Buddha Surrounded With Flowers

160+ Insightful Buddha Quotes to Inspire Your Daily Life, Love, & Meditation

The specific dates and events of the Buddha’s life are still debated but when compiling old legends with certain artifacts, we can gather that he was born sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries B.C. At birth, he was named Siddhartha Guatama; Siddhartha meaning “he who achieves his aim”. Siddhartha was born in Lumbini which is now known as part of Nepal, to a large clan called the Shakyas. His father was a ruler of this clan and desperately wanted to shelter his son from the miseries of the world so, Siddhartha was raised in an isolated palace. At the age of 16, he married princess Yasodhara and together they had a son.

Due to his life of seclusion, Siddhartha grew increasingly curious about the outside world, prompting him to venture outside the walls of his palace and explore. During his exploration, he encountered many people who were old, ill, or dying that gave rise to his belief that suffering is a universal trait of humanity that he wanted to cure. So, at the age of 29, he left his palace and began his journey practicing an ascetic life amongst five other men for the next 6 years. One night, after eating for the first time in a while, he turned his back on asceticism and vowed to meditate beneath the Bodhi tree until the truth he sought came to him. It was beneath this tree that he became the Buddha (“the enlightened one”).

Originally the Buddha was afraid to teach his new knowledge and understanding but it is said that the king of gods, Brahma, eventually convinced him. His first sermon was given to the five ascetic men he originally journeyed with. The Guatama Buddha teachings the men heard consisted of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, which are now recognized as pillars of Buddhism. These men became his disciples and the Buddha’s teachings became known as the Dharma. At the age of 80, the Buddha passed away, leaving his disciples with the guiding quote of: “be your own light”.

Lord Buddha’s teaching has led to the creation of the Buddhist religion, Buddhism, that is now practiced by over 530 million people. Find an enlightening Buddha quote below that acts as a guide to everyday life and the journey to inner peace.

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Buddha Quotes on Kindness, Generosity, and Truth

“One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings one is called noble.”

“If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another.”

“Speak only endearing speech, speech that is welcomed. Speech, when it brings no evil to others, is a pleasant thing.”

“With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness. With truth overcome deceit.”

“One who acts on truth is happy in this world and beyond.”

“Stop, stop. Do not speak. The ultimate truth is not even to think.”

“The external world is only a manifestation of the activities of the mind itself, and the mind grasps it as an external world simply because of its habit of discrimination and false-reasoning. The disciple must get into the habit of looking at things truthfully.”

“The true master lives in truth, in goodness and restraint, non-violence, moderation, and purity.”

“Those who have failed to work toward the truth have missed the purpose of living.”

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

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.”

“Conquer the angry one by not getting angry; conquer the wicked by goodness; conquer the stingy by generosity, and the liar by speaking the truth.”

“If you propose to speak always ask yourself, is it true, is it necessary, is it kind.”

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”

“Neither fire, nor moisture, nor wind can destroy the blessing of a good deed, and it will reform the whole world.”

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”

“If we fail to look after others when they need help, who will look after us?”

“When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself.”

“Give, even if you only have a little.”

“The greatest gift is to give people your enlightenment, to share it. It has to be the greatest.”

“If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.”

“If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current— how can he help others across?”

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.”

“We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by lovingkindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.”

“Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”

“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.”

Buddha Quotes on Thought, Meditation, and Dedication to the Dharma

“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

“There is no fear for one whose mind is not filled with desires.”

“Meditate… do not delay, lest you later regret it.”

“Delight in meditation and solitude. Compose yourself, be happy. You are a seeker.”

“Like a fine flower, beautiful to look at but without scent, fine words are fruitless in a man who does not act in accordance with them.”

“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.”

“Looking deeply at life as it is in this very moment, the meditator dwells in stability and freedom.”

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.”

“Let all-embracing thoughts for all beings be yours.”

“Delight in heedfulness! Guard well your thoughts!”

“You are a seeker. Delight in the mastery of your hands and your feet, of your words and your thoughts.”

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”

“We are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.”

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”

“The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.”

“Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.”

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.”

“There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind.”

“Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox.”

“All experiences are preceded by mind, having mind as their master, created by mind.”

“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.”

“If you meditate earnestly, pure in mind and kind in deeds, leading a disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island for yourself that no flood can overwhelm.”

“Health is the best gift, contentment the best wealth, trust the best kinsman, nirvana the greatest joy. Drink the nectar of the dharma in the depths of meditation, and become free from fear and sin.”

“Whatever precious jewel there is in the heavenly worlds, there is nothing comparable to one who is Awakened.”

“Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.”

“Not by rituals and resolutions, nor by much learning, nor by celibacy, nor even by meditation can you find the supreme, immortal joy of nirvana until you extinguish your self-will.”

“All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?”

“Don’t run after pleasure and neglect the practice of meditation. If you forget the goal of life and get caught in the pleasures of the world, you will come to envy those who put meditation first.”

“If anything is worth doing, do it with all your heart.”

“What you are is what you have been. What you’ll be is what you do now.”

“Irrigators channel waters; fletchers straighten arrows; carpenters bend wood; the wise master themselves.”

“The one in whom no longer exist the craving and thirst that perpetuate becoming; how could you track that Awakened one, trackless, and of limitless range.”

“Through not seeing the Four Noble truths / Long was the weary path from birth to birth. / When these are known, removed is rebirth’s cause, / The root of sorrow plucked; then ends rebirth.”

“Our theories of the eternal are as valuable as are those which a chick which has not broken its way through its shell might form of the outside world.”

“An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”

“However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them?”

“Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes.”

“Focus, not on the rudeness of others, not on what they’ve done or left undone, but on what you have and haven’t done yourself.”

“Just as the great ocean has one taste, the taste of salt, so also this teaching and discipline has one taste, the taste of liberation.”

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.”

“Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.”

“There are six realms of transmigration where beings take birth. They are the realms of gods, demigods, humans, animals, hungry ghosts, and hell. You take birth in those realms because of superior, middling, and evil karmas.”

“If you realize the nature of mind, you have already become a buddha. There is no need to seek buddha elsewhere.”

“Thoroughly understanding the Dhamma and freed from longing through insight, the wise one rid of all desire is calm as a pool unstirred by wind.”

“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”

“Being deeply learned and skilled, being well trained and using well-spoken words: this is good luck.”

“He is able who thinks he is able.”

“The one who has conquered himself is a far greater hero than he who has defeated a thousand times a thousand men.”

“I will not look at another’s bowl intent on finding fault: a training to be observed.”

“The fool who knows he is a fool is that much wiser.”

“Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness.”

“Beings who yearn for the Dharma and generate effort for the sake of the Dharma are rare. Anyone who makes the wheel of Dharma turn will reign supreme wisdom.”

Buddha Quotes on Joy and Happiness

“A man asked Gautam Buddha, “I want happiness.” Buddha said, “First remove “I,” that’s Ego, then remove “want,” that’s Desire. See now, you are left with only “Happiness”.”

“If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.”

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

“Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.”

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

“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.”

“It is in the nature of things that joy arises in a person free from remorse.”

“Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy.”

“Train your eyes and ears; train your nose and tongue. The senses are good friends when they are trained. Train your body in deeds, train your tongue in words, train your mind in thoughts. This training will take you beyond sorrow.”

“Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.”

Wise Buddha Quotes on Life’s Journey and Obtaining Peace

“Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.”

“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.”

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

“Resolutely train yourself to attain peace.”

“Indeed, the sage who’s fully quenched rests at ease in every way; no sense desire adheres to him whose fires have cooled, deprived of fuel. All attachments have been severed, the heart’s been led away from pain; tranquil, he rests with utmost ease. The mind has found its way to peace.”

“Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others. He who envies others does not obtain peace of mind.”

“Like someone pointing to treasure is the wise person who sees your faults and points them out. Associate with such a sage.”

“Both formerly and now, it is only suffering that I describe, and the cessation of suffering.”

“May all that have life be delivered from suffering.”

“Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering – an image of death.”

“All conditioned things are impermanent—when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”

“One should strive to understand what underlies sufferings and diseases – and aim for health and well-being while gaining in the path.”

“A man is not called wise because he talks and talks again; but if he is peaceful, loving and fearless then he is in truth called wise.”

“If you find no one to support you on the spiritual path, walk alone.”

“Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course.”

“Let go of the past, let go of the future. Let go of the present. Having gone beyond becoming, with a mind completely freed, you will never again come to birth and aging.”

“Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others.”

“Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except your self.”

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

“To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

“Wear your ego like a loose-fitting garment.”

“Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure.”

“Live with no sense of ‘mine,’ not forming attachment to experiences.”

“Purity and impurity depend on oneself; no one can purify another.”

“Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”

“Even as a solid rock is unshaken by the wind, so are the wise unshaken by praise or blame.”

“Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words.”

“They blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.”

“To support mother and father, to cherish wife and children, and to be engaged in peaceful occupation— this is the greatest blessing.”

“Live every act fully, as if it were your last.”

“Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.”

“She who knows life flows, feels no wear or tear, needs no mending or repair.”

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”

“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.”

“See them, floundering in their sense of mine, like fish in the puddles of a dried-up stream — and, seeing this, live with no mine, not forming attachment for states of becoming.”

“Do not turn away what is given you, nor reach out for what is given to others, lest you disturb your quietness.”

“He who sits alone, sleeps alone, and walks alone, who is strenuous and subdues himself alone, will find delight in the solitude of the forest.”

“Some do not understand that we must die, but those who do realize this settle their quarrels.”

Buddha Quotes on Love

“He who loves 50 people has 50 woes; he who loves no one has no woes.”

“Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth.”

“Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.”

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”

“In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.”

“True love is born from understanding.”

“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.”

“Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole.”

“Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so, let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.”

“It is in this way that we must train ourselves: By liberation of the self through love, We will develop love, We will practice it, We will make it both a way and a basis, Take a stand upon it, store it up, and thoroughly set it going.”

“The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

Buddha Quotes on Anger, Evil, and Hate

“Virtue is persecuted more by the wicked than it is loved by the good.”

“Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law.”

“An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.”

“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”

“When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.”

“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it.”

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

“The instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”

“You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

“There is no fire like passion, there is no shark like hatred, there is no snare like folly, there is no torrent like greed.”

“The root of suffering is attachment.”

“Avoid evil deeds as a man who loves life avoids poison.”

“An evil deed, like fresh milk, does not go bad suddenly. Smoldering, like fire covered by ashes, the evil deed follows the fool.”

“Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world, by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.”

“People with opinions just go around bothering each other.”

“Ceasing to do evil, cultivating the good, purifying the heart: this is the teaching of the Buddhas.”

“Of what use are your dreams? How can you sleep, when mentally sick, stabbed by the arrow of urge and craving.”

“Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.”

“The tongue like a sharp knife… Kills without drawing blood.”

Learn More About the Buddha and His Scriptures

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Katee is a lover of language and is in awe of the power it holds. Read more articles from Katee on Thought Catalog.

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