What Did Buddha Say About Gratitude? 35 Quotes Explained

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What did Buddha have to say about gratitude? Before we look at the quotes from Buddha about gratitude, let’s briefly discuss the role of gratitude in this world religion.

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You may also be interested in quotes by Buddha about death and the afterlife

What Is the Role of Gratitude in Buddhism?

According to BuddhistDoor Global, gratitude is an important virtue in Buddhist teaching. “In the Kataññu Suttas, gratitude is manifested as gratefulness and thankfulness. In addition, the Buddha taught that gratitude is a reflection of someone’s integrity and civility.”

According to an article called “Jack Kornfield on Gratitude and Mindfulness,” gratefulness should be extended to difficult times as well. One Buddhist prayer reads, “May I be given the appropriate difficulties so that my heart can truly open with compassion.” Being grateful for difficulties “is a key component of living a spiritual life—and more broadly, to a fulfilling and meaningful life.”

Popular Buddha Quotes on Gratitude

What did Buddha have to say about gratitude? Here are the quotes we found that are attributed to Buddha. 

1. “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.” – Gautama Buddha

Well, this quote certainly encourages others to look on the bright side of life. 

2. “Good men and bad men differ radically. Bad men never appreciate kindness shown them, but wise men appreciate and are grateful. Wise men try to express their appreciation and gratitude by some return of kindness, not only to their benefactor, but to everyone else.” – Gautama Buddha

If you are wise, you will spread gratitude and appreciation throughout the world. 

3. “Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Gautama Buddha

At its core, gratitude is about being content, which Buddha refers to as the “greatest wealth.”

4. “Offend in neither word nor deed. Eat with moderation. Live in your heart. Seek the highest consciousness. Master yourself according to the law. This is the simple teaching of the awakened.” – Gautama Buddha

This quote is up to you to interpret, but these are Buddha’s guidelines to become “awakened.”

5. “The greatest victory is the one over oneself.” – Gautama Buddha

Perhaps gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you. If so, this quote might speak to you.

6. “Always be mindful of the kindness and not the faults of others.” – Gautama Buddha

In other words, show appreciation for the kindness of other people.

7.“If you are poor, live wisely. If you have riches, live wisely. It is not your station in life but your heart that brings blessings.” – Gautama Buddha

Having a thankful heart is important no matter your station in life.

8. “I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.” – Gautama Buddha

Are you looking for other quotes about gratitude? Check out Cake’s blog!

9. “Know well what holds you back, and what moves you forward.” – Gautama Buddha

Perhaps not having gratitude for your blessings in life is what is holding you back.

10. “Imagine that every person in the world is enlightened but you. They are all your teachers, each doing just the right things to help you learn perfect patience, perfect wisdom, perfect compassion.” – Gautama Buddha

What could others be teaching you about yourself?

11. “For those who are always courteous and respectful of elders, four things increase: life, beauty, happiness and strength.” – Gautama Buddha

Show appreciation to your parents, grandparents, and others who came before you.

12. “Look not to the faults of others, nor to their omissions and commissions. But rather look to your own acts, to what you have done and left undone.” – Gautama Buddha

Perhaps your faults include not offering gratitude to a person or situation when you should have. 

13. “Mind is everything. What we think, we become.” – Gautama Buddha

Thinking positive thoughts will turn you into a positive person.

14. “It is our own thoughts that lead us into trouble, not other people.” – Gautama Buddha

Take control of your thoughts to take control of your life.

15. “Conquer anger by love, evil by good; conquer the miser with liberality, and the liar with truth.” – Gautama Buddha

Perhaps love and gratitude are closely connected.

16. “You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Gautama Buddha

We love this quote about the importance of loving and appreciating yourself.

17. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought; what we think we become.” – Gautama Buddha

Much of Buddha’s teaching is about the importance of controlling and managing our thoughts.

18. “We are what we think, and all that we are rises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak and act with a pure mind and happiness will follow.” – Gautama Buddha

We love that phrase – “with our thoughts we make the world.”

19. “Easy to do are things that are bad and harmful to oneself. But exceedingly difficult to do are things that are good and beneficial.” – Gautama Buddha

Living a life of gratitude and one of appreciation isn’t always going to be easy.

20. “The tongue like a sharp knife ... Kills without drawing blood.” – Gautama Buddha

Instead, messages of gratitude and appreciation soothe a person’s soul.

21. “Mutual respect and mutual listening are the foundations of harmony within the family.” – Gautama Buddha

Consider this thought if things are going well with your familial relationships.

22. “Do not be jealous of others’ good qualities, but out of admiration adopt them yourself.” – Gautama Buddha

If you admire someone’s ability to be positive, then be positive.

23. “In this world Hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate. This is the law, Ancient and inexhaustible.” – Gautama Buddha

Time doesn’t change the truths of life.

24. “Your days pass like rainbows, like a flash of lightning, like a star at dawn. Your life is short. How can you quarrel?” – Gautama Buddha

Since our days go by quickly, it is wise to learn to appreciate each one.

25. “Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care, for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.” – Gautama Buddha

Your kids are listening. What are you teaching them by the words you are uttering?

26. “Joy comes not through possession or ownership but through a wise and loving heart.” – Gautama Buddha

We would also argue that joy comes from a grateful heart.

27. “You are far from the end of your journey. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart. See how you love.” – Gautama Buddha

What is in your heart?

28. “There are no chains like hate...dwelling on your brother’s faults multiplies your own. You are far from the end of your journey.” – Gautama Buddha

Instead of dwelling on faults, dwell on the gifts of the world.

29. “When you come upon a path that brings benefit and happiness to all, follow this course as the moon journeys through the stars.” – Gautama Buddha

A grateful heart is a happy heart.

30. “Our mind is full of anger, jealousy and other negative feelings. Yet we do not realize that these are incompatible with inner peace and joy.” – Gautama Buddha

Consider replacing your anger and jealousy with gratitude.

31. “The end of desire is the end of sorrow.” – Gautama Buddha

Learn to appreciate what you have instead of desiring more.

32. “Let your diet be spare, your wants moderate, your needs few. So, living modestly, with no distracting desires, you will find content.” – Gautama Buddha

The Buddha spoke a lot about modest living with few distractions.

33. “​​I knew that most people never see this reality because they attach to the material aspect of the world. Illusions of self and other fill their vision. I also realized there are those with little dust limiting their vision.” – Gautama Buddha

Materialism limits our sight.

34. “Man’s troubles are rooted in extreme attention to senses, thoughts, and imagination. Attention should be focused internally to experience a quiet body and a calm mind.” – Gautama Buddha

Focusing your mind on life’s blessings would help you achieve a calm mind.

35. “Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts. No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.” – Gautama Buddha

We also need to remember to be compassionate with ourselves.

Life Lessons

Buddha had a great deal to say about achieving a calm mind and inner peace in life. Hopefully, these quotes will inspire you to live the best life possible. 


Sources:
  1. Gregoire, Carolyn. “Jack Kornfield on Gratitude and Mindfulness.” Greater Good Magazine. 19 May 2014. Greatergood.berkeley.edu Accessed 22 February 2022.
  2. Ng, Ernest Chi-Hin, “Gratitude Is Being Taken for Granted.” Buddhist Door Global. 29 September 2020. Buddhistdoor.net. Accessed 22 February 2022.

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