Meaning of the Idiom
gao shan liu shui（lofty mountains and flowing water）
In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), there was a man named Yu Boya. He was a famous lute player who was proficient in melody. When he was young, Yu Boya was bright and eager to learn. He used to worship high people as his teacher and his guqin skills reached a very high level. However, he always felt that he was not able to express his feelings for various things excellently. Knowing his idea, Boya’s teacher took him by boat to Penglai Island in the East China Sea so that he could enjoy the scenery of nature and listen to the waves of the sea. When Boya looked up, he saw the waves surging and the waves splashing. Seabirds flutter and sing in their ears; Mountains and trees, lush, such as into the fairyland. A wonderful feeling arises spontaneously, as if the ear of the harmonious music of nature. He could not help picking up the guqin and playing it, turning the notes at will, blending the beauty of nature into the music. Boya experienced an unprecedented state. The teacher told him, “You have learned.”
Once, a boat trip to Boya. Facing the breeze and the bright moon, his mind was full of thoughts, so he began to play the guqin again, and the sound was melodious. Suddenly heard a shout from the shore. Hearing the sound, Boya got out of the boat and saw a woodcutter standing on the bank. He knew that this man was a good friend and immediately asked the woodcutter to get on board and played for him with great enthusiasm. When Boya played a song of praise for the mountains, the woodcutter said, “Good! Majestic and solemn, like the towering Mount Tai!” When he played to represent the surging waves, the woodcutter said, “Good! Broad and vast, like seeing rolling water, boundless sea general!” Boya was excited and said excitedly, “Bosom friend! You are my bosom friend.” The woodcutter was Zhong Ziqi. The two became very good friends and agreed to meet again the following year.
However, Boya never saw Zhong Ziqi again because he had died of illness. After playing the last piece in front of Zhong Ziqi’s tomb, Boya broke the guqin and never played it again.
[gāo shān liú shuǐ]，比喻知己或知音，也比喻乐曲高妙。
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Meaning of Words