“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.”

And so we continue with our investigation of the quotes that Google offers up as the first result in searches for “Buddha quotes on friendship.” The top page contains ten quotes, every single damn one of which is fake.

At first glance, I thought “A sweet friendship refreshes the soul” would be the kind of thing that’s so blandly sweet that I’d have no chance of finding its actual origins.

But it actually turned out to be rather easy to discover where it came from: the Bible.

It’s from Proverbs 27:9.

The “Message Bible” translation has, “Just as lotions and fragrance give sensual delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” So there we have it.

Since we’re here, let’s add some other translations as well:

  • “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: So doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (King James Version)
  • “Oil and perfume make the heart glad, So a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.” (New American Standard)
  • “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” (New Living Translation)
  • “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” (New International Version)

Of all the translations I’ve seen, the Message Bible wins the prize for best cheese.

It’s a mystery how this ended up being attributed to the Buddha. Although, having said that, there do seem to be people who enjoy sticking the words “the Buddha” at the end of quotes.

I’ve created a page with some genuine Buddha quotes on friendship, which you’re welcome to check out.

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