The Sword of Wisdom 154

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.

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.

This stanza explains how wisdom can help to save sentient beings by enabling them to attain and experience wisdom. Buddhism teaches the perfect equality of all beings and aims for the liberation of all sentient beings. Analogies along these lines illustrate this point.