Specific Items of Consult

Intelligence And Wisdom

Update: 22/03/2015
King Milinda, asked Bhikshu Nagasena: “What is the difference between intelligence and wisdom, Venerable?

Intelligence And Wisdom


Bhikshu Nagasena answered: “Intelligence is\r\nawareness, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom means seeing impermanence,\r\ngreat misery and nonego clearly. Briefly, intelligence is\r\nintelligence and wisdom is perspicacious, your majesty.
“Why do they differ?”
“Intelligence is quick-learning, quick-understanding, and able to study\r\none lesson but learners can master more things than\r\nit, possess in-depth knowledge; however, if they lacked\r\ncultivation, they could lead to heretic intelligence. Besides, perspicacious\r\npeople were possible to know their mind well by themselves, cultivated\r\nand fathom Right Dharma clearly, which is called right knowledge or\r\nright wisdom, your majestic!”
“Could perspicacious people know everything, Venerable?”
“Something they could and could not.”
“It was simple that because they studied, they know and vice versa.\r\nIntelligence belongs to knowing and discernment. And wisdom belongs to\r\nseeing without mistake such as: impermanence is not seen as permanence,\r\nnonego is not seen as ego, and great misery is not seen as peace or\r\ncontentment.
“So an intelligent person is still delusive and mistaken, but a wise one.
“So when wisdom has arisen, where are delusion and mistake?”
“They disappear.”
“Give me example, Venerable.”
“It is like when we fire a dark corner, its light will\r\nappear and its darkness will vanish itself, dear King.”
“How about wisdom? Did it disappear?”
“Yes it did. However, what it does for us such as helps us recognize the\r\ntruth of life, impermanence, misery and non-ego of the Dharma still exist, your\r\nmajesty.”
“It was so strange and I was still doubtful. Could you give me more\r\nexamples?”
“Yes. A man lit a candle to write a book. He blew out the candle when finishing\r\nwriting. The light had gone out but those words were still on pages. One\r\nmore example, a man placed 5 full-water jars to\r\ntake precautions against fire. One day the fire happened,\r\nhe used them to extinguish fire. Finishing putting out it, would he continue\r\nusing five of these, wouldn’t he? Also, these 5 jars are symbols for the\r\nfive roots os sense: sense of belief, cultivation, right mindfulness,\r\nmeditation, and wisdom. When completely dousing the flames of greed, delusion\r\nand misery, the duties of these five jars do fulfill and\r\nvanish right away. Non-existence, formlessness and\r\nenlightenment; however, still exist, my King!
“I want further example.”
“For instance, a doctor used five herbs to make up medicine for patient. Then,\r\nthis patient drank it all and healed, so would this doctor have to use 5 herbs\r\nfor curing him anymore, my majesty?”

“Yes, there is no need of any drug when illness was\r\ncured. It is like when all of the sarvastivadins (greed, hatred,\r\nignorance, pride, doubt, wrong views) and the fetters were destroyed, 5\r\nfaculties (sense of belief, cultivation, right mindfulness, meditation, and\r\nwisdom) are not needed. There is only real happiness left, my King.”
“It was clear now, but could you give me more example, please?”
“Yes, of course. When you, commander, led the troop to the war,\r\nyou shot a fired-arrow to signal for attack. Then you shot 5 times, your enemy\r\nwas defeated. So after achieving victory, did you need to shot 5 times more?”
“I need no arrows any more, Venerable.”
“Yes! These five of arrows symbolized the 5 armies of right Dharma, which\r\nhad defeated the enemy who had wrong Dharma, stupidity and lust.\r\nPeople achieving enlightenment would not use any means; meanwhile, they\r\nonly enjoy peaceful in the surpassing world, my dear King.”
“Excellent! I have no doubt now.”


Translated into English Luong Bao Hoang Phuong.

Related News

Reverence to Monks
Relying on True Dharma
Tranfering Merits to Relatives in Different Belief.
A pure mind
Buddha Recitation By The Whole Heart