Nicholas's Reviews > What the Buddha Taught: Revised and Expanded Edition with Texts from Suttas and Dhammapada

What the Buddha Taught by Walpola Rahula
Rate this book
Clear rating

M 50x66
's review
Mar 06, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: lifestyle, history, philosophy, religion
Read in February, 2009

** spoiler alert ** A layman's guide to Buddhism. It was probably the best book I've ever read for school. Read it in one sitting to cram for an exam and was thoroughly entertained throughout.


"One is one's own refuge, who else could be the refuge?"

"It is proper that you have doubt, that you have perplexity, for a doubt has arisen in a matter which is doubtful. Now, look you Kalamas, do not be led by reports, or tradition, or hearsay. Be not led by the authority of religious texts, nor by mere logic or inference, nor by considering appearances, nor by the delight in speculative opinions, nor by seeming possibilities, nor by the idea: 'this is our teacher'. But, O Kalamas, when you know for yourself that certain things are unwholesome, and wrong, and bad, then give them up...And when you know for yourselves that certain things are wholesome and good, then accept them and follow them."

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet."

"O bhikkhus, even this view, which is so pure and so clear, if you cling to it, if you fondle it, if you treasure it, if you are attached to it, then you do not understand that the teaching is similar to a raft, which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of."

"It is wrong to be impatient at suffering. Being impatient or angry at suffering does not remove it. On the contrary, it adds a little more to one's troubles, and aggravates and exacerbates a situation already disagreeable. What is necessary is not anger or impatience, but the understanding of the question of suffering, how it comes about, and how to get rid of it, and then to work accordingly with patience, intelligence, determination and energy."

"There are four things which are conducive to a man's happiness in this world: First: he should be skilled, efficient, earnest, and energetic in whatever profession he is engaged, and he should know it well; second: he should protect his income, which he has thus earned righteously, with the sweat of his brow; third: he should have good friends who are faithful, learned, virtuous, liberal and intelligent, who will help him along the right path away from evil; fourth: he should spend reasonably, in proportion to his income, neither too much nor too little, i.e., he should not hoard wealth avariciously, nor should he be extravagant - in other words he should live within his means."

"One should not pry into the faults of others, into things done and left undone by others. One should rather consider what by oneself is done and left undone."

"If, as one fares, one does not find a companion who is better or equal, let one resolutely pursue the solitary course; there can be no fellowship with the fool."

"'I have sons, I have wealth': thinking thus the fool is troubled. Indeed, he himself is not his own. How can sons or wealth be his?"

"Few among men are they who cross to the further shore. The others merely run up and down the bank on this side."

'If a man practices himself what he admonishes others to do, he himslef, being well-controlled, will have control over others. It is difficult, indeed, to control oneself."

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read What the Buddha Taught.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.