Understanding Buddhist perspectives on life and death
In Buddhism, it’s believed that there’s a continuous cycle of life, death, and rebirth. This cycle is known as samsara. A person’s rebirth is dependent on their actions and thoughts during their lifetime. People who attain enlightenment do not get reborn upon death. In other words, they become free from samsara—the ultimate goal in Buddhism.
Devoted Buddhists will likely already know what we have shared so far, but for omnists, the brief explanation will help you gain better appreciation of the quotes below. We hope that through the quotes, you may be comforted in this moment of loss.
These quotes remind us that nothing is ever forever, and death is but just part of the journey that everyone faces.
- “Everything is changeable, everything appears and disappears; there is no blissful peace until one passes beyond the agony of life and death.”
- “Times of luxury do not last long, but pass away very quickly; nothing in this world can be long enjoyed.”
- “Neither in the sky nor in mid-ocean nor by entering into mountain clefts, nowhere in the world is there a place where one may not be overcome by death.”
- “We are but guests visiting this world, though most do not know this. Those who see the real situation, no longer feel inclined to quarrel.”
These quotes reinforce the idea that people who have been kind and led a full life will enjoy the fruits of good karma in their next life.
- “Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely.”
- “Neither fire, nor wind, birth, nor death, can erase our good deeds.”
- “Perform those actions you will never regret: actions that will ripen into future joy and delight.”
- “One who drinks deeply of the Dharma with a clear and open mind, rests well.”
- “On the air they rise and fly an invisible course, gathering nothing, storing nothing… Joyous and clear like the lake, still as the stone at the door, (they are) free from life and death.”
- “If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts, happiness follows them like a never-departing shadow.”