Buddha Quotes on Friendship

42 Buddha Quotes on Friendship (Unique Understanding)

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The Buddha had a unique view towards friendships. Unlike the conventional emphasis of the importance of friendship, the Buddha actually did not promote seeking out or maintaining friendships as it will give rise to clinging and attachment and thus suffering. What the Buddha did say was good friends are beneficial to us.

Check out the following quotes by the Buddha (Siddhārtha Gautama) and Buddhist monks such as Dalai Lama XIV, Ajahn Brahm, Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu to know more about the Buddhist’s view on friendship. Also take a look at the so-called “fake” Buddha quotes to see the interesting difference with conventional wisdom.


Friends and Friendship

1. Be a good friend not only with other human beings, but also to yourself. Ajahn Brahm, on Friendship, Nov 25, 2011

Be a good friend not only with other human beings, but also to yourself. Ajahn Brahm

2. Friendship is the only cure for hatred, the only guarantee of peace. The Buddha

3. Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure. The Buddha, from Dhammapada, verse 76

4. When you share with a friend, you are talking with someone you can trust, it means you are also listening to yourself at the same time. And that’s where most of the understanding comes from. Ajahn Brahm, on Friendship, Nov 25, 2011

5. 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. Dalai Lama XIV

6. A good friend is someone who can just listen to you and support you. Ajahn Brahm, on Friendship, Nov 25, 2011

7. A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure. Dalai Lama XIV

8. Should you find a wise critic to point out your faults, follow him as you would a guide to hidden treasure. The Buddha

9. Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course. The Buddha

10. We will develop love, we will practice it, we will make it both a way and a basis. The Buddha

11. True friendship develops not as a result of money or power but on the basis of genuine human affection. Dalai Lama XIV Click To Tweet

12. The cry of jackals or of birds is understood with ease, but the word of men is far harder to understand. The Buddha

13. Our reason for being friends is arbitrary. The caring in itself is actually a danger for you because your happiness depends on somebody else. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Monk Radio: Friendship, 16 July 2014

14. The hardline Buddhist stance is that there is no worth in keeping any relationships. No relationships are worth anything because nothing in this world, that arises has any intrinsic worth and in the end even the good things you have to let go of. If you cling onto them as having some essential worth, you will get stuck. A raft is something you use to cross the river. It’s not something that you put on your back and carry with you. So, for good relationships you should be able to let go at the drop of a hat. … it shouldn’t be about attachments. … Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Monk Radio: Friendship, 16 July 2014

Related: Dalai Lama Quotes on Health, Happiness and Compassion


Bad friends and Enemy


15. He who walks in the company of fools suffers much. Company with fools, as with an enemy, is always painful. Company with the wise is pleasure, like meeting with kinfolk. The Buddha

16. If you cannot find a good companion to walk with, walk alone, like an elephant roaming the jungle. It is better to be alone than to be with those who will hinder your progress. The Buddha

17. Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course. The Buddha

18. An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind. The Buddha Click To Tweet

19. The hardline Buddhist stance is that there is not worth in keeping any relationships. The only relationship that is promoted by the Buddha is the association with good people … People who are your equal in morality, and concentration and wisdom, in practice, in discipline or better than you at those things. The association with these people has potential … For bad relationships, avoid these people in case they are dragging you down. The difference is a good relationship should be cultivated. For bad relationships, do not actively pursue them. So, if they come to you, there is no reason to cultivate the relationship. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Monk Radio: Friendship, 16 July 2014

20. Your worst enemy is your best teacher. The Buddha

21. It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. The Buddha

22. A man may think, “this is my friend, my comrade, of my kin,” but friendship goes, and often hate and enmity begin. The Buddha

23. I defeat my enemies when I make them my friends. Dalai Lama XIV

I defeat my enemies when I make them my friends. Dalai Lama

24. An outside enemy exists only if there is anger inside. The Buddha

Related: Quiet People Quotes


Trust and Caring


25. If you live your life honestly and truthfully, you’ll be open and transparent, which leads to trust. And trust leads to friendship. Dalai Lama

26. As social animals we need friends and what attracts them is trust. And trust grows when we show real concern for others’ well-being. Dalai Lama XIV

27. Caring somebody by action like taking care of someone like changing their bandages, talking to them, that’s ok. But to actually care about the person .. if they are happy, you are happy. When they suffer, you are unhappy. Your happiness depends on that person. Your caring for someone does not help that person in any way. It makes them feel cared for, which is good for people who have low esteem and need the support but it’s not a wholesome thing for you to care for the person. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Monk Radio: Friendship, 16 July 2014

28. There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills. The Buddha

29. Even an animal, if you show genuine affection, gradually trust develops… If you always showing bad face and beating, how can you develop friendship? Dalai Lama XIV Click To Tweet

30. To be truly happy, your love for the other has to be equanimous, universal. The Buddha’s love was universal he was able to have love for all beings, compassion for all beings without any partiality, so he had no caring about anyone in the sense of actually being upset .. if the person doesn’t like him. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu, Monk Radio: Friendship, 16 July 2014

See also: Unique Ways of Saying “You Are Amazing”

Fake Buddha Quotes on Friendship

31. A friend is someone who knows everything about your life and still loves you. (Real author: Elbert Hubbard)

32. Friendship is the purest love. It is the highest form of Love where nothing is asked for, no condition, where one simply enjoys giving. (Real author: Osho)

33. A true Friend’s silence hurts more than an enemy’s rough words. (Unknown author)

34. Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, But you know they are there. (Real author: Christy Evans)

35. Always love your friends from your heart and not from your needs. (Unknown author)

36. Many people will walk in and out of your life. But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. (Real author: Eleanor Roosevelt) Click To Tweet

37. A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. (Real author: The Bible, Proverbs 27:9)

38. It can be one of the hardest things in life to lose your best friend. (Unknown author)

39. The most valuable gift you can receive is an honest friend. (Real author: Stephen Richards)

40. What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris?

41. What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood? (Real author: Leonard Cohen)

42. Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light. (Real author: Helen Keller) Click To Tweet

See also: Eckhart Tolle’s Quotes on Death


Bonus: Buddhist’s View on Friendship (video)


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