Someone passed this on to me the other day, saying they’d found it on Facebook:
Regardless of the shadows that cross the moon to make it appear less
than it is, to the moon, it is always full. So it is with us.
I’m 100% certain it’s fake, although I don’t know where it comes from originally. The first uses of this quote that I’ve found online date from only 2011, which is rarely a good sign for a quote that purports to be 2,500 years old.
There’s not a lot of hard astronomy in the Pali canon. There are references to the moon being obscured by clouds, or coming out from behind clouds. There are references to the phases of the moon, which were an important part of the Buddhist lunar calendar. There are references to meditators being able to touch the moon (and sun!) with their hands. There are references to the moon as a god. But I’ve never seen anything suggesting that the Buddha knew the moon to be a sphere that was hidden and revealed by shadows. I’m not saying those references don’t exist, just that I haven’t seen them. If you know of any, or if you have any clue where this quote might have originated, please let me know!