Weapons are instruments of evil omen;
creatures of the world abhor them.
Therefore, followers of the Tao reject them.
In peace, the wise man honors the left;
in war, the commander prefers the right.
Therefore, weapons are not instruments of the wise.
Weapons are instruments of evil omen,
to be used when there is no other choice.
He uses them with calm and reverence.
He does not take delight in killing others.
Taking delight in killing others,
you will not achieve in the world.
On happy occasions, the left is preferred;
on sad occasions, the right is preferred.
The deputy commander stands on the left;
the commander stands on the right.
They stand as in a mourning ritual.
After killing others, we stand in grief and sorrow.
Victory is observed as a funeral service.