Gautama Buddha (c. 563 – c. 483 BC) was a teacher and religious leader. "Buddha", meaning "awakened one" or "enlightened one" is a title, not a name; the Shakyamuni Buddha, whose original name was Siddhartha Gautama, was the founder of Buddhism.
- See also Dhammapada
- Behold now, Bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to decay. Strive with diligence!
- Last words, as quoted in DN 16; Mahaparinibbana Sutta 6:8
- Variant translations:
- Mendicants, I now impress it upon you, the parts and powers of man must be dissolved; work out your own salvation with diligence.
- As quoted in Present Day Tracts on the Non-Christian Religions of the World (1887) by Sir William Muir, p. 24
- Now, then, monks, I exhort you: All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful.
- translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!
- translated by Sister Vajira & Francis Story
- Do not go by revelation;
Do not go by tradition;
Do not go by hearsay;
Do not go on the authority of sacred texts;
Do not go on the grounds of pure logic;
Do not go by a view that seems rational;
Do not go by reflecting on mere appearances;
Do not go along with a considered view because you agree with it;
Do not go along on the grounds that the person is competent;
Do not go along because "the recluse is our teacher."
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: These things are unwholesome, these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; and when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them...
Kalamas, when you know for yourselves: These are wholesome; these things are not blameworthy; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness, having undertaken them, abide in them.
- Kalama Sutta - Angutarra Nikaya 3.65
- It cannot happen that a woman may become a Tathāgata, a Sammsambuddha.
- Gautama Buddha, Aṅguttara Nikāya 3.14.
- Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.
- As quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing (2006) edited by Larry Chang, p. 193
- This is actually a pithy modern-day 'summary' of the "Abhaya Sutta" (AN 4.184). It appears in "Buddha’s Little Instruction Book" by Jack Kornfield (p88).
- Let my skin and sinews and bones dry up, together with all the flesh and blood of my body! I welcome it! But I will not move from this spot until I have attained the supreme and final wisdom.
- The Jatka (From the Attainment of the Buddhaship. Also is in the Nirvana Sutta.)
- Therefore, Ananda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge. And how, Ananda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge? When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge. Those bhikkhus of mine, Ananda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, if they have the desire to learn.
- Mahaparinibbana Sutta 2:33-35, as translated by Sister Vajira & Francis Story
- It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.
- Cetana Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya
- I will not take final Nirvana until I have nuns and female disciples who are accomplished…until I have laywomen followers…who will….teach the Dhamma
- Gautama Buddha as quoted by Dr Bettany Hughes Telegraph
- In all things, there is neither male nor female.
- Gautama Buddha Vimalakriti Sutra, as quoted by Dr Bettany Hughes Telegraph
- Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.
- Bhaddekaratta Sutta.
- Meditate … do not delay, lest you later regret it.
- Sallekha Sutta
- To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation — this is the greatest blessing.
- Mangala Sutta
- A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing
- Mangala Sutta
- Just as with her own life, A mother shields from hurt, Her own son, her only child,Let all-embracing thoughts For all beings be yours.
- Metta Sutta
- Those who cling to perceptions and views wander the world offending people.
- Magandiya Sutta
- Whatever living beings there may be — feeble or strong, long, stout, or of medium size, short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born — may all beings have happy minds.
- Karaniya Metta Sutta
- Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity.
- Metta Sutta
- The root of suffering is attachment.
- Pali canon
- Whatever an enemy might do to an enemy, or a foe to a foe, the ill-directed mind can do to you even worse.
Whatever a mother, father or other kinsman might do for you, the well-directed mind can do for you even better.
- Gautama Buddha, Pali Canon 42-43 Cittavagga The Mind.
- Full text online, as translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Sensual passions are your first enemy.
- Your second is called Discontent.
- Your third is Hunger & Thirst.
- Your fourth is called Craving.
- Fifth is Sloth & Drowsiness.
- Sixth is called Terror.
- Your seventh is Uncertainty.
- Hypocrisy & Stubbornness, your eighth.
- Gains, Offerings, Fame, & Status wrongly gained,
- and whoever would praise self
- & disparage others.
- That, Namuci, is your enemy,
- the Dark One's commando force.
- A coward can't defeat it,
- but one having defeated it
- gains bliss.
- I spit on my life.
Death in battle would be better for me
than that I, defeated, survive.
- This statement is made in reference to his battle against the personification of temptation to evil, Mara.
- That army of yours,
- that the world with its devas can't overcome,
- I will smash with discernment
- I will go about, from kingdom to kingdom,
- training many disciples.
- They — heedful, resolute
- doing my teachings —
- despite your wishes, will go
- where, having gone,
- there's no grief.
- Sn 3.2, Buddha's Purpose
- Monks, these two extremes ought not to be practiced by one who has gone forth from the household life. (What are the two?) There is addiction to indulgence of sense-pleasures, which is low, coarse, the way of ordinary people, unworthy, and unprofitable; and there is addiction to self-mortification, which is painful, unworthy, and unprofitable. Avoiding both these extremes, the Tathagata (the Perfect One) has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment and to Nibbana. And what is that Middle Path realized by the Tathagata...? It is the Noble Eightfold path, and nothing else, namely: right understanding, right thought, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.
- Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta 
- Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.
- Ayacana Sutta
- In a world become blind,
I beat the drum of the Deathless.
- Conquerors are those like me
who have reached fermentations' end.
I've conquered evil qualities,
and so, Upaka, I'm a conqueror
- Ariyapariyesana Sutta
- These are just a few samples, for more from this work see the page for the Dhammapada
- As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion will break through an unreflecting mind.
- Ch. 1: The Twin Verses, verse 13
- Can there be joy and laughter When always the world is ablaze? Enshrouded in darkness Should you not seek a light?
- No one saves us but ourselves,
No one can and no one may.
We ourselves must walk the path
Buddhas merely teach the way.
By ourselves is evil done,
By ourselves we pain endure,
By ourselves we cease from wrong,
By ourselves become we pure.
- Ch. 165, as translated in The Dharma, or The Religion of Enlightenment; An Exposition of Buddhism (1896) by Paul Carus; variants for some years have included "We ourselves must walk the path but Buddhas clearly show the way", but this is not yet located in any of the original publications of Carus.
- Conquer anger with love, evil with good, meanness with generosity, and lies with truth.
- Verse 223
- To cease from evil, to do good, and to purify the mind yourself, this is the teaching of all the Buddhas.
- Ch. 183
- We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
- As translated by T. Byrom (1993), Shambhala Publications.
- Nothing is as intractable as an untamed heart.
- The untamed heart is intractable.
- Nothing is as tractable as a tamed heart.
- The tamed heart is tractable.
- Nothing tends toward loss as does an untamed heart.
- The untamed heart tends towards loss.
- Nothing tends toward growth as does a tamed heart.
- The tamed heart tends towards growth.
- Nothing brings suffering as does
- the untamed, uncontrolled unattended and unrestrained heart.
- That heart brings suffering.
- Nothing brings joy as does a
- tamed, controlled, attended and restrained heart.
- This heart brings joy.
[A devata] Giving what does one give strength? Giving what does one give beauty? Giving what does one give ease? Giving what does one give sight? Who is the giver of all? Being asked, please explain to me
[The Blessed One] Giving food, one gives strength; Giving clothes, one gives beauty; Giving a vehicle, one gives ease; Giving a lamp, one gives sight.
The one who gives a residence Is the giver of all. But the one who teaches the Dhamma Is the giver of the Deathless
- Whoever doesn’t flare up at someone who’s angry wins a battle hard to win.
- Samyutta Nikaya
- When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself
- Samyutta Nikaya
- Women, with their two-fingered wisdom [i.e. stupid], have a difficult time [understanding what I teach].
- Gautama Buddha, Saṃyutta Nikāya 4.
- Whatever is felt is within suffering.
Soma and Mara An adapation of a translation by C.A.F. Rhys-Davids
- Once Soma, having returned from her alms round
- and having eaten her meal, entered the woods to meditate.
- Deep in the woods, she sat down under a tree.
- The tempter Mara, desirous and capable of arousing fear, wavering and dread,
- and wishing her to interrupt her focused meditation, came to her and said,
- Your intent is difficult, even for the sages;
- Completion cannot be reached by a woman regardless the wisdom reaped."
- Then Soma thought, "Who is this speaking, human or nonhuman?
- Surely it is evil Mara desiring to interrupt my focused meditation."
- Knowing that it was Mara, she said,
- "What does gender matter with regard to a well-composed mind,
- which experiences insight in the light of the dharma?"
- The evil Mara thought, "Soma knows me"
- and sorrowful for the evil, instantly vanished into darkness.
Bamboo Acrobats An adaptation of a translation by John Ireland.
- The Exalted One was dwelling in the Sumbha country,
- in a location of the Sumbhas called Sedaka
- There He addressed the monks:
- "Once upon a time, a bamboo-acrobat set up his pole
- and called to his pupil, Medakathalika, saying,
- 'Come my lad Medakathalika,
- climb the pole and stand on my shoulders!'
- 'All right master,'
- replied the pupil to the bamboo-acrobat.
- The student then climbed the pole
- and stood on the master's shoulders.
- Then the bamboo-acrobat said to his pupil:
- 'Now Medakathalika, protect me well and I shall protect you.
- Thus watched and warded by each other,
- we will show our tricks, get a good fee and
- come down safe from the bamboo pole.'
- At these words Medakathalika the pupil
- said to the bamboo-acrobat,
- 'No, no! That won't do master!
- Look after yourself and I'll look after myself.
- Thus watched and warded each by himself,
- we'll show our tricks and get a good fee and
- come down safe from the bamboo-pole.'"
- "In the synthesis is the right way,"
- said the Exalted One,
- "Just as Medakathalika the pupil said to his master,
- 'I shall protect myself,'
- by this the Foundation of Mindfulness is practiced.
- 'I shall protect others,'
- by this the Foundation of Mindfulness is practiced.
- In protecting oneself, others are protected;
- In protecting others, oneself is protected."
- And how does one in protecting oneself, protect others?
- By frequent practice, development and
- making much of the Foundation of Mindfulness.
- Thus in protecting oneself, others are protected.
- And how does one, in protecting others, protect oneself?
- By forbearance and nonviolence,
- By loving kindness and compassion.
- Thus in protecting others, one protects oneself.
- With the intention, 'I shall protect myself,'
- the Foundation of Mindfulness is practiced.
- With the intention, 'I shall protect others,'
- the Foundation of Mindfulness is practiced.
- In protecting oneself, others are protected;
- In protecting others, oneself is protected."
- And this, monks, is the noble truth of the origination of dukkha: the craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming.
- 56.11 Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta: Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Abandoning false speech, the ascetic Gotama dwells refraining from false speech, a truth-speaker, one to be relied on, trustworthy, dependable, not a deceiver of the world. abandoning malicious speech, he does not repeat there what he has heard here to the detriment of these, or repeat here what he has heard there to the detriment of those. Thus he is a reconciler of those at variance and an encourager of those at one, rejoicing in peace, loving it, delighting in it, one who speaks up for peace. Abandoning harsh speech, he refrains from it. He speaks whatever is blameless, pleasing to the ear, agreeable, reaching the heart, urbane, pleasing and attractive to the multitude. Abandoning idle chatter, he speaks at the right time, what is correct and to the point, of Dhamma and discipline. He is a speaker whose words are to be treasured, seasonable, reasoned, well-defined and connected with the goal.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1 (Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada)), verse 1.9, pp. 68-69
- The ascetic Gotama … avoids watching dancing, singing, music and shows. He abstains from using garlands, perfumes, cosmetics, ornaments and adornments. … He refrains from running errands, from buying and selling.
- Gautama Buddha, Digha Nikaya, M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1, verse 1.10, p. 69
- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to attending such shows as dancing, singing, music, displays, recitations, hand-music, cymbals and drums, fairy-shows, acrobatic and conjuring tricks, combats of elephants, buffaloes, bulls, goats, rams, cocks and quail, fighting with staves, boxing, wrestling, sham-fights, parades, manoeuvres and military reviews, the ascetic Gotama refrains from attending such displays.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1 (Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada)), verse 1.13
- Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to such unedifying conversation as about kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, relatives, carriages, villages, towns and cities, countries, women, heroes, street- and well-gossip, talk of the departed, desultory chat, speculations about land and sea, talk about being and non-being, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such conversation.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1 (Brahmajala Sutta (Theravada)), verse 1.17, p. 70
- Monks, if anyone spoke words which insult me, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, don't let this thing prompt you to hate, take revenge, and turn against them. If, because of this, you become angry or annoyed, then it will become an obstacle in your quest to liberate yourself, and cause you upset. However, if someone speaks insulting or false accusations about me, the Dhamma, and the Sangha, then you should state which is wrong and point out the mistake by explaining that because of this proof and that, then that is not true, or it is not like that, that kind of thing is not us, or occurring in us.
But if someone praises me, the Dhamma, or the Sangha; don't let this thing make you feel proud, joyful, and happy. If you act like that, then it will become an obstacle in your efforts to achieve your own final liberation. If someone speaks like that, you should state which is right and show the fact by saying, 'Based upon this and that fact, it is indeed so; that thing does indeed exist in us, or is true about us.' Even only due to small matters, worthless, or even due to the Precepts (Śīla).
- Monks, there are other things which are very deep (profound), very hard to understand, very difficult to perceive, so holy and sacred, unreached by means of mind, so subtle, that they are only to be understood and experienced by the wise. These things were perceived clearly, seen clearly and were discarded by the Tathagata, and by this act based on the truth that people praise and revered Tathagatha. What are those things?
- As long, Sire, as a monk does not perceive the disappearance of the five hindrances in himself, he feels as if in debt, in sickness, in bonds, in slavery, on a desert journey. But when he perceives the disappearance of the five hindrances in himself, it is as if he were freed from debt, from sickness, from bonds, from slavery, from the perils of the desert.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 2 (Samaññaphala Sutta), verse 74, p. 102
- It is just as if a man were to draw out a reed from its sheath. He might think: “This is the reed, this is the sheath, reed and sheath are different. Now the reed has been pulled from the sheath.” … In the same way a monk with mind concentrated directs his mind to the production of a mind-made body. He draws that body out of this body.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 2 (Samaññaphala Sutta), verse 86, p. 104
- If he goes forth from the household life into homelessness, then he will become an Arahant, a fully-enlightened Buddha, one who draws back the veil from the world.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 3 (Ambattha Sutta), verse 1.5, p. 112
- If it were not for women being admitted into [our order], my teachings would have lasted 1000 years, now they will not last 500.
- Gautama Buddha, Dīgha Nikāya 3.
- Wisdom is purified by morality, and morality is purified by wisdom: where one is, the other is, the moral man has wisdom and the wise man has morality, and the combination of morality of wisdom is called the highest thing in the world.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 4 (Sonadanda Sutta), verse 22, p. 131
- “Well, Lord, is the soul the same as the body, is the soul one thing and the body another?”
- “I have not declared that the soul is one thing and the body another.”
- “Well, Lord, does the Tathāgata exist after death?” …
- “I have not declared that the Tathāgata exists after death.” …
- “But, Lord, why has the Lord not declared these things?”
- “Potthapada, that is not conducive to the purpose, not conducive to Dhamma, not the way to embark on the holy life; it does not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to higher knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not declared it.”
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 9 (Potthapada Sutta), verse 28, p. 164
- Feeling conditions craving, craving conditions seeking, seeking conditions acquisition, acquisition conditions decision-making, decision-making conditions lustful desire, lustful desire conditions attachment, attachment conditions appropriation, appropriation conditions avarice, avarice conditions guarding of possessions, and because of guarding of possessions there arise the taking up of stick and sword, quarrels, disputes, arguments, strife, abuse, lying and other evil unskilled states.
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 15 (Mahānidāna Sutta), verse 9, pp. 224-225
- Pleasant feeling is impermanent, conditioned, dependently-arisen, bound to decay, to vanish, to fade away, to cease—and so too are painful feeling and neutral feeling. So anyone who, on experiencing a pleasant feeling, thinks: "This is my self", must, at the cessation of that pleasant feeling, think: "My self has gone!"
- M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 15 (Mahānidāna Sutta), verse 29, p. 227
- But truly, Ananda, it is nothing strange that human beings should die.
- Sutta 16 (Mahaparinibbana Sutta)
- Any kind of material form whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near, all material form should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.”
- B. Nanamoli and B. Bodhi, trans. (1995), Sutta 62, verse 3, p. 527
- In crossing the river [from Saṃsāra to emancipation] (...) crocodiles are a designation for women.
- Gautama Buddha, Majjhima Nikāya 3.
- Rahula, whatever internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to, that is, head-hairs, body-hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, bone-marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, diaphragm, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or whatever else internally, belonging to oneself, is solid, solidified, and clung-to: this is called the internal earth element. Now both the internal earth element and the external earth element are simply earth element. And that should be seen as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: “This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.” When one sees it thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, one becomes disenchanted with the earth element and makes the mind dispassionate towards the earth element.
- B. Nanamoli and B. Bodhi, trans. (1995), Sutta 62, verse 8, p. 528
- Rahula, develop meditation that is like water. ... Just as people wash clean things and dirty things, excrement, urine, spittle, pus, and blood in water, and the water is not horrified, humiliated, and disgusted because of that, so too, Rahula, develop meditation that is like water.
- B. Nanamoli and B. Bodhi, trans. (1995), Sutta 62, verse 14, p. 530
- Whatever is subject to origination is all subject to cessation.
- 74, Dighanaka Sutta (this saying is in many other suttas as well)
- This is deathless, the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging.
The Group of Discourses, K. R. Norman, trans. (Oxford: 2001)
- The seers of old had fully restrained selves, and were austere. Having abandoned the five strands of sensual pleasures, they practiced their own welfare. The brahmans had no cattle, no gold, no wealth. They had study as their wealth and grain. They guarded the holy life as their treasure.
- Know from the rivers in clefts and in crevices: those in small channels flow noisily, the great flow silent. Whatever’s not full makes noise. Whatever is full is quiet.
- Sutta Nipata
- Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Just as the candle won't be shortened, one's happiness never decreases by being shared.
- Sutta Nipata
- Whatever precious jewel there is in the heavenly worlds, there is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.
- Sutta Nipata
- In whom there is no sympathy for living beings: know him as an outcast.
- Sutta Nipata
- Both formerly and now, it is only suffering that I describe, and the cessation of suffering.
- Sutta Nipata
- If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current — how can he help others across
- Sutta Nipata
- The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world.
- Sutta Nipata
- Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.
- Utthana Sutta in the Sutta Nipata
- As I am, so are these. As are these, so am I.’ Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill.
- Nalaka Sutta, in the Sutta Nipata
- The innumerable worlds in the cosmos are like the eyes of the net. Each and every world is different, its variety infinite. So too are the Dharma Doors (methods of cultivation) taught by the Buddhas.
- Sutra Translation Committee of the US and Canada (2000). The Brahma Net Sutra, New York [w:Brahmajala Sutra (Mahayana)|Brahmajala Sutra (Mahayana)]
Quotes about Buddha
- Sorted alphabetically by author or source
- The teachings of Buddha are eternal, but even then Buddha did not proclaim them to be infallible. The religion of Buddha has the capacity to change according to times, a quality which no other religion can claim to have … Now what is the basis of Buddhism? If you study carefully, you will see that Buddhism is based on reason. There is an element of flexibility inherent in it, which is not found in any other religion.
- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, in The Buddha and His Dhamma (1957)
- The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganga Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha, when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
- A maṇi-jewel; magical jewel, which manifests whatever one wishes for (Skt. maṇi, cintā-maṇi, cintāmaṇi-ratna). According to one's desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, etc. It is a metaphor for the teachings and virtues of the Buddha. ... Said to be obtained from the dragon-king of the sea, or the head of the great fish, Makara, or the relics of a Buddha.
- The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism Ruyizhu entry
- For the first time in human history, the Buddha admonished, entreated and appealed to people not to hurt a living being, and it is not necessary to offer prayer, praise or sacrifice to gods. With all the eloquence at his command the Buddha vehemently proclaimed that gods are also in dire need of salvation themselves.
- Thomas William Rhys Davids, as quoted in Great Personalities on Buddhism (1965) by K. Sri Dhammananda, p. 109
- India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.
- Will Durant, in The Case for India (1931)
- One of my sons, the eldest boy, accused me of being a follower of Buddha, and some of my Hindu countrymen also do not hesitate to accuse me of spreading Buddhistic teaching under the guise of Sanatana Hinduism.
I sympathize with my son's accusations and the accusations of my Hindu friends. And sometimes I feel even proud of being accused of being a follower of the Buddha, and I have no hesitation in declaring in the presence of this audience that I owe a great deal to the inspiration that I have derived from the life of the Enlightened One. Asia has a message for the whole world, if only it would live up to it. There is the imprint of Buddhistic influence on the whole of Asia, which includes India, China, Japan, Burma, Ceylon, and the Malay States. For Asia to be not for Asia but for the whole world, it has to re-learn the message of the Buddha and deliver it to the whole world. His love, his boundless love went out as much to the lower animal, to the lowest life as to human beings. And he insisted upon purity of life.
- Mahatma Gandhi, as quoted in With Gandhiji in Ceylon (1928) by Mahadev Haribhai Desai, p. 54
- The Buddha is a being who is totally free of all delusions and faults, who is endowed with all good qualities and has attained the wisdom eliminating the darkness of ignorance. The Dharma is the result of his enlightenment. After having achieved enlightenment, a Buddha teaches, and what he or she teaches is called the Dharma. The Sangha is made up of those who engage in the practice of the teachings given by the Buddha. . . . One of the benefits of refuge is that all of the misdeeds you have committed in the past can be purified, because taking refuge entails accepting the Buddha's guidance and following a path of virtuous action.
- Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, in The Way to Freedom : Core Teachings of Tibetan Buddhism (1994)
- Now in this realm Buddha's speeches are a source and mine of quite unparalleled richness and depth. As soon as we cease to regard Buddha's teachings simply intellectually and acquiesce with a certain sympathy in the age-old Eastern concept of unity, if we allow Buddha to speak to us as vision, as image, as the awakened one, the perfect one, we find him, almost independently of the philosophic content and dogmatic kernel of his teachings, a great prototype of mankind. Whoever attentively reads a small number of the countless speeches of Buddha is soon aware of harmony in them, a quietude of soul, a smiling transcendence, a totally unshakeable firmness, but also invariable kindness, endless patience. As ways and means to the attainment of this holy quietude of soul, the speeches are full of advice, precepts, hints. The intellectual content of Buddha's teaching is only half his work, the other half is his life, his life as lived, as labour accomplished and action carried out. A training, a spiritual self training of the highest order was accomplished and is taught here, a training about which unthinking people who talk about "quietism" and "Hindu dreaminess" and the like in connection with Buddha have no conception; they deny him the cardinal Western virtue of activity. Instead Buddha accomplished a training for himself and his pupils, exercised a discipline, set up a goal, and produced results before which even the genuine heroes of European action can only feel awe.
- Political leaders are never leaders. For leaders we have to look to the Awakeners! Lao Tse, Buddha, Socrates, Jesus, Milarepa, Gurdjiev, Krishnamurti.
- Henry Miller, in My Bike & Other Friends (1977), p. 12
- For natures such as Jesus of Nazareth, Mohammed and Gautama Buddha is already the capacity of its openness for a world vision part of its application documents. With its virtues, experiences and abilities they belong to each post written out in the world with each interview to the most promising candidates and easy are erhalten.
- If we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron's position changes with time, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether the electron is at rest, we must say 'no'; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say 'no'. The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man's self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science.
- J. Robert Oppenheimer, as quoted in The New Yorker (19 June 1954), p. 61
- The fundamental teachings of Gautama, as it is now being made plain to us by study of original sources, is clear and simple and in the closest harmony with modern ideas. It is beyond all disputes the achievement of one of the most penetrating intelligence the world has ever known. Buddhism has done more for the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind.
- The Buddha Is Nearer to Us You see clearly a man, simple, devout, lonely, battling for light, a vivid human personality, not a myth. Beneath a mass of miraculous fable I feel that there also was a man. He too, gave a message to mankind universal in its character. Many of our best modern ideas are in closest harmony with it. All the miseries and discontents of life are due, he taught, to selfishness. Selfishness takes three forms — one, the desire to satisfy the senses; second, the craving for immortality; and the third the desire for prosperity and worldliness. Before a man can become serene he must cease to live for his senses or himself. Then he merges into a greater being. Buddha in a different language called men to self-forgetfulness five hundred years before Christ. In some ways he was near to us and our needs. Buddha was more lucid upon our individual importance in service than Christ, and less ambiguous upon the question of personal immortality.
- The Buddha's First Sermon as translated by Sanderson Beck (1996)
- Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism
- DharmaNet International
- The Life of Buddha
- Vipassanā Fellowship
- Vipassanā Meditation Website
- Quotes from Buddhist texts and pictures
- Buddha Quotes