The Essence of Buddhism


Buddhist Art(Continued)


Nor [shall one] lay
Upon the brow of innocent bound beasts
One hair’s weight of that answer all must give
For all things done amiss or wrongfully.
—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Doing no injury to any one,
Dwell in the world full of love and kindness.

—Questions of King Milinda.

Ministering to the worthy, doing harm to none,
Always ready to render reverence to whom it is due.
Loving righteousness and righteous conversation,
Ever willing to hear what may profit another.


Scrupulously avoiding all wicked actions;
Reverently performing all virtuous ones;
Purifying his intention from all selfish ends:
This is the doctrine of all the Buddhas.


Instruct yourself (more and more) in the highest morality.—Nagarjuna’s “Friendly Epistle.”

Cultivate compassion.—Visuddhi-Magga.

May my thoughts, now small and narrow, expand in the next existence, that I may understand the precepts … thoroughly, and never break them or be guilty of trespasses.—Inscription in Temple of Nakhon Vat.

Religion he looks upon as his best ornament.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The sinner is never beautiful.—Lalita Vistara.

Use no perfume but sweetness of thoughts.—Siamese Buddhist Maxim.

Wealth and beauty, scented flowers and ornaments like these, are not to be compared for grace with moral rectitude!—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He who … cannot feel joy to see merit in others is stained with the darkness of sin.—Story of Pratiharyya.

Ask not of (a person’s) descent, but ask about his conduct—Sundarikabharadvaja-sutta.

The young man Vasettha said: “When one is virtuous and full of (good) works, in this way he becomes a Brahman.”—Vasettha-sutta.

Not by birth does one become low caste, not by birth a Brahman; by his deeds he becomes low caste, by his deeds he becomes a Brahman.—Vasala-sutta.

Whosoever strikes, or by words annoys, mother or father, brother or sister, … let us know such as a “base-born.”—Vasala-sutta.

Causing destruction to living beings, killing and mutilating, … stealing and speaking falsely, fraud and deception, … these are (what defile a man).—Amagandha-sutta.

Whosoever … harms living beings, … and in whom there is no compassion for them, let us know such as a “base-born.”—Vasala-sutta.

In whom there is truth and righteousness, he is blessed, he is a Brahman.—Dhammapada.

Whoso hurts not (living) creatures, whether those that tremble or those that are strong, nor yet kills nor causes to be killed, him do I call a Brahman.—Vasettha-sutta.

Whoso is (entirely) divested of sin, as is the heaven of mire and the moon of dust, him do I call a Brahman.—Udanavarga.

Him I call indeed a Brahman who, though he be guilty of no offense, patiently endures reproaches, bonds, and stripes.—Dhammapada.

We will patiently suffer threats and blows at the hands of foolish men.—Saddharma-pundarika.

Who, though he be cursed by the world, yet cherishes no ill-will towards it.—Sammaparibbajaniya-sutta.

Persecutions and revilings, murders and numberless imprisonments, these hast thou suffered in thousands from the world, verily delighting in long-suffering.—Lalita Vistara.

At the end of life the soul goes forth alone; whereupon only our good deeds befriend us.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The wrongdoer, devoid of rectitude, … is full of anxiety when death arrives.—Mahaparinibbana-sutta.

He who has done what is right is free from fear.—Udanavarga.

No fear has any one of me; neither have I fear of any one: in my good-will to all I trust.—Introduction to the Jataka.

Our deeds, whether good or evil, … follow us as shadows.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He who now gives in charity
Shall surely reap where he has given;
For whosoever piously bestows a little water
Shall receive return like the great ocean.


Covetous desire is the greatest (source of) sorrow. Appearing as a friend, in secret ’tis our enemy.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

That which is given in charity is rich in returns; therefore charity is a true friend; although it scatters it brings no remorse.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He who stints the profit he has made, his wealth will soon be spent and lost.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The (real) treasure is that laid up … through charity and piety, temperance and self-control…. The treasure thus hid is secure, and passes not away. Though he leave the fleeting riches of the world, this a man carries with him—a treasure that no wrong of others, and no thief, can steal.—Nidhikanda-sutta.

Think of all sentient beings as thy children.—Tenets of the Soto Sect.

Though exalted, forget not the lowly.—Jitsu-go-kiyo.

Be kind to all that lives.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Filled with compassion for all creatures.—Saddharma-pundarika.

Of all possessions, contentedness is the best by far.—Nagarjuna’s “Friendly Epistle.”

A contented mind is always joyful.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Let us then live happily, though we call nothing our own.—Dhammapada.

Not the whole world, … the ocean-girt earth,
With all the seas and the hills that girdle it,
Would I wish to possess with shame added thereto.

—Questions of King Milinda.

Let none be forgetful of his own duty for the sake of another’s.—Dhammapada.

The faults of others are easily seen; one’s own faults are difficult to see.—Udanavarga.

Self-examination is painful.—Pillar Inscriptions of Asoka.

A man winnows his neighbor’s faults like chaff: his own he hides, as a cheat the bad die from the gambler.—Dhammapada.

She orders her household aright, she is hospitable to kinsmen and friends, a chaste wife, a thrifty housekeeper, skilful and diligent in all her duties.—Sigalovada-sutta.

The wife … should be cherished by her husband.—Sigalovada-sutta.

Were I not ready to suffer adversity with my husband as well as to enjoy happiness with him, I should be no true wife.—Legend of We-than-da-ya.

It is better to die in righteousness than to live in unrighteousness.—Loweda Sangrahaya.

Better to fling away life than transgress our convictions of duty.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

Better for me to die battling (with the temper) than that I should live defeated.—Padhana-sutta.

The loving Father of all that lives.—Tsing-tu-wan.

Our loving Father, and Father of all that breathes.—Daily Manual of the Shaman.

Even so of all things that have … life, there is not one that (the Buddhist anchorite) passes over; … he looks upon all with … deep-felt love. This, verily, … is the way to a state of union with God.—Tevijja-sutta.

Doubts will exist as long as we live in the world.
Yet, pursuing with joy the road of virtue,
Like the man who observes the rugged path along the precipice, we ought
Gladly and profitably to follow it.


To feed a single good man is infinitely greater in point of merit, than attending to questions about heaven and earth, spirits and demons, such as occupy ordinary men.—Sutra of Forty-two Sections.

What is goodness? First and foremost the agreement of the will with the conscience.—Sutra of Forty-two Sections.

If you remove (from conduct) the purpose of the mind, the bodily act is but as rotten wood. Wherefore regulate the mind, and the body of itself will go right.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Keep watch over your hearts.—Mahaparinibbana-sutta.

Let no evil desire whatever arise within you.—Cullavagga.

So soon as there springs up within him an angry, malicious thought, some sinful, wrong disposition, … he puts it away, removes it, destroys it, he makes it not to be.—Sabbasava-sutta.

With not a thought of selfishness or covetous desire.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Covetousness and anger are as the serpent’s poison.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

They who do evil go to hell; they who are righteous go to heaven.—Dhammapada.

He who, doing what he ought, … gives pleasure to others, shall find joy in the other world.—Udanavarga.

The virtuous (when injured) grieve not so much for their own pain as for the loss of happiness incurred by their injurers.—Jatakamala.

He truly must have a loving heart,
For all things living place in him entire confidence.


Ofttimes while he mused—as motionless
As the fixed rock his seat—the squirrel leaped
Upon his knee, the timid quail led forth
Her brood between his feet, and blue doves pecked
The rice-grains from the bowl beside his hand.

—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Those who search after truth should have a heart full of sympathy.—Story of Virudhaka.

This (prince) feels for the welfare of the multitude.—Nalaka-sutta.

The Royal Prince, perceiving the tired oxen, … the men toiling beneath the midday sun, and the birds devouring the hapless insects, his heart was filled with grief, as a man would feel upon seeing his own household bound in fetters: thus was he touched with sorrow for the whole family of sentient creatures—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

This king felt the weal and the woe of his subjects as his own.—Jatakamala.

What is a true gift?
One for which nothing is expected in return.—Prasnottaramalika.

There is a way of giving, seeking pleasure by it (or) coveting to get more; some also give to gain a name for charity, some to gain the happiness of heaven…. But yours, O friend, is a charity free from such thoughts, the highest and best degree of charity, free from self-interest or thought of getting more.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

‘Tis thus men generally think and speak, they have a reference in all they do to their own advantage. But with this one it is not so: ’tis the good of others and not his own that he seeks.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

Above all things be not careless; for carelessness is the great foe to virtue.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

You say that while young a man should be gay, and when old then religious…. Death, however, as a robber, sword in hand, follows us all, desiring to capture his prey: how then should we wait for old age, ere we turn our minds to religion?—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

If you urge that I am young and tender, and that the time for seeking wisdom is not yet, then you should know that to seek true religion, there never is a time not fit.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Work out your own salvation with diligence.—Mahaparinibbana-sutta.

No man can purify another.—Dhammapada.

The good man’s love ends in love; the bad man’s love in hate.—Kshemendra’s Kalpalata.

He who holds up a torch to (lighten) mankind is always honored by me.—Rahula-sutta.

Where there is uprightness, wisdom is there, and where there is wisdom, uprightness is there.—Sonadanda-sutta.

Liberty, courtesy, benevolence, unselfishness, under all circumstances towards all people—these qualities are to the world what the linchpin is to the rolling chariot.—Sigalovada-sutta.

Let us be knit together … as friends.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Since even animals can live together in mutual reverence, confidence, and courtesy, much more should you, O Brethren, so let your light shine forth that you … may be seen to dwell in like manner together.—Cullavagga.

Trust is the best of relationships.—Dhammapada.

Faithful and trustworthy, he injures not his fellow-man by deceit.—Tevijja-sutta.

Worship consists in fulfilling the design (of the person honored), not in offerings of perfumes, garlands, and the like.—Jatakamala.

Compassion for all creatures is the true religion.—Buddha-charita.

The wise firmly believe that in Mercy the whole of Righteousness is contained. What virtue … does there exist which is not the consequence of Mercy?—Jatakamala.

Even if a man have done evil a hundred times, let him not do it again.—Udanavarga.

He who, having been angered, gives way to anger no more, has achieved a mighty victory.—Udanavarga.

Better than sovereignty over this earth, … better than lordship over all worlds, is the recompense of the first step in holiness.—Dhammapada.

Now many distinguished warriors thought: we who go (to war) and find our delight in fighting, do evil…. What shall we do that we may cease from evil and do good?—Mahavagga.

Victory breeds hatred.—Dhammapada.

Therefore has this pious inscription been carved here (on the rock), to the end that posterity may not suppose that any further conquest ought to be made by them. Let them not hold that conquest by the sword is worthy the name of conquest; let them see in it only confusion and violence. Let them reckon as true conquests none save the triumphs of religion.—Rock Inscriptions of Asoka.

He walks not in religion in a quarrelsome spirit.—Questions of King Milinda.

Nay, … let not quarrel arise, nor strife, nor discord, nor dispute.—Mahavagga.

Thus he lives as a binder together of those who are divided, an encourager of those who are friends, a peace-maker, a lover of peace, impassioned for peace, a speaker of words that make for peace.—Tevijja-sutta.

It is not as a means of procuring my own happiness that I give in charity, but I love charity that I may do good to the world.—Jatakamala.

Benevolence is the doing of righteous acts of help to living creatures whether of high or low degree; as when we help a tortoise in trouble, or a sick sparrow, without looking for any reward.—Tenets of the Soto Sect.

‘Tis out of mercy, not with the desire of gain, that the virtuous take care of a person in distress, nor do they mind whether the other understands this or not.—Jatakamala.

Let him that has a merciful character be my friend.—Bhakti Sataka.

If a man thus walks in the ways of compassion, is it possible that he should hurt anything intentionally?—Sha-mi-lu-i-yao-lio.

Living in the world, and doing no harm to aught that lives.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

As he said so he acted.—Vangisa-sutta.

Those who have sin at heart, but are sweet of speech, are like a pitcher smeared with nectar, but full of poison.—Lalita Vistara.

Like a … flower that is rich in color, but has no scent, so are the fine … words of him who does not act accordingly.—Dhammapada.

The mind must be brought under perfect subjection.—Inscription on Votive Images.

He whose mind is subdued and perfectly controlled is happy.—Udanavarga.

If only the thoughts be directed to that which is right, then happiness must necessarily follow.—Fa-kheu-pi-u.

Evil he overcame by righteousness.—Questions of King Milinda.

He felt compassion towards those who tormented him.—Attanagalu-vansa.

The bearer of ill-will towards them that bear ill-will can never become pure; but he who bears no ill-will pacifies them that hate.—Udanavarga.

The man who foolishly does me wrong, I will return him the protection of my ungrudging love.—Sutra of Forty-two Sections.

Whether of the higher class of beings, as … a perfect man, … or of the lower class of beings, as a grasshopper or the smallest insect—in one word, whatever hath life thou shalt not kill.—Sha-mi-lu-i-yao-lio.

To whom even the life of a serpent is sacred.—Lalita Vistara.

I love living things that have no feet, … four-footed creatures, and things with many feet…. May all creatures, all things that live, all beings of whatever kind, may they all behold good fortune.—Cullavagga.

You do not well enticing me to a sinful act. And what you say, that “nobody else will know of it”—will it be less sinful for this reason?—Jatakamala.

There is no such thing as secrecy in wrongdoing.—Jataka.

Even could she have kept it secret from men, … could she have kept it secret from spirit, … could she have kept it secret from the gods, yet she could not have escaped herself from the knowledge of her sin.—Questions of King Milinda.

Clad in garments pure as the moonbeams, … her ornaments modesty and virtuous conduct.—Ajanta Cave Inscriptions.

If you speak … to a woman, do it with pureness of heart…. Say to yourself: “Placed in this sinful world, let me be as the spotless lily, unsoiled by the mire in which it grows.” Is she old? regard her as your mother. Is she honorable? as your sister. Is She of small account? as a younger sister. Is she a child? then treat her with reverence and politeness.—Sutra of Forty-two Sections.

Gentle and true, simple and kind was she,
Noble of mien, with gracious speech to all,
And gladsome looks—a pearl of womanhood.

—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Do not have evil-doers for friends…. Take as your friends the best of men.—Dhammapada.

Briefly I will tell you the marks of a friend—
When doing wrong, to warn; when doing well, to exhort to perseverance;
When in difficulty or danger, to assist, relieve, and deliver.
Such a man is indeed a true and illustrious friend.


His friendship is prized by the gentle and the good.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Living … without cruelty among the cruel.—Udanavarga.

The Scripture said: “Be kind and benevolent to every being, and spread peace in the world…. If it happen that thou see anything to be killed, thy soul shall be moved with pity and compassion. Ah, how watchful should we be over ourselves!”—Sha-mi-lu-i-yao-lio.

I desire to produce in myself a loving heart towards all living creatures.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

Let us then practice good works, and inspect our thoughts that we do no evil.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Now, therefore, it behooves me to examine into my faults; and if I find anything wrong in me, to put it away, and practice virtue only.—Jataka.

Therefore … we would humble ourselves and repent us of our sins. Oh! that we may have strength to do so aright!—Liturgy of Kwan-yin.

If we know that we have done wrong, and yet refuse to acknowledge it, we are guilty of prevarication.—Chinese Pratimoksha.

From the very first, … having no wish to benefit others, or to do good in the least degree, we have been adding sin unto sin; and even though our actual crimes have not been so great, yet a wicked heart has ruled us within. Day and night, without interval or hesitation, have we continually contrived how to do wrong.—Liturgy of Kwan-yin.

Accept the confession I make of my sin in its sinfulness, to the end that in future I may restrain myself therefrom.—Cullavagga.

He who offends an offenseless man, … against such a fool the evil reverts, like fine dust thrown against the wind.—Kokaliya-sutta.

May wisdom be with me always.—Inscription in Temple of Nakhon Vat.

The fool who knows his foolishness is wise at any rate so far. But the fool who thinks himself wise, he is a fool indeed.—Dhammapada.

He who holds back rising anger like a rolling chariot—him I call a real driver: other people are merely holding the reins.—Dhammapada.

Anger, alas! how it changes the comely face! how it destroys the loveliness of beauty!—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The fool who is angered, and thinks to triumph by the use of abusive language, is always vanquished by him whose words are patient.—Udanavarga.

He who lives far from me yet walks righteously, is ever near me.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He sought after the good of those dependent on him.—Questions of King Milinda.

Who, though he be lord over others, is patient with those that are weak.—Udanavarga.

Loving her maids and dependents even as herself.—Lalita Vistara.

Loving all things which live even as themselves.—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Hear ye all this moral maxim, and having heard it keep it well: Whatsoever is displeasing to yourselves never do to another.—Bstanhgyur.

Then declared he unto them (the rule of doing to others what we ourselves like).—San-kiao-yuen-lieu.

From henceforth … put away evil and do good.—Jataka.

At morning, noon, and night successively, store up good works.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Always doing good to those around you.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

In order to terminate all suffering, be earnest in performing good deeds.—Buddhaghosa’s parables.

Compassion alone sanctifies the good.—Kshemendra’s Avadana Kalpalata.

Religion means self-sacrifice.—Rukemavati.

O Buddha, the worship of thee consists in doing good to the world.—Bhakti Sataka.

Persist not in calling attention to a matter calculated to cause division.—Patimokkha.

Dwell together in mutual love.—Brahmanadhammika-sutta.

Let us now unite in the practice of what is good, cherishing a gentle and sympathizing heart, and carefully cultivating good faith and righteousness.—Travels of Fa-hien.

May I obtain wealth, and … may the wealth … obtained by me be for the benefit of others.—Jinalankara.

Feeling deep compassion for the poor, grudging nothing which he possessed.—Phu-yau-king.

Humble in mind, but large in gracious deeds, abundant in charity to the poor and helpless.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Full of modesty and pity, … kind and compassionate to all creatures that have life.—Tevijja-sutta.

He who … is tender to all that lives … is protected by heaven and loved by men.—Fa-kheu-pi-u.

Day and night the mind of Buddha’s disciples always delights in compassion.—Dhammapada.

Let him not think detractingly of others.—Sariputta-sutta.

But offer loving thoughts and acts to all.—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Never should he speak a disparaging word of anybody.—Saddharma-pundarika.

Whatever I understand (to be right) … I desire to practice.—Rock Inscriptions of Asoka.

Lightly to laugh at and ridicule another is wrong.—Fa-kheu-pi-us.

Virtuous deeds should be practiced today; for who can say but we may die tomorrow?—Temee Jatu.

May I be thoroughly imbued with benevolence, and show always a charitable disposition, till such time as this heart shall cease to beat.—Inscription in Temple of Nakhon Vat.

Born to give joy and bring peace to the world.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

The whole world of sentient creatures enjoyed … universal tranquility.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Enmity and envy gave way to peace; contentment and rest prevailed everywhere; … discord and variance were entirely appeased.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Creatures of every variety were moved one toward another lovingly; fear and terror altogether put away, none entertained a hateful thought; the Angels, foregoing their heavenly joys, sought rather to alleviate the sinner’s sufferings.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The virtuous retain in their mind the good done to them, whereas the evil they experience drops from their mind, like water from a lotus-petal.—Jatakamala.

Vice, O king, is a mean thing, virtue is great and grand.—Questions of King Milinda.

I deem … unrighteous actions contemptible.—Mahavagga.

Like food besmeared with poison, I abhor such happiness as is tainted with unrighteousness.—Jatakamala.

As men sow, thus shall they reap.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

Actions have their reward, and our deeds have their result.—Mahavagga.

Our deeds are not lost, they will surely come (back again).—Kokaliya-sutta.

Reaping the fruit of right or evil doing, and sharing happiness or misery in consequence.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Your evil thoughts and evil words but hurt yourself.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Hell was not created by any one…. The fire of the angry mind produces the fire of hell, and consumes its possessor. When a person does evil, he lights the fire of hell, and burns with his own fire.—Mulamuli.

People grieve from selfishness.—Jara-sutta.

Doing good we reap good, just as a man who sows that which is sweet (enjoys the same).—Fa-kheu-pi-us.

He who does wrong, O king, comes to feel remorse…. But he who does well feels no remorse, and feeling no remorse, gladness will spring up within him.—Questions of King Milinda.

Morality brings happiness: … at night one’s rest is peaceful, and on waking one is still happy.—Udanavarga.

If, then, you would please me, show pity to that poor wretch.—Nagananda.

Oppressed with others’ sufferings.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

A loving heart is the great requirement! … not to oppress, not to destroy; … not to exalt oneself by treading down others; but to comfort and befriend those in suffering.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He cares for and cherishes his people more than one would a naked and perishing child.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

The acts and the practice of religion, to wit, sympathy, charity, truthfulness, purity, gentleness, kindness.—Pillar Inscriptions of Asoka.

Go ye, O Brethren, and wander forth, for the gain of the many, the welfare of the many, in compassion for the world, for the good, for the gain, for the welfare of … men…. Publish, O, Brethren, the doctrine glorious…. Preach ye a life of holiness … perfect and pure.—Mahavagga.

Go, then, through every country, convert those not converted…. Go, therefore, each one travelling alone; filled with compassion, go! rescue and receive.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Have you not heard what Buddha says in the Sutra (where he bids his followers), not to despise the little child?—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

In this mode of salvation there are no distinctions of rich and poor, male and female, people and priests: all are equally able to arrive at the blissful state.—From a Chinese Buddhist Tract.

Even the most unworthy who seeks for salvation is not to be forbidden.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

Look with friendship … on the evil and on the good.—Introduction to Jataka Book.

Should those who are not with us, O Brethren, speak in dispraise of me, or of my doctrine, or of the church, that is no reason why you should give way to anger.—Brahma-jala-sutta.

Why should there be such sorrowful contention? You honor what we honor, both alike: then we are brothers as concerns religion.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

No decrying of other sects, … no depreciation (of others) without cause, but on the contrary, rendering of honor to other sects for whatever cause honor is due. By so doing, both one’s sect will be helped forward, and other sects benefited; by acting otherwise, one’s own sect will be destroyed in injuring others.—Rock Inscriptions of Asoka.

But if others walk not righteously, we ought by righteous dealing to appease them: in this way, … we cause religion everywhere to take deep hold and abide.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Who is a (true) spiritual teacher?
He who, having grasped the essence of things, ever seeks to be of use to other beings.


Tell him … I look for no recompense—not even to be born in heaven—but seek … the benefit of men, to bring back those who have gone astray, to enlighten those living in dismal error, to put away all sources of sorrow and pain from the world.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

I consider the welfare of all people as something for which I must work.—Rock Inscriptions of Asoka.

Then the man … said to himself: “I will not keep all this treasure to myself; I will share it with others.” Upon this he went to king Brahmadatta, and said: … “Be it known to you I have discovered a treasure, and I wish it to be used for the good of the country.”—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

The sorrow of others enters into the hearts of good men as water into the soil.—Story of Haritika.

With no selfish or partial joy … they rejoiced.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

If thou see others lamenting, join in their lamentations: if thou hear others rejoicing, join in their joy.—Jitsu-go-kiyo.

My son, tell me thy sorrow, that it may become more endurable by participation.—Nagananda.

Every variety of living creature I must ever defend from harm.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

To think no evil and do none: on the contrary, to benefit all creatures.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

Let the wise man guard his thoughts, for they are … very artful and rush wheresoever they list.—Dhammapada.

When thou seest righteousness, quickly follow it: when thou seest iniquity, instantly flee.—Jitsu-go-kiyo.

Like as the lotus is untarnished by the water, so is Nirvana by any evil dispositions.—Questions of King Milinda.

May I never, even in a dream, be guilty of theft, adultery, drunkenness, life-slaughter, and untruthfulness.—Attanagalu-vansa.

Spotless even as the moon, pure, serene, and undisturbed.—Vasettha-sutta.

Practice the most perfect virtue.—Udanavarga.

To attain perfection that he may profit others.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

The present is an imperfect existence: … I pray for greater perfection in the next.—Inscription in Temple of Nakhon Vat.

Fulfil the perfection of long-suffering; be thou patient under … reproach.—Introduction to Jataka Book.

My duty is to bear all the insults which the heretics launch against me.—Buddhaghosa’s Parables.

Silently shall I endure abuse, as the elephant in battle endures the arrow sent from the bow.—Dhammapada.

Let not the member of Buddha’s order tremble at blame, neither let him puff himself up when praised.—Tuvataka-sutta.

The end of the pleasures of sense is as the lightning flash: … what profit, then, in doing iniquity?—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Cultivate equanimity.—Nalaka-sutta.

Abhor dissimulation!—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He speaks truth unmixed with falsehood.—Samanna-phala-sutta.

There is guilt (calling for repentance) in prevarication.—Patimokkha.

He that praises him who should be blamed, or blames him who should be praised, gathers up sin thereby in his mouth.—Kokaliya-sutta.

The member of Buddha’s order should abstain from theft, even of a blade of grass.—Mahavagga.

From bribery, cheating, fraud, and (all other) crooked ways he abstains.—Tevijja-sutta.

The Scripture moveth us, therefore, rather to cut off the hand than to take anything which is not ours.—Sha-mi-lu-i-yao-lio.

Let him not, even though irritated, speak harsh words.—Sariputta-sutta.

From this day forth, … although much be said against me, I will not feel spiteful, angry, enraged, or morose, nor manifest anger and hatred.—Anguttara-Nikaya.

Upright, conscientious and of soft speech, gentle and not proud.—Metta-sutta.

Even as the lily lives upon and loves the water,
So Upatissa and Kolita likewise,
Joined by closest bond of love,
If by necessity compelled to live apart,
Were overcome by grief and aching heart.


(The true friend) forsakes you not in trouble; he will lay down his life for your sake.—Sigalovada-sutta.

In grief as well as in joy we are united,
In sorrow and in happiness alike.

                       *       *       *       *        *

That which your heart rejoices in as good,
That I also rejoice in and follow.
It were better I should die with you,
Than … attempt to live where you are not.


When first I undertook to obtain wisdom,
Then also I took on me to defend (the weak).
All living things of whatsoever sort
Call forth my compassion and pity.


Fault is not to be found unnecessarily—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

Judge not thy neighbor.—Siamese Buddhist Maxim.

What is it to you … whether another is guilty or guiltless? Come, friend, atone for your own offense.—Mahavagga.

Even a king may be full of trouble; but a common man, who is holy, has rest everlasting.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

This world is afflicted with death and decay; therefore the wise do not grieve, knowing the terms of the world.—Salla-sutta.

Who that clings to Righteousness should be in fear of death?—Jatakamala.

Ye, then, my followers, … give not way … to sorrow; … aim to reach the home where separation cannot come.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Loving and merciful towards all.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Filled with universal benevolence.—Fa-kheu-pi-u.

A friend to all creatures in the world.—Saddharma-pundarika.

Bent on promoting the happiness of all created beings.—Lalita Vistara.

Conquer thy greediness for sensual pleasures.—Jatukannimanavapuccha.

Therefore should we encourage small desire, that we may have to give to him who needs.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Justly I seek for riches, and having sought for riches justly, I give of my … justly acquired wealth to one, to two, to three, … to a hundred.—Magha-sutta.

They sought their daily gain righteously; no covetous, money-loving spirit prevailed; with pious intent they gave liberally; there was not a thought of any reward.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

There is in charity a proper time and a proper mode.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Better would it be to swallow a red-hot iron ball than that a bad, unrestrained fellow should live on the charity of the land.—Dhammapada.

Our duty to do something, not only for our own benefit, but for the good of those who shall come after us.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

Have respect for the aged as though they were thy father and mother; love the young as thy children or younger brethren.—Jitsu-go-kiyo.

All the people were bound close in family love and friendship.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Happy … is the man that honors his father: he also that honors his mother is happy.—Udanavarga.

How should I be capable of leaving thee in thy calamity?… Whatever fate may be thine I am pleased with it.—Jatakamala.

He is my husband. I love and revere him with all my heart, and therefore am determined to share his fate. Kill me first, … and afterwards do to him as you list.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

A heart bound by affection does not mind imminent peril. Worse than death to such a one is the sorrow which the distress of a friend inflicts.—Jatakamala.

This good man, moved by pity, gives up his life for another, as though it were but a straw.—Nagananda.

Sprinkle water on the seeds of virtue.—Story of Pratiharyya.

The fool thinks himself alone and commits sin. But I know of no lonely place at all…. Of a bad action my “Self” is a witness far more sharp-sighted than any other person.—Jatakamala.

What has been designated “name” and “family” … is but a term.—Vasettha-sutta.

Reverence … is due to righteous conduct.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The wise man … regards with reverence all who deserve reverence, without distinction of person.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

For if virtue flags and folly rules, what reverence can there be … for a high name or boast of prowess, inherited from former generations?—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Fools of little understanding have themselves for their greatest enemies, for they do evil deeds which cannot but bear bitter fruit.—Dhammapada.

There is not a spot upon earth, neither in the sky, neither in the sea, neither … in the mountain-clefts, where an (evil) deed does not bring trouble (to the doer).—Udanavarga.

Surely if living creatures saw the consequence of all their evil deeds, … with hatred would they turn and leave them, fearing the ruin following.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Exercising love towards the infirm.—Fa-kheu-pi-us.

Ever inspired by pity and love to men.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

He lived for the good of mankind.—Jatakamala.

Whatsoever living beings there are, feeble or strong, small or large, seen or not seen, may all creatures be happy-minded.—Metta-sutta.

Yield not (one moment) to the angry impulse.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Overcome anger by love.—Dhammapada.

A wise man never resents with passion the abuse of the foolish—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

In agreement with all men, and hurting nobody, … he, as far as possible, does good to all.—Fo-pen-hing-tsih-king.

Reverently practicing the four gracious acts—
Benevolence, charity, humanity, love;
Doing all for the good of men, and that they in turn may benefit others.


They also, resigning the deathless bliss within their reach,
Worked the welfare of mankind in various lands.
What man is there who would be remiss in doing good to mankind?

—Quoted by Max Muller.


Buddhist missionaries

He identified himself with all beings—Jatakamala.

Because the dove fears the hawk,
With fluttering pennons she comes to seek my protection.
Though she cannot speak with her mouth,
Yet through fear her eyes are moist.
Now, therefore, I will extend (to this poor creature)
My own protection and defense.


How indifferent he was to his own welfare!…

How intolerant of the suffering of others!—Jatakamala. In every condition, high or low, we find folly and ignorance (and men), carelessly following the dictates of … passion.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Neither is it right to judge men’s character by outward appearances.—Ta-chwang-yan-king-lun.

The body may wear the ascetic’s garb, the heart be immersed in worldly thoughts: … the body may wear a worldly guise, the heart mount high to things celestial.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Full of truth and compassion and mercy and long-suffering.—Jataka.

Uprightness is his delight.—Tevijja-sutta.

Making … virtue always his first aim.—Fa-kheu-pi-u.

An example for all the earth.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

What he hears he repeats not there, to raise a quarrel against the people here.—Tevijja-sutta.

He injures none by his conversation.—Samanna-phala-sutta.

Walk in the path of duty, do good to your brethren, and work no evil towards them.—Avadana Sataka.

Aiming to curb the tongue, … aiming to benefit the world.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Intent upon benefiting your fellow-creatures.—Katha Sarit Sagara.

Health is the greatest of gifts, contentment the best of riches.—Dhammapada.

If thou be born in the poor man’s hovel, yet have wisdom, then wilt thou be like the lotus-flower growing out of the mire.—Jitsu-go-kiyo.

He that is rich but is not contented endures the pain of poverty.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The words of Buddha, even when stern, yet … as full of pity as the words of a father to his children.—Questions of King Milinda.

Overcoming all enemies by the force (of his love).—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

How great his pity and his love toward those who opposed his claims, neither rejoicing in their defeat, nor yet exulting in his own success!—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

The Buddha has mercy even on the meanest thing.—Cullavagga.

He that … would wait upon me, let him wait on the sick.—Mahavagga.



The Buddha, O king, magnifies not the offering of gifts to himself, but rather to whosoever … is deserving.—Questions of King Milinda.

If you desire to honor Buddha, follow the example of his patience and long-suffering.—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.

Radiant with heavenly pity, lost in care
For those he knew not, save as fellow-lives.

—Sir Edwin Arnold.

Who that hears of him, but yearns with love?—Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king.