An excellent soldier is an inauspicious tool.
He may be evil.
Those who follow the Tao
do not like to reside near them because of this.
You’ve heard of a “right-hand man”, right?
Generally, a person of noble character resides to your favored left.
Soldiers, instead, use the position of your precious right.
An army is an inauspicious tool.
As a non-noble tool, it has no alternative but to use force.
Peace and tolerance serve as highest priority.
Victorious without needing satisfaction,
yet not satisfactory itself,
is he who is happy to kill another person.
A man who is happy killing others
must not obtain the will to control
all of the land under heaven.
Lucky thing we esteem the Left.
It is an ominous thing to value the Right.
To deviate from the average:
to checkmate an army residing at the left,
first take their arms to store at the right
to be in a position to speak of them with mourning rites.
He who has murdered the multitudes should sob, full of grief.
To battle and become victorious by death,
he is in a position to give funeral rites.
There is no joy in war – only loss.