In Buddha’s Words: Daily Inspirational Buddha “Quotes” with Citations — Separating the Real from the Fake

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    In Buddha’s Words is a new series of “quotable quotes” from the Buddha — but cited with their source. Many Buddha Quotes and inspirational quotes online are “made up” or not verified with sutra/sutta references. We will pick the best of the “verifiable” inspirational quotes and cite the actual source — in most cases with a full English translation of the original text.

    Daily Series

    We will run an excerpt and full sutra/sutta teachings, daily where possible, in Buddha Weekly. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for the latest by email every Tuesday.

    What better topic to begin the series than Metta, or Loving Kindness, fundamental teaching of the Buddha? This quote — found online on an inspirational site — is paraphrased from the Metta Sutta Sutta-nipata, vv 143-152, quoted below.


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    In Buddha’s Words attempts to offer inspirational Buddha Quotes that are verified and cited, separating the verified sutras and sutta sources from the unverified sources.


    Like a caring mother

    In the quote found online — which was a reasonable translation, this was quoted as:

    “Like a caring mother holding and guarding the life of her only child, so with a boundless heart of loving-kindness, hold yourself and all beings as your beloved children.”

    A verified translation from Access to Insight uses the more traditional phrasing:

    “And just as might a mother with her life

    Protect the son that was her only child,

    So let him then for every living thing

    Maintain unbounded consciousness in being”


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    New series on Buddha Weekly: In Buddha’s Words. Actual verified Quotable quotes from the Buddha with citations from source.


    Metta Sutta, from the Sutta-nipata, vv. 143-152

    (Spoken by the Buddha)

    What should be done by one skillful in good So as to gain the State of Peace is this:
    Let him be able, and upright and straight,
    Easy to speak to, gentle, and not proud,
    Contented too, supported easily,
    With few tasks, and living very lightly;
    His faculties serene, prudent, and modest,
    Unswayed by the emotions of the clans;
    And let him never do the slightest thing
    That other wise men might hold blamable.
    (And let him think:) “In safety and in bliss
    May creatures all be of a blissful heart.
    Whatever breathing beings there may be.
    No matter whether they are frail or firm,
    With none excepted, be they long or big
    Or middle-sized, or be they short or small
    Or thick, as well as those seen or unseen,
    Or whether they are dwelling far or near,
    Existing or yet seeking to exist.
    May creatures all be of a blissful heart.
    Let no one work another one’s undoing
    Or even slight him at all anywhere:
    And never let them wish each other ill
    Through provocation or resentful thought.”
    And just as might a mother with her life
    Protect the son that was her only child,
    So let him then for every living thing
    Maintain unbounded consciousness in being;
    And let him too with love for all the world
    Maintain unbounded consciousness in being
    Above, below, and all round in between,
    Untroubled, with no enemy or foe.
    And while he stands or walks or while he sits
    Or while he lies down, free from drowsiness,
    Let him resolve upon this mindfulness:
    This is Divine Abiding here, they say.
    But when he has no trafficking with views,
    Is virtuous, and has perfected seeing,
    And purges greed for sensual desires,
    He surely comes no more to any womb.

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    Lee Kane

    Author | Buddha Weekly

    Lee Kane is the editor of Buddha Weekly, since 2007. His main focuses as a writer are mindfulness techniques, meditation, Dharma and Sutra commentaries, Buddhist practices, international perspectives and traditions, Vajrayana, Mahayana, Zen. He also covers various events.
    Lee also contributes as a writer to various other online magazines and blogs.

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