The Sword in the Scabbard

If you have seen the 1996 version of Romeo & Juliet by Baz Luhrman, you couldn’t have possibly missed the fact that even in a modern setting the original dialogues are made relevant. Many lines in the film refer to weapons, so to save changing the script away from the original; the cast wield guns with fictional brand names like “Sword 9mm” or “Dagger“.

The sword has survived ages – and is relevant even today. Not as the obvious weapon. It has become a collectible, associated with myths and legends. People have lent their character to swords and given the sword an identity of their own, be it the Bhavani, the Excalibur, or the Crocea Mors. The sword has even used to romantic setting; in The Bodyguard. It still adorns valiant soldiers – even if in their ceremonial outfits.

The manner of the sword has changed however, what it looks like has changed, in some cases it has changed matter and become a thought, but the sword that decisively acts as the mind directs it – hasn’t changed at all. But what good the sword that a warrior refuses to draw? The sword speaks the right word – gives the right message, there isn’t any ambiguity. Remember the scene in Braveheart, when William Wallace’s sword was flung to the ground?

In today’s times, we often leave the sword in the scabbard either not knowing that it exists, or have forgotten what the sword means to us, or just plain afraid to use it. It is probably because the sword has changed shape and structure – that we don’t recognise it and we don’t know how wield it.

We forget that the sword has changed shape, form and structure. It is no more forged in bronze or gold or steel. Take the Lightsaber; the sword of Light; even in the future the warrior weilds a sword.

The sword will always remain with the warrior. It will wait for the warrior.

The warrior of light is always trying to improve.

Every blow of his swords carries with it centuries of wisdom and meditation. Every blow needs to have the strength and skill of all warriors of the past who, even today, continue to bless the struggle. Each movement during combat honours the movements that the previous generations tried to transmit through the Tradition.

The warrior develops the beauty of his blows.

Text in italics above, From Manual of the Warrior of Light, © 1997 by Paulo Coelho. English translation © Margaret Jull Costa 2002, published in the UK in 2002 by HarperCollins.


17 thoughts on “The Sword in the Scabbard

  1. I also loved how they made Shakespeare’s dialog perfectly congruent with modern times in that movie. 🙂 Nice post, well said, “taking up the sword” is as meaningful today as it ever was. Even if the “real” swords are rusting on the walls.

    JMO and Regards,


  2. Your post brought back some of my childhood memories,Atul..I always used to ask my grandma somany times “why that sword is in the sheath?”…And she always used to answer me like..”Babu,your great grand father used it..Now we don’t need to open it as there’s no war now..” But still i opened it from and touched the sword so many times.. 🙂
    And as Doug said.. real swords are rusting on the walls.
    Nice thought,Atul..


  3. ==Ganga:
    Interestingly, I have had a chance to look at a sword that apparently belonged to a Vijayanagar ruler (not in a museum). I had asked a similar question then…wished i could touch it. Happens to me whenever i go to a museum, i feel like touching the sword.


  4. Given the sword another meaning too eh? Conceptualised a sword into a larger than life power.I am amazed how you build such associations.I always thought the tongue(speech) was the sharpest sword and that one should always use it carefuly, but I now agree so is the thought.What we think has its own consequences.


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