52 inspiring Buddhist quotes and sayings on life

Wat Phra Singh in Chiang Mai is one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the city and houses the Phra Buddha Sihing, an important Buddha statue.

In the Wat compound there are famous Buddhist quotes and sayings attached to trees throughout the garden, which makes for an enlightened walk around the Wat. On my walks around the old city of I would often make a detour to this garden to ponder these Buddhist quotes on life.

If everything is gotten dreamily, it will go away dreamily too
[If everything is gotten dreamily, it will go away dreamily too.]

Dhamma is systematic practice for a man at every stage of his life
[Dhamma is systematic practice for a man at every stage of his life.]

Flattering words are but honey-coated poison
[Flattering words are but honey-coated poison.]

Light dispels darkness. Wisdom dispels ignorance
[Light dispels darkness. Wisdom dispels ignorance.]

With Dhamma established in the mind, even bare rice is delicious enough
[With Dhamma established in the mind, even bare rice is delicious enough.]

Those with good eye are inclined to fall into deep well
[Those with good eye are inclined to fall into deep well.]

As you sow so you reap
[As you sow so you reap.]

Until death there is nothing enough
[Until death there is nothing enough.]

There is no glory for a lazy person however good looking
[There is no glory for a lazy person however good looking.]

Without recognition of death, how can there be any knowledge of it
[Without recognition of death, how can there be any knowledge of it.]

Mans death is the least of all things material. What is left to the world is virtues and vices
[Mans death is the least of all things material. What is left to the world is virtues and vices.]

The simplicity of the good man is hard to follow. The simplicity of the evil man is easy to follow
[The simplicity of the good man is hard to follow. The simplicity of the evil man is easy to follow.]

Physical charms attract the eyes, goodness attracts the mind
[Physical charms attract the eyes, goodness attracts the mind.]

Failure teaches a man how to succeed
[Failure teaches a man how to succeed.]

Poverty with dignity is better than wealth based on shame
[Poverty with dignity is better than wealth based on shame.]

Never is there any effect like that of merit
[Never is there any effect like that of merit.]

Without a beginning, there is nothing to worry about the end
[Without a beginning, there is nothing to worry about the end.]

The most valuable service is one rendered to our fellow humans
[The most valuable service is one rendered to our fellow humans.]

Do not neglect recollection of death
[Do not neglect recollection of death.]

Don't escape when you have a problem because there always is a way to solve it
[Don't escape when you have a problem because there always is a way to solve it.]

Ignorance is the real evil
[Ignorance is the real evil.]

If there nothing that you like, you must like the things that you have
[If there nothing that you like, you must like the things that you have.]

Better is to speak unpleasant truth than to tell lies
[Better is to speak unpleasant truth than to tell lies.]

It is easy to know man's face, but it is difficult to know his thought
[It is easy to know man's face, but it is difficult to know his thought.]

Peace is the highest bliss
[Peace is the highest bliss.]

Eat to live but don't live to eat
[Eat to live but (don't) live to eat.]

In time of suffering, only dhamma is real friend of the mind
[In time of suffering, only dhamma is real friend of the mind.]

Merit making calculated to impress is not real merit
[Merit making calculated to impress is not real merit.]

Do try to do good but not to be great, otherwise you will be in danger
[Do try to do good but not to be great, otherwise you will be in danger.]

Everyone may be a fool but nobody is a fool forever
[Everyone may be a fool but nobody is a fool forever.]

No other foes are greater than birth and death. No other friends are greater than merits
[No other foes are greater than birth and death. No other friends are greater than merits.]

With mindfulness, a person always prospers
[With mindfulness, a person always prospers.]

There is no saturating the fire with fuel
[There is no saturating the fire with fuel.]

The skilled man does not show off, but the man without knowledge usually show off
[The skilled man does not show off, but the man without knowledge usually show off.]

Crying with the wise is better than laughing with the fool
[Crying with the wise is better than laughing with the fool.]

Anxiety shortens life
[Anxiety shortens life.]

Not only to be receiver, but also to be provider
[Not only to be receiver, but also to be provider.]

Time and tide wait for no man
[Time and tide wait for no man.]

Living without hope is like burying oneself
[Living without hope is like burying oneself.]

Education is a guide, knowledge is a key
[Education is a guide, knowledge is a key.]

Selfishness is the father of all evil
[Selfishness is the father of all evil.]

To defeat others is the starting point of hatred and vengeance
[To defeat others is the starting point of hatred and vengeance.]

Constant dripping wears away the stone
[Constant dripping wears away the stone.]

Every honest work is honourable work
[Every honest work is honourable work.]

Clean, clear, calm; these are characteristics of a noble person.
[Clean, clear, calm; these are characteristics of a noble person.]

Good to forgive, the best to forget.
[Good to forgive, the best to forget.]

It is flooded water that makes mud; it is clean water that wipes away mud.
[It is flooded water that makes mud; it is clean water that wipes away mud.]

Merit is to accumulated, evil is to be abandoned.
Merit is to accumulated, evil is to be abandoned.

Selfishness is the real enemy of peace
Selfishness is the real enemy of peace

Today is better than two tomorrows.
[Today is better than two tomorrows.]

To do good and evil unseen by others are always seen by oneself.
[To do good and evil unseen by others are always seen by oneself.]

A man who will be the public leader, must know how to be the public follower.
[A man who will be the public leader, must know how to be the public follower.]

Comments

  1. Claire McFarlane says

    I really enjoyed this James, so uplifting, thanks for having the correct meanings typed underneath….
    One can but endeavour to follow all and thereby feel elated…
    Thank you…..Happy New Year, hope 2011 is safe, happy and healthy for you…Claire

  2. Sarah harman says

    thank you so much for taking these wonderful photos, ive been looking for deep an meaningful buddhist tattoos to get an i have finally found them.

    thanks so much James..
    you have the life so many of us could only dream of
    sarah

  3. says

    Great photos, great quotes. This one, “Eat to live but (don’t) live to eat” reminded me of a quote I read in Benjamin Franklin’s biography, “eat not to dullness”. Basically saying the same thing, food is fuel and nothing more. This is especially applicable these days when extravagance is difficult to ignore. Thanks again!

  4. Kirk Cooper says

    Thanks for the quotes I downloaded the mediation app but seeing it and look at it fromt perspective has been a blessing and an inspiration.

    Thanks

  5. subbaiah says

    marvelous and exordinary quotes for human life in the universe with global peace, my heartly congratulate for james for acquiring these quotes from buddha literature. thank u very much.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] The most valuable service is one rendered to our fellow humans.This phrase is found, along with more than 50 others, in Wat Phra Singh, a large Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In the temple, you can view an illustrious statue called the Phra Buddha Sihing. If you take a walk around the temple, you can find Buddhist aphorisms on signs nailed to trees that line the temple grounds. This adage tells you that your work is valuable only inasmuch as it helps other people. [...]

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