One of the most misinterpreted quotations from the biblical scriptures can be found in Matthew 10:34, where Jesus addresses his disciples:
“Think not that I have come to bring peace on Earth; I came not to bring peace but a sword.”
Crusaders used this passage as an excuse to spread the Christian doctrine with ferocity and the sword. Such a philosophy of aggression and subjugation, however, stands in stark contrast with the Christian image of Jesus as the Prince of Peace and his doctrine of: “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matt 22:39), “love thy enemies” (Matt 5:44), and “turn the other cheek” (Matt 5:39). The inconsistency is absent in the Talmud of Jmmanuel (TJ 10:44) where Jmmanuel says: “Truly, I have not come to bring peace but the sword of knowledge about the power of the spirit, which dwells within the human being.”
Knowledge is portrayed here as a powerful tool, a sword that allows us to discern the truth by cutting away all untruths. Applying the sword of knowledge as a tool in our learning process on our road of spiritual evolution, knowledge of the truth is turned into new insights and wisdom that allows us to “live the truth.” I consider this the definition of wisdom.
The concept of the sword of knowledge separating the chaff from the wheat is analogous to “Ockham’s razor,” a valuable principle in the quest for truth named after William of Ockham, a 14th century English scholar. His principle states that among a set of competing theories, the simplest one, requiring the least number of suppositions, is most likely closest to the truth. Similarly, the sword of knowledge gives us the power to discern, to use that knowledge for making wise distinctions and choices.
Some interesting connections can be found by searching for the origins of the concept and phrase, “sword of knowledge.” Did Jmmanuel invent it, or did he learn it from one of his teachers? It was not a common phrase in Jmmanuel’s time, neither is it today. Our search for its origins leads us to ancient India.
In the traditions of Mahayana Buddhism, which arose between the third century BC and the first century AD, the sword was considered a symbol of logic. A key figure venerated by that religious faith is the Boddhisattva Manjusri, later known as Wen-yu in China and Jam-dpal in Tibet. Manjusri, the personification of the wisdom of the Buddha, is generally depicted with the sword of knowledge, symbolizing logic, and a book of the Prajna-Paramitra Sutra, symbolizing wisdom. He assists those in search of knowledge by casting away the “darkness of ignorance,” another phrase used by Jmmanuel in TJ 26:27, “There is no eye equal to wisdom, no darkness equal to ignorance,...”
Was Manjusri a contemporary of Jmmanuel? A search for historical dates of his life proved unsuccessful, indicating that no such historical person existed. Though real to his worshipers, Manjusri is essentially the personified concept (idol) of the quality of wisdom of the Buddha. Similarly, the Boddhisattva Avalokiteshvara became a personification of the compassion of the Buddha. The Boddhisattva concept is analogous to the Christ image as an idol representing the essence of the pure spiritual being of the historical person of Jesus (i.e. his love, purity and perfection).
The first written record of the sword of knowledge appears in the Aswamedha Parva (Sec. XXXV) of the Mahabharata, which was composed over a time span from 400 BC to 400 AD, a period centered around the lifetime of Jmmanuel (Jesus). In this reference, Vasudeva (Krishna) explains to Arjuna, by recounting an ancient discourse between a teacher and his disciple, the importance of knowledge and critical reasoning for grasping the spiritual truth that all things and beings are one within the Spirit of Creation (Brahman): “... and cutting [away the untruths from] all topics [beliefs and convictions] with the sharp sword of knowledge, one attains to immortality and casts off birth and death.”
In another passage from the Bhagavad Gita, which was interpolated into the Mahabharata in the first century AD (during Jmmanuel’s lifetime), we read in Chapter 4, Verse 42: “O Arjuna, with the sword of knowledge cut away all doubt of the self, that is born of ignorance and resides in your heart.”
The concept of the sword of knowledge was reiterated some 1600 years later by the Tenth Master Govind Singh (1675-1708) of the Sikh faith. He asked that we use the “Gyaneh-ki-badhni,” the sword of knowledge, to tear apart ignorance and superstitions.
Jmmanuel’s use of the phrase, “sword of knowledge,” may indicate that he learned this word picture from an Indian guru. This supposition supports the notion that Jmmanuel traveled to India during his “missing years” between age 12 and 30. Another indication that Jmmanuel made "friends in India" is also evident from TJ 30:65, which describes how Jmmanuel's friends from India entered his tomb and nursed him back to health.
Other possible explanations may be voiced in rebuttal. These are:
Alternative 2. is more complex than the theory that Jesus traveled to India and is thus less probable by the principle of Ockham’s razor. Whereas the sword was a common object in Earth human history, culture and warfare at that time, it was not a noteworthy item for the technically advanced extraterrestrial teachers who had achieved space travel thousands of years earlier. It is more likely for the image of the sword of knowledge to have originated on Earth than for the same extraterrestrial mentors to have brought it to several terrestrial protegees on multiple occasions.
The third alternative explanation is highly unlikely for the following reason. After Siddharta Gautama’s death around 486 BC, Buddhism was confined to northern India until the 3rd century BC, when it spread south through the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and then on to Cambodia and Vietnam in the 2nd century BC. Starting in the 1st century BC, Buddhism also spread north and east along the Silk Road, reaching China in the 2nd century AD, Tibet and Korea in the 4th century and Japan in the 6th century AD. But it never spread westward through the Middle East and into Europe until much more recently. Most Europeans became aware of Buddhism only in the 18th century. Egyptian, Judaic, Babylonian, Greek and Roman religions, and later Christianity and Islam, dominated throughout much of the Middle East, creating a formidable barrier that prevented the spread of Buddhism to the west. There is no record of any Buddhist community existing in Palestine during Jmmanuel’s time. Hence, Jmmanuel did not have the opportunity of accessing Buddhist scriptures and doctrine in his homeland. More likely, he studied the Eastern philosophy in India. He probably met “his friends from India” (TJ 30:65) there and brought them back to Jerusalem on his return.
For a summary of Jmmanuel’s words of wisdom, as disclosed in the Talmud of Jmmanuel, refer to www.avilabooks.com/Jmmanuel.htm