‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword Of Destiny’ (That Is Arbitrary)

The story continues the romanticism of swordplay and destiny. What better way to combine the duo by more harping on the ‘Sword Of Destiny’? Truly, it is an empty case of existence preceding essence… Shape a sword and call it ‘Destiny’, get others to agree to its significance, and they will shape their destinies around it and in pursuit of it. Using various other weapons, they fight over this weapon, this arbitrary symbol of supremacy in the martial arts world. What irony to fight over an instrument meant to uphold peace!

Perhaps they should learn the lesson from Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch Of Chan in China, who probably predicted the possible power struggle over the robe and bowl as symbols of spiritual patriarchy, thus instructing their usage to end by the sixth generation. After all, if the true meaning of a symbol is lost or even corrupted, of what use is it? The sword was supposed to stand for righteousness, yet the unrighteous hope to claim it unscrupulously, as if getting it would make them right.

The sword might as well be publicly denounced and destroyed. If not, ill history repeats with bloody struggles over it. Why guard and pass this expired ‘torch’ around when its ‘flames’ that radiate honourability have already extinguished? Oh yes, because it is still profitable, e.g. for making this unnecessary sequel. There you have it… Is it now just about greed for gain in real life, reflected by greed for power in the movie? Even if one reigns supreme, with or without some fancy weapon, death comes for all.

‘It is not humans who rule over the sword, but the sword that rules over humans.’ Am afraid this utterance is utter nonsense. Why live and die with such self-delusional and violent romanticism? It is foolish indeed to try to justify one’s pointless fights, to absolve oneself of responsibility from actually self-chosen destiny. The true treasure Sword Of Destiny is already wielded in everyone’s mind as we learn from wisdom of the Buddha’s teachings, to cut our defilements with them, to do better in life.

At least, it was later mentioned that – ‘The sword is without good or evil, while humans are good and evil. The world’s way of righteousness is not in a “divine” implement, but in the human heart. (剑无正邪,人有善恶。江湖之道,不在神器,而在人心。) However, the sword was brought to Mount Wudang. But of course… for there ‘must’ be allowance for a sequel… if this flick sells well! In the case of which, there will be more fighting over the useless sword! Why not melt it, along with its harmful potential. Why not reshape something more useful out of it? Change its destiny!

According to the Brahmā Net Sūtra’s (梵网经) ‘Tenth [Lighter Bodhisattva] Precept [Against] Storage [Of] Instruments [For] Killing Sentient Beings: If [as] Buddhas’ [Bodhisattva] disciples, [they] should not store all knives, [swords], staves, bows, arrows, spears, hatchets, instruments of fighting wars, and evil snare [nets]. Implements for killing [sentient] beings, all should not [be] stored…’ (第十畜杀众生具戒:若佛子,不得畜一切刀杖、弓箭、矛、斧、斗战之具,及恶网罗。杀生之器,一切不得畜…) Even hiding the Sword Of Destiny gives room for continual disaster to come, without using it!

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