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7 Issues the Buddha By no means Stated

The historic Buddha mentioned many issues in his lengthy lifetime of educating. However have you ever ever heard a supposed Buddha quote and puzzled, Did he actually say that? Monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a skilled translator of the Buddha’s phrases, actually has. Right here he reveals seven of many he’s discovered. See for those who’re not shocked.

Picture by David Gabriel Fischer.

1. “Life is struggling.”

This is likely one of the Huge Lies of Buddhism—a declare assumed to be true just because it’s repeated so usually—each in fashionable books and tutorial books. The phrase “Life is struggling” is meant to be a abstract of the Buddha’s first noble fact, however the first noble fact merely lists the issues in life that represent struggling: “Delivery is irritating, growing old is irritating, loss of life is irritating; sorrow, lamentation, ache, misery, & despair are irritating; affiliation with the unbeloved is irritating, separation from the liked is irritating, not getting what is needed is irritating. In brief, the 5 clinging-aggregates are irritating.” (Citation from Samyutta Nikaya, The Grouped Discourses of the Buddha, 56.11)

Life, you’ll discover, isn’t on the listing.

The opposite noble truths go on to point out that there’s extra to life than simply struggling: There’s the origination of struggling, the cessation of struggling, and the trail of apply resulting in the cessation of struggling as effectively.

2. “Previous love is however a reminiscence. Future love is however a dream. Real love is within the right here and now.”

I noticed this on a card hooked up to the mirror within the rest room of a house the place I used to be educating as soon as. It’s so unrelated to something the Buddha mentioned that I don’t know of what the unique inspiration might need been.

3. “There isn’t any self.”

That is the opposite Huge Lie. The one time the Buddha was requested point-blank if there may be or isn’t a self, he refused to reply (Samyutta Nikaya 44.10). In Majjhima Nikaya (the “Center-Size Discourses” of the Buddha) 2 he acknowledged that the views “I’ve a self” and “I’ve no self” are each a thicket of views that depart you caught in struggling. When the Buddha taught not-self (anatta) — versus no self — he was recommending a technique for overcoming attachment, a manner of reducing by the thoughts’s tendency to cling to issues by claiming them as “me” or “mine.”

The Buddha by no means mentioned that “There isn’t any separate self” both. He declined to become involved within the problem of whether or not any form of self exists or doesn’t exist.

4. “All the things is impermanent.”
5. “Struggling comes from resisting change.”

These two misquotes are inclined to go collectively. If all the things adjustments, then the one manner you could possibly escape from struggling could be to just accept that each one happiness is impermanent and cease making an attempt for something extra lasting than that. A fairly depressing message.

Happily, the Buddha mentioned merely that each one fabricated issues are impermanent. Something perceived by the six senses is fabricated, within the sense that it’s formed by circumstances, each exterior and inside.

Nonetheless, there’s something unfabricated which you can expertise, and that’s nirvana. (See the Majjhima Nikaya the “Center-Size Discourses” of the Buddha, 49, and the Samyutta Nikaya, the “Grouped Discourses of the Buddha,”43, for extra.)

Because the Buddha mentioned, nirvana is the last word happiness (Dhammapada 203)—free from change, free from loss of life, free from all limitations. That’s why he taught the trail: so that individuals can discover an unconditioned happiness. If his message had been, “Hey, there’s no lasting happiness, so surrender fascinated with it,” it wouldn’t have lasted all these years.

As for the second misquote, the Buddha really mentioned that individuals undergo as a result of they determine with issues that change. When the thoughts is robust sufficient that it doesn’t have to determine with something, that’s when there’s no extra struggling. On this level, see Samyutta Nikaya 22:1.

6. “If you wish to see an individual’s previous actions, have a look at his current situation. If you wish to see an individual’s future situation, have a look at his current actions.”

This concept turns karma into one thing very simplistic and deterministic. It’s what I name the “one karmic checking account” concept—the concept that your current situation exhibits the working steadiness in your karmic account: the sum whole of all of your good actions, minus the sum whole of your dangerous actions, equals what you’re experiencing proper now.

As an alternative of a single checking account, the Buddha in contrast your previous karma to a discipline of seeds: Some seeds have already sprouted, some aren’t but able to sprout, and as for those which can be able to sprout, people who get essentially the most water with the perfect likelihood of flourishing. Which means that, regardless that you’ll be able to’t return and alter the seeds you’ve already planted, you do have some management over which seeds you’re going to water. In different phrases, your current situation exhibits solely a sliver of your previous actions; your current actions affect the extent to which you’re going to undergo over that sliver or not.

7. “A thousand candles could be lit by a single candle and but not diminish the primary candle’s mild. Happiness isn’t diminished by being shared.”

This quote is fashionable amongst individuals who write fund-raising brochures—regardless that they need your cash, and don’t essentially care about your happiness. It’s a pleasant sentiment, however there’s no file of it among the many Buddha’s phrases. The closest he will get to a sentiment like that is in Anguttara Nikaya (“The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha”) 10:177, the place he says that whenever you make benefit and dedicate it to your useless relations, then even when these specific relations aren’t in a spot — the realm of the hungry ghosts –- the place they will obtain that benefit, the benefit isn’t misplaced. Others amongst your useless relations who’re in that state will partake of it—and you may be assured that at the very least somebody amongst your relations is there.

Not an appropriate quote for fund-raising brochures, however one thing value holding in thoughts.

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