A friend recently asked me about this quote — “Of all footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme” — because she’s scrupulous about sourcing her attributions. I saw nothing suspicious about the quote at all but I like to help out a Dharma sister and so I went hunting.
The quote is very much in keeping with the style and content of the early scriptures, but I couldn’t find anything corresponding to this in either Access to Insight or, more tellingly, in Sutta Central. So it didn’t seem to …
This one just came to my attention today. I spotted it in the feed of a Twitter user who is one of the worst offenders I know of where it comes to passing on Fake Buddha Quotes. As far as I’m aware it doesn’t resemble anything the Buddha is reported to have said in any scripture from any era — and it’s definitely not from the early scriptures, which are our best bet for an accurate representation of what the Buddha literally said.
It’s yet another quote taken from the Japanese book, “The Teaching of Buddha,” which is a Gideon …
This one was just brought to my attention. It’s listed on the badly misnamed “Quotes Master” site as being by the Buddha. It’s not. Neither are many of the quotes you’ll find there.
Let’s talk about prayer. No, let’s have the Buddha talk about prayer. Here’s one good image of the fruitlessness of merely wishing for something:
Suppose a man in need of butter, looking for butter, wandering in search of butter, would sprinkle water on water in a crock and twirl it with a churn-stick. If he were to sprinkle water on water in a crock and
“There are those who discover they can leave behind confused reactions and become patient as the earth; unmoved by anger, unshaken as a pillar, unperturbed as a clear and quiet pool.”
I was asked about this one earlier today, after a reader spotted it on the Facebook feed of Spirit Rock retreat center, who seem to have created a graphic of it (which has since been deleted, although I managed to retrieve it from my browser cache) attributing the quote to the Buddha, and giving Dhammapada verse 49 as the source.
Stephen Feldman, one of my connections on Google Plus (the world’s best social media site, which Google is unfortunately pulling the plug on) brought this one to my attention. It’s one I’d never seen before.
It often surprises me the things that people take to be quotes from the Buddha. Then I remember that if you’ve no experience of the Buddhist scriptures then you’ve no idea of the patterns and language that the Buddha’s recorded as having used. Of course those records may be wrong. They probably are. But they’re all we have to go on. And if you’ve never …
André Olivier found this one as an image in an online comment and sent it to me, saying, “It seems like the strangest example of a fake Buddha quote … It just seems wrong in every way.” He has a good instinct.
This is not the kind of thing the Buddha said. He didn’t say there was no god. In the scriptures he’s depicted as talking with gods, although those passages may be intended to be taken humorously.
There’s one rather hilarious (by 2,500-year-old standards) passage where a monk is depicted as having worked his way up through all the …