Sutras & Dharanis

Lama Zopa Rinpoche writing out the Prajnaparamita Sutra with Ven. Tsering, June 2017. Photo by Ven. Lobsang Sherab

Sutras are records of teachings given by the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. The Buddha’s discourses were memorized by his disciples and later written down in various languages, the most complete collections of teachings being in Pali and Sanskrit. Because sutras contain the actual words spoken by the Buddha, by reproducing that speech ourselves during recitations our voice becomes a conduit for the spread of Buddha’s teachings in the world. A special set of sutras called dharmaparyayas or “transformative teachings,” including the Sanghata Sutra, function to transform those who hear, recite or write out them in particular ways, in the same way as meeting a buddha in the flesh.

Dharani (Skt, dhāraṇī), or zung in Tibetan (Tib. gzungs), has the connotation of “to hold or maintain.” Rinpoche explains that it can also mean the “unforgetting wisdom for abandoning nonvirtue and abiding in virtue.”  A dharani usually consists of Sanskrit phrases and mantras, and can also be a short summary of the essential teaching contained in a much longer sutra text.


Find links below to download PDFs of sutras in many languages, as well as ebooks, audio files and other resources.

Amitayus Long Life Sutra

According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, “This text is very precious and there is so much benefit in printing or writing it. This is one of the texts that, if written in gold, mountains of negative karma get purified … It’s very good to print for people who have cancer, and for the success of activities and projects. If a business has difficulties, or is difficult to start, if you have difficulty finding a job, or the job is not going well, you can print many copies to make merit, not particularly for mundane success but generally to collect merit for realizations, conditions for Dharma practice. Then you can dedicate the merits of printing for all sentient beings. This is one solution for success and long life. Also, when you die you will get born in Amitabha’s pure land.”

Download PDF:  Chinese | English | French | German | Indonesian | Italian | Mongolian | Polish | Portuguese | Spanish | Tibetan | Vietnamese

Array of Sukhavati Pure Land

 Download PDF: English | Audio

Entering the Great City of Vaishali Sutra

Entering the Great City of Vaishali is an incredibly powerful sutra that one can listen to, read when one is in intense pain or very sick, suffering from spirit harm or other ailments.

Download PDF: English | German |TibetanVietnamese

Download Audio: Tibetan

Sutra of the Exalted Great Glorified Being

According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, “This practice is for overcoming financial difficulties, especially if someone is causing you financial problems, but also to empower financial endeavors that are dependent on others to bring success.”

Download PDF: English

Sutra of Golden Light

This “King of Glorious Sutras,” contains everything needed, from daily happiness to complete enlightenment. It contains a profound 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.

Visit the Sutra of Golden Light homepage to download the sutra, find resources, and report your recitations.

Sutra of Great Liberation

The Sutra of Great Liberation is an important Mahayana sutra that is also often recited and greatly cherished in Tibet. The sutra contains teachings on various topics, as well as the names of many enlightened beings. The sutra is often recited for those who have passed away, and even just having a copy of it has great benefits. Lama Zopa Rinpoche began giving the oral transmission of the Sutra of Great Liberation during the Teachings on Thought Transformation during the Time of COVID-19, an online teaching series that began during the coronavirus pandemic. Rinpoche teaches that receiving the oral transmission of the sutra, reading it, reciting it, and writing it out, etc., has many spiritual benefits. The translation into English of the Sutra of Great Liberation is underway.

Download PDF: Tibetan Pecha    Download Audio: Tibetan

Heart Sutra
The Heart Sutra is the most widely known sutra of the Mahayana tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It is part of the Prajnaparamita Sutras, which is a collection of about 40 sutras composed between 100 BCE and 500 CE. The Heart Sutra is a presentation of profound wisdom on the nature of emptiness.

Download PDF: Catalan | Chinese | English | Italian | Sinhalese | Spanish | Tibetan | Vietnamese

Download Audio: English

Noble Stack of Auspiciousness Sutra

This sutra is said to be good for dispelling inauspicious energies. 

Download PDF: English

Sutra Remembering the Three Jewels

Lama Zopa Rinpoche recommends reciting this sutra on merit multiplying days.  

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Sanghata Sutra

The Sanghata Sutra promises to transform all those who read it. Like other sutras, the Sanghata Sutra records an oral teaching given by the Buddha, but unlike other sutras, Buddha explains that he himself had heard this sutra from a previous buddha. The Sanghata Sutra is a text that talks about itself by name and talks in great detail about what it will do to anyone who encounters it. It is also an extraordinary literary adventure, full of stories of death, discovery and transformations.

Download PDF: Chinese | English | French | German | Indonesian | Italian | Japanese | Mongolian | Polish | Portuguese | Russian | Sanskrit | Sinhalese | Spanish | Swedish | Tibetan | Vietnamese

Download the audio and the traceable format for printing.

To learn more, you can visit the Sanghata Sutra website, and read Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s teaching on the benefits of the Sanghata Sutra.

Sutra on What is Most Precious to a Monk

This sutra from the vinaya discusses the meaning of and motivations for monastic engagement, exploring what kind of mind constitutes one of monastic practice. It explains why that which a monk holds most dear is his mind of renunciation and commitment to his vows.

Download PDF: English

Vajra Cutter Sutra

Along with the Heart Sutra, the Vajra Cutter Sutra (also known as the Diamond Cutter Sutra or Diamond Sutra) is one of most well-known sutras of Mahayana Buddhism. The Vajra Cutter Sutra is a discourse on the Buddhist concept of emptiness or “Wisdom Gone Beyond.”

Download PDF: Chinese | English | German | Italian | Mongolian | Russian | Spanish | Swedish | Tibetan | Tibetan for Wearable Amulet | Vietnamese

Download Audio: English | Spanish  

Further resources:


Find links to download PDFs of Dharanis below.

The Exalted Zung of Norbu Sangpo

Download PDF: English | German

The Extremely Conquering from Bondage

Lama Zopa Rinpoche indicated this was one practice that could be done to help prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.

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Glorious Vajra Claws

According to Lama Zopa Rinpoche, “This practice is wrathful, performed in order to not receive harm, to not suffer, when there is a powerful need to solve problems, when you have tried every other way to benefit.”

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Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas

Download PDF: English

Pacifying the Great Court Case Mantra

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Other Resources