The Buddha on Fake Buddha Quotes (9)

The discourse I’m going to quote here is a kind of companion to another one that I’ve already dealt with, where the Buddha talks about how people will end up listening to teachings that are poetic and sound nice, but that aren’t the genuine teachings.

In that teaching, the Ani Sutta, the Buddha says that there are spiritual practitioners who “will listen to the utterance of such discourses which are literary compositions made by poets, witty words, witty letters, by people from outside, or the words of disciples” rather than the words of the Buddha, which are “profound, profound …

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“Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion.”

I’ve categorized this one — “Be kind to all creatures. This is the true religion” — as fake because I haven’t been able to find anything in the scriptures that matches it.

The closest I’ve been able to find in a Buddhist source is something in a text, “The Substance of the Vinaya,” that was translated fairly early on (perhaps 70 CE) into Chinese. Here’s Samuel Beal’s 1884 account from his “Buddhism In China”:

There is, however, another ancient document containing the ethical principles of his doctrine known in China, and, so far as the present writer knows, not mentioned



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My new book: “A Year of Buddha’s Wisdom”

Over the summer I wrote a book. The idea was presented to me by the publisher, who had decided that they needed a daily practice guide based on Buddhist teachings, and they wanted me essentially to fill in the blanks.

It turned out to be a bit more involved than that, because their original outline wasn’t realistic. So we worked together to create a new outline, and the book ended up having four components: brief guides to meditation, reflections, mantras, and — ta-da! — quotes from the Buddha.

In some cases I translated quotes myself. Sometimes I used or adapted …

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The Buddha on Fake Buddha Quotes (8)

These two things, mendicants, lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching. What two? The words and phrases are misplaced, and the meaning is misinterpreted. When the words and phrases are misplaced, the meaning is misinterpreted. These two things lead to the decline and disappearance of the true teaching.

These two things lead to the continuation, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching. What two? The words and phrases are well organized, and the meaning is correctly interpreted. When the words and phrases are well organized, the meaning is correctly interpreted. These two things lead to the continuation,



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“If hate worked I would teach you that.”

So far this quote, “If hate worked I would teach you that,” doesn’t seem to be very widespread. So far it’s shown up in a few social media posts, but not in any blog posts or books that I’ve found. Maybe we can stop this one in its tracks.

As soon as I saw this I knew which scripture it was a paraphrase of. In fact I may even have used the words above in order to explain that teaching.

In Aṅguttara Nikāya 2.19, the Buddha says:

It is possible to give up the unskillful [i.e., greed, hatred, and delusion].



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“If a man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.”

A friend asked me about this quote last year, but this is the first opportunity I’ve had to investigate and write it up. It was actually passed on to me in a slightly different form: “If a man’s mind become pure, his surroundings will also become pure.” I’ve also seen it as “If man’s mind becomes pure, his surroundings will also become pure.”

In any form it’s #FakeAsHeck.

This is not from the Buddhist scriptures, but from an English-language Japanese book called “The Teachings of Buddha,” published by a missionary organization called Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai. This book is a mixture …

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10+ FAKE Buddha Quotes on Friendship

There are many pages on the internet offering supposed “Buddha quotes on friendship.” Some of those pages rank top on Google for searches on that topic. My own page on 10 genuine Buddha quotes on friendship is currently ranking much lower, although hopefully that will change.

I looked at the page that ranks highest for “Buddha quotes on friendship” and found, with no great surprise, that all ten of the quotes on the page were fake.

I’ve written each of those quotes up separately, but I thought it would be good to have a list of links to them all, …

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“It can be one of the hardest things in life to lose your best friend.”

This is one of ten quotes that are in the web page that’s currently in first place for Google searches for “Buddha quotes on friendship.” All ten of the quotes on the page are fake.

This one — “It can be one of the hardest things in life to lose your best friend” — is very, very far from the content, tone, and style of the early Buddhist scriptures.

It’s such a generic, bland, and obvious statement that …

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“Always love your friends from your heart and not from your needs.”

This is one of ten quotes that’s in the web page currently ranking highest on Google for searches on “Buddha quotes on friendship.” It’s not from the Buddha. Neither are any of the other nine quotes on the page.

I sigh with weariness.

A couple of the other top (fake) quotes turned out to have interesting origins, starting off life as a Bible verse, or as a poem on the topic of “restful, blissful ignorance,” …

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“The most valuable gift you can receive is an honest friend.”

This quote is one of ten found on the page that currently ranks first on Google for the search term, “Buddha quotes on friendship.” It’s not from the Buddha, and that’s the case for the other nine quotes on that page.

It’s sad that Google’s algorithm is promoting false information in this way.

Worse, Google has chosen the quotes on that page to appear in its “featured snippet,” which is a presentation right on the search results page. …

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