Sutra of Golden Light
This is a resource page with everything you need to begin to learn about and start reciting the Sutra of Golden Light. Here you can download translations of the text, receive the oral transmission of the sutra, and learn about the benefits of reciting. Plus, once you start reciting, please save this page and come back to report your recitations, share your experiences and read stories from others reciting the sutra.
- About the Sutra
- Rinpoche’s Vow
- Oral Transmissions Given
- Receive the Oral Transmission from Lama Zopa Rinpoche
- Rinpoche’s Request to FPMT Centers and Students
- Current Count of Recitations Performed Around the World
- Download the Sutra
- How to Dedicate
- Report Your Recitations
- Student Experiences with the Sutra of Golden Light
- Contribute to the FPMT Translation Fund
About the Sutra
“The most beneficial thing to have peace and to stop the wars is recitation of the Golden Light Sutra. This is the most beneficial thing to bring peace, everyone should try to do this, no matter how busy they are, even to recite one or two pages, even a few lines. When you read the Golden Light Sutra you also read the ‘mantra without attachment’ this practice is within the text. The benefits of reciting just this mantra: Even all the material possessions, all the human wealth, especially all the wealth of the deva realms (asura’s and sura’s) can not compare to the value of this mantra. It is nothing compared to this mantra. You collect limitless skies of benefit and merit by even just reciting one word of this mantra. So by reciting the whole text is unbelievably beneficial, one collects extensive merits, liberates numberless sentient beings from the oceans of suffering and brings them to enlightenment.” – Lama Zopa Rinpoche
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.
Read the Mandala article, “King of Glorious Sutras: Sutra of Golden Light” released March 2020.
Lama Zopa Rinpoche made a personal vow to propagate this text and give oral transmissions of it in many parts of the world. Having the sutra recited as much as possible is also one of Rinpoche’s Vast Visions for FPMT.
In an effort to keep track of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s progress giving the oral transmission of the Sutra of Golden Light around the world, we offer this working list below.
If you have received this oral transmission from Rinpoche at a place and time that is not listed below, please contact us with the details of the location and month/year, and whether it was a complete transmission or partial, so we can have the most accurate list!
During a retreat in Australia September-October 2014, Lama Zopa Rinpoche agreed to allow those who listen to a recording of Rinpoche giving the oral transmission to receive the transmission in full. You may receive this oral transmission by watching/listening to the video provided here or the audio linked to below.
You must listen to the entire sutra in order to receive the full transmission from Lama Zopa Rinpoche, but you do not have to listen to the full transmission all at once. You can listen to the transmission gradually over time if needed.
Rinpoche on the importance of oral transmissions
“Kyabje Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, [one of my teachers,] once gave the oral transmission of the Vajra Cutter Sutra at Land of Medicine Buddha in the United States,” Lama Zopa Rinpoche shared at the 100 Million Mani Retreat at Istituto Lama Tzong Khapa in Pomaia, Italy, in October 2017. “At that time, Rinpoche said that if you have received the lung of the Vajra Cutter Sutra and then you recite it, you get the benefit of having recited it one hundred times.”
“The words leave a positive imprint on the mind and that brings you to enlightenment,” Rinpoche continued. “That brings realizations; that brings you to enlightenment. The lung doesn’t take much time, but the positive imprint left on the mind brings you to enlightenment. Then, you can do perfect work for sentient beings and are able to bring them to enlightenment. You have to know that. That is the basic thing; that is the main thing.
“If you get any lung, long or short, write it down,” Rinpoche advised during the 2017 Light of the Path retreat in North Carolina in the United States. “It is very important to write it down so in the future you know which lungs you have received. In the future, some teachings may become very rare and other people will need that lung. At that time, you may have the karma to give the lung to other people, but if you didn’t receive the lineage, you can’t give them the lung because you have to have received the blessings—Buddha’s teachings from the Buddha. So write it down! It is very important for Sangha and lay people to write it down—every teaching, every lung you have received. Otherwise, you won’t know whether you have received it or not and so you won’t be able to help.”
Prefer an audio version of the oral transmission?
If you would like to access the audio of this transmission only, you can download an mp3 for listening offline, with transmissions from both Lama Zopa RInpoche and Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, or enjoy the audio-only version of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s transmission on YouTube.
Rinpoche’s Request to FPMT Centers and Students
“Anyone who desires peace for themselves and for others then this is the spiritual, or Dharma, way to bring peace that doesn’t require you to harm others, doesn’t require you to criticize others or even to demonstrate against others, yet can accomplish peace. Anyone can read this text, Buddhists and even non-Buddhists who desire world peace…
So here, I would like to make this request with my two palms together, to please recite the Sutra of Golden Light for world peace as much as you can.”
Read the full request from Rinpoche, titled, Recite the Golden Light Sutra for World Peace.
Current Count of Recitations Performed Around the World
Below are the total recitations of the Sutra of Golden Light that have been reported through June 29, 2020.
49,978 reported sutra recitations in 96 countries
See the detailed list here. Please rejoice!!!
Download the Sutra
The Sutra of Golden Light has so far been translated in 15 languages! You can freely download the sutra in various languages and formats below.
How to Dedicate
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has given advice about how to dedicate your recitations of the Sutra of Golden Light.
Report Your Recitations
In the Sutra of Golden Light, Buddha Shakyamuni advises that even reciting one page a day is of great benefit, and it adds up. Read and recite alone or with others.
Because reciting the Sutra of Golden Light is part of Lama Zopa Rinpoche’s Vast Visions, we want to keep a tally of the number of complete recitations. Please contact us with your completed recitations!
If you are reporting group recitations, please include the total number of completed recitations of the sutra. Please read these recommendations for organizing group recitations
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.
Share your experiences with hearing, reading, reciting, giving or receiving, or just thinking about the Sutra of Golden Light.
Read about other’s experiences here.
As you read, recite, and think about this profound sutra, questions will arise. Use this link to post questions and read responses.
Contribute to the FPMT Translation Fund
You can sponsor future translation projects through the FPMT Translation Fund, including the 29 chapter and 31 chapter versions of the Sutra of Golden Light, as well as other Dharma texts in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Mongolian, and other languages.