55 Greatest Buddhist Quotes on Life to Understand it Better

Greatest Buddhist Quotes on Life

Buddha also known as “Siddhartha Gautama” was an ascetic, a philosopher, a mediator and the founder of Buddhism. He was born into an aristocratic Kshatriya family (Warriors) in Lumbini, present-day in Nepal. At the age of 29, he left his palace to seek the meaning of suffering he saw around him.

Buddha regarded as Prince Siddhartha was a very kind-hearted and compassionate person even as a little child. He was a great scholar, who believed in practicing non-violence, peace and kindness for leading a happy life.

Gautama denounced eating meat and was against the rudimentary religious practices, that divided people and caused social unjust.

Three Harsh realities of Life described by Buddha:

Being born in a wealthy family, Siddhartha realized that life was far from perfect and people get distracted from realities by wealth, fame, and honor.

While living a life full of pleasure and wealth, Siddhartha observed the life of other people, which made him realize— the three harsh realities of life:

  • Poverty
  • Sickness
  • Death

The middle way according to Buddha:

When Siddhartha tried to deprive himself of all the worldly pleasures and desires by living like a monk. He found it was difficult to resist desires.

Therefore, he came to the conclusion, that the only way to live a fulfilled life was to take the middle way. This means you should neither over-indulge in materialism, nor keep yourself impoverished. He believed in practicing the middle way.

Buddha said, “the root of suffering is desires.” Therefore, it’s necessary to know the four noble truths:

  1. There is suffering in life.
  2. The cause of suffering is our desires.
  3. The solution to our suffering is to get rid of our desires.
  4. If we want to end suffering, we should practise the 8 fold paths.

These 8 fold paths include:

  1. Right Understanding
  2. Right Thought
  3. Right Speech
  4. Right Action
  5. Right Livelihood
  6. Right Effort
  7. Right Mindfulness
  8. Right Concentration

When Buddha became the enlightened one:

After 6 years of living like an ascetic and arduously practicing meditation for a prolonged period of time. Buddha finally achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.

In the month of May, on a full moon night, Siddhartha became Buddha, which means “the enlightened one.” People from every tribe, caste, and culture followed his path to attain moksha or nirvana.

Buddha dedicated 45 years of his life to teach people about the facets of life. To serve this purpose, he travelled extensively with his followers to pass on his wisdom to others. His teachings are today practiced in the form of Buddhism.

So let’s embrace a few of his teachings by reading some of the golden Buddhist quotes on life. That will help you to understand the meaning of life and how to live a balanced life.

55 Greatest Buddhist Quotes on Life

Gautama Buddha Quotes on Life - “Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” Buddhist Quotes on Life

Buddha Quotes on Life:

1. “Be where you are; otherwise you will miss your life.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

2. “Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

3. “Long is the night to him who is awake; long is a mile to him who is tired; long is life to the foolish who do not know the true law.”

4. “Though one should live a hundred years without wisdom and control, yet better, indeed, is a single day’s life of one who is wise and meditative.”

5. “If you meditate earnestly, pure in mind and kind in deeds, leading a disciplined life in harmony with the dharma, you will grow in glory. If you meditate earnestly, through spiritual disciplines you can make an island for yourself that no flood can overwhelm.”

6. “Avoid evil deeds as a man who loves life avoids poison.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

7. “Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings.”

8. “To live a pure unselfish life, one must count nothing as one’s own in the midst of abundance.”

9. “If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

10. “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

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11. “In the end, only three things matters: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

12. “Meditate. Live purely. Be quiet. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

13. “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

14. “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draw it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follow a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha Quotes on Life

15. “Don’t run after pleasure and neglect the practice of meditation. If you forget the goal of life and get caught in the pleasures of the world, you will come to envy those who put meditation first.”

16. “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

17. “One moment can change a day, one day can change a life, and one life can change the world.”

18. “As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.”

19. “A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”

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Dalai Lama’s Buddhist Quotes on Life:

His holiness, Dalai Lama born as “Lhamo Thondup” is a spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. He is a recipient of Nobel Peace Prize and German Media Prize.

Dalai Lama is revered for his non-violent efforts to free Tibet, and for raising concerns for the growing environmental issues. ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

He is a vocal representative of Tibetan Buddhism and aims at spreading the teachings of Buddhism. Now let’s read some of the insightful Buddhist Quotes on Life by “His Holiness” Dalai Lama.

Buddhist Quotes on Life

20. “Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”

21. “Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.”

22. “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”

23. “Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”

24. “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways – either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. Thanks to the teachings of Buddha, I have been able to take this second way.” – Dalai Lama, Buddhist Quotes on Life

25. “Because of lack of moral principle, human life becomes worthless. Moral principle, truthfulness, is a key factor. If we lose that, then there is no future.”

26. “The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your actions will be.”

27. “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

28. “If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

29. “This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.”

30. “If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding.”

31. “The planet does not need more ‘successful people’. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds. It needs people to live well in their places. It needs people with moral courage willing to join the struggle to make the world habitable and humane and these qualities have little to do with success as our culture is the set.” – Dalai Lama, Buddhist Quotes on Life

32. “Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.

33. “I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

Dalai Lama Buddhist Quotes on Life

34. “When life becomes too complicated and we feel overwhelmed, it’s often useful just to stand back and remind ourselves of our overall purpose, our overall goal.

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35. “So let us reflect on what is truly of value in life, what gives meaning to our lives, and set our priorities on the basis of that. The purpose of our life needs to be positive. We weren’t born with the purpose of causing trouble, harming others. For our life to be of value, I think we must develop basic good human qualities-warmth, kindness, compassion. Then our life becomes meaningful and more peaceful-happier.” – Dalai Lama, Buddhist Quotes on Life

36. “Life can be pleasant or miserable. To lead a fruitful life, and to make it positive, practice analytical meditation.”

37. “Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

38. “Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” – Dalai Lama, Buddhist Quotes on Life

39. “To remain indifferent to the challenges we face is indefensible. If the goal is noble, whether or not it is realized within our lifetime is largely irrelevant. What we must do therefore is to strive and persevere and never give up.”

40. “One great question underlies our experience, whether we think about it or not: what is the purpose of life? . . . From the moment of birth every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering. Neither social conditioning nor education nor ideology affects this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment. . . Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

41. “Given the scale of life in the cosmos, one human life is no more than a tiny blip. Each one of us is a just visitor to this planet, a guest, who will only stay for a limited time. What greater folly could there be than to spend this short time alone, unhappy or in conflict with our companions? Far better, surely, to use our short time here in living a meaningful life, enriched by our sense of connection with others and being of service to them.” – Dalai Lama’s Buddhist Quotes on Life

42. “I don’t know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very least, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves. Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.”

Also Read these 30 Profound Quotes by Jiddu Krishnamurti on the Nature of Mind and Life

43. “Inner peace is the key: if you have inner peace, the external problems do not affect your deep sense of peace and tranquility…without this inner peace, no matter how comfortable your life is materially, you may still be worried, disturbed, or unhappy because of circumstances.”

44. “There is only one important point you must keep in your mind and let it be your guide. No matter what people call you, you are just who you are. Keep to this truth. You must ask yourself how is it you want to live your life. We live and we die, this is the truth that we can only face alone. No one can help us, not even the Buddha. So consider carefully, what prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?” – Dalai Lama’s Buddhist Quotes on Life

45. “Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” – Dalai Lama, Buddhist Quotes on Life

Bodhidharma’s Quotes on Life:

Bodhidharma was a South Indian Prince, who is considered as the founder of Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin school of martial arts inspired by Kalaripayattu. He is idolized by the Chinese people for introducing dhyana (meditation) practice in China.

This legendary Buddhist monk is known for spreading Buddhism in China. In Japan Bodhidharma is known as Daruma. Let’s learn more about his philosophy by reading some of the inspirational Buddhist quotes on life by Bodhidharma.

Bodhidharma's Buddhist Quotes on Life

46. “But people of the deepest understanding look within, distracted by nothing. Since a clear mind is the Buddha, they attain the understanding of a Buddha without using the mind.”

47. “If you use your mind to study reality, you won’t understand either your mind or reality. If you study reality without using your mind, you’ll understand both.” – Bodhidharma’s Buddhist Quotes on Life

48. “The ignorant mind, with its infinite afflictions, passions, and evils, is rooted in the three poisons. Greed, anger, and delusion.”

49. “Buddha means awareness, the awareness of body and mind that prevents evil from arising in either.”

50. “A Buddha is someone who finds freedom in good fortune and bad.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

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51. “People of this world are deluded. They’re always longing for something – always, in a word, seeking.”

52. “According to the Sutras, evil deeds result in hardships and good deeds result in blessings.”

53. “Those who worship don’t know, and those who know don’t worship.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

54. “Not thinking about anything is Zen. Once you know this, walking, sitting, or lying down, everything you do is Zen.”

55. “To seek is to suffer. To seek nothing is bliss.” ~ Buddhist Quotes on Life

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