Whenever you study or contemplate the Dharma,
Rely not on the words, but on the meaning.
If the meaning is understood, then regardless of the speaker’s style,
There will be no conflict.
When you have understood what it was
The speaker intended to communicate,
If you then continue to think about each word and expression,
It is as if you’ve found your elephant but now go in search of its footprints.
If you misinterpret what is said and then think of more words,
You’ll never stop till you run out of thoughts,
But all the while you’re only straying further and further from the meaning.
Like children playing, you’ll only end up exhausted.
Even for a single word like “and” or “but”,
When taken out of context, there’s no end to what it might mean.
Yet if you understand what is meant,
Then with that the need for the word is finished.
When the finger points to the moon,
The childish will look at the finger itself.
And fools attached to mere language,
May think they’ve understood, but they will find it difficult.
[Second reliance: Do not rely on the words, but on the meaning.]
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