasion and trust, and called them the "great classics" of military management. The "great classics" are the most important norms. Then, he explained the serious harm of violating the four principles, called the generals who did not run the army according to the four principles "mediocre generals", and pointed out the end of their defeat. This combination of positive and negative statements is very thorough, prominent and alarming.

Extension example

Li Zicheng's decisive battle in Ruzhou

In 1643, Sun Chuanting led the main forces of the Ming Army to Ruzhou to fight the Li Zicheng Rebellion. In September, Sun Chuanting's army attacked Baofeng and arrived at Jia County. Li Zicheng improvised. Relying on the deep ditch and high fortress under the county seat of Jiaxian, he held fast, tied the main border troops of the Ming Army to Jiaxian, and sent an elite force to the north, bypassing Mount Song, and attacking the white sand just a few miles away from Ruzhou from behind. Since Baisha is the only way from Luoyang to Ruzhou, the capture of Baisha cut off the transportation line of the Ming army, and the food supply of tens of thousands of the Ming army immediately became a major problem. The Ming army mutiny under Ruzhou. Sun Chuanting was in a bad mood. He decided to go back to Luoyang to collect food and pay, while Chen Yongfu, the chief soldier, stayed to command the army. The Ming Army, which was already unstable, saw the sudden departure of the commander and became more chaotic. Many soldiers left in succession. Inside the peasant army, the spies who secretly sent information to Sun Chuanting were found and hidden dangers were eliminated. Li Zicheng seized the opportunity, concentrated his forces, and actively counterattacked. The infantry and cavalry cooperated with each other, which made the Ming army panic and had to retreat quickly.

At this time, it was raining heavily and the roads were muddy. A large number of chariots carried by the Ming army could not move forward, and the soldiers were unwilling to push them. Thousands of chariots stopped on the road, blocking the retreat of the Ming army, and the vehicles overturned. The peasant uprising army took the opportunity to catch up with the Ming army. The Ming army was in chaos and had no fighting spirit, but there was no place to hide. Thousands of people died. Gao Jie, the chief soldier of the Ming army, saw that the situation was over and quickly led the Ming army to flee west. The peasant army pursued the Ming army closely without giving it a chance to breathe. It pursued the Ming army for 200 miles day and night, and finally stopped all the Ming troops in Mengjin and surrounded them. More than 40000 people were killed in the Ming army, and all the chariots were lost. Chen Yongfu's Ming army, which still remained in Jiaxian County and had no time to retreat, was also surrounded by the peasant army, and most of them were destroyed. Sun Chuanting, the commander of the Ming Army who returned to Luoyang in the early stage, saw all of them fall, attempted suicide, and was crowded into Tongguan by his soldiers.

After the decisive battle in Ruzhou, the effective force of the Ming Dynasty to suppress the peasant uprising was almost completely destroyed, and it was no longer able to attack the peasant army. Three months later, Li Zicheng led his army to capture Shaanxi, and then entered Shanxi and Zhili (now Hebei Province). On April 25, 1644, Li Zicheng's peasant uprising army invaded Beijing, and Emperor Chongzhen hanged himself, thus ending the rule of the Ming Dynasty.

 解读《诸葛亮兵法.将苑》 善将第二十四


















(This article is an original article by Zhuge Changqing, and the pictures are selected from the Internet. Welcome to forward it, and please indicate the source for forwarding)

Introduction to Zhuge Changqing: Zhuge Changqing, the inheritor and promoter of traditional Chinese culture, is willing to "learn from sages, promote virtue, revitalize China and benefit the world" together with people with the same ideals in the world.

(Zhuge Changqing: zhuge8031@163.com )

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Zhuge Changqing's Chinese Dream

Learn from sages and carry forward virtue

Revitalizing China for the benefit of the world










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1The wisdom of traditional Chinese culture changes the destiny: filial piety to parents+five in one+self-improvement


2Zhuge Changqing's Three Golden Keys to Changing Destiny

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4   如何忏悔:忏悔仪轨忏悔方法(完整版)

5How to read the Dizang Sutra: Methods for reciting Dizang Sutra (complete version)


6How to release? The ritual of releasing life


7Zhuge Changqing's Repentance Culture: A Case Study of Repentance Methods for Changing Destiny


8Free Life Culture: Free Life Culture in Ancient China


9Shocking photo of feeding: Buddha, Bodhisattva and Dharma Protector come to the scene


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That is to say, with this merit and virtue, we should solemnly observe the Buddha's net ten. Report four blessings and save three hardships. Those who wish to see and hear,Know and send Bodhi Heart. To live in a state of bliss

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