“When someone goes wrong, it is right for his real friends to move him, even by force, to do the right thing.”

Name: Michael Stacey

Email: y………@me.com

Subject: Fake Buddha quote?

Message: This was tweeted by @QuietMindSystem “When someone goes wrong, it is right for his real friends to move him, even by force, to do the right thing.” Buddha. The force word sort of makes it suspect, or am I mistaken? I would appreciate your feedback


My reply:

You’re right to be suspicious.

As it happens I was just looking into that one the other day. It’s a particularly interesting example because it brings into question exactly what makes a Buddha quote fake. It’s a paraphrase, or alternative translation of a passage from the Jatakamala, or birth-stories of the Buddha. Here’s another version: “If a person acts inconsiderately, it is the duty of those who claim to be his friends to care for the good of their friend, be it even in a rough manner.” This is from Fausböll’s translation. I haven’t consulted the original Sanskrit to see exactly what it says.

If you’re not familiar with the Jatakas, they’re supposedly stories of the Buddha’s previous lives, illustrating his virtues as a bodhisatta. Many of these birth stories are regarded as being part of the Theravadin canon, and therefore a “genuine” part of the Buddha’s teaching. At the same time these were almost certainly pre-Buddhistic folk tales that became attached to the Buddhist tradition. So in a sense these are the Original Fake Buddha Quotes, which have been around so long that they are an accepted part of the Buddhist canon.

The Jatakamala is not a canonical work. It was composed in Sanskrit, probably around the first century several centuries after the Buddha) by Aryaśura. It seems that “new” Jataka stories continued to appear up until the 19th century, but the canon having been closed these aren’t accepted as official Buddhist teachings.

3 thoughts on ““When someone goes wrong, it is right for his real friends to move him, even by force, to do the right thing.””

  1. As Atma has seen, you have not changed a little, Upasaka Bodhipaksa. You still do not search refuge in the three jewels, you still do not stick to precepts either, you still just use it as a means of corrupt livelihood to maintain this misleading place.

    You still censure. You are still small-minded and to come to the quote again: It only shows that there are fools who can not be helped even with force, so it’s really good to let them alone, even if you could help them.

    If you might seek one time for corrections, or to get your punch of Adhamma and misleading of people corrected, you are always welcome, uncensured, unmoderated, with no need to fear killing and stealing and lies. As for here. No, it does not make sense to put further effort into it and it would take a good time to get your dirt form some of the good things cleaned.

    When ever you like, “my” friend, I will try to force you to leave this road to hell. You and your defilements can be found here: [Blog] Fake Buddha Quotes “Nope, I didn’t say that.” — The Buddha

    1. The reason I’m deleting your comments, Johann, is because I take seriously the Buddha’s teaching on not associating with people who behave foolishly. Dealing with your rantings is simply a waste of time and energy. Please find something else to become obsessed about. And please practice some metta bhavana. It might help you to be a happier and kinder person. And further comments from you will go straight to spam (although given your obsessive nature, I’m sure you’ll continue writing).

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