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, persistence, and enduring of the true teaching.
This is from Aṅguttara Nikāya 2.20. Above is Bhante Sujato’s translation.
Sujato translates dunnikkhitta as “badly placed,” although it could also be translated as “badly worded.”
In fact Nyānatiloka’s German translation has these as verkehrter Wortlaut (wrong wording) and mißverstandener Sinn (misunderstood meaning), which I think are clearer.
So if the teachings are not worded precisely, or are dunnīta (badly interpreted) then the teaching declines.
So much for the claim many people make here that the Buddha wouldn’t mind being misquoted.
2 thoughts on “The Buddha on Fake Buddha Quotes (8)”
The “Ani Sutta” also seems relevant, with the Buddha’s original teachings likened to a drum that may gradually get completely replaced with pegs ( “ literary works — the works of poets, elegant in sound, elegant in rhetoric…”)
Thanks for this wonderful site! I unwittingly shared a fake quote to my Dharma group and was directed here 🙂
We’ve all been there as far as sharing fake Buddha quotes is concerned.
I do cover the Ani Sutta in another article in this series.
Thanks for the appreciative comments!
All the best,