The 100 most powerful Buddha quotes (my personal selection)

If you want to see the best Buddha quotes in one place, then you’ll LOVE this post.

I’ve personally gone through hundreds of Buddha quotes to pick out his top 100.

And you can filter through the list below to find the topics that most interest you.

But first, a brief introduction about the great man named Gautama Buddha.

Who Was Gautama Buddha?

Buddha was a spiritual teacher who lived in India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.

His philosophy ended up creating the religion Buddhism, and tends to counter much of what we’re taught in the West.

After many years spent in deep meditation, he realized that attachment and desiring lead to unhappiness.

He believed that enlightenment, or “Nirvana“, was achieved when one’s mind is compassionate, free of attachment and focused on the present moment.

He spent his entire life teaching others how to free themselves from suffering and live a life of compassion, fearlessness and joy.

So without further ado, here are the most inspiring 50 quotes from Gautama Buddha:

On Living In The Present Moment

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”

“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.”

“Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.”

“Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.”

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

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.”

On Achieving Enlightenment 

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

“Purity or impurity depends on oneself, no one can purify another.”

“Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”

“What is evil? Killing is evil, lying is evil, slandering is evil, abuse is evil, gossip is evil, envy is evil, hatred is evil, to cling to false doctrine is evil; all these things are evil. And what is the root of evil? Desire is the root of evil, illusion is the root of evil.”

“To insist on a spiritual practice that served you in the past is to carry the raft on your back after you have crossed the river.”

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

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

“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.”

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

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

“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”

On Love

“True love is born from understanding.”

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

“You only lose what you cling to.”

“Radiate boundless love towards the entire world.”

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

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

“Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.”

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

On Your Mind

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

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.”

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts and made up of our thoughts. If a man speak or act with an evil thought, suffering follows him as the wheel follows the hoof of the beast that draws the wagon…. If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.”

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

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

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”

“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 draws it.”

“Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind.”

On Anger

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

“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.”

“Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind.”

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

On Compassion

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

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

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

“As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgement but rain your kindness equally on all.”

“A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

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

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

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

“Life is so very difficult. How can we be anything but kind?”

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

“As rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, do not burden your heart with judgments but rain your kindness equally on all.”

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

On Your Words

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

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

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

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

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

“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.”

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

On Doubt

“There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.”

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

On Your Ideas

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

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

On Suffering

“Pain is certain, suffering is optional.”

“Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little.”

“The root of suffering is attachment.”

Thich Nhat Hanh retells the life and teachings of Gautama Buddha in the highly recommended book, Old Path White Clouds: Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha.

On Your Self

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

“Doubt everything. Find your own light.”

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

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

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

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

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

“Most problems, if you give them enough time and space, will eventually wear themselves out”

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

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

“You yourself must strive. The Buddhas only point the way.”

“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

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

“I am the miracle.”

On Gratitude

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot 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.”

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

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

On Fear

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

On Meditation

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

On Death

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

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

“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.”

On Happiness

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

“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.”

“A man asked Gautama 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.’ ”

“To support mother and father, to cherish wife and child and to have a simple livelihood; this is the good luck.”

On Changing the World

“One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.”

On Friends and Relationships

“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.”

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

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

On Being Noble

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

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


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Comments

  1. Shubham Varma

    This article covers all the Buddha inspiring and life quotes . i liked this post very much …

  2. Hopie

    Great quotes and insights. Interesting one that said to love 50 others meant you have 50 woes. Could be why I withdrew from so many people. It hurts to love, but it says to love everyone. Conflicting quotes.

  3. Monika Snr

    Buddha was a spiritual teacher who lived in India sometime between the sixth and fourth centuries BC.
    -No Buddha was born in Nepal and lived in Nepal.

  4. Such a kapur

    Great quotes for self to evolve. Source for inspiration and well being.

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