A reader called Gerald wrote to me recently and asked me about a “fishy” quote:
Hello! I have come across this quote and would like to know your input. (smells fishy). Thank you! Buddha was asked: “What have you gained from Meditation?” He replied: “Nothing.” “However”, Buddha said, “let me tell you what I lost : Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old, Age and Death.”
That one’s as fishy as a barrel of mackerel in a heatwave.
This particular quote is found in many variants. The locus classicus for this particular version would seem to be Eknath Easwaran’s introduction …
I came across this one on Google+, where I’ve now encountered a couple of Fake Buddha Quotes, both of which were posted by the same person, interestingly enough:
“My doctrine is not a doctrine but just a vision. I have not given you any set rules, I have not given you a system.”
This isn’t from the Buddha, of course. It’s actually from Osho (Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh). Bhagwan was an Indian teacher who had a huge following in the west. He started a massive commune in Oregon, which ran into planning troubles with the local authorities because the ranch they …
Another Fake Buddha Quote has surfaced. It’s funny, but I don’t see as many of these as I used to. It may be that I’ve pounced on transgressors so often that people are now scared to post anything attributed to the Buddha until they’ve held the palm-leaf manuscripts in their own hands, and painstakingly translated every word themselves.