Posts Tagged "sutra of golden light"

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When reading, reciting, listening to, and thinking about the profound Sutra of Golden Light, all kinds of questions arise. Perhaps there are names you don’t recognize or want to know more about. Here is the place to ask about the Tathagata Ratnashikhin, the Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu, or the Noble Goddess Bodhisattvasamucchaya.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that the names of the buddhas in the four directions aren’t the same as you are used to. Are there different directional buddhas in different Buddhist traditions?

You may have questions about the history of the text itself. Why has this sutra been so important, so highly respected, for centuries? Is there more than one version? 

All questions and answers will be posted here.

Questions and Answers

Of course, this glorious sutra encompasses Buddhist practice, from temporal activities to profound realization, with repeated emphasis and direct teaching of dependent arising, but please keep questions focused on the Sutra of Golden Light rather than on Buddhism in general – for general questions about Buddhism in general go to

In 2006 the Root Institute Shakyamuni Community Health Care Centre, India was working on a project in a nearby village, and asked Rinpoche for advice regarding the safety of the people/workers going to that village. The advice came back from Rinpoche:

“It is important that whoever goes keeps Golden Light sutra and Diamond Cutter sutra actually on their body for protection” (meaning to print very small, wrap in a cloth and wear as a protection on the body).

Again in 2010, a student asked Rinpoche for advice regarding safety as she was alone and in some dangerous situations. Again Rinpoche’s advice was to wear the Vajra Cutter Sutra and the Golden Light Sutra.

Another use of this precious text is for those who travel to use this small size version on one’s portable altar
The small size Vajra Cutter sutra is available in Tibetan here.

The small size Golden Light Sutra is available here:

Lama Zopa Rinpoche says:

‘This text is very precious; it brings peace and happiness and is very powerful to stop violence. It gives incredible protection to the country from violence etc. By hearing this text, one’s karma gets purified.

This text increases success and, especially for leaders like kings or presidents, brings success in guiding in virtue, the path to happiness. If anyone has problems-if one is dying or dead; if the devas have turned against one and nothing is working; if, merely by expressing oneself, one’s friends, loved ones, husband, wife, family members and even servants get angry with one; if one’s wealth declines or if one has harm from black magic or spirits, with bad dreams or fearful things happening-then one should wash, put on clean clothes and with a peaceful mind listen to the transmission of this text. Then all will be pacified. Anyone who hears it creates much merit and is highly admired by the buddhas.

In whichever country this is taught, the whole country benefits. The king of that country doesn’t get attacked and disease is eliminated, everyone is happy and the country becomes harmonious; there are no quarrels. The king gives religious freedom and is always protected by the devas. It is especially good to be read in places where there is a lot of fighting. As well, there is prosperity and rains come at the right time.

Anyone who keeps, memorizes or contributes to this text exceeds the eight worldly beings and all their wishes get fulfilled. Buddha told the four guardians to make offerings and serve this text, and always protect the people who memorize or even just read it. The four guardians acknowledged they would protect those who read it and would help and fulfill all their wishes.

Memorizing or making offerings to this text is like making inconceivable offerings to Buddha. Enlightenment will never be reversed within anyone in whose ear these holy words are spoken; the life will always be directed toward enlightenment and one will never fall back. There is no question if you memorize the text. The deva, Hamachiwa Pala, told Buddha that she will protect the bhikshu who recites this text and he will receive all that is needed: property, a stable mind and so forth. Whoever even tries to read or understand this text will experience the comfort and happiness of devas and humans for 100 billion eons; fame and perfect crops; and will become a buddha. The earth goddess definitely will help even if only one chapter or one bodhisattva’s name is mentioned; she will protect those sentient beings who even read and try to understand one verse (four words), and will fulfill their wishes. Those sentient beings who hear only one verse will never go to the lower realms. The Buddha told the earth goddess that even if a person hears only one verse, they will be born in the deva realm. Further, the Buddha told the earth goddess the non-virtuous karma of the person who hears even one verse will be eliminated and they will achieve enlightenment.’


  • French (final version, May 2006)
    for the July 2007 version of this translation click here
  • German (final version, March 2007)


Meeting the Golden Light Sutra on the Relic Tour. Photographer: Andrew Melnic

On July 10, 2007, Rinpoche advised dedicating the merits of reading and reciting, hearing, etc., the Sutra of Golden Light to the long and stable lives of the gurus, and especially to the long and stable life of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. He also advised dedicating the merits so that obstacles to your own Guru’s projects are eliminated. He mentioned dedicating merits to eliminate obstacles to any of His Holiness’s projects, the completion of the Maitreya project, and other immediate projects.

Rinpoche also recommended dedicating the merits so that all war, violence, terrorism, destructive weather, diseases, and famine is eliminated, and that everyone enjoys peace, plenty, good health, and has love and compassion in their hearts.

I prostrate to buddhas, oceans of virtue
Golden like Mount Sumeru.
Going for refuge, I bow my head
In prostration to the golden conquerors.

In dedicating the merits of yourself and others, think of your own virtuous actions of reading, reciting, and even thinking about this king of sutras. Then think of specific wars, areas of famine, terrible diseases and afflictions, physical and mental acts of violence, and dedicate the merits so that these are eliminated immediately.

The Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu, who not only shows us desirable activity but who speaks for us, as us, makes this prayer of dedication:

Swiftly and wholly consuming all karmic obstructions, by making confession through Sublime Golden Light, I shall abide on the ten bodhisattva grounds – those mines of supreme precious jewels – that  I may shine with a tathagata’s marks and signs and free beings from the ocean of existence.


In the Sutra of Golden Light, Buddha Shakyamuni lists the benefits of contact with this sublime sutra. He says:

Those who hear this sutra,
Those who cause others to hear it,
Those who rejoice upon hearing it
And make offerings to it,
For tens of millions of eons
Shall be venerated by gods and nagas,
Humans and kinnaras,
Asuras and yakshas.


Lama Zopa Rinpoche, urges us to recite the Sutra of Golden Light for these reasons:

“The holy Golden Light Sutra is the king of the sutras. It is extremely powerful and fulfills all one’s wishes, as well as bringing peace and happiness for all sentient beings, up to enlightenment. It is also extremely powerful for world peace, for your own protection, and for the protection of the country and the world. Also, it has great healing power for people in the country.  … Anyone can read this text, Buddhists and even non-Buddhists who desire world peace. This also protects individuals and the country from what are labeled natural disasters of the wind element, fire element, earth element, and water element, such as earthquakes, floods, cyclones, fires, tornadoes, etc. They are not natural because they come from causes and conditions that make dangers happen. They come from past inner negative thoughts and actions of people, and from external conditions. The benefits of reading this sutra are immeasurable … reciting just a few lines of  the Sutra of Golden Light creates more merit than making … immeasurable offerings to the Buddha. Reciting this sutra directs one’s life towards enlightenment. There is so much merit … one’s life becomes so easy, whatever one wishes for one receives … there is unbelievable purification … one liberates numberless sentient beings from the oceans of samsaric suffering and brings them to enlightenment.”

For the complete texts of two of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s description of benefits, please visit Benefits of Sutra of Golden Light, and Recite The Golden Light Sutra For World Peace (PDF)

In the Sutra of Golden Light, the Tathagata says:

This King of Glorious Sutras
Fully destroys external enemies,
Turns back legions of foreign armies,
Removes the fear of the terrified and poor
And causes supreme virtue.


On July 10 and on July 19, 2007, Rinpoche listed the following benefits:

“The protectors, the guardians, will definitely provide protection. Whenever they are needed, they will arrive. Acts of terrorism will be averted. Acts of violence will stop. China will return to Buddhism and will relax its hold on Tibet. Natural catastrophes will be avoided. Crops will be successful. The environment will be clean. People will be safe. If there is war, it will end and there will be peace.

If you recite the Sutra of Golden Light, you will have good health, energy, and power. All materials needs will be satisfied. One will be listened to and respected by others. Whenever a question arises, the Guru will answer. One will purify eons of negative karma, meet perfect teachers, develop realizations, and definitely benefit others.

The Sutra of Golden Light is the car that will take you to enlightenment.”

At the beginning of the Sutra of Golden Light, Buddha Shakyamuni, the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully Enlightened, calls to anyone experiencing misery and affliction, bad health, poverty, loss, abuse, ill will, fear, nightmares, or other harms. He says to make the mind virtuous and to come and listen.

This “King of Glorious Sutras,” contains everything needed, from daily happiness to complete Enlightenment. It contains a heart-rending practice of confession and rejoicing, profound teachings on dependent arising, reliable assurances of protection, guidelines for ideal government, and awe-inspiring stories of the Buddha’s previous lives, in which the Buddha shows how, even before he had completely eliminated the delusions, he liberated countless beings from the ocean of suffering through compassion and personal courage. The Sutra of Golden Light moves us to do what has to be done and clearly describes the result.


To these sentient beings I shall reveal this sutra called Sublime Golden Light, which rids one of every harmful misdeed, and expounds upon the profound.

On July 10, 2007, while attending the Deer Park Summer Course, Beth Simon made this request to Lama Zopa Rinpoche: “Please tell me what would please you”. Rinpoche told Beth to recite the Sutra of Golden Light and to tell her friends to recite it.

Rinpoche said, “This is what I want. This is what I ask. This will make me happy.”


Download the Sutra of Golden Light texts in various languages

Benefits of the Sutra of Golden Light


Lama Zopa Rinpoche urges us to recite the Sutra of Golden Light every day. The benefits from reciting, listening to, or even hearing the name of the sutra are immeasurable, from eliminating conflict, terrorism, torture and famine to achieving full enlightenment.

This sutra is inconceivable,
For its ocean of virtue is without end;
It frees every being
From countless oceans of suffering.

Therefore, Rinpoche says, recite even one page every day, and if possible, do so with others.

For beings without merit,
The store of their merit
Will grow into a limitless,
incalculable, inconceivable mass.


This King of Glorious Sutras
Fully destroys external enemies,
Turns back legions of foreign armies,
Removes the fear of the terrified and poor
And causes supreme virtue.



The sutra manifested as a drum in a Bodhisattva’s dream. From the drum came verses of aspiration and dedication.

By the sound of this majestic drum of golden light,
May the suffering of lower migration,
Yama and the poverty of the three realms
Of the triple thousand worlds cease to be.

Reporting Recitations


In the Sutra of Golden Light, Buddha Shakyamuni gives this advice:

The one who wishes to make
unimaginable offerings to all buddhas,
and who wishes to know
the profound sphere of tathagatas
should go to that place –
whether monastery or dwelling –
where this sublime sutra is explained.


Even reciting one page a day is of great benefit, and it adds up. Read and recite alone or with others.

We want to keep a tally of the number of complete recitations. Whenever you finish the sutra, report your recitation.

If you are reporting group recitations, please include the total number of completed recitations of the sutra.

Organizing Group Recitations

Experiences with Sutra of Golden Light


Meeting the Golden Light Sutra on the Relic Tour. Photographer: Andrew Melnic

Contact with the Sutra of Golden Light can produce new thoughts, changed understanding, interesting dreams, strengthened motivation, and who knows what else!

Lama Zopa Rinpoche has specifically asked to hear about our experiences with the Sutra of Golden Light. One man reported to Beth that he received a copy of the sutra in the mail and immediately he had an urge to light incense. In the Sutra, the four great kings themselves say that when one offers even one stick of incense, the fragrance calls forth all of the protectors and draws them to the place where the sutra is being honored!

Describe your experiences with hearing, reading, reciting, giving or receiving, or just thinking about the Sutra of Golden Light, and to respond to other’s experiences.




Questions about Sutra of Golden Light


As you read, recite, and think about this profound sutra, questions will arise. Use this link to post questions and read responses.

Audio (MP3s)


You can download, save, and listen to this oral transmission on your computer. The files can also be transfered to a portable MP3 player or burned onto CDs.

Sutra of Golden Light Oral Transmission
by Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche

If you would like to obtain an MP3 disc of this and other sutra oral transmissions given by Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, please visit the Foundation Store:


This recording was kindly provided to us by The Media Lab, a project of FPMT center Land of Medicine Buddha. The Media Lab digitally records, archives and distributes the Tibetan Buddhist teachings given at Land of Medicine Buddha by respected Western teachers and great Tibetan masters.

With grateful thanks to Beth Simon, who is looking after these pages at Rinpoche’s request.