Verses in Buddhism on Humankind and Creation

sutra from buddhism tripitaka pixabay

While there are various classifications of Buddhism, achieving the enlightened state of Buddhahood is the common goal of all Buddhists. In Tibetan Buddhism, for example, the Mahāyāna goal of spiritual development is to achieve the enlightenment of buddhahood in order to most efficiently help all other sentient beings attain this state.

Perhaps the best known and most highly revered representative of Buddhism alive today is the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. HH Dalai Lama, awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 1989, is a strong advocate for nature conservation, and offers thought-provoking guidance to people from all faiths and creeds.

“Universal Responsibility” in Buddhism

With respect for one another, and increased opportunities to share each other’s perspectives on life, faith, and nature, we find our horizons expanding, together with our consciousness. Relationships these days are built so easily, unhindered by geographical distances and boundaries. HH Dalai Lama speaks of this reality, and offers these wise words of guidance regarding humankind’s relationship with creation:

“The world grows smaller and smaller, more and more interdependent…today more than ever before life must be characterised by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.” 
“Whether they belong to more evolved species like humans or to simpler ones such as animals, all beings primarily seek peace, comfort, and security. Life is as dear to the mute animal as it is to any human being; even the simplest insect strives for protection from dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and does not wish to die, so it is with all other creatures in the universe, though their power to effect this is a different matter.” [-HH The 14th Dalai Lama]


Humankind, Creation, and Buddhist Scripture

Continuing on our path of exploration for EdenKeeper’s Saturday Sacred Scripture series, this week’s focus is on the sacred scriptures of Buddhism. As I am not a Buddhist, I must beg pardon for any mistakes in my attempt to share these quotes within their proper scriptural context. Please feel free to offer corrections in the comment section below.

The “Dhammapada,” is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in verse form and one of the most widely read and best known Buddhist scriptures. Generally speaking, dhamma refers to “doctrine” or “eternal truth,” and pada refers to “foot,” meaning either “path” or “verse.”

The Buddhist Tripitaka

The original version of the Dhammapada is in the Khuddaka Nikaya, a division of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism. The Khuddaka Nikaya is part of the Sutta Pitaka. The Sutta Pitaka is the first of the “three baskets,” or “Tripitaka,” as they are collectively known in the Sanskrit language.

Tripitaka is the traditional term used by Buddhist traditions to describe their various canons of scriptures. The expression “Three Baskets” originally referred to three baskets holding the scrolls on which scriptures of Buddhism were originally preserved.


Hence, the Tripiṭaka traditionally contains three “baskets” of instruction: a Sūtra Piṭaka, consisting of the Buddha’s speeches, or Mahayana sutras; the Vinaya Piṭaka, consisting of rules and regulations of monastic life; and an Abhidharma Piṭaka, containing interpretations of Buddhist doctrine.

According to tradition, the Dhammapada’s verses were spoken by the Buddha on various occasions. Curated from, the following quotes from the Dhammapada with accompanying public domain images are offered for furthering our respect and appreciation for Buddhist enlightenment, especially as it illuminates humankind’s relationship with nature, or creation:

image “Good people shine from afar, like the snowy mountains; evil people are not seen, like arrows shot at night.”

image “He whose evil deeds are removed by good deeds done, brightens up this world, like the moon when freed from clouds.”

image “Through vigilance, restraint and control the wise will construct an island that no flood will overcome.”

image “As a solid rock is not shaken by the wind, wise people falter not amidst blame and praise.”

image “As a single drop of water fills a bucket, so do small deeds of evil; as a single drop of water fills a bucket, so do small deeds of good.”


For more beautiful verses and images, see the previous articles in this series:

Water’s Beauty in Nature and Islam

Creation & Stewardship in the Hebrew & Christian Bible With Images

Creation in the Christian New Testament Bible

Sikh Hymns Illuminate Creation and Creator

more to come, God Willing…

Please feel free to download and share these images, and don’t forget to hit the social media share buttons, as well. Also, please leave a comment below with your favorite verses on Nature or Creation and be sure to include its source, so it can be considered in an upcoming article in this series. We are hoping to cover every faith possible, and your help is very welcome!
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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.