Gautama Buddha

Gautama Buddha was a philosopher, 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

Sourced

  • We are what we think.
    All that we are arises with our thoughts.
    With our thoughts we make the world.
    • Dhammapada, as translated by T. Byrom (1993), Shambhala Publications.

  • No one saves us but ourselves, no one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path but Buddhas clearly show the way.
    • Dhammapada Ch. 165

  • Behold now, Bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to decay. Strive with diligence!
    • DN 16 Mahaparinibbana Sutta 6:8

  • Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.
    • As quoted in the Kalama Sutra, as translated in The American Buddhist Directory (1985) by Kevin O'Neill, p. 7

Exertion

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

After Enlightenment

  • Open are the doors to the Deathless
to those with ears.
Let them show their conviction.(SN 6.1 Ayacana Sutta)

  • In a world become blind,
I beat the drum of the Deathless.'(MN 26 Ariyapariyesana Sutta)

Anguttara Nikaya


Friends

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.

Samyutta Nikaya

Online Translations


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

The Gospel of Buddha (1894)

The Gospel of Buddha is a compilation from ancient records by Paul Carus


Ch. 58 The Buddha Replies to the Deva
On a certain day when the Blessed One
dwelt at Jetavana, the garden of Anathapindika,
a celestial deva came to him in the shape of a Brahman
enlightened and wearing clothing as white as snow.


The deva asked,
What is the sharpest sword?
What is the deadliest poison?
What is the fiercest fire?
What is the darkest night?"


The Blessed One replied,
The sharpest sword is a word spoken in wrath;
the deadliest poison is covetousness;
the fiercest fire is hatred;
the darkest night is ignorance.


The deva said,
What is the greatest gain?
What is the greatest loss?
Which armour is invulnerable?
What is the best weapon?


The Blessed One replied,
The greatest gain is to give to others;
the greatest loss is to greedily receive without gratitude;
an invulnerable armor is patience;
the best weapon is wisdom.


The deva said,
Who is the most dangerous thief?
What is the most precious treasure?
Who can capture the heavens and the earth?
Where is the securest treasure-trove?

The Blessed One replied,
The most dangerous thief is unwholesome thought;
the most precious treasure is virtue;
the heavens and the earth may be captured by the mind's eye;
surpassing rebirth locates the securest treasure-trove.


The deva asked,
What is attraction?
What is repulsion?
What is the most horrible pain?
What is the greatest enjoyment?

The Buddha replied,
Attraction is wholeness;
repulsion is unwholesomeness;
the most tormenting pain is bad conscience;
the height of bliss is redeemed awakening.


The deva asked,
What causes ruin in the world?
What breaks off friendships?
What is the most violent fever?
Who is the best physician?"


The Blessed One replied,
Ruin in the world is caused by ignorance;
friendships are broken off by envy and selfishness;
the most violent fever is hatred;
the best physician is the Buddha;


The deva continued,
Now I have only one doubt to resolve and absolve:
What is it fire cannot burn,
nor moisture corrode,
nor wind crush down,
but is able to enlighten the whole world.

The Buddha replied,
Blessing!
Neither fire, nor moisture, nor wind
can destroy the blessing of good deeds,
and blessings enlighten the whole world.


Hearing these answers,
the deva was overflowing with joy.
Then clasping hands, bowed down in respect and
disappeared suddenly from the presence of the Buddha.

  • True charity occurs only when there are no notions of giving, giver, or gift.
    • David Ross, 1,001 Pearls of Wisdom, 2006, p. 26

  • We forgive principally for our own sake, so that we may cease to bear the burden of rancour.
    • David Ross, 1,001 Pearls of Wisdom, 2006, p. 30

  • Rather than continuing to seek the truth, simply let go of your views.
    • David Ross, 1,001 Pearls of Wisdom, 2006, p. 39

Disputed

These quotes are unsourced and their authenticity as sayings of the Gautama Buddha has been questioned.


  • Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.

  • 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 shortend, one's happiness never decreases by being shared.

  • The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

  • Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.

  • If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.

  • Let us all be thankful for this day, for we have learned a great deal; if we have not learned a great deal, then at least we learned slightly; if we did not learn slightly, then at least we did not become sick; if we did become sick, then at least we did not die. So, let us all be thankful.

  • On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.

  • Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.

  • Desire is the cause for all your sickness and misery.

  • It is your mind that creates this world.

  • When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.

Quotes about Buddha


  • 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. L. Basham in The Wonder that was India

  • 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

  • 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,prolific American writer, historian, and philosopher in (The Case for India (1931)

  • If there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism...A human being is part of the whole, called by us "Universe"; a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely but striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
    • Albert Einstein

  • I have no hesitation in declaring 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

  • 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'.

  • 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.
    • Herman Hesse

  • 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.
    • James Redfield, in the MANUAL of the tenth prophecy of CELESTINE, part of I: The threshold; Heyne publishing house Munich, German-language edition 1997,ISBN 3-453-11809X


  • 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

  • Buddha conquered the lands of China, Japan, entire South-east Asia, Burma, Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, Lanka and other countries without sending out even one soldier; he spread the message of karuna (mercy), prema (compassion), samanata (equality) and atmasanyam ( tolerance) throughout the world many centuries before Jesus and Mohammad; even today the flame of his sandesha ( message) lights up the whole world and entire humanity with the soft glow of manavatavadi (humanitarian), vaidhnyanik (scientific) and addhatmik (spiritual) message of India.
    • J. K. Verma

  • 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 is the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind.
    • H. G. Wells

  • 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.
    • H. G. Wells, in The Outline of History Ch. 25

  • 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 , Indian scholar, philosopher and architect of Constitution of India, in his writing and speeches
 
Quoternity
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