It is believed by some people that the principles on which I Ching is based came about from Fu Xi, who was an early mythical ruler of China. It is said that eight trigrams were revealed to him in a supernatural way. And, by the time Yu came into the scene, the trigrams had gone from eight to sixty-four hexagrams. These hexagrams were recorded in text known as Lian Shan, which means continuous mountains. And, Bound was the first hexagram of this scripture and it meant a mountain.
After the downfall of Xia Dynasty came about, the hexagrams formed the Gui Cang, and Kun became the first hexagram in this. The Shang Dynasty followed the Xia Dynasty; and it was this dynasty's last king, Zhou Wang, who was responsible for putting meanings to the new hexagrams. In this set of hexagrams, the starting one was Qian meaning initiating. Zhou Wang was responsible for giving each individual hexagram their respective meanings and descriptions.
Then Shang Dynasty came to an end and Zhou Gong Dan, who was the son of King Wen was responsible for developing Yao Ci, or the Explanation of Horizontal Lines. This explanation was responsible for giving meaning to each line in individual hexagrams. It was only after this that I Ching was completely understood and its concept and philosophy had a great impact on government administration as well as literature.
Then came Confucius, who was responsible for penning down Ten Wings or Shi Yi. This was suppose to be a commentary on I Ching. By the time Han Wu Di from the Western Han Dynasty came into power, Shi Yi was referred to Yi Zhuan, or Commentary on I Ching; and collectively with I Ching, it was known as Zhou Yi or Changes of Zhou.
Although I Ching is known to be a method of divination, there is no single person who can get the credit for developing it. It is the work of multiple people and all of them have contributed to it in their own way with their own interpretations and additions. While the Ten Wings have been written by Confucius, there were other Chinese scholars from who have also made additions to it, and some of the additions were believed to have been done during the Western Han dynasty.
However, in order to understand the I Ching, it is important to know what each hexagram represents and means. It is only then that a person will be able to deduce the true meaning of I Ching and its divination powers.
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