Buddha Quotes

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If it were impossible to cultivate the Good, I would not tell you to do so.

The thoughtless man, even if he can recite a large portion [of the Law], but is not a doer of it, has no share in the priesthood, but is like a cowherd counting the cows of others. 1:19

Learning is a good thing; but it avails not. True wisdom can be acquired by practice only.

Earnestness is the path of immortality [Nirvana], thoughtlessness the path of death. Those who are in earnest do not die, those who are thoughtless are as if dead already. 2: 21

By rousing himself, by earnestness, by restraint and control, the wise man may make for himself an island which no flood can overwhelm. 2:25

As a fletcher makes straight his arrow, a wise man makes straight his trembling and unsteady thought, which is difficult to guard, difficult to hold back.... Let the wise man guard his thoughts, for they are difficult to perceive, very artful, and they rush wherever they list: thoughts well guarded bring happiness. .3:33,36

Whatever a hater may do to a hater, or an enemy to an enemy, a wrongly-directed mind will do us greater mischief. Not a mother, not a father will do so much, nor any other relative; a well-directed mind will do us greater service. 3:42-43

These sons belong to me, and this wealth belongs to me, with such thoughts a fool is tormented. He himself does not belong to himself; how much less sons and wealth? 5:62

If a fool be associated with a wise man even all his life, he will perceive the truth as little as a spoon perceives the taste of soup. If an intelligent man is associated for one minute only with a wise man, he will soon perceive the truth, as the tongue perceives the taste of soup. 5:64-65

As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, wise people do not falter amidst blame and praise. 6:81

Few are there among men who arrive at the other shore (become Arhats); the other people here run up and down the shore. 6:85

He whose appetite is stilled, whose passion is peace, who is not absorbed in enjoyment, who has perceived the void and unconditioned freedom of Nirvana--his path is difficult to trace, like the path of birds in the air. 7:93

The gods envy him whose senses have been subdued, like horses broken in by the driver. Such an one who does his duty in life is enduring like the earth, firm like a pillar, clear like a lake without mud, and free forever from the wheel of birth and death. 7:94-95

He is free from credulous beliefs for he has seen the uncreated and eternal Nirvana; he has cut off the ties and temptations of the lower life, and has renounced all desire. He is indeed great among men. 7:97

Better than a thousand senseless words is a single word of understanding that gives peace. Better than a thousand senseless verses is a single verse of understanding that gives peace. Better than a hundred senseless poems is a single poem of understanding that gives peace. 8:100-102

If one man conquers in battle a thousand times a thousand men, and another conquers himself, the second man would have a far greater conquest. For ones own self conquered is better than victory over other people. Not even the gods in heaven or the demons in hell can change into defeat the victory of such a man. 8:103-105

If one man, month after month for a hundred years, offered a thousand sacrifices, and another man for only a moment paid reverence to a self-conquering man, the one moment of reverence would have far greater value than the hundred years of sacrifice. 8:106

He who lives a hundred years, ignorant and unrestrained, a life of one day is better if a man is virtuous and reflecting. ... He who lives a hundred years, idle and weak, a life of one day is better if a man has courage and earnest striving. 8:110,112

Even an evil-doer seems to find happiness in his evil as long as it has not borne fruit: but when its fruit comes, the man sees evil indeed. 9:119

Let no man think lightly of evil, saying in his heart: "It will not come to me." As water drop by drop fills a jar, the foolish man soon becomes full of evil, even as he gathers it little by little. 9:121

He who has no wound on his hand may touch poison because it does not affect him; the man who has no evil, cannot be affected by evil. 9:124

Neither nakedness nor matted hair nor uncleanliness nor fasting nor lying on the earth nor rubbing the body with ashes nor sitting motionlessly, can purify a man who is not free from desires and doubts. 10: / 141

A man who learns only a little, grows old like a dumb ox; for his body grows old but his knowledge and wisdom do not grow. 11:152

The pure and the impure stand and fall by themselves: no man can purify another. 12:165

It is not often that one is born into human life. It is not often one hears the doctrine of Truth, and it is difficult and rare indeed the arising of a Buddha. 14:182

If you find a man who is intelligent, constant, dutiful, patient, awakened to the inner light, virtuous and devoted, follow this good and wise man as the moon follows the path of the stars. 15:208

Let a wise man remove impurities from himself as a silversmith removes impurities from the silver: one after another, little by little, again and again. 18:239

A man who does not rouse himself when it is time to rise, who when young and strong sinks into sloth and irresolution, that lazy and idle man will never find the path to knowledge. 20:280

The illusion of self originates and manifests itself in a cleaving to things. The desire to live for the enjoyment of self entangles us in the net of sorrow.

The eightfold path is right (1) right comprehension, (2) right resolutions, (3) right speech, (4) right acts, (5) right livelihood, (6) right efforts, (7) right thoughts, and (8) the right state of a peaceful mind.

The man who walks in the noble path lives in the world, and yet his heart is not defiled by worldly desires.

Suppose that a man should come hither to the bank of the river, and, having some business on the other side, should want to cross. Do you suppose that if he were to invoke the other bank of the river to come over to him on this side, the bank would come on account of his praying? Yet this is the way of the Brahmans. They omit the practice of those qualities which really make a man a Brahman, and say, "Indra, we call upon thee; Soma, we call upon thee; Varuna, we call upon thee; Brahma, we call upon thee."