What is the meaning of “love”?
The Buddha’s view is quite the contrary to the modern understanding of romantic love, which often involves lust, desire, mind obsession and attachment and is not exclusive. This kind of so-called “love”, for Buddha in fact, is discouraged. Love in Buddhism is “loving-kindness” (metta) and “compassion” which are concepts complementary to each other: compassion is the desire to be free from suffering and loving-kindness is the desire for the others to be happy. The Buddhist’s definition of love is not specific to certain relationships, but is universal connected to humanity and all beings.
The Buddha’s teachings on love will help us to be emotionally strong and independent, to be able to see the mind’s addictions, attachment, the need for pleasure and good memories with only specific individuals. They will help us cultivate a heart of loving-kindness and compassion to be more universal in our love.
The quotes below are verified to be the exact words spoken by the Buddha in the scriptures. We have also included the so-called “fake” Buddha quotes which are often new-age interpretations of his teachings or simply made up.
May these quotes bring you love and peace in the heart.
Buddhist Quotes on Love
1. “Should a seeker not find a companion who is better or equal, let them resolutely pursue a solitary course.” The Buddha
2. “If anyone were to reproach you right to your face, … you should train yourself thus: ‘Neither shall my mind be affected by this, nor shall I give vent to evil words; but I shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and I shall not give in to hatred.'” The Buddha, Kakacupama Sutta
3. “If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love.” Thich Nhat Hanh
4. “The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” Thich Nhat Hanh
5. “When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Buddha’s Quotes on Loving-Kindness
6. Give, even if you only have a little. The Buddha, the Dhammapada, verse 224
6. When watching after yourself, you watch after others. When watching after others, you watch after yourself. The Buddha, from the Samyutta Nikaya
8. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal. The Buddha, from Dhammapada, verse 5
9. Just as with her own life a mother shields from hurt her own son, her only child, let all-embracing thoughts for all beings be yours. The Buddha, from Metta Sutta
10. On all occasions … you should train yourselves thus: ‘Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.’ The Buddha, from Kakacupama Sutta
11. Understanding is the heartwood of well-spoken words. The Buddha, from the Kimsila Sutta
12. May all beings be happy and safe. May they have happy minds. The Buddha, Kakacupama Sutta
13. Just as a mother would protect her only child with her life, even so let one cultivate a boundless love towards all beings. The Buddha, Karaniya Metta Sutta
14. We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by lovingkindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it. The Buddha, Samyutta Nikaya
16. Set your heart on doing good. Do it over and over again, and you will be filled with joy. The Buddha
17. If you know something hurtful and not true, don’t say it. If you know something hurtful and true, don’t say it. If you know something helpful but not true, don’t say it. If you know something helpful and true, find the right time to say it. The Buddha
18. Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception. The Buddha
19. You can search the world over and you will find no one who is more deserving of your kindness and well wishing than you yourself.
20. If you knew what I know about the power of giving, you would not let a single meal pass without sharing it in some way.
21. Radiate boundless love towards the entire world — above, below, and across — unhindered, without ill will, without enmity. The Buddha, Karaniya Metta Sutta
22. Searching in all directions with your awareness, you find no one dearer than yourself.
23. Whatever living beings there may be — feeble or strong, long, stout, or of medium size, short, small, large, those seen or those unseen, those dwelling far or near, those who are born as well as those yet to be born — may all beings have happy minds. The Buddha, from Karaniya Metta Sutta
24. In the same way, others are thickly dear to themselves. So you shouldn’t hurt others if you love yourself. The Buddha, the Udāna
25. Life is dear to all beings. They have the right to live the same that we do. The Buddha
26. Harm no other beings. They are just your brothers and sisters. The Buddha
27. Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule. The Buddha
See also: Eckhart Tolle’s Quotes on Ego
Buddha’s Quotes on Compassion
Compassion is the quality of responding to suffering with care and attention, and an important quality to cultivate.
28. ‘As I am, so are these. As are these, so am I.’ Drawing the parallel to yourself, neither kill nor get others to kill. The Buddha, from Nalaka Sutta
29. In whom there is no sympathy for living beings: know him as an outcast. The Buddha, Sutta Nipata
30. If a man going down into a river, swollen and swiftly flowing, is carried away by the current — how can he help others across? As I The Buddha, the Sutta Nipata
31. All tremble at violence; all fear death. Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill. The Buddha, the Dhammapada, verse 129
32. One is not called noble who harms living beings. By not harming living beings one is called noble. The Buddha, the Dhammapada, verse 270
See also: Buddha’s Quotes on Friendship
Fake Buddha quotes on Love and Relationship
34. A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another, the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden. Unknown source
35. Judge nothing, you will be happy. Forgive everything, you will be happier. Love everything, you will be happiest. (Appeared in the article “6 Quotes By Buddha That Will Change How You See The World And Yourself” by Sinem Günel)
36. “You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy.” (Appeared in “The Nature of Personal Reality,” by Jane Roberts)
37. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Real author: Plato
38. “You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” (Appeared in “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness,” Sharon Salzberg)
39. “Love is beauty and beauty is truth, and that is why in the beauty of a flower we can see the truth of the universe.” Unknown source
40. “To love our enemy is impossible. The moment we understand our enemy, we feel compassion towards him/her, and he/she is no longer our enemy.” Real author: Thich Nhat Hanh
41. “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” Real author: Steve Maraboli
42. “Love is a gift of one’s innermost soul to another so both can be whole.” Unknown source
43. “Until he has unconditional and unbiased love for all beings, man will not find peace.” Unknown source
44. “True love is born from understanding.” Unknown source
45. “You stand at the crossroads of the path of love and the path of fear. Which do you choose to follow?” (appeared in “Relaxation – Exercises and Inspirations for Well-Being”, by Sarah Brewer)
46. “Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.” (appeared in a 1641 play, The Sophy, by the Anglo-Irish poet and courtier, Sir John Denham)
47. “To those in whom love dwells, the whole world is but one family.
49. “In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.” (believed to be rewording of a quote from “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book” by Jack Kornfield)
50. “A true relationship is when you tell each other anything and everything. No secret. No lies.” Unknown source
See also: Quiet People Quotes