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Quote on Enlightenment and Ignorance

I have recently come accross the following quote as being attributed to Buddha:

“Enlightenment exists solely because of delusion and ignorance; if they disappear, so will enlightenment. And the opposite is sure also: there is no enlightenment apart from delusion and ignorance; no delusion and ignorance apart from enlightenment.”

If you Google it it will lead you to a book entitled “The Teachings of Buddha”, by Bukkyō Dendō Kyōkai and to this page: http://www.humanistictexts.org/buddha.htm

In fact, it is part of a whole quote in theory based on the suttas/sutras:

"This I have heard:

30 Enlightenment has no definite form or nature by which it can manifest itself; so in enlightenment itself there is nothing to be enlightened.
Enlightenment exists solely because of delusion and ignorance; if they disappear, so will enlightenment. And the opposite is sure also: there is no enlightenment apart from delusion and ignorance; no delusion and ignorance apart from enlightenment.
Therefore, be on guard against thinking of enlightenment as a “thing” to be grasped at, lest it, too, should become an obstruction. When the mind that was in darkness becomes enlightened, it passes away, and with its passing, the thing which we call enlightenment passes also.
As long as people desire enlightenment and grasp at it, it means that delusion is still with them; therefore, those who are following the way to enlightenment must not grasp at it, and if they reach enlightenment they must not linger in it.
When people attain enlightenment in this sense, it means that everything is enlightenment itself as it is; therefore, people should follow the path to enlightenment until in their thoughts, worldly passions and enlightenment become identical as they are."

It would be great to have your help confirming this quote!

Thanks in advance,

This is not from the EBTs. It sounds like a very loose paraphrase of the Prajnaparamita sutras, such as the Heart Sutra.

If you want to trace it in more detail, I highly recommend Fake Buddha Quotes.

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Hi Bhante Sujato,

This Bodhipaksa’s reply:

Hi, Gabriel.
“The Teachings of Buddha” has been the source of many Fake Buddha Quotes.
It’s a confusing book because it does include some scriptural passages, but most of it is modern commentary, including the passage you cited.
This definitely isn’t by the historical Buddha and is probably based on Zen teachings.
All the best,
Bodhipaksa

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Wow, that was fast!

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