Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Walpola Rahula Thero

1907 – 1997 CE

“Supreme Master of Buddhist Scriptures”

History professor, Ph.D. in philosophy, active socialist, and first Buddhist monk to hold a chair in a western university; Walpola both brought a more clear conception of Buddhism to the Western world and practical kind of Western politics to Sri Lanka. Given the title, “Supreme Master of Buddhist Scriptures,” he wrote extensively and taught at many universities including UCLA, Swarthmore College, and Western University. He encouraged monks to not only study and practice Buddhism but also to get involved in the political process as a way to translate meditative awareness into a practical influence on society and culture.


Unlisted Sources

What the Buddha Taught, 1959

Quotes by Walpola Rahula Thero (9 quotes)

“the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality… It is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations… to this false view can be traced all the evil in the world.”

from What the Buddha Taught, 1959

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“One may conquer millions in battle, but he who conquers himself—only one—is the greatest of conquerors.”

from What the Buddha Taught, 1959

Themes: Success

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“To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spiritual or intellectual.”

from What the Buddha Taught, 1959

Themes: Belief

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“Buddhism is neither pessimistic nor optimistic. If anything at all, it is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and the world. It looks at things objectively. It does not falsely lull you into living in a fool's paradise, nor does it frighten and agonize you with all kinds of imaginary fears and sins. It tells you exactly and objectively what you are and what the world around you is, and shows you the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.”

Themes: Buddhism Reality

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“All great work artistic, poetic, intellectual or spiritual is produced at those moments when creators forget themselves altogether and are free from self-consciousness.”

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“Truth needs no label: it is neither Buddhist, Christian, Hindu nor Moslem. It is not the monopoly of anybody. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men's minds.”

Themes: Truth Fanaticism

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“As long as you are conscious of yourself, you can never concentrate on anything.”

Themes: Skillful Means

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“Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in man: self-protection and self-preservation. For self-protection man has created God, on whom he depends for his own protection, safety and security, just as a child depends on its parent. For self-preservation man has conceived the idea of an immortal Soul or Atman, which will live eternally. In his ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, man needs these two things to console himself. Hence he clings to them deeply and fanatically.”

Themes: God Fanaticism

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“One can clearly see here that Buddhism is strongly opposed to any kind of war, when it lays down that trade in arms and lethal weapons is an evil and unjust means of livelihood.”

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