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This week I got twice the “18 Rules for Living” attributed to the Dalai Lama. The first time I received it via a Powerpoint presentation attached to an email asking me to share it within 96 hours with many people, claiming tremendous benefit I would receive by spreading it. The second time I received it today via a Newsletter of a respected Buddhist organization, included in the Losar New Years’ greetings of a most wonderful, kind and wise teacher. There it was said:
Let us all remember The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living:
- Take into account that great love & great achievements involve great risk.
- When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
- Follow the three Rs: – Respect for self – Respect for others – Responsibility for all your actions.
- Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
- Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
- Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
- When you realize you have made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
- Spend some time alone every day.
- Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
- Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
- Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older & think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
- A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
- In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
- Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
- Be gentle with the earth.
- Once a year, go someplace you have never been before.
- Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
- Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
Now, look more closely on those rules: is this the way the Dalai Lama expresses himself? Is this his way he puts things or is it the Dalai Lama’s style of phrasing things? Does he have an attitude or a tendency to render things in such slogans? Would he really say: “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly”? – a man, who always lists among the good qualities a human being should cultivate self-discipline?
I replied to both persons, that I think these 18 rules are a fake. To the Buddhist teacher I expressed my doubts and added some reasons why I believe that this is not from the Dalai Lama. After I sent the email I checked on the internet if these 18 rules are by the Dalai Lama, and, indeed they are a fake: Not again! The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules for Living: Another fake
But there are more Dalai Lama fake quotes and recordings.
Did you ever stumble upon “The Paradox of Our Time” by the Dalai Lama?
The paradox of our time.
We have bigger houses but smaller families.
We have more degrees but less sense;
more knowledge but less judgements;
more experts but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness.
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but we have trouble crossing the street
to meet the new neighbour.
We build more computers
to hold more information,
to produce more copies than ever,
but we have less communication.
We have become long on quantity
but short on quality.
These are times of fast foods,
but slow digestion;
tall man, but short character;
steep profits, but shallow relationships.
It is time when there is much in the window
but nothing in the room.
You can apply the same analysis: is this the way the Dalai Lama renders things? Would he say this? I doubted that always, and I always saw it as a fake. In Italy, at Istituto Lama Tsong Khapa, where I studied they sell it even in the shop to people.
The attribution of “The Paradox of Our Time” to the Dalai Lama is also wrong: http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/paradox.asp
The reason why I became more cautious in these matters is that I was fooled in the past by a mantra that was given to me by prisoners some years ago on a CD that claimed that “This is a recording of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his entourage chanting prayers at the sickbed of his dear friend Vaclav Havel.” I believed it naively to be true and posted it on New Kadampa Survivors. You can find it here on YouTube:
Later a member of the New Kadampa Survivor forum found out that it is simply a Hindu Mantra called the Gayatri Mantra: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayatri_Mantra Details of the recording’s origin can be found here: http://spatula.net/blog/2007/03/not-dalai-lama.html
Realize how you are fooled believing what the video claims:
This is a recording of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and his entourage chanting prayers at the sickbed of his dear friend Vaclav Havel.
It was recorded on a battery powered hand-held tape recorder. His Holiness gave his permission to for it to be reproduced and given as a non-commercial FREE gift.
Why do I think it matters to be careful in this regard?
Some yeas ago in Germany, the Dalai Lama was nastily attacked by an online newspaper article for his “naive sayings” but when I checked what they claimed the Dalai Lama had said, I found out, that it was not from the Dalai Lama but an anonymous website full of such sayings. So they attacked him as being naive and foolish for things he never said, and a lot of people believed this online newspaper article.
I think this is not a good development and I wish people are more careful. In the long run it distorts the real message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama which is by far profounder than many of those superficial sayings that sound nice but don’t have much of a substance. The Dalai Lama has a special way of expressing himself and how he renders things, with some carefulness you can prevent to spread things the Dalai Lama never said. And I would like to invite you also to be more careful. Thank you.
- Einstein, the Dalai Lama, and the Forgotten Art of Fact Checking (The article mentions a Forbes magazine article, “The Dalai Lama is Wrong,” based on an erroneous quote, wrongly attributed to the Dalai Lama. The article still stands today, with no postscript addressing the error though it was pointed out by the commentators in the comment section.)
- 7 Things the Buddha Never Said – Thanissaro Bhikkhu
- Fake Buddha quotes by Justin Whitaker
- I Can’t Believe Its Not Buddha! – Bodhipaksa
- More fake Buddha quotes…
- DALAI LAMA QUOTE ON FACEBOOK ABOUT MAN SACRIFICE AND HEALTH IS A HOAX!