Buddha’s teachings and words, provide wisdom to live by in order to live a better life, free of impurities such as hate, greed and ignorance. Buddha, or Siddhartha Gautama, was born thousands of years ago in what is now Nepal. Although many years have passed since his life, his words still carry important meaning, for both buddhists, and other people to ponder and live by. To understand some of his philosophy and words of wisdom, I have compiled a list of quotes from Buddha. Everything below are Gautam Buddha quotes in English, so you will have no problem understanding them and taking them to heart.
The quotes from Buddha that I have collected are about happiness, love, death and suffering. Each type of quote provides important insight into the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama as well as his following since his death. Since Buddha’s words and teachings were not written down during his lifetime, it is difficult to say if he is the actual person that spoke these words.
No matter if these direct quotes were spoken by Buddha himself, or by another Buddhist, they still provide significant insight into how to live a better life, and Buddhism in general.
Before we get directly into Buddha’s quotes, I want to provide some background information on Siddhartha Gautama himself. I will discuss who Buddha was, when Buddha was born and where he was born.
Let us jump into the first topic, who was the Buddha?
Who was the Buddha?
Buddha was born as Prince Siddhartha Gautama, into a wealthy family, into what is now present day Nepal. Prince Siddhartha lived a relatively easy life, protected by his palace and father, for about 29 years. When he was 29 years old, Prince Siddhartha became moved by the excessive suffering in the world, while he was able to live a lavish life in his kingdom. Therefore, during that year, he renounced his kingdom, and fled the walls of his kingdom to understand the outside world.
During Buddha’s travels, he traveled from village to village, taking in the suffering of the people around him. Overtaken by the extremes of his previous lavish lifestyle, and now the poverty in front of him, he began promoting the idea of a “Middle Way”. With the hope of living a life without social indulgences, and deprivation.
As his journeys and contemplations continued, Buddhist scholars believe that he eventually found enlightenment while he was meditating under a Bodhi tree. After Buddha’s enlightenment, he began a life of teaching, in the hopes to help others reach a similar spiritual state as he did.
During his lifetime the Buddha was able to pass on much of his philosophy and teachings to his disciples around Asia. And when he eventually passed away around 483 BC, his followers organized his teachings into a religious movement, which provided the foundation of modern day Buddhism.
Buddhism is one of the most common religions in Nepal, learn more about it in my rundown of 10 religions in Nepal blog.
When was Buddha Born?
Buddha was born in 623 BC, in what is now Lumbini, Nepal. The birth of Prince Siddhartha Gautama is confirmed by an inscription that is found on the Asoka pillar that was erected in 249 BC next to the birth place of Buddha.
The Asoka Pillar which was erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka, at the birthplace of the Buddha, pays respect to the area by signifying the significance of the land.
Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Lord Buddha eventually died in Kushinagar of India around 483 BC.
Where was Buddha Born?
Buddha was born in what is present day Lumbini, Nepal. It is located in the southern plains of Nepal, and now is a UNESCO heritage site. The birthplace of Buddha is now enshrined by Mayadevi Temple, and situated in the Sacred Garden of the Lumbini Development Trust area.
Buddha’s birthplace is evidenced by the inscriptions found on the Asoka Pillar which was erected by the Mauryan Emperor Asoka in 249 BC. Moreover, around the area, archaeological digs have been conducted which have shown the remains of complex structures. These structures include the Shakya Tank, the brick stupas, as well as the remains within the Mayadevi Temple itself, consisting of brick structures in a cross-wall system dating from the 3rd century BC.
Although Buddha was born in Lumbini, he spent the first 29 years of his life in his palace, situated about 20 km west of his birthplace, which is now modern day Tilaurakot, in Kapilvastu. Tilaurakot is the ancient city of Kapilvastu where Prince Siddhartha’s kingdom was. Archaeological digs have been conducted there, where they have uncovered the remains of the kingdom, as well as identified the gate that Prince Siddhartha rode out of on a horse while seeking an enlightened life.
80 Quotes From Buddha:
I have compiled 80 quotes from Buddha. They are separated into four topics: Happiness, Death, Love, Suffering. Let’s start with the first 20 quotes.
Looking for more than just quotes? Check out the blog that covers Buddha’s story of patience!
Quotes from Buddha on Happiness:
The following section has 20 happy quotes by Buddha. Each quote from Buddha makes you think about your own happiness and the things contributing to it, or getting in the way of it. If you want to be a happier person and live by some of the guiding principles Buddha, and Buddhists live by, then these quotes from Buddha on happiness will be perfect for you. Have a look, and think about each of the quotes in respect to your own life, and the people around you. Share some of these quotes with your friends, and put a smile on their faces!
- Don’t focus on the past, do not daydream about the future; think about the present moment.
- Your mind is everything. Protect your mind and your thoughts — what you think about, you will become
- Joy is the companion of a pure mind. Focus on pure thoughts and happiness will find you
- Our lives are made of little moments. One perfect moment will change a day, another perfect day will change a life. One life may change the world.
- When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace
- In life, your greatest mistakes are not starting and not following through
- An undisciplined mind leads to confusion. If we can train our minds, our thoughts will become obedient to us
- In life, we must be virtuous, wise, and of the right mind. The purer we live, the more we enjoy life.
- Many of us spend a lifetime searching for something. Stop looking long enough to realize that what you are searching for is already within you
- Peace is found on the inside; it cannot come from an outside source
- Doing something good for another person will also have a positive impact on you
- Few people in life have the maturity to truly be a companion to you. Instead of searching for a partner in the wrong person, choose to walk through these moments alone
- Compassion is the world’s greatest strength
- Happiness cannot be discovered. It is always there—we must learn how to see it
- To keep the body in good health is a duty; otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear
- To truly live and exist in power, we must live without fear
- We can use a single candle to light other candles. Sharing this flame doesn’t decrease the light of the other candle. Such is the case with happiness
- When we transform our minds and purify our thoughts, we are cleansing our lives of wrongdoing as well
- Don’t try to control anyone else — you should only seek to control yourself
- If you are seeking Enlightenment, you must first control your mind.
Quotes of Buddha on Death:
We may not want to consider death or think about it often. However, these quotes on death by Buddha will help you when you are pondering your life, or the life of a loved one. These quotes of Buddha on death will provide you with some food for thought to consider everything going on in your life, and how the future is shaping up for you. Below, I have compiled a list of 20 quotes on death by Buddha. Have a look at these and try to think about Buddha’s philosophy on dying and what it may mean for people, and how it relates to different periods of our lives.
- Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely
- Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death
- Many do not realize that we here must die. For those who realize this, quarrels end
- The world is afflicted by death and decay. But the wise do not grieve, having realized the nature of the world
- Good health is simply the slowest way a human being can die
- Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are
- This world is shrouded in darkness. Here, only a few can see their way free. These few birds escape from the net, and fly away to the heavens
- Life is uncertain; death is certain
- To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, and wise people are diligent
- You too shall pass away. Knowing this, how can you quarrel
- Of all footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditations, that on death is supreme
- 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
- Those who attempt to conquer hatred by hatred are like warriors who take weapons to overcome others who bear arms. This does not end hatred but gives it room to grow. But, ancient wisdom has advocated a different timeless strategy to overcome hatred
- This eternal wisdom is to meet hatred with non-hatred. The method of trying to conquer hatred through hatred never succeeds in overcoming hatred. But, the method of overcoming hatred through non-hatred is eternally effective. So the reason is that method is described as eternal wisdom
- To be angry is to let others’ mistakes punish yourself
- 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
- Those who consider the unessential to be essential, and see the essential as unessential, don’t reach the essential, living in the field of the wrong intention
- 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
- No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path. Gautama Buddha
- Death carries off a man busy picking flowers with a besotted mind like a great flood does a sleeping village
Buddha Quotes About Love:
These Buddha quotes about love don’t just have to do with loving someone else. They are about how we can love ourselves first. The wisdom that Buddha provides in his words about love can help you care deeper and stronger about yourself. With affirmation for ourselves, only then can we love someone else. Listen to these quotes about love from Buddha and think about what they mean to you, and the people you love. These quotes from Buddha can help you feel better about yourself and help you begin to care and love for yourself more.
- You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection
- Radiate boundless love towards the entire world… above, below, and across… unhindered, without ill will, without enmity
- 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
- 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
- Love the whole world as a mother loves her only child
- Silence the angry man with love. Silence the ill-natured man with kindness. Silence the miser with generosity. Silence the liar with truth
- The way to happiness is: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, give much. Fill your life with love. Do as you would be done by
- You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy
- It is a lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others
- Hatred does not cease through hatred at any time. Hatred ceases through love. This is an unalterable law
- Avoid evil deeds as a man who loves life avoids poison
- If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another
- Love is a gift of one’s inner most soul to another so both can be whole
- When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily
- The more you are motivated by Love, the more fearless and free your action will be
- Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive
- I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives.
- Love is the absence of judgment
- Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other
- Love and compassion are the pillars of world peace
Buddha Quotes About Suffering:
The final set of Buddha quotes that I have compiled are about suffering. Suffering was what first led Buddha to abandon his palace and lavish life to search for something new. Although we all want to avoid suffering in our lives it is easier said than done. Buddha realizes this, and provides us some words of wisdom about suffering, and how we can do a better job handling and dealing with it in our lives. These quotes from Buddha about suffering can provide you with valuable insight into the feelings you have, are or will feel at sometime in your life. In order to be able to deal with suffrage better in your life, check out these quotes from Buddha on suffering.
- Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded
- People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore
- Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little
- If a man speak or act with a good thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him
- Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals
- Ardently do today what must be done. Who knows? Tomorrow, death comes
- Remembering a wrong is like carrying a burden on the mind
- The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy
- Usually when we hear or read something new, we just compare it to our own ideas. If it is the same, we accept it and say that it is correct. If it is not, we say it is incorrect. In either case, we learn nothing
- Anxiety, the illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to dwell in the present moment
- Mindfulness puts an end to such a limited perspective. The Buddha faced his own suffering directly and discovered the path of liberation. Don’t run away from things that are unpleasant in order to embrace things that are pleasant. Put your hands in the earth. Face the difficulties and grow new happiness
- Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free
- There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind
- Pain is certain, suffering is optional
- The root of suffering is attachment
- Do not lose yourself in the past. Do not lose yourself in the future. Do not get caught in your anger, worries, or fears. Come back to the present moment, and touch life deeply. This is mindfulness
- 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
- The greatest miracle is to be alive. We can put an end to our suffering just by realizing that our suffering is not worth suffering for! How many people kill themselves because of rage or despair? In that moment, they do not see the vast happiness that is available
- 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
- Our anger is a punishment we give to ourselves