Monthly Archives: May 2015

Day 8 Wielding a Sword of Wisdom (page 156)

Sound the Dharma thunder; beat the Dharma drum;

Spread the clouds of compassion and scatter ambrosia.

Where the elephant king treads the favors are boundless,

The three vehicles and five natures are awakened.

In the second line, the cloud of compassion is like a cloud which temporarily covers the relentless rays of the sun on a sweltering day. When the sun is covered by clouds on a hot day, people are relieved. The heat produced by the brilliant sun is like the suffering produced by vexation, and the cloud that covers the earth and shields sentient beings is Buddhadharma.

I have met people suffering so greatly from mental vexations that they have contemplated suicide. But after hearing the Dharma, they felt better and regained the will to live. A disciple came to see me a while back. She had recently been divorced and her children were visiting her ex-husband and his new wife. She was so despondent that she considered suicide. I asked her to participate in the winter retreat. At first she refused because, as she said, “I don’t want to practice. I want to die.”

I said, “Please come to the retreat first. After it’s over, if you still want to kill yourself, I won’t try to stop you.” By the third day of the retreat her condition was much better, and by the end of the retreat she felt reborn. She told me her life was starting over again. Since then, things have been wonderful for her. The burning discomfort of mental vexation that she felt was soothed and lessened by the Dharma, just as clouds diminish the searing heat of a relentless sun.

If there were no clouds or dew in an arid region, nothing would survive. One drop of dew is enough to sustain life. So it is with sentient beings who are plagued moment after moment by the heat of vexation. The smallest amount of Buddhadharma is enough to encourage them to continue to practice. It nourishes practice and helps it to grow.

— The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng-Yen (page 156)






佛陀微笑: 不過我可以告訴你我失去的東西:













Wielding a Sword of Wisdom

The great hero uses the sword of wisdom;
This prajna blade blazes like a diamond.
It not only destroys the mind of the outer paths,
But long ago frightened away the heavenly demons.
Sometimes you can be fooled, however. A person may have profound faith in his experience, but his experience may not be genuine. He may be deluding himself, and in turn, you as well. If he believes his experience is genuine, then there is a strong possibility that his experience is false, because thinking in terms of genuine and false is still delusion.

I met a person in Taiwan who had studied Transcendental Meditation for a long time, and he had absolute faith in it. He believed his experience and wisdom were profound and claimed he could see everything in the world clearly. He visited me to share ideas, but he did all the talking. I could not get a word in edgewise. Finally, I squeezed in one question, and then he took over again, rambling on for another fifteen minutes. He did not answer my question, but instead repeated all his beliefs. I asked the same question again, but he kept repeating himself. For over an hour I listened to and analyzed what he said. It boiled down to a few points which he reiterated over and over. Eventually, I had no more time to talk, or in this case, to listen. As the man left, he said, “You should believe this. You have to believe this.”

No one could refute this person because he would not give anyone the opportunity. He said he had visited many teachers, but no one could stand up to him. He thinks his wisdom is immense. Actually, it is not wisdom. It is fanaticism. He does not wield a vajra sword. His sword is false, because he does not test it.

If you feel you have genuine wisdom, do not expound your ideas in uncontested monologues. If you believe you have a vajra sword, then unsheathe it and take challenges. If it gets hacked into pieces, then it obviously was not the sword you thought it was. You must put your practice and attainment to the test. The man I spoke to pulls out his sword and bellows, “Don’t you dare pull out your sword!” Nobody does, because they are intimidated. That’s not a challenge. He swings a false sword. Of course, his sword is not totally useless. He could use it to cut turnips and greens. But I don’t think that is the kind of sword you want.

At any point in your practice, you may test your insight against Buddhist scripture. If it does not stand the test, then it is not true wisdom. However, there is a problem with this course of action. You might misinterpret the sutras and turn around the meaning to support your experience. Therefore, it is best to rely on Buddhist tradition and study with a good master.

I encouraged someone in Taiwan to study the Diamond Sutra in order to learn about Buddhism. She said she read the Diamond Sutra everyday, but she interpreted and understood it in her own way, which had little in common with the traditional Buddhist interpretation.

— The Sword of Wisdom by Master Sheng-Yen















— 摘自聖嚴法師 《禪在哪裡?:聖嚴法師西方禪修指導2》