Some memorable sutta quotes in less than 140 characters, please!

Hi everyone,

I’m revising the “random quote” widget on the SC Home page. Currently we use a series of quotes that were originally sourced from Ven Yuttadhammo’s DPR. These are great, but quite long. I want something to glance at, not to read. Basically, no longer than a tweet. I’ve put together some examples, but I’d like your suggestions. No more than two lines of verse, or the equivalent. Please include the SC ID if you can.

The quotes can be abbreviated, they need not be 100% literal.

Some of the ones I have already included:

Mind is the forerunner of all things

Good friendship is the whole of the spiritual path.

When they have fulfilled this noble ethics, they experience a blameless happiness inside themselves.

The little streams are noisy,
but silent flow the great rivers.


From AN 8.30:

From the Dhammapada:

From AN 10.99:


Thanks! Do you have a verse number for Dhammapada?

Dhp 264-265:
A shaven head
doesn’t mean a contemplative.
The liar observing no duties,
filled with greed & desire:
what kind of contemplative’s he?

But whoever tunes out
the dissonance
of his evil qualities
— large or small —
in every way
by bringing evil to consonance:
he’s called a contemplative.


The path leading to Nibbana - that is where my mind delights
SN 8.1

We will be grateful and thankful, and we will not overlook even the least favour done to us
SN 20.12

With a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings.
Snp 1.8

(Note: sorry these are not the SC translations :flushed:)


Thanks, Cara.

No worries, i will use my own translations in any case.


The fire of delusion burns the bewildered,
Ignorant of the Noble One’s Dhamma.

This is a designation for this Noble Eightfold Path: ‘the divine vehicle’ and ‘the vehicle of Dhamma’ and ‘the unsurpassed victory in battle.

Why now do you assume ‘a being’?
This is a heap of sheer formations:
Here no being is found.

Get up and sit! What need of sleep!
For the sick what rest is there, pierced by the dart of pain?

Don’t you know the arahants’ maxim?
'How inconstant are compounded things! Their nature to arise & pass away. They disband as they are arising. Their total stilling is bliss.


(some edited for length)

Sutta Nipata 4.15

Overcome by [the arrow embedded in the heart] you run in all directions.
But simply on pulling it out you don’t run, you don’t sink.

Moving rightly through the world, [the sage] doesn’t envy anyone here.

[One who] feels so sense of mine-ness, doesn’t grieve at the thought ‘I have nothing’.

The sage doesn’t speak of himself as among those who are higher, equal, or lower.

Whatever things are tied down in the world, you shouldn’t be set on them.

Having totally penetrated sensual pleasures & passions, you should train for your own unbinding.

Sutta Nipata 5.4

Free of craving, untroubled, undesiring — he, I tell you, has crossed over birth & aging.

Sutta Nipata 5.6

Abandoning sensual pleasures, abstaining from conversations, keep watch for the ending of
craving, night & day.

When all phenomena are done away with, all means of speaking are done away with as well.

Sutta Nipata 5.10

Having nothing, clinging to no thing: That’s Unbinding, I tell you, the total ending of aging & death.

Sutta Nipata 5.15

Always mindful, regard the world as empty. One who regards the world in this way isn’t seen by Death’s King.

1 Like

The translation on SC is a bit different.

Not by shaven head does a man who is indisciplined and untruthful become a monk.


I broke your 2-line rule for some of these out of necessity.

MN 19
Bhikkhus, whatever a bhikkhu frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind.

MN 22
Bhikkhus, that one can engage in sensual pleasures without sensual desires, without perceptions of sensual desire, without thoughts of sensual desire – that is impossible.

MN 28
Friends, just as when a space is enclosed by timber and creepers, grass, and clay, it comes to be termed just ‘house’, so too, when a space is enclosed by bones and sinews, flesh and skin, it comes to be termed just ‘material form’.

MN 50
There has never been found a fire
Which intends, ‘Let me burn the fool,’
But a fool who assaults a fire
Burns himself by his own doing.

SN 12.52
Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating gratification in things that can be clung to, craving increases.

Bhikkhus, when one dwells contemplating danger in things that can be clung to, craving ceases.

SN 14.35
One who seeks delight in suffering, I say, is not freed from suffering.

One who does not seek delight in suffering, I say, is freed from suffering.

SN 35.91
For whatever one conceives, bhikkhus, whatever one conceives in, whatever one conceives from, whatever one conceives as ‘mine’ – that is otherwise. The world, becoming otherwise, attached to existence, seeks delight only in existence.

SN 35.101
Whatever is not yours: let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term happiness & benefit.

AN 8.8
“Whatever is well spoken is all the word of the Blessed One, the Arahant, the Perfectly Enlightened One. I myself and others derive our good words from him.”

Dhp 118
Should a person do good, let him do it again and again. Let him form a desire for it, for blissful is the accumulation of good.

Dhp 211
Therefore, hold nothing dear, for separation from the dear is painful. There are no bonds for those who have nothing beloved or unloved.

Dhp 365
One should not despise what one has received, nor envy the gains of others. The monk who envies the gains of others does not attain to meditative absorption.


Just so you know, that’s an absolute rule, I will exclude all quotes longer than 140 characters. :man_shrugging:

MN 2

Bound by a fetter of views, the uninstructed run-of-the-mill person is not freed from birth, aging, & death, from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair.

MN 8

Others will have thoughts of ill will; we shall not have thoughts of ill will here — thus effacement can be done.

Others will be angry; we shall not be angry here — thus effacement can be done.

Others will be hostile; we shall not be hostile here — thus effacement can be done.

MN 22

Therefore, monks, whatever isn’t yours: Let go of it. Your letting go of it will be for your long-term welfare & happiness.

MN 26

Why do I, being subject myself to birth, seek what is likewise subject to birth?

I shaved off my hair & beard, put on the ochre robe and went forth from the home life into homelessness.

1 Like

One who repays an angry man with anger
Thereby makes things worse for himself.
Not repaying an angry man with anger,
One wins a battle hard to win.


Thig 6.6

Surely for the good of so many
Did Maya give birth to Gotama,
Who bursts asunder the mass of pain
Of those stricken by sickness and death.

Thig 10

I’ve cut out the arrow, put down the burden, done the task.
I, KisaGotami Theri, my heart well-released, have said this.

1 Like

Good to know!


But… two of the four examples you cited in the OP, “already included”, break that rule ! ?

See them, floundering in their sense of mine,
like fish in the puddles of a dried-up stream…

SN 4.2


Do not consider the faults of others or what they have or haven’t done.
Consider rather what you yourself have or haven’t done.

Dhp 50


Perhaps you need to read the following quote by Christopher:

But in all seriousness, you’re miscounting: the longest in the OP is 100 characters.

True. It turns out I was using the “word/character count” feature/tool in a word-processor on another machine, which counted twice as many chars – maybe it was counting unicode characters two bytes as two characters? The counts on this machine are about half as much.

(I don’t understand the reference to the other quotation?)