Debunked: "You must love yourself before you love another" - fake Buddha quote


Senior Member.
I'm sure we've all heard the line "you must love yourself first, before you can truly love another" - and maybe even tried to apply it - but, notwithstanding the dubiousness of the advice, where does it come from?

Lately I've seen it ascribed to Buddha, with additional text, such as at AZ Quotes:
The first two sentences appear to be taken from the 1974 book 'The Nature of Personal Reality' by Jane Roberts:
The third sentence appears to be from Sharon Salzberg's 1995 book, “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness":
Nothing in Buddhist scripture, however, matches these words.

How the two quotes became joined together may be as a result of a 2012 blog post at psychology "The 50 Best Quotes on Self-Love". In the section titled "Love Yourself"...
See also: for a possible explanation of why Salzberg credited those words to Buddha, as well as other further details (great site)
Last edited:


Senior Member


Senior Member.
here in 1979 some Buddhist guy is talking about Buddha's "Love yourself" (page 65) quote and how if you love others without first loving yourself then it is ego.

so maybe its one of those quotes where they 'simplify' it, to get a general idea [of Buddha's] across. I don't want to study Buddha's love 'yourself ideas' to find out though.


Senior Member.
Good work! :)

I subsequently found the matching quote in a 1974 'Seth' book, and updated the OP accordingly.

The "Buddhist guy" you mention is famed cult leader Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh - now more commonly known as 'Osho' - whose followers were the subject of a recent Netflix series, 'Wild, Wild Country'.

He was a man who played fast and loose with his quotes too - among other things - and I'd say the one he was referring to above is another he's put his own spin on. It's actually chapter 12 of the Dhammapada: a more traditional translation might begin, "If one regards oneself as dear, one should guard oneself right well [...] should establish oneself in what is suitable" as opposed to Osho's "Love yourself [...] establish yourself in the Way."

He was known as "the sex guru" and his followers carried automatic weapons. Not that Buddhist, really. ;)
Last edited:


New Member
He was known as "the sex guru" and his followers carried automatic weapons. Not that Buddhist, really. ;)

He was not Buddhist in any sense at all, actually. He might best be described as "neo-Hindu." He was from a Hindu background but did his own thing. He never identified himself as a Buddhist.

And thanks, everyone, for tracking down the references. I'd already written up the Salzberg quote on my Fake Buddha Quotes site, but wasn't aware of the Roberts' quote until Rory brought it to my attention.

It's great to know that this site exists. Keep it up!


Senior Member.
The third sentence appears to be from Sharon Salzberg's 1995 book, “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness":

According to the Buddha, “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."

Nothing in Buddhist scripture, however, matches these words.​
As pointed out by Bodhipaksa on his own website, the Salzberg quote first appeared about six years earlier, in a magazine called 'Woman of Power' (either issue 12, 13, or 14). In an article titled 'Paths of the Heart: Loving Ourselves', she wrote:
While the second quote is, at best, a well-intentioned but questionable alternative interpretation of Udana 5.1, the first is more or less right, coming from verse 5 of the Dhammapada:
"Non-hatred" is not the same as "love" - it's a broad term that could encompass all manner of states of mind and actions - but the word "love" is perhaps more pleasing to our modern sensibilities, and better fitted Salzberg's agenda during the writing of the article and the book.

That said, there are other texts which elaborate on what non-hatred (of another person) might look like, such as sutta 5.161 of the Aṅguttara Nikāya, which advises: developing good will, or compassion, or equanimity; paying no attention to them; or contemplating and understanding why they are the way they are - most of which could be interpreted as "loving".

Nowhere in there, however, do we find support for Salzberg's assertion that Buddha was also talking about "self-hatred" and "self-love", or that he advised we "discover the meaning of true intimacy with ourselves."

'Tis a shame people feel they have to make stuff up to support what are already good and harmless ideas in their own right.​
Last edited:

David Fraser

Senior Member.
Purely anecdotal but I studied Carl Rogers and person centred counselling. The phrase came up quite a lot but not quite a lot that I can pin the source down.
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
J.d.K Debunked: Marx: "The classes and the races too weak to master the new conditions must give way... They must perish in the revolutionary Holocaust" Quotes Debunked 0
deirdre Debunked:'Everyone must Check In Sign' evidence of FEMA Drill Sandy Hook 25
Mick West Debunked: Kids saying "Kite hit steel plane must" in class on 9/11 9/11 12
Mick West Debunked: "we must either reduce the earth's population to 1 billion ..." Quotes Debunked 74
Oystein Debunked: Gibraltar cancels Christmas Coronavirus COVID-19 5
Mythic Suns [Debunked] Viral internet meme indirectly claiming that Greenland has already fully melted. Science and Pseudoscience 6
T AiG Debunked: Fossils Fail to Find Major Transition From Dinosaurs to Birds Science and Pseudoscience 10
Rory Debunked: UK undertaker's claim that Covid vaccine is responsible for spike in deaths Coronavirus COVID-19 7
Marc Powell Debunked: 9/11 truth experts are knowledgeable professionals and their judgments are to be trusted 9/11 195
Marc Powell Debunked: Explosions preparatory to demolition of the WTC North Tower are visible as Flight 175 crashes into the South Tower 9/11 7
Mick West Debunked: Pfizer Developing a Twice-Per-Day COVID Pill, Taken Alongside Vaccines Coronavirus COVID-19 0
Marc Powell Debunked: Demolition “squib” is visible at top of WTC North Tower before Flight 11 crash 9/11 67
Marc Powell Debunked: Construction worker Philip Morelli experienced an explosion in the sub-basement of the North Tower 9/11 0
Marc Powell Debunked: ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos reported an explosion in the subway 9/11 1
Marc Powell Debunked: Debris from twin towers was projected upward by explosives 9/11 13
Marc Powell Debunked: Government officials revealed having foreknowledge of Building 7’s collapse 9/11 58
Marc Powell Debunked: NIST computer simulation of Building 7 collapse is inaccurate 9/11 22
Marc Powell Debunked: FEMA reported finding evidence that steel had melted. 9/11 47
Marc Powell Debunked: VP Dick Cheney ordered a standdown of jet fighters on 9/11 9/11 16
Oystein Debunked: Claim that Bobby McIlvaine's injuries ("lacerations") are best explained as result of glass shards and debris from bombs 9/11 22
Marc Powell Debunked: World Trade Center should not have collapsed due to 9/11 fires 9/11 3
Marc Powell Debunked: Firefighter reports of secondary explosions 9/11 3
Marc Powell Debunked: Steel was hurled hundreds of feet by explosives 9/11 4
Marc Powell Debunked: Demolition Explosion Before Collapse of South Tower 9/11 8
Marc Powell Debunked: Explosion in South Tower Lobby 9/11 7
Marc Powell Debunked: Mysterious Explosion Before the Flight 11 Crash 9/11 48
dimebag2 Poll : Which DOD Navy video do you consider debunked ? UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 74
Mick West Debunked: Diving Triangle UFO Photos from Reddit [Fake] UFOs and Aliens 37
Theferäl [Debunked] Object Seen From Airplane Above Canberra: 04 Apr 2012 Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 5
TEEJ Debunked: Claim that Joe Biden's hand passes through microphone during White House press gaggle, 16th March 2021 Election 2020 9
bird_up Debunked: "Interdimensional being" caught on CCTV in Neza, Mexico Ghosts, Monsters, and the Paranormal 6
M Debunked: Atmospheric pressure on Mars is 9 PSI, not 0.09 PSI as claimed by NASA Science and Pseudoscience 76
Patrick Gonzalez Debunked: missing cable on Perseverance landing footage proves it is fake. General Discussion 3
TEEJ Debunked: Biden's Oval Office "Coming Apart at the Seams" [It's a Door] Election 2020 19
derrick06 Debunked: UFO over California Highway (TMZ) UFOs and Aliens 1
P Debunked: 7 Alleged photos of aliens UFOs and Aliens 9
Mick West Debunked: Biden signing "Blank" Executive Orders Election 2020 5
Mick West Debunked: Biden in "Fake" Oval Office Election 2020 27
P Debunked: UN hidden camera: the first UFO contact happened [Deep Fake] UFOs and Aliens 3
Mick West Debunked: 94% of Fulton County Ballots Manually Adjudicated [It's a Process all Batches go Through] Election 2020 0
Mick West Debunked: "Missile Strike" caused Nashville Explosion General Discussion 3
Mick West Debunked: Nashville Explosion was "Across the Street" from the RV General Discussion 0
Mick West Debunked: "Error rate of 68.5% Allowable is .0008%" [Neither is True] Election 2020 4
Mick West Debunked: Claim that the Electoral College Count On Jan 6 will Change the Election Election 2020 136
Rory Debunked: Einstein wrote "blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth" Quotes Debunked 12
Mick West Debunked: Navid Keshavarz-Nia's Claims of "A Sudden Rise in Slope" as Election Fraud Evidence Election 2020 5
Mick West Debunked: Trump's Claim of "1,126,940 votes created out of thin air" in PA Election 2020 9
Mick West Debunked: Crowder's "Fraud Week" Title Graphic (and Why it Matters) Election 2020 1
JFDee Debunked: Democratic senators complained about 'vote switching' by Dominion voting machines in 2019 Election 2020 2
Mendel Debunked: The Democrats are trying to take away freedom of religion Election 2020 6
Related Articles

Related Articles