How to tell which teachings are really from the Buddha

‘Suppose a monk were to say:

“Friends, I heard and received this from the Lord’s own lips: this is the Dhamma, this is the discipline, this is the Master’s teaching”, then, monks, you should neither approve nor disapprove his words. Then, without approving or disapproving, his words and ex­pressions should be carefully noted and compared with the Suttas and reviewed in the light of the discipline.

  • If they, on such comparison and review, are found NOT to conform to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: “Assuredly this is not the word of the Buddha, it has been wrongly un­derstood by this monk”, and the matter is to be rejected.

  • But where on such comparison and review they are found to con­form to the Suttas or the discipline, the conclusion must be: “Assuredly this is the word of the Buddha, it has been rightly understood by this monk.”

DN 16 Mahāparinibbāna Sutta – The Great Passing, The Buddha’s Last Days http://www.palicanon.org/

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2 thoughts on “How to tell which teachings are really from the Buddha

  1. In other words, always, always double check a teaching by confirming that the Buddha himself said it in the Sutras/Suttas. As these days there are many people speaking and teaching what they think to be Buddhism, but when you actually double check what they have said and compare it to what the Buddha said – they are way off. Often, it’s unintentional because they are just repeating what their teacher taught them or what they read somewhere.

    By confirming your knowledge with what is said in the Sutras and Suttas – this way, you can keep the Buddha’s Dharma as pure for as long as possible. And then the teachings we share will then be as close to original as can be.

    For a list of Sutras and Suttas, please check my links page.

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