The Extensive Sūtra of Golden Light: The 29 Chapter Version
The Extensive Sūtra of Golden Light:
The 29 Chapter Version
The Exalted Sovereign King of Sūtras,
The Sublime Golden Light:
A Mahāyāna Discourse
In the Indian Language (Sanskrit):
Ārya Suvarṇaprabhā Sottama Sūtrendra Rāja Nama
अर्य स वर्णप्रभा स प्रभा सोत्तम सुत्रे स त्तम सुत्रेन्द्र राज म स त्रेन्द्र राज नम महायान सूत् न्द्र राज नम महायान सूत्र
In the Tibetan Language:
Phagpa Ser Öd Dampa Dode’i Wangpo’i Gyalpo Zheyjawa Thegpachhenpo’i Do
(‘phags pa gser ‘od dam pa mdo sde’i bdang po’i rgyal po zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo)
In the English Language:
The Exalted Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light: A Mahāyāna Scripture
- 1 Chapter 1: The Preamble
- 2 Chapter 2: The Teaching on the Lifespan of the Tathāgata
- 3 Chapter 8: The Dharani Called 'Golden'
- 4 Chapter 9: Emptiness
- 5 Chapter 11: The Meticulous Observation of Gods and Humans By the Four Great Kings
- 6 Chapter 13 Completed: The Dhārani of Non-Attachment
- 7 Chapter 14: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Dhārani
- 8 Chapter 16: The Goddess Shrī
- 9 Chapter 17: Vast Increase in Wealth by the Great Goddess Shrī
- 10 Chapter 18: The Earth Goddess Dridha
- 11 Chapter 19: Samjñāya, the Lord of Yakshas
- 12 Chapter 27: The Praise by All the Bodhisattvas
- 13 Chapter 28: The Praise to All Tathāgatas
- 14 Source
Chapter 1: The Preamble
Thus have I heard: at one time, the Bhagavan, the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, was in Rajagriha on the summit of Vulture’s Peak Mountain, in the profound basic space of phenomena, entirely and utterly pure, the sublime experiential dimension of the Tathagatas, the Ones Gone to Suchness.
An immense sangha of fully-ordained monks, ninety-eight thousand in number, were all abiding together in the same company. All of them without exception were great arhats, and like a king of elephants, extremely subdued. They had exhausted their defilements, were without afflictive mental states, and their minds were absolutely and thoroughly liberated. Their discerning wisdom had been absolutely and thoroughly released. They had done what had to be done, laid down their burden, and accomplished well their own welfare. They had comprehensively cut the connections with conditioned existence. They had attained the supreme amongst sacred sovereignties, dwelt solely in completely pure ethical conduct, were perfectly abiding in skillful method and sublime wisdom, had actualized the Eight Emancipations, and had come to the end of the far shore alone.
They were the Venerable All-Knowing Kaundinya, the Venerable Ashvajita, the Venerable Vashpa, the Venerable Mahanaman, the Venerable Bhadra, the Venerable Mahakashyapa, the Venerable Uruvilvakashyapa, the Venerable Gayakashyapa, the Venerable Nadikashyapa, the Venerable Shariputra, the Venerable Mahamaudgalaputra, the Venerable Nanda, and so on, all great shravakas.
At the time of late afternoon, they arose from perfect meditative placement in their respective places of residence, went to the where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat themselves down to one side.
Furthermore, there were bodhisattva mahasattvas, one hundred thousand billion in number, who were also abiding together as one company. All of them without exception were resplendent like a naga king. As they were imbued with great charismatic brilliance, they were universally acclaimed. They had engaged in generosity, attention to constant protection of completely pure ethical conduct, patience, and diligence for countless eons. They had actualized the mindfulness which transcends all meditative stabilizations. They had completely opened the doors of wisdom. They had totally accomplished expertise in skillful methods. With their sublime sense-faculties, they manifested in diverse forms, and they had discovered sublime clairvoyant perception. They had obtained the great power of total recall. Their confidence was inexhaustible, and as they had abandoned all afflictive mental states and the all-consuming disturbing emotions, they had attained the primal cognition which knows all immediate manifestations, and had conquered the armies of maras and hostile forces. Through beating the great drum of the Dharma, they had tamed all non-Buddhists, and they had generated an utterly lucid mind. By turning the wheel of the sublime Dharma, they liberated gods and humans. They adorned all buddha-fields in the ten directions, and conferred sublime benefit on the denizens of the six realms. They had an abundance of vast pristine awareness, were endowed with great patience, suffuse with love, dwelt in the mind of great compassion, and had stability in great supernatural powers. They had served under all Buddhas, had not passed into complete Nirvana, and since the limits of the future are infinite, they had sworn great oaths to remain. They had generated completely pure causes before numerous Buddhas, had attained patient endurance towards the non-arising of the phenomena of the three times, and had gone totally beyond the experiential dimension of the shravakas and pratyekabuddhas. With their immense expertise in skillful means, they guided the universe. As they were great teachers, they were knowledgeable in unraveling the true intent of the profound Dharma teachings. As they had actualized emptiness, they had thoroughly cut through doubts.
They were the Bodhisattva Beginningless Spinning of the Dharma Wheel, the Bodhisattva Generation of the Mind of Always Spinning the Dharma Wheel, the Bodhisattva Constant Exertion, the Bodhisattva Diligent in Not Forsaking, the Bodhisattva Love (Maitreya), the Bodhisattva Gentle Splendor (Manjushri), the Bodhisattva Lord Who Beholds Everything With His Eyes (Avalokiteshvara), the Bodhisattva King of Powerful Lords of Dharanis, the Bodhisattva King Established in Great Confidence, the Bodhisattva King of Mount Meru, the Bodhisattva King of the Deep Ocean, the Bodhisattva Crest Ornament of Jewels, the Bodhisattva Immense Crest Ornament of Jewels, the Bodhisattva Essence of the Earth (Kshitigarbha), the Bodhisattva Essence of the Sky (Akashagarbha), the Bodhisattva Powerful Lord with a Jewel in His Hand, the Bodhisattva with a Vajra in His Hand (Vajrapani), the Bodhisattva Power of Joy, the Bodhisattva Magical Power of the Great Dharma, the Bodhisattva Totally Arrayed in Light, the Bodhisattva Arrayed in Golden Light, the Bodhisattva Complete Purity of Ethical Conduct, the Bodhisattva Constant Meditative Absorption, the Bodhisattva Totally and Utterly Pure Intellect, the Bodhisattva Stable Diligence, the Bodhisattva Sky-Like, the Bodhisattva Never Abandoning Great Aspiration Prayers, the Bodhisattva Giver of Medicine, the Bodhisattva Dispeller of the Illness of Mental Afflictions, the Bodhisattva King of Medicine, the Bodhisattva King of Exaltation Through Joy, the Bodhisattva Obtainer of the Supreme Prediction, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Utterly Pure Light, the Bodhisattva Holder of the Great Cloud of Dharma, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Joyful Renown, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud Manifesting Limitless Illustriousness, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of the Lion’s Roar, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of the Supreme Bull’s Bellow, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Auspiciousness, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Glorious Jewels, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of the Sun’s Essence, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of the Moon’s Essence, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Starlight, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Firelight, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Lightning Flashes, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Thunder, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of All-Pervasively-Arising Wisdom, the Bodhisattva King of the Great Cloud of Utterly Pure Rain, the Bodhisattva King of the Great Cloud of Blossomed Trees, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud of Utpala Flower Fragrance, the Bodhisattva Exalted Form of the Precious Great Cloud of Cool Sandalwood Fragrance, The Bodhisattva Great Cloud Which Illuminates Darkness, the Bodhisattva Great Cloud Which Dispels Visual Aberrations, and so on, incalculable and innumerable, all great bodhisattva mahasattvas.
At the time of late afternoon, they arose from perfect meditative placement in their respective dwelling places, went to the where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the two feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat themselves down to one side.
Following that, there were Licchavi youths. They were the Youth Lion-Light, the Youth Lion-Intellect, the Youth Giver of Dharma, the Youth Giver of Power, the Youth Great Light, the Youth Great Glory, the Youth Protector of the Buddha, the Youth Protector of the Dharma, the Youth Protector of the Sangha, the Youth Protector of the Vajra, the Youth Protector of the Sky, the Youth Sky-Friend, the Youth Essence of Jewels, the Youth Essence of Supreme Auspiciousness, and so on, five-hundred and eight thousand in number, all of them without exception living blissfully in the unsurpassable, perfectly and complete enlightenment, with total devotion to the Mahayana.
At the time of late afternoon, they came from their respective homes, approached where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat down to one side.
Furthermore, there were princes of the gods. They were the God Prince Vision of Joy, the God Prince Utter Joy, the God Prince Sunlight, the God Prince Moon Crest, the God Prince Clear Wisdom, the God Prince Wisdom of the Completely Pure Sky, the God Prince Dispeller of the Sickness of Disturbing Emotions, the God Prince Auspiciousness, and so on, 42,000 in number, who were guarding the Mahayana, retaining well the authentic Dharma, and ceaselessly reciting expansive aspirational prayers.
At the time of late afternoon, all of them without exception approached where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat down to one side.
Furthermore, there were kings of nagas. They were the Naga King Lotus, the Naga King Pomegranate Leaf, the Naga King Great Strength, the Naga King Great Roar, the Naga King Small Waves, the Naga King Stream Holder, the Naga King Golden Face, the Naga King Possessor of Precious Onyx, and so on, twenty-eight thousand in number, who had generated the mind solely bent on interest in retaining and upholding, widely propagating, and protecting the Mahayana Dharma.
At the time of late afternoon, all of them without exception, coming out from their respective abodes, approached where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat down to one side.
Furthermore, there were kings of yakshas, such as Vaishravanaputra, and so on, thirty-six thousand in number. They were the Yaksha Mango, the Yaksha Mango Holder, the Yaksha Essence of Lotus Light, the Yaksha Lotus Face, the Yaksha Wrathful Expression, the Yaksha Displayer of Great Destruction, the Yaksha Shaker, the Yaksha Ravisher of Gifts and Food, and so on. All of those Yakshas without exception had faith in the perfect Dharma of the Tathagata, and had nothing but diligence in protecting it.
At the time of late afternoon, all of them without exception approached where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat themselves down to one side.
Moreover, there were gandharvas, demi-gods, kinnaras, mahoragas, and so on. There were heavenly sages of the mountains, forests, rivers, and oceans, great kings with their retinues, princesses, princes, sons of the lineage, daughters of the lineage, gods, humans, and so on, and all of them read and recited the unexcelled Mahayana, upheld and retained it, asked questions about it, propagated it, and made comprehensive aspirational prayers aimed at guarding and protecting it.
At the time of late afternoon, all of them without exception approached where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and circumambulating him three times, sat down to one side.
It was in this way that the shravakas, bodhisattvas, gods, human, demi-gods, garudas, and so on, these eight sets of individuals, gathered like clouds. They focused their minds one-pointedly, joined their palms together, and with eyes unwavering, they gazed upon the visage of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror. Wishing to be taught the sublime Dharma, they prayed.
"The Sovereign King of Sutras:
If you listen to it, it is extremely profound,
And if you thoroughly investigate it, it is profundity itself.
This Sublime Golden Light I shall expound.
The Buddhas of the Four Directions
Through bestowing blessings, have consecrated it:
Akshobhya in the eastern direction,
Ratnaketu in the southern direction,
Amitabha in the western direction,
And Dundubhisvara in the northern direction.
In order to extinguish all misdeeds,
This sublime auspicious discourse
Exhausts all negative karma,
Bestows all happiness,
Eradicates all suffering,
Is the foundation of the state of omniscience,
And is well-adorned by all resplendence.
Bestowing its blessings, this I shall proclaim.
Sentient beings whose senses are defective,
Whose life-spans are exhausted or are deteriorating,
Who lack abundance and what they desire,
Whom the gods have turned against,
Who are hated by their loved ones,
Endangered by planetary influences and the like,
Out of harmony with one another,
Afflicted by a decline in material wealth,
Stricken by grief and misery,
Are in fear or poverty,
Who have inauspicious planetary and constellational influences or curses,
Who are threatened by intolerable negative spirits,
Or who see nightmares
Following grief and fatigue,
Should bathe well, render themselves clean
And listen to this sublime Sutra.
Should those with virtuous intent and pure mind
Adorn themselves well in clean garments,
And listen to this Sutra -
The profound experiential domain of the Buddhas -
Then through the awe-inspiring power of this Sutra,
The afflictions of all living creatures,
The likes of which are extremely unbearable,
Will be forever pacified.
They will be protected
By none other than the Guardians of the Universe themselves,
Together with their ministers and lords of assembly;
By myriads of billions of yakshas,
The Great Goddess Sarasvati,
And the Goddess Who Dwells in the Nairanjana (River),
By Hariti, Mother of Bhutas
And the Earth Goddess Drdha,
By Brahma Kings and Divine Kings,
And by the incredibly powerful Kings of Nagas,
By Kings of Kinnaras and Kings of Demi-Gods,
And likewise by Kings of Garudas.
They, with their clans and might, will arrive,
Together with their mounts,
And without distraction day and night
Will offer protection to those beings.
I shall fully expound this Sutra on the profound,
The Buddhas’ dimension of experience,
The secret of all Buddhas,
Difficult to come across in billions of eons.
Those who listen to this Sutra,
Those who cause others to hear it,
Those who rejoice in it,
And those who make offerings to it,
Will have offerings made to them for billions of eons
By gods and nagas,
Humans and kinnaras,
Demi-gods and yakshas.
For living beings whose merit has declined,
The mass of their merit
Will grow to become limitless, and likewise, beyond measure
They will be intensely cared for
By the Buddhas of the ten directions,
And also by the Bodhisattvas
Engaged in the profound.
Excellently clad in clean garments,
Wearing pleasantly-scented clothes,
Settling firmly in a mind of love,
Make offerings without distraction.
Put forth every effort to render your mind stainless
And to make it expansive, as well,
And, making the mind extremely clear,
Listen to this sublime Sutra.
Those who listen to this Sutra,
Will be eminent among humans,
Will correctly attain a human existence,
And will live a life of good fortune.
For those in whose ears
This sublime discourse resounds
Their roots of virtue will be refined,
And they will be praised by numerous Buddhas."
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SUTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE FIRST CHAPTER, ‘THE PREAMBLE’.
Then, at that time, at that moment, in the great city of Rajagriha, the bodhisattva mahāsattva known as Ruchiraketu, one who had performed altruistic deeds under previous Victors and had generated roots of virtue and rendered service to hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of Buddhas, was resting. He thought:
“The Bhagavan himself has said, ‘Through two causes and conditions does one attain long life. What are those two? There are, namely, giving up killing and giving food intensively.’ He has taught thus. As for the Bhagavan Shakyamuni, for many incalculable hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of eons, he, giving up taking life, perfectly undertook and stayed along the path of the ten virtuous karmas. Food as well as outer and inner material things he completely gave up to sentient beings. Since, in particular, he satisfied hungry sentient beings with the flesh of his own body, blood, bones, and legs as well, there is no need to speak of him doing so with other food.”
He thought thus. Then, as that sublime individual was entertaining those kinds of thoughts in regards to the Buddha in that way, turning them over in his mind, his house became broad and vast, made out of blue vaidurya, and adorned with many divine jewels; the Tathāgata had changed its color, and filled it with incense surpassing that made by the gods. In the four directions of that house, four thrones of divine jewels arose, and from those thrones as well, mats of divine cloths and fabric encrusted with tiny jewels arose. They were adorned by many divine lotus flowers and jewels which also arose from those thrones. There arose colors transformed by the Tathāgata.
From those lotuses as well, there arose four Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors. In the eastern direction arose the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness Akshobhya. In the southern direction arose the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness Ratnashikhin. In the western direction arose the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness Amitayus. In the northern direction arose the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness Dundhubisvara. As soon as those Buddha Bhagavans arose on those lion-thrones, then, at that time, the great city of Rajagriha was pervaded by great illumination. The entire universe of three-thousand million world-systems, and, in all the ten directions, world-systems of the universe as many as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges were filled with great radiance. A rain of divine flowers also fell. The sound of divine cymbals also issued forth.
Through the power of the Buddha, in this universe of three-thousand million world-systems, all sentient beings without exception were imbued with divine bliss. Sentient beings whose senses were incomplete were endowed with all their senses. Sentient beings that were blind saw forms with their eyes. Sentient beings that were deaf came to hear sounds with their ears. Sentient beings that were crazy found their own mindfulness. Sentient beings that were intensely distracted became intensely undistracted. Sentient beings that were naked were clothed with garments. Sentient beings that were hungry had their bellies filled. Sentient beings that were thirsty came upon drinks. Sentient beings that were afflicted with illness were freed from sickness. Sentient beings whose senses were defective had their senses made intact. In this universe, incredible, miraculous phenomena occurred on a massive scale.
Then, the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu, seeing those Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors, gave rise to amazement and wonder, and was satisfied, elated with delight, and intensely joyous. Giving rise to rapture and mental happiness, he bowed with folded palms in the direction of those Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors.
While being vividly mindful of those Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors, he recollected intensely the qualities of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni, and then experienced doubts about the lifespan of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni, thinking:
“Son of the lineage, do not think these thoughts of ‘the lifespan of the Bhagavan Shakyamuni is short’. Why? Son of the lineage, because there is no one, aside from the Tathāgatas, the Arhats, the Perfectly Complete Buddhas, including gods, including demons, including Brahma, including sages, including brahmin people, in this universe with its gods, humans, along with ashuras, who has seen the ultimate limit or final end-point of the lifespan of the Bhagavan Tathāgata Shakyamuni.”
As soon as those Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors had uttered that explanation of the lifespan of the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness, then, at that very instant, through the power of the Buddha, there assembled the divine sons Engaging in Desire and Engaging in Form, crowds of gods, nagas, yakshas, gandharvas, demi-gods, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas, and hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of bodhisattvas, who arrived at the house of the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu.
Then, those Tathāgatas, Ones Gone to Suchness spoke a summarizing teaching in the following verses of explanation on the lifespan of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni to that abounding retinue:
“Although it is possible to count all drops
Of all the water in the ocean,
No one can count
The lifespan of Shakyamuni.
Although it is possible to count all the subtle particles
Of all great mountains without exception,
No one can count
The lifespan of Shakyamuni.
Although it is possible to count
All the extremely fine atoms found existent
In all earth,
No one can measure the lifespan of the Conqueror.
Some may measure through some device
All of space,
But no one can count
The lifespan of Shakyamuni.
‘The perfect Buddha lives for this long…’
‘He lives for this many eons…’
‘Hundreds of billion eons…’:
Counting like this is not feasible.
Why? There are taught to be two productive causal forces
And also two causes:
Giving up harming others,
And giving much food.
Therefore the finite count of the lifespan
Of the Great Lord that explains
'He will live this many eons' cannot be found.
The eons are indeed uncountable.
Do not have the slightest doubt.
Any kind of number whatsoever
For the lifespan of the Conqueror
Is not apprehended.”
Then, the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu, having heard that explanation on the lifespan of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni, spoke the following words to those Buddhas, Transcendent and Accomplished Conquerors:
“The Bhagavan Shayamuni, the Tathāgata, took birth in the world of the five kinds of degeneration, at a time when peoples’ lifespans reach one hundred. In order to benefit the sentient beings of lesser devotion, those sentient beings with small roots of virtue and faith, ordinary childish individuals with the view of self, the view of sentient beings, the view of life, the view of living, and the view of a person, with views of backwardness, those grasping at ‘me’ and ‘mine’, with views of eternalism and nihilism and so on, and, furthermore, to generate the authentic view in non-Buddhists, thus helping them to attain unparalleled enlightenment, the Tathāgata Shakyamuni displays a short lifespan.”
“Furthermore, son of the lineage, since the Tathāgata displays the passing away into Nirvana, those sentient beings generate awareness of the preciousness and difficulty of encountering (a buddha), and awareness of agony and suffering and so on, and thus they come to swiftly uphold, treasure, read, understand, and teach to others extensively and authentically the sūtras taught by the Buddha Bhagavan, becoming free from lack of appreciation. Thus, that is why the Tathāgata displays a short life span.”
“Moreover, if the Tathāgata were to abide always, and not pass into Nirvana, sentient beings would become lacking in devotion, and also would not generate awareness of the difficulty of encountering (a buddha), and thus they would not uphold, read, understand, and extensively and authentically teach to others the profound sūtras taught by the Tathāgata. Why is that so? It is because they would grasp at the Bhagavan as always abiding in the world.”
“Son of the lineage, for example, if one sees one’s parents having many vast precious jewels, the perception of that wealth as being rare and wonderful would not arise. Why is that so? Because one would generate the perception of one’s parents as always having those valuables. Likewise, if the Bhagavan never passed into Nirvana, in that regard, the perceptions of the difficulty of encountering and the rarity (of a buddha) would not arise. So that is why.”
“Son of the lineage, furthermore, for example, if one with parents who are poor and without wealth goes to the places of those such as kings and officials, and sees their many vast treasuries, wealth, jewels and so on, that one will generate the feeling of rarity and the difficulty of gaining (those things). That poor person will exert themselves in methods for finding wealth.”
“Son of the lineage, in a similar fashion, if one sees the Tathāgata pass into nirvana, for that one, the feelings of rarity, the difficulty of encountering (a buddha), agony, and suffering will arise. Although the Bhagavan Tathāgata arises in the world, in innumerable eons he arises a few times. In just the way that the udumvara flower arises a few times out of a hundred, those sentient beings will generate feelings of the preciousness and difficulty of encountering (a buddha), and will generate devotion to the Bhagavan. They will also generate the perception of the sūtras taught from his mouth as being true, will generate the feeling for thoroughly retaining them, and will not lack appreciation.”
“Son of the lineage, therefore, due to those causes and conditions, the Tathāgata does not abide for a long time in the world. Because they quickly enact the passing away into Nirvana, the Tathāgatas in this way have an excellent abundance of expertise in skillful means, and fully ripen sentient beings.”
Then, the bodhisattva mahāsattva Ruchiraketu and immeasurably many hundreds of thousands of bodhisattvas, as well as immeasurably many hundreds of thousands of billions of living beings, went in one company to Vulture’s Peak Mountain, bowed the crowns of their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni, the One Gone to Suchness, and sat down to one side.
Then, the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu prayed to they who had transformed in that way (the four Tathāgatas). Then, those four Tathāgatas, Ones Gones to Suchness, also arrived at Vulture’s Peak where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni was staying, sat down in each of their directions on top of their seats, and gave teaching to the bodhisattva of the retinue thus:
“Son of the lineage, as you have come, ask the Bhagavan Shakyamuni whether there is any small pain, discomfort, or agitation, or whether he stays in contact with bliss. Moreover, also ask the Bhagavan Tathāgata Shakyamuni to joyfully enact the extremely profound Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, which, because it benefits all sentient beings, thoroughly eradicates the terror of famine, and is imbued with all that is blissful, is an excellent teaching.”
Then, those bodhisattvas who had come from their own retinues went up to where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, and having gone there, bowed the crowns of their heads at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and inquired exactly with the very words that those four Tathāgatas, Ones Gone to Suchness had spoken.
At Vulture’s Peak Mount do I sit,
About to explain this precious Sūtra;
For the freedom of these many beings
Complete Nirvana also do I teach.
Backwards ones with views of children
Do not show interest in my teachings;
For the sake of freeing them all,
Complete Nirvana also do I display.
Then, at that time, the acharya prophet brahmin in that retinue known as Kaundinya, and many thousands of brahmins, made offerings to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror. Having heard the sound of the Great Complete Nirvana of the Tathagata, the One Gone to Suchness, he suddenly wept, touched the two feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and said to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
“If the Bhagavan has a loving heart towards all sentient beings, is imbued with great compassion, endeavors in benefiting them, has an equal feeling towards all sentient beings like a parent, illuminates them like the moon, and shines upon them with his sun of transcendent insight and exalted wisdom, then bestow upon me something sublime.”
The Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror did not speak.
Then, through the power of the Buddha, in that retinue a licchavi youth known as Sarvalokapriyadarshana, Joyful for All Worlds to Behold, gave rise to confidence, and spoke the following words to the acharya prophet brahmin Kaundinya:
The brahmin said:
“Licchavi youth, as for me, because I need an offering a relic for worshiping the Bhagavan, I want a relic of the Bhagavan merely the size of a mustard seed as a support. If a relic the size of a mustard seed is worshiped intensely, it is said that one attains lordship over the gods of the thirty-third level of heaven. O licchavi youth, this Sūtra of Sublime Golden Light is endowed with features and qualities such as being difficult for all shravakas and pratyekabuddhas to understand and difficult to comprehend. O licchavi youth, listen with your hearing faculty to that renowned as the exposition of the Sūtra of Sublime Golden Light!”
“O licchavi youth, since it is the case that this Sūtra of Sublime Golden Light is difficult to understand and difficult to grasp, we brahmins from a remote border region want to get hold of a relic only the size of a mustard seed, which causes sentient beings to quickly attain lordship over the thirty-third level of heaven, which could then also be placed inside a box. O licchavi youth, do you not want to request a relic only the size of a mustard seed from the Tathāgata, which could be placed in a box, which, when touched, would cause sentient beings to attain lordship over the thirty-third level of heaven? O licchavi youth, as for us, we request that kind of sublime thing.”
When flowers grow
In the Ganges' currents,
When crows become red
And cuckoos turn the color of conch,
When palm-fruit grows on the rose-apple tree
And mangos form on date trees:
At that time, a relic about the size of a mustard seed
Will be visible.
When from tortoise hair
Cloth shielding winter's bite
Can be woven well:
Then there will be a relic.
When from the legs of flies,
Many storied towers can be built well,
Stable and firmly unshakable:
Then there will be a relic.
When all leeches
Grow white teeth,
Sharp and big:
Then there will be a relic.
When, in order to climb high,
Ladders can be built well
From the horns of rabbits:
Then there will be a relic.
Climbing this ladder,
Should a mouse eat the moon
And harm (the constellation) Rahu as well:
Then there will be a relic.
When bees that buzz in towns
Drink a pitcher of wine,
And make dwelling in a house:
Then there will be a relic.
When donkeys become happy,
Well-versed in singing and dancing,
Their lips ruddy like the bimba fruit:
Then there will be a relic.
When owls and crows,
Flock to solitude, frolic together,
And become friendly:
Then there will be a relic.
When the leaves of the palasha tree
Become an umbrella made of three jewels,
That keeps off the rain:
Then there will be a relic.
When large ocean vessels,
Fitted with turning devices and sails
Float and set sail on land:
Then there will be a relic.
When owls move freely,
Lifting the Gandhamadana mountain
In their beaks:
Then there will be a relic.
Well done, well done, supreme youth.
Son of the Victor, great orator,
Endowed with bravery and skill in means:
You have received the sublime prophecy.
Protector of the world, guardian,
The very greatness of the Tathāgata,
Like an inconceivable creation:
Youth, listen to me.
The dimension of the Buddha is unimaginable.
The Tathāgatas are incomparable.
All Buddhas are ever serene.
All Buddhas are perfectly emerged.
All Buddhas are of the same hue:
That is the suchness of the Buddhas.
The Bhagavan is uncontrived.
The Tathāgata is unborn;
His body, hard as diamond,
Displays emanated forms.
As for a relic of the Great Sage,
There is no so-called “only the size of mustard-seed”.
If his body is without bone and blood,
Then where could there be a relic?
In order to benefit sentient beings,
He places relics through skillful means.
The perfect Buddha: Dharmakaya,
The Tathāgata: Dharmadhatu.
Whatever deeds there are of teaching the Dharma,
The body of the Bhagavan is like that.
Having heard and understood this,
I requested this sublime thing.
In order to specify only this very truth
Did I thus initiate this discourse.
Then, having heard such profound teachings on the lifespan of the One Gone to Suchness, all of the thirty-two thousand sons of gods without exception generated the mind set on perfectly complete enlightenment. Their thoughts became intensely joyful, and they spoke these verses in a single voice:
The Buddha does not enter complete Nirvana,
Nor does the Dharma cease to be. Yet,
For the complete maturation of sentient beings,
Tathāgatas manifest completely passing beyond suffering.
The Buddha Bhagavan is inconceivable.
The Tathāgata is a permanent body.
In order to benefit sentient beings,
He displays a variety of features and aspects.
Then, the bodhisattva mahāsattva Ruchiraketu, having heard this teaching on the lifespan of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror Shakyamuni Buddha from those Tathāgatas, Ones Gone to Suchness and those two sublime beings, rose from his seat, bowed with joined palms, and spoke the following words:
“Bhagavan, if it is the case that the Buddha Bhagavans do not pass into Nirvana, and also that there is no placing of relics in the world, then for what purpose was it taught in sūtras that 'the Buddha passes into Nirvana, that relics are placed in the world, and that if gods and humans with respect and with veneration worship the relics of the past Buddha Bhagavans placed in the world, the whole world of gods and humans, doing so, will attain immeasurable merit', while now here, it is being taught that 'those do not exist'? How can that be? As the Bhagavan is compassionate and loving, please fully elaborate and explain.”
“You should understand that the teaching that the Bhagavan passes into Nirvana and places relics in the world is also taught for the sake of contemplation. Son of the lineage, the bodhisattva mahāsattva should understand through ten Dharmas that the Arhat, the perfectly complete Buddha teaches that Great Nirvana exists in accordance with authenticity and truth. What are these ten? They are as follows:
Furthermore, son of the lineage, O bodhisattva mahāsattva, the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the perfectly complete Buddha teaches by way of these ten Dharmas, in the manner of authenticity and truth, that Great Nirvana exists. What are these ten? They are namely:
(1) The basis of all disturbing mental states is longing and desire. Towards whatever is longed for, desire is generated. Because the Buddha Bhagavans are free from longing and desire, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
(2) Since the Tathāgatas are free from all longing and desire and thus do not grasp at any phenomena whatsoever, and are thus without clinging, without going, coming, and grasping, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
(6) Since the Buddha Bhagavans perceive disturbing mental states and all-consuming afflictive mental states to be adventitious in nature, they abide in the true nature of phenomena and thus actualize the freedom from going and coming, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
(7) Since the authentic is true, what is other than that is false, and whatever is true, that itself is authentic, and what is of the nature of authenticity, that is the Tathāgata itself, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
(8) Since the furthest limit of reality is free from elaborations, the Tathāgata actualizes the furthest limit of reality in totality, and that complete pacification of elaborations itself is known as 'Nirvana'.
(9) The unborn is true, and the born is false; childish ordinary beings are thus sunken in the mud of samsara. Since the body of the Tathāgata is not other than truth and authenticity, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
(10) Since phenomena which are not authentic arise from conditions, and authentic and true phenomena do not arise from conditions, and the Dharmakaya of the Tathāgata is thus also authentic and of the nature of truth, it is known as 'Nirvana'.
Furthermore, son of the lineage, O bodhisattva mahāsattva, through these ten Dharma aspects, the Tathāgatas, the Arhats, the perfect and complete Buddhas realize the way of authenticity and truth, and thus come to understand the Great Nirvana. What are these ten? They are as follows:
(1) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands generosity and the fruition of generosity to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards generosity and the fruition of generosity, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(2) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands morality and the fruition of morality to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards morality and the fruition of morality, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(3) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands patience and the fruition of patience to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards patience and the fruition of patience, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(4) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands diligence and the fruition of diligence to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards diligence and the fruition of diligence, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(5) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands meditation and the fruition of meditation to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards meditation and the fruition of meditation, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(6) Because the Tathāgata deeply understands wisdom and the fruition of wisdom to be without self and ownership, and thus completely eliminates mistaken concepts towards wisdom and the fruition of wisdom, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(7) Because the Tathāgatas deeply comprehend that there are no sentient beings and non-sentient beings, and thus completely eliminate mistaken concepts about the lack of inherent existence in all phenomena, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(8) Whatever is grasped at as having the nature of self is persistently felt. Through the power of being persistently felt, a variety of different kinds of suffering are experienced. Because the Tathāgatas completely cut off the clinging to self and ownership, and thus do not pursue, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(9) All conditioned phenomena are countable and have a measure, and unconditioned phenomena are free from count and measure. The Buddha abandons conditioned phenomena, and actualizes unconditioned phenomena. Because it does not have count and measure, it is called 'Nirvana'.
(10) Because the Tathāgata has the nature of being empty of all sentient beings and phenomena, and there is nothing that is not other than that emptiness, and that nature of emptiness itself too is the authentic Dharmakaya, it is called 'Nirvana'.
Furthermore, son of the lineage, while the Tathāgata simply not passing into Nirvana is not very amazing, there are moreoever ten Dharma aspects which are cause for amazement, and they are the conduct of the Tathāgatas. What are these ten? They are as follows:
(1) Because they understand that, although samsara is faulty and nirvana is peace and detachment, the duo of samsara and nirvana are equal, and thus they do not stay in samsara, nor do they abide in nirvana, and do not become discouraged about the benefit of sentient beings. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(2) The Tathāgata sees the procession of childish ordinary beings' backward conduct and all kinds of disturbing mental states, and although it indeed true that he does not have the intention thinking, “I will totally liberate them all!”, through the power of previous compassion and roots of virtue, without having thoughts about the faculties, natures, and wishes of those sentient beings, in the manner of spontaneous presence, he benefits and teaches without finite end. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(3) The Tathāgata extensively teaches sentient beings with the twelve branches of the Teaching, and although it is indeed true that he does not think, “May it benefit!”, through the power of previous compassion and roots of virtue, he teaches the Dharma extensively without finite end to those sentient beings. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(4) The Tathāgata goes to towns, cities, and villages, and although it is indeed true that he does not think, “I will go and beg for alms in the households of those such as kings, officials, brahmins, royalty, merchants!”, through the power of cultivating the conduct of body, speech, and mind, he spontaneously goes to beg for alms, and thus brings benefit. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(5) The body of the Tathāgata does not have hunger nor thirst. Since it does not have excrement or physical weakness either, although it appears that he begs for alms, there is no eating. Although it is indeed true that he has no concepts about it, in order to benefit sentient beings, he also appears to eat alms. This is the spontaneous conduct of the Tathāgata.
(6) Although it is indeed true that the Tathāgata does not think, “I will benefit these beings the Dharma in accordance with their superior, middling, and lesser faculties as they are!”, without having thoughts about their respective faculties and capacities as they are, he fully understands them, and teaches them the Dharma. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(7) Because sentient beings are without respect and are always speaking badly with harsh words, he does not speak together with them. The Tathāgata does not think, “Because these sentient beings are always respecting me, praising and speaking pleasantly to me, I will speak together with them!”, yet he contemplates love and compassion equally and is non-dualistic. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(8) Although it is indeed true that the Buddha Bhagavans do not have disturbing mental states such as attachment and aversion, pride, desire, and greed, the Tathāgata always delights in detachment, abandons all distraction, and praises little desire. This is the conduct of the Tathāgata.
(9) The Tathāgata does not have any non-understanding or non-comprehension towards even one phenomenon. Since he has actualized mirror-like pristine wisdom in all arenas, although it is indeed true that he does not conceptualize, the Tathāgata, perceiving the karma and conduct of sentient beings, engages them in harmony with their wishes, and by way of skillful means, guides them and liberates them from samsara. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
(10) Although it is indeed true that even though the Tathāgata sees the abundance and leisure of sentient beings, he does not give rise to delight, and that even though he sees their degeneration and downfall, he does not become sad, the Tathāgata protects sentient beings out of unobstructed great compassion when he sees their practice of perfect conduct. Although he sees the wrong conduct of sentient beings, out of non-attached great compassion, he protects and cares for them. This is the conduct of the Tathāgatas.
Son of the lineage, concerning this, you must understand this to be the limitless teaching of the authentic conduct of the Tathāgatas, the Arhats, the perfectly complete Buddhas, and the characteristics of the authentic truth of Nirvana.
In other contexts, “Nirvana and placing relics in the world” was a teaching of expert skillful means. Although sentient beings make offerings and show reverence, you should see it to be the power of the Tathāgata's compassion and roots of virtue. In this regard, whoever makes offerings and shows reverence to the Buddhas will in future times completely eliminate the eight unfavorable conditions, meet the Tathāgatas, have virtuous friends, not abandon bodhichitta, have an immeasurable increase in merit, and quickly go beyond samsara. This is the sublime conduct which leads away from the bondage of samsara. Since this is so, you must seriously practice it, and do so without distraction.
Then, the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu, having listened deeply to the meaning of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror's non-passing into Nirvana and the teaching on profound patience from the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, bowed with palms together, and spoke the following words:
“Now, at this moment, having sought out the great teaching of the Tathāgata on the non-passing into Nirvana, the placing of relics in the world, and the vast benefiting of beings, my body and mind have become incredibly joyous and ecstatic.”
When the life-span of the Tathāgata, the One Gone to Suchness, was taught, all of those incalculable, unfathomable, limitless numbers of sentient beings generated the mind set on unparalleled, perfectly complete enlightenment. Those Tathagatas, Ones Gone to Suchness་disappeared as well, and the bodhisattva Ruchiraketu rose from his seat, prostrated at the feet of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and, once again, sat back down in his own seat.
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE SECOND CHAPTER: THE TEACHING ON THE LIFE-SPAN OF THE TATHĀGATA.
Then, the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror gave a teaching in the following words to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Abiding in Bliss, who was in that retinue: “O son of good lineage, as for the Dhārani called “Golden”, if any son of good lineage or daughter of good lineage wishes to render offering and service to all the past, present, and future Buddhas, then they should uphold and retain this Dhārani."
“Retaining this Dhārani leads to vast increase in the accumulation of merit. It will be retained and upheld by those who have generated roots of virtue under immeasurable Buddha Bhagavans of the past. Those who are free from deficiencies, with ethical conduct that is altogether pure, will be able to encounter this extremely profound section of Dharma.” The Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror then said: “As for the ritual of this Dhārani-Mantra, recite these names of the past Buddha Bhagavans and Bodhisattvas, prostrate with one-pointed mind, and then chant the Mantra."
I prostrate to all the Buddhas of the ten directions.
I prostrate to all the Bodhisattva Mahāsattvas.
I prostrate to the Shravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, and all Ārya Beings.
I prostrate to Buddha Shakyamuni.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Eastern Direction, Akshobhya.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Southern Direction, Ratnaketu.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Western Direction, Amitabha.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Northern Direction, Dundhubisvara.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Zenith, Viadashrī.
I prostrate to the Buddha of the Nadir, Paramālokashrī.
I prostrate to the Buddha Essence of Gems.
I prostrate to the Buddha All-Pervasive Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha All-Pervasive Illumination.
I prostrate to the Buddha King of the Stacked Supreme Incense.
I prostrate to the Buddha Sublime Lotus.
I prostrate to the Buddha Equally Beholding.
I prostrate to the Buddha Endowed with a Jeweled Ushnisha.
I prostrate to the Buddha Jewel Guru.
I prostrate to the Buddha Jewel Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha Illumination of Stainless Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha Establishment of Enlightened Perspective Through Inspired Speech.
I prostrate to the Buddha King of the Famous Top Ornament of Completely Pure Moon-Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha Array of Flower Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha King of Shining Light.
I prostrate to the Buddha King Renowned as Stainless Light of Virtue.
I prostrate to the Buddha Fearless Lord Beholding the World with Observant Eyes.
I prostrate to the Buddha Famous Fearlessness.
I prostrate to the Buddha Utterly Supreme King.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Avalokiteshvara.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Kshitigarbha.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Akashagarbha.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Mañjushri.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Vajrapani.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Samantabhadra.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Inexhaustible Intellect.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Mahasthamaprapta.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Maitreya.
I prostrate to the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Elegant Intelligence.
Having prostrated to them, recite the Dhārani:
NAMO RATNA TRAYĀYA/ TADYATHĀ/ KUTI KUTINI/ IMIRITO/ KOSHANI/ IMIRINI/ IRĪ SVĀHĀ
“Because this Dhārani is the mother of the Buddhas of the three times, if any son of good lineage or daughter of good lineage upholds and retains this Dhārani, their accumulation of merit will expand to become limitless and beyond measure. They will come to render service, perform offerings, attend upon, and make praises to incalculable Buddhas. The Buddhas will also bestow a prediction of their unsurpassable perfectly complete enlightenment.”
“O Abiding in Bliss, anyone who upholds this Dhārani-Mantra will thereby obtain clothes, offerings, jewels, erudition and learning, freedom from illness, long-life and more, in accordance with their wishes, and their merit will increase immensely. All the wishes they might have will be accomplished, each and every one.”
“O Abiding in Bliss, anyone who upholds and retains this Mantra will, until they attain unsurpassable perfectly complete enlightenment, come to have those such as the Bodhisattva Mountain City of Gold, the Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Bodhisattva Ocean, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva Mañjushri, and the Bodhisattva Mahāpingala stay together with them, and those Bodhisattvas will protect them.”
“O Abiding in Bliss, you must know the accomplishment ritual of this Dhārani to be as follows: First, practice the rite of approach by reciting it 10,800 times in full. Then, inside an isolated house, make a mandala, wash on the sixteenth day of the month, and wear new clothes. With perfume, flowers, many varieties of food and so forth, perform offerings. Stay within the mandala. First say the names of the aforementioned Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Prostrate with devotion, confess your negative actions, and with your right shoulder bared, recite the Mantra completely 1,008 times. Then, wash your body, and contemplate whatever it is that you wish for. Thereafter, inside the mandala, until the sun shines eat only clean foods. Then, after fifteen days have passed, come out from that prepared mandala. The individual who does so will be endowed with inconceivable merit and powers of charisma and charm. All aspirations will be totally fulfilled. If it so happens that an aspiration is not accomplished, then if one again stays in the mandala, one’s aspirations will be entirely achieved."
"Thus, one must henceforth always be mindful of this.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE EIGHTH CHAPTER, 'THE DHĀRANI CALLED 'GOLDEN.
Then, too, after the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror had taught that Dhārani, for the benefit and happiness of those assembled retinues of bodhisattva mahāsattavas, gods, humans and so on, in order to demonstrate the characteristics of emptiness, the ultimate truth, at that time he spoke the following verses:
In inconceivably many other sūtras,
I have thoroughly and extensively explained empty phenomena,
And so, in this most excellent of sublime sūtras,
I will describe empty phenomena only in brief.
Sentient beings of small intellect, intensely ignorant,
Cannot understand all things,
And so, in this most excellent of sublime sūtras,
I will describe empty phenomena only in brief.
So that all sentient beings can know with certainty,
So that they may be released,
Through the power of compassion, methods, means, and other causes,
I have expounded this most excellent of sublime sūtras.
This body is like an empty village or house,
And the sense faculties are like armies and thieves:
Although they all live in the same village,
They are totally unaware of each other.
The eye sense faculty chases after forms,
The ear sense faculty hankers after sounds,
The nose sense faculty is captivated by various smells,
The tongue sense faculty constantly runs after tastes,
The body sense faculty hunts tactile sensations,
And the mental sense faculty intensely analyzes phenomena:
Each of these six faculties
Are fully absorbed in their respective objects.
As for the mind, it is as unsteady as a magical illusion,
Its six senses totally engrossed in their objects;
It is like a man running through an empty town
Dwelling there amongst soldiers and thieves.
Dwelling among the six sense objects like a bird,
Thoroughly familiar with the sense organs’ spheres of activity too,
Thus the mind dwells, involved in objects,
And intimately implicated in the experiential dimension of the senses, as well.
Forms, sounds, and likewise smells,
Tastes, tactile sensations and phenomena that are objects of experience,
The mind, with all six sense faculties,
Engages with the senses, flitting like a bird,
And, in whichever sense it abides in,
Lends that sense its knowing nature.
The body is without motion and without action,
Has no core essence, and arises from conditions.
Unreal, it arises from concepts,
Abiding like a work machine for an empty city.
Earth, fire, water, and air,
Dwell in separate towns, in this direction and that direction.
Like poisonous snakes living together in the same abode, for example,
They are always out of harmony with each other.
Furthermore, two of these elemental snakes move upwards,
And two move down;
Moving by twos into the directions and sub-directions,
All these elemental snakes disappear.
The earth snake and the water snake:
Those two exhaust below.
The fire snake and wind snake:
Those two drift off into space above.
In just this way, due to actions performed in the past,
The ever-present mind and consciousness
Are born into existence among gods, humans, and in the three negative transmigrations
Due to similarly created karma.
When phlegm, wind and bile have been exhausted,
The body is filled with urine and foul vomit.
Utterly unpleasant, it becomes a heap of worms,
Discarded like wood at the burial grounds.
You, O Goddess, look upon these phenomena.
Given this, what are sentient beings, persons?
All these phenomena are empty,
And arise from the continuum of ignorance.
These great elements are not great elements.
Originating from the non-originated, they are not originated.
Why is this so? The originated is non-originated.
Therefore, I call them “the great elements”.
Not coming into being, and never existent,
They arise from the conditions of ignorance.
This ignorance itself does not come into being.
Therefore, I call it “this ignorance”.
Volitional factors, consciousness, and name together with form,
The six sense fields, contact and feelings,
Craving, grasping, and likewise existence,
Birth, aging, and death, sorrows and harm:
The suffering of samsara is inconceivable.
All you who dwell in this way on the wheel of samsara,
Fully analyze with your minds what has originated from the non-originated and what is not originated,
As well as all that is not correct,
Cut through the view of self,
Tear down the net of mental afflictions with the sword of genuine wisdom,
And see the abode of the aggregates as empty:
Realize the great ocean of enlightenment’s qualities.
I have opened wide the gate to the city of immortality elixir,
I have extensively revealed the vessel of deathless nectar’s essence, too;
I have entered into the abode of the city of immortality elixir,
I have been satisfied by deathless nectar's vital juice.
I have beaten the sublime great drum of Dharma,
I have blown the supreme Dharma conch,
I have lit the supreme lamp,
I have caused the sublime rain of Dharma to fall.
I have conquered the enemy host of afflictive mental states,
I have hoisted the sublime victory banner of the Dharma,
I have freed sentient beings from the ocean of conditioned existence,
I have blocked the roads to the three negative transmigrations.
When sentient beings are scorched by the fires of mental affliction,
Without help or supportive forces,
I sooth those living beings burnt by the fire of disturbing mental states,
And, cooling them with the nectar of deathlessness, I satisfy them.
Why? For many eons past,
I made offerings to an inconceivable number of Guides.
As I fervently sought the Dharmakaya,
With firm resolve, for the sake of enlightenment I practiced,
Giving my hands, eyes, and legs,
The supreme appendage of the head, beloved sons and daughters,
Wealth, jewels, gems, pearls, ornaments and gold,
Lapis lazuli, and all kinds of precious stones.
If you were to cut down all the woods in the three thousand-fold world-system,
All the grasses and shrubs,
Forests and all that grows from the ground,
And grind all of them down to a powder,
Reducing them to extremely fine particles,
And pile up a mound of powder
Reaching up to the vault of the skies,
It could be divided into three parts.
If everything that all sentient beings know about
The particles existing on earth
And the inconceivable realms of particles
In the three thousand-fold great world systems
Were to be put into one sentient being,
With that knowledge, he might count
The particles of that powder,
And be most superior over all sentient beings.
Although it is possible that someone strongly endowed with wisdom
Might be able to count everything,
They could not fathom the knowledge of the Victorious One.
What is the exalted wisdom of the Great Sage?
Even in many billions of eons,
Just a single moment of its operation
Cannot be quantified.
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE NINTH CHAPTER: EMPTINESS.
Chapter 11: The Meticulous Observation of Gods and Humans By the Four Great Kings
Then, the Great King Vaishravana, the Great King Dhritarashta, the Great King Virudhaka, and the Great King Virupaksha rose from their seats, put their upper robes over one shoulder, kneeled placing their right knee on the ground, bowed with joined palms in the direction of the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, and spoke the following words to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
“Lord Bhagavan, as for this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, it is spoken by all Tathāgatas. It is seen by all Tathāgatas. It is ruminated upon by all Tathāgatas. All the assemblies of bodhisattvas completely embrace it. All the assemblies of gods bow to it. All the assemblies of gods make offerings to it. All the assemblies of god-kings deeply praise it. All the protectors of the universe venerate it and praise it, and speaking those praises, they intensely worship it. It illuminates all the castles of the gods. It fully bestows all supreme bliss upon all sentient beings. It dries up all the suffering of sentient beings in the hells, the animal world, and the world of Yama. It cuts off the flow of all fear. It totally wards off all foreign armies. It exhaustively pacifies all the terrors of famine. It utterly neutralizes all the horrors of sickness. It dispels all harm from planets. It activates absolute peace. It completely calms all agony and disturbing emotions. It powerfully soothes a variety of harmful factors. It vigorously subdues one hundred thousand kinds of harm. Indeed it does!”
“Lord Bhagavan, if this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light is extensively, authentically, and thoroughly explained to a retinue, then through the essential juice of ambrosial Dharma nectar that comes from listening to this Dharma, for us along with our four-fold retinue of troops and servants, our divine bodies will greatly expand in majesty. In our bodies, endurance, strength, and power will grow. Brilliance, resplendence, and vitality will be infused into our bodies.”
“Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, are imbued with the Dharma. We are orators of Dharma, kings of Dharma indeed. Lord Bhagavan, through the Dharma, we work as the kings of gods, nagas, yakshas, ashuras, garudas, gandharvas, kinnaras, mahoragas. We counteract the inexhaustible hordes of bhutas who are without compassion and steal others’ luster.”
“Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, simultaneously with the twenty-eight great generals of the yakshas and many hundreds of thousands of yakshas, always continuously observe the entire world with our perfectly pure divine eyes that surpass those of humans. We guard it. We powerfully protect it.”
“Lord Bhagavan, when any place in this world is endangered by the invasion of foreign armies, the terrors of poverty, the horrors of sickness, hundreds of different kinds of harm, thousands of different kinds of harm, or hundreds of thousands of different kinds of harm, then, Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, will inspire the Dharma-expounding monks who uphold this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light.”
“Lord Bhagavan, when we, the Four Great Kings, have inspired those Dharma-expounding monks through miracles and blessings, then in whatever lands they go to, we will cause them to extensively and authentically teach this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light in those very lands. In whatever lands where things such as hundreds of different kinds of harm and thousands of different kinds of harm occur, we will completely pacify.”
“Lord Bhagavan, in whatever lands the Dharma-expounding monk who upholds this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light travels in, we will cause the human king of those very lands to render service to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light.”
“Lord Bhagavan, the human king, having listened to and reflected upon this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, will in all ways protect those monks who uphold this Sovereign of Sūtras from all attacks. If he thoroughly guards, thoroughly cares for, and thoroughly looks after them, then, Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, will in all ways protect the sentient beings who live all over the land of that human king. We will thoroughly guard, thoroughly take care of, and thoroughly look after them, causing them to be peaceful and happy.”
“Lord Bhagavan, if the human king makes the upholder of this Sovereign of Sūtras happy with all that brings happiness, whether they be a monk, nun, layman, or laywoman, then, Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, will cause the sentient beings living all over the land of that human king to have an abundance of bliss and all useful things, with all implements of happiness.”
“Lord Bhagavan, when the human king respects, treats as a guru, renders service, and makes offerings to the upholder of this Sovereign of Sūtras, whether they be a monk, nun, layman, or laywoman, then, Lord Bhagavan, we, the Four Great Kings, will cause all kings to greatly honor, greatly venerate, greatly attend to, and greatly offer to that human king. In all lands, he will be copiously praised.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER: THE METICULOUS OBSERVATION OF GODS AND HUMANS BY THE FOUR GREAT KINGS.
Chapter 13 Completed: The Dhārani of Non-Attachment
“Shāradvatiputra, it is like this: this section of Dharma known as the Dhārani of Non-Attachment is the mother of the bodhisattvas who meditate on all Dharmas, it is the preliminary conduct of the bodhisattvas, and is thoroughly retained by the bodhisattvas.”
“Bhagavan, as for 'Dhārani', if it does not abide in an objective field, and indeed does not abide in a spatial direction, then Bhagavan, what is the meaning of the word of Dhārani which is said 'Dhārani, Dhārani'"?
“Shāradvatiputra, just as you abide in the Mahayana, have interest in the Mahayana, and perform altruistic acts for the Mahayana, Shāradvatiputra, in just this way, although it is indeed taught, as you said, that 'Dhārani' is a phenomenon that does not abide in an objective field, that also does not abide in a spatial direction, and that is also not a phenomenon, that is also not a non-phenomenon, that is also not in the past, that is also not in the future, that is also not in the present, that is also not a substantial entity, that is also not a non-substantial entity, that has also not arisen from conditions, that has also not arisen from a lack of conditions, that has also not arisen from a life form, that has also not arisen from that which is not a life form, that is also not a production of any phenomenon, and is also not a cessation, for the benefit of the bodhisattvas, it is just like this: namely, it is like the qualities of the Buddha, the ethical conduct of the Buddha, the practices of the Buddha, the intent of the Buddha, and the arising of the Buddha. It is like this."
“Bhagavan, it is like this: Please bestow the Dharma section on the Dhārani through the attainment of which one never turns away from the unexcelled perfectly complete enlightenment of the bodhisattva wherever one stays, one holds commitments correctly, one perfectly dwells with teachers learned in the unsupported nature of phenomena, and one abides intensely on the path. Sugata, please explain it!"
“Shāradvatiputra, well done! Well done! Shāradvatiputra, it is just like that. A bodhisattva who attains Dhārani should be called the Buddha himself. Shāradvatiputra, whoever renders service to a bodhisattva who attains Dhārani, treats them as a guru, honors them, and make offerings to them, by that they render service to the Buddha.”
“Shāradvatiputra, since whoever listens to this Dhārani, upholds this Dhārani, and venerates it will never be separate from the awakening mind of bodhichitta, it is precisely in that way that they will make offerings to the Buddha.”
“Shāradvatiputra, as for this Dhārani, it is this:
TADYATHĀ/ SANDHĀRANI UTDHĀRANI/ SUSAM PRATISHTITE/ SUNĀMA/ SUPRATISHTITE/ VIJAYA BALA/ SATTYAPRATIJÑĀ/ SUĀROHA/ JÑĀNAPRATI/ UTPADANI/ ABANĀPANI/ ABHISHIÑCHANI/ ABHIBYĀHĀRA/ SHUBHABATI/ SUNIH SHRITA/ PAHUGUMBHA/ ABHIPADĀ SVĀHĀ
“Shāradvatiputra, if any bodhisattva dwells intensely on the words of this Dhārani of Non-Attachment, and, by retaining it, upholds it well, then for an eon, or for more than an eon, or for a thousand eons, and even for one hundred thousand eons, their aspirations will not be exhausted. Moreover, the body of that one will not be harmed by weapons, will not be poisoned, and will not be harmed by snakes.”
“Why is that so? Shāradvatiputra, this Dhārani of Non-Attachment is the mother of the Buddhas of the past, the mother of the Buddhas of the future, and the mother of the Buddhas of the present. Such it is: It is the section of Dharma called the Dhārani of Non-Attachment.”
“Shāradvatiputra, if one were to fill the ten uncountable worlds of the trichiliocosm with the seven precious substances, make offerings of them to the Buddha Bhagavans, and for incalculable eons attend to them excellently with clothes and food, by comparison, any sentient being who retains merely a single word of this Dharma section of the Dhārani of Non-Attachment will generate far greater merit.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT,
THIS WAS THE THIRTEENTH CHAPTER,
‘THE DHĀRANI OF NON-ATTACHMENT’.
Chapter 14: The Wish-Fulfilling Jewel Dhārani
“Ananda, all lightning is reversed by you. All previous perfectly complete Buddhas appearing individually, one following the other, have taught this, and I, too, shall now explain it. Please bear it in mind.”
“Ananda, in the eastern direction, there is the lightning known as Approaching. Ananda, in the southern direction is the lightning known as Hundred Voices. Ananda, in the western direction is the lightning known as Equal Light, and, Ananda, in the northern direction is the lightning known as Sovereign of Continuity.”
“Ananda, if anyone should know the names of these lightnings and know the directions in which they exist, then all fears of lightning shall be known to be non-existent. If one writes out in letters the names of these lightnings, then in any place one dwells lightning will not strike.”
TADYATHĀ: NIMI NIMI/ NIMI NIDHARI
Furthermore, at that time, the Bodhisattva Mahāsattva Lord Ārya Avalokiteshvara had gathered in that very assembly, and since he was present, spoke these words to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
TADYATHĀ/ KATEBIKATE/ NIKATE PRATYARTHIKE/PRATYAMITRE/ SHUDDHE/ MUKTE/ VIMALE/ PRABHĀSVARE/ANDARE/ PANDARE/ SHVETE/ PANDARA PĀSINI/ HARIKANDARI/ KAPILI/ PINGALA/ AKSHIDADHIMUKHI
Then, the Lord of Secrets, Vajrapani, went up to where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed with his hands folded, and spoke the following words to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
TADYATHĀ/ MUNI MUNI/ MUNINADHARI MUNI/ MATI MATI/ SUMATI/ MAHĀMATI/ HĀ HĀ HĀ HĀ
“Bhagavan, if anyone keeps in their hearts this protection of mine which cannot be defeated by others, or writes it out in letters, then I will constantly and unceasingly protect them from all fears. I shall free them from all untimely demise.”
TADYATHĀ/ HILI MILI/ CHILI SVĀHĀ/ BRAHMAPŪRE SVĀHĀ/ BRAHMASVARE SVĀHĀ/ BRAHMABHISUGARBHE/ PUSHPASAMSTARE SVĀHĀ
Then Indra, the Lord of the Gods, came up to where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed with hands folded, and spoke the following words to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
TADYATHĀ/ NIVARĀNI/ BANDHAMĀDANTEMATITI/ TITI/ GAURĪ/GANDHARI/ CHANDALI/ MĀTANGI/ PARNALE/ HINAMADHYAMADHARINIMALANI/ DALAMADADE/ CHAKRA BĀKRĪ/ SHAVARI/ SHAVARI SVĀHA
Then, the Great Kings Dhritarashtra, Virudhaka, Virupaksha, and the Great King Vaishravana went up to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, bowed with folded hands, and addressed him with the following words:
TADYATHĀ/ PUSHPE SUPUSHPE/ DHUMAPARIHĀRE/ ĀRYA PUSHASTE/ SHANTI/NIRMUKTE/ MANGALYA/ HIRANYAGARBHESTUTE/ STABITE/ SVĀHĀ
“Lord Bhagavan, as for this, it is the protection afforded by us, the Four Great Kings, called Absence of Fear. It turns all fears into non-fears. A protector of life, it thoroughly guards against all untimely demise. Thus it is!”
Then, the naga king Ocean, the naga king Light of Lightning, the naga king Never Warm, the naga king Lightning Tongue, and the naga king Light Rays went up to where the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror was, bowed with folded hands, and spoke the following words to the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror:
“Lord Bhagavan, our great protection is called Wish-Fulfilling Jewel. It pacifies all lightning, dispels all untimely demise, neutralizes all poisons, and pacifies fear of antagonists, magical curses, zombies, and all that is inauspicious, whatever it may be. Bhagavan, we have come out from the homeland of the nagas and, in order that we may abandon greed, think of us with love and accept this.”
TADYATHĀ/ ĀRYA JEAMARE AMRITE/AKSHAYE/ABHIYE/ PUNYAI/PARYAPATE/ SARVA PĀPAM/ PRASHAMĀNIYE SVĀHĀ/ ĀRYA PUNYA SOPĀKĪYE SVĀHĀ
“Lord Bhagavan, if any male or female intones these words of secret mantra with their tongue or writes them down in letters, they will experience all fears of lightning as non-existent, and if they have taken a root poison, tooth poison, precious substance poison, or any other poison made from off-shoots of these, then the moment of death will not come. May all personal fear and all harm become happiness and well-being!”
“Well done. Honorable sirs, in order to benefit many individuals and bring happiness to many people, you have thus offered for this section of Dharma so that it can later be thoroughly retained, and you have uttered the syllables of Drāvida’s Secret Mantra. Well done, well done! In all directions, it protects from drowsiness, madness, and insanity.”
The Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror spoke those words, and the universe with its monks, Indra, Brahma, the Protectors of the Universe, naga kings, gods, humans, demi-gods and gandharvas rejoiced, and deeply praised what had been spoken by the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror.
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE FOURTEENTH CHAPTER: ‘THE DHĀRANI OF THE WISH-FULFILLING JEWEL’.
“Lord Bhagavan, always and ever, I, the Great Goddess Shrī, shall bring an abundance of all necessary items to the monk who expounds the Dharma. He will have freedom from busy work and poverty, attain an expansive mind, and have a blissful mind day and night. Coming to a perfect understanding of all the various words and syllables of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, he will fully realize them and will perfectly utter them for the sake of sentient beings who have planted roots of virtue under hundreds of billions of Buddhas, so that this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light remains in the world for a long time and does not fade quickly, so that sentient beings will listen to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, experience the happiness and gods and humans for many hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of eons, be free from famine, and have excellent crops, so that those sentient beings too become blissful through all that promotes happiness, can associate with the Tathāgata, and manifestly and completely awaken to unparalleled perfect enlightenment, and so that the entire stream of suffering of sentient beings in the hells, the animal world, and the world of Yama may be completely blocked off.”
“The Great Goddess Shrī has generated roots of virtue under the one known as the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha Ratna-kusuma-guna-sāgara-vaidūrya-kānchaña-suvarna-kanakā-bhāsa-shrī. Because of that, she now directs her thought into all kinds of directions, watches over all kinds of directions and travels in all kinds of directions, and in all those directions that she goes to, she brings happiness to many hundreds of thousands of millions of billions of sentient beings, causing them to never have a shortage of food, drink, wealth, grain, shells, gold, gems, pearls, lapis, conches, crystals, coral, silver and unwrought gold, and other useful things as well. Those sentient beings will receive everything they need.”
“Pay homage to that Tathāgata (Ratna-kusuma-guna-sāgara-vaidūrya-kānchaña-suvarna-kanakā-bhāsa-shrī) by the power of the Goddess Shrī. Offer scents, flowers, and also incense. For those who recite the name of the Great Goddess Shrī (Mahādevi Shrī) three times, and thereupon offer incense, scents, flowers, and a variety of tastes too, their accumulated store of grain will greatly increase. It is therefore said:
“The great goddess Shrī thinks about those sentient beings that say the name of the Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light (Suvarnaprabhā Sottama Sūtrendra Rāja Sūtra), and accords them great glory. Then, the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror congratulated the Great Goddess Shrī, saying:
“Well done, well done. Because you, O Goddess, recounted your previous activities, you have made offerings to the Tathāgatas, helped limitless sentient beings and benefited them with happiness, and you will never experience the exhaustion of the merit that comes from widely spreading this Sūtra.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE SIXTEENTH CHAPTER: THE GODDESS SHRĪ.
“Bhagavan, I dwell not far from here in the northern direction, in the retinue of the palace of Vaishravana, the Heavenly World ‘Interwoven’, in the sublime pleasure garden called Flower-Light of Merit, in the mansion made of the seven precious materials called Golden Victory Banner of the Golden Sublime Lotus.”
“All those who wish to increase their stock of grain should sweep their homes well, clean them thoroughly, don clean white clothes, wear garments of extremely delectable scent, and then prostrate to the Tathāgata, the Arhat, the Perfect and Complete Buddha Ratna-kusuma-guna-sāgara-vaidūrya-kānchaña-suvarna-kanakā-bhāsa-shrī, reciting his name three times.”
“You should also recite the name of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light (Suvarnaprabhā Sottama Sūtrendra Rāja Sūtra) three times, and recite words of truth, as well. Furthermore, by making offerings of flowers, scents, perfumes, and all kinds of delicious tastes to the Great Goddess Shrī, throughout one’s lifetime, by the power of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, she will keep that household in mind, and its store of grain will greatly increase."
HOMAGE TO ALL PAST, FUTURE, AND PRESENT BUDDHAS.
HOMAGE TO ALL BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS.
HOMAGE TO THE BHAGAVAN, THE TATHĀGATA RATNASHIKHIN.
HOMAGE TO THE BHAGAVAN, THE TATHĀGATA VIMALOJVALANARATNARASHMIPRATIBHĀSAKETU, PINNACLE OF STAINLESSLY BLAZING RAYS OF JEWEL LIGHT.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA JAMBŪSUVARNADHVAJAKANAKĀBHĀSA,
GOLDEN RADIANCE OF THE GOLDEN VICTORY BANNER OF PLANET EARTH.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA SUVARNABHASAGARBHA,
ESSENCE OF RADIANT GOLDEN LIGHT.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA SHATASŪRYARASHMIPRABHĀSAGARBHA,
ESSENCE OF THE BRILLIANT LIGHT RAYS OF A HUNDRED SUNS.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA KAÑCHANARATNĀKARACHATTRAKUTA,
MULTI-LAYERED PARASOL SOURCE OF THE PRECIOUS GOLDEN MOUNTAIN.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA CHAMPAKAJVALANARASHMIKETU,
CREST ORNAMENT OF THE BLAZING LIGHT RAYS OF GOLDEN FLOWERS.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA MAHĀPRADĪPA, GREAT LAMP.
HOMAGE TO THE TATHĀGATA RATNAKETU, JEWELED CREST ORNAMENT.
HOMAGE TO AKSHOBHYA, THE TATHĀGATA OF THE EASTERN DIRECTION.
HOMAGE TO RATNAKUTIN, THE TATHĀGATA OF THE SOUTHERN DIRECTION.
HOMAGE TO AMITĀYUS, THE TATHĀGATA OF THE WESTERN DIRECTION.
HOMAGE TO DUNDHUBISVARA, THE TATHĀGATA OF THE NORTHERN DIRECTION.
HOMAGE TO BODHISATTVA RUCHIRAKETU, PINNACLE OF BEAUTY.
HOMAGE TO BODHISATTVA SUVARNAPRABHĀSOTTAMA, SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT.
HOMAGE TO BODHISATTVA SUVARNAGARBHA, ESSENCE OF GOLD.
HOMAGE TO BODHISATTVA SADAPRARUDITA, EVER WEEPING.
HOMAGE TO BODHISATTVA SUPRATISHTHĀ, CONSECRATION.
SĀDYATHEDANA/ PRATIPŪRNACHARE/SAMANTĀDARSHANE/ MAHĀBIHĀRAGATI/SAMANTA/ BIMĀNAGATE/ MAHĀKĀRYA/ PRATIPRĀBANI/ SATTVĀ/ ARTHASAMATĀNU/ PRAPŪRE/ AYĀNADHARMATĀ/ MAHĀBHOGINI/ MAHĀMAITRI/ UBASADAHITE/ HITESHI/ SANGRIHĪTE/ SAMARATHĀNŪPĀLANE SVĀHĀ
“In regards to these, they are the undeceiving utterance of ultimate reality that naturally grants perfect accomplishment of suchness in a single secret mantric phrase, and confers empowerment from the crown of the head. Beings whose conduct is free from extremes, whose roots of virtue are free from unspeakable negativity, should recite this mantra for seven years. Those upholding it should receive the eight-limbed precepts ritual. So that I and all sentient beings may perfectly bring omniscient pristine awareness to total completion, morning and afternoon they should offer flowers and incense to all the Buddhas, saying:
‘Through this, may my wishes be accomplished! May they swiftly be accomplished!’
“Whether in a temple or hermitage, let them clean that dwelling extremely well, create a mandala of cow dung, offer incense and scents, spread out clean seats, and strew the ground with scattered flowers. Then, in that very instant, the Great Goddess Shrī will come there, and take up residence. Thenceforth, she will never forsake that household, village, city, town, temple, or hermitage, and its poverty will disappear. It will be abundant in shells, gold, jewels, wealth, grain, and all necessities, their lives made easier by everything that brings happiness.”
“The major share of all these roots of virtue accomplished here should be offered to the Great Goddess Shrī, and, as long as they live, she will remain in that place, they will not be poor, and all their wishes will be completely fulfilled.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE SEVENTEENTH CHAPTER: VAST INCREASE IN WEALTH BY THE GREAT GODDESS SHRĪ.
Chapter 18: The Earth Goddess Dridha
“Lord Bhagavan, now and in the future, wherever this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light exists, whether in towns, cities, villages, valleys, in the vicinities of monasteries, mountain medicinal valleys, or towns which abide in the areas of palaces, I, the Earth Goddess Dridha, will go to those cities, villages, valleys, vicinities of monasteries, mountain medicinal valleys, or palace areas.”
“Lord Bhagavan, wherever this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light is expounded authentically and thoroughly, in any location whatsoever where the Dharma throne is arranged for the monk who expounds the Dharma, wherever the monk who expounds the Dharma takes his seat and authentically and thoroughly teaches this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, Lord Bhagavan, I, the Earth Goddess Dridha, will come to those very locations.”
“Without the presence of a physical body, I will go underneath the Dharma throne, and with the sacred appendage of the head, I will support the soles of the feet of the monk who expounds the Dharma. I also will listen to the Dharma, and will be satisfied by this ambrosial juice of Dharma. I will perfectly show my respect. I will perfectly make offerings. I will be satisfied. I will engage in many acts of honor.”
“Being totally pleased, I will greatly enrich the vital nutrients of the earth, from the mass of earth sixty-eight thousand leagues in extent to the diamond base of the ground. Genuinely, I shall render honor. I shall totally consummate it.”
“Then, on this planet Earth, the different kinds of grasses, bushes, medicinal herbs, and forests will grow to be extremely lustrous. All varieties of parks, woods, stately trees, leaves, flowers, fruit and crops will become extremely lustrous too. They will be endowed with intense fragrance, imbued completely with oils, and have a delicious taste. They will be gorgeous to behold. They will become very great in size.”
“The sentient beings will seek rich varieties of drink and food, and using these, their longevity, complexion, strength and sense-powers will flourish. Growing in majesty, strength and complexion, and possessing robust bodies, they will work to accomplish many hundreds of thousands of different kinds of various necessities on this earth. They will persevere. They will strive. They will perform actions that lend strength.”
“Lord Bhagavan, due to this cause, all of planet Earth will be at peace, have good crops, prosper, abide in the state of even-minded joy, and become full of sentient beings and humans. All beings on planet Earth will be happy, and shall experience all kinds of delight. These beings will have great charisma, strength, complexion, and robust bodies.”
“For the sake of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, I will go towards the monk, nun, layman or laywoman who upholds this Sovereign King of Sūtras and who sits upon the Dharma seat. Having gone there, with an extremely lucid mind, for the sake of the welfare, benefit, and happiness of all sentient beings and so that this King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light will be explained extensively, authentically, and thoroughly, I will supplicate those expounders of the Dharma.”
“Why is that? Because, Lord Bhagavan, if this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light is fully explained, then I, the Earth Goddess Dridha, along with my attendants, will be endowed with intense majesty, and will be imbued with intense strength. In our bodies strength, resilience, and might will be generated. Our bodies will gain excellence, charisma, and glory.”
“Lord Bhagavan, I, the Earth Goddess Dridha, will be satisfied by this ambrosial nectar of Dharma. Upon attaining majesty, strength, resilience, power, and great might, the vital essence of the earth will make this planet Earth of seven thousand great grounds prosper completely. The great Earth will be imbued with majesty.”
“Lord Bhagavan, all of the sentient beings without exception who depend on the Earth will expand in abundance and prosperity, and will broaden in extent, as well. Even as those sentient beings living on the Earth become great, they will experience a variety of enjoyments and delights. They will also experience bliss. For all of them without exception, all kinds of food, drink, prepared food, clothes, bedding, seats, dwellings, houses, mansions, parks, rivers, ponds, springs, small lakes, large lakes, pools and all kinds of useful and pleasant things such as these will be experienced by those who abide on the Earth, who come from the Earth, who depend on the Earth.”
“Lord Bhagavan, due to that cause, all those sentient beings will feel gratitude to me, and, seeking to repay my kindness, will honor this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, and will venerate it. They will treat it as a guru. They will hold services for it. They will make offerings to it.”
“Lord Bhagavan, whenever those sentient beings go to be in the presence of the Dharma expounder, they will come out from their different classes and different homes, and having gone there, they will listen to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light. Having heard it, they will return to their own different classes, homes, towns, and villages. Those in their own households will say to one another these words:
‘Today, we listened to the Dharma and heard the profound. Today, we hold an inconceivable mass of merit. Through our act of listening to the Dharma, many hundreds of thousands of billions of Tathāgatas were delighted. Through our listening to the Dharma today, sentient beings will be totally freed from hell. They will be totally freed from animal rebirths, the world of Yama, and the spheres of ghosts. Through our listening to the Dharma today, in future times, for many hundreds of thousands of rebirths, we will take birth as gods and humans.’
They will converse like that.”
“If those who reside in separate homes were to express to other sentient beings even just one example from the Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, or were to make other sentient beings hear just one chapter from the Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, one account of past events, the name of just one bodhisattva, the name of one tathāgata, just one stanza of four lines, or just a single word, or even if they were to fully teach to others even just the name of the Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, or, Lord Bhagavan, if any of these different kinds of sentient beings in various kinds of places were to state to another being this Sūtra’s various lines of reasoning such as these one by one, make them hear them, or relate an account of them, then, Lord Bhagavan, all those places will become extremely lustrous and extremely luminous. For the sake of all of those earth areas and their sentient beings, the various kinds of essential nutrients of the earth and all useful things will grow profusely; they will increase fully and expand to the utmost. All beings in turn will be in a state of well-being. They will have great wealth and great resources, and will be inclined to generosity. In the Three Jewels they will have deep faith.”
“Earth Goddess, if any sentient being listens to even a single word from this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, then after dying and passing away from this human world they will be born among the gods in the heaven of the thirty-three and other suitable heavens.”
“Earth Goddess, if any sentient beings, in order to make offerings to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, decorate their places elegantly, or even raise a single parasol, a single flag, or a single piece of cloth, then, Earth Goddess, those places that are constantly decorated will turn into immeasurable mansions made of the seven precious substances, adorned with every ornament, amid the seven classes of gods in the desire realm. When those beings transmigrate from this world of humans, they will be born in those immeasurable mansions made of the seven precious substances, and at that time, Earth Goddess, those beings will be reborn seven times in each of the immeasurable mansions made of the seven precious substances. They will experience inconceivable divine bliss.”
“Lord Bhagavan, therefore, I, the Earth Goddess Dridha, will dwell in any of those earth regions which abide under the Dharma seat, whenever the monk who expounds the Dharma arrives at the Dharma throne. Always and ever, for the sake of those sentient beings who have planted roots of virtue under hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, so that this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light may last for last for a long time and not disappear quickly on this planet Earth, so that sentient beings also may come to listen to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, so that in future times, for many hundreds of thousands of millions of eons they may experience inconceivable bliss and associate with the Tathāgata, so that in future times they may attain the unsurpassed perfectly complete enlightenment of actualized complete Buddhahood, and so that the suffering of the sentient beings in the hells, places of animal rebirth, and the world of Yama may be completely cut off, I will arrive without the presence of a physical body, and will support the feet of the monk who expounds the Dharma with my head, the sublime appendage.”
Then, the Earth Goddess Dridha spoke these words:
“Lord Bhagavan, I have the heart-essence of a mantra which brings benefit and happiness to gods and humans. If any male, female, or anyone among the fourfold retinue (of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen) wants to see me directly, wants wealth, precious gems, pearls and so on, wants long life through excellent medicine and freedom from sickness, and wants to banish all opposing enemies and all hostile forces, then they should make a mandala in an isolated place, clean themselves and wear new clothes, and sit on top of a grass carpet. In front of a statue which has relics or in front of a stūpa which has relics, they should make offerings with all kinds of flowers, incense, and food. On the eighth day of the lunar month connected with the constellation Pushya, they should recite this dhārani-mantra with one-pointed mind, and I will be invoked. The mantra is:
TADYATHĀ/ CHILI CHILI/ CHURU CHURU/ KURU KURU/ KUTU KUTU/ TOTU TOTU/ BAHA BAHA/ BARISHE/ BARISHE SVĀHĀ
TADYATHĀ/ ANCHANI/ KYALIKSHANI/ SHISHIDHARI/ HA HA/ HI HI/ KURUBARE SVĀHĀ
“Lord Bhagavan, these words of mantra should be recited one hundred and eight times, and if the previous mantra was recited, I will show my body to that individual. I will definitely bring their wishes to fulfillment.”
TADYATHĀ/ SHIRI SHIRI/ BĀSHAKATI/TATI/ KUTTI/ PŪTA/ PŪDERI/ PUDERITITE/ PUTIKUKUTI/ KABACHILI SVĀHĀ
“Lord Bhagavan, when this dhārani-mantra is practiced, tie a knot on a five-colored string for each time the mantra is recited. Recite like that twenty-one times. If you fasten it to your left shoulder, then all fears will be dispelled, and your body will be protected. If you recite this mantra with an undistracted mind, then all of your wishes will be accomplished.”
“In regards to your protection of this Sovereign of Sūtras and the expounder of the Dharma by means of your mantric words of truth: Well done, well done! And thus, you too have become imbued with an immeasurable gathering of merit.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE EIGHTEENTH CHAPTER: DRIDHA, THE EARTH GODDESS.
Chapter 19: Samjñāya, the Lord of Yakshas
Then, the supreme commander of the yakshas Samjñāya, along with twenty-eight great yaksha generals, rose from his seat, and putting his upper robe over one shoulder, knelt on his right knee. Bowing with folded palms toward the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror, he addressed the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror in the following words:
“Lord Bhagavan, now and in future times, in whatever villages, cities, towns, valleys, monastery regions, hilly medicinal valleys, or palace areas this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light appears, Lord Bhagavan, I, Samjñāya, the supreme commander of the yakshas, along with the twenty-eight great yaksha generals, shall go to those villages, cities, towns, valleys, monastery regions, hilly medicinal valleys, or palace areas.”
“Creating non-physical forms, we shall protect the monk who expounds the Dharma. We shall completely guard him, look after him, protect him from punishment, and bring him peace, happiness, and success.”
“We will, in all ways, protect all those men, women, boys, and girls who listen to the Dharma, and also all those who come to retain this Sūtra: those who listen to even a single four-line verse, those who hear just a single word of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, or who hear just the name of a single bodhisattva or the name of a single tathāgata from this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light, and those who remember or even just hear the name of this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light. We will perfectly protect them, thoroughly look after them, completely nurture them, protect them from punishment, and bring them peace, happiness, and success.”
“We shall also, in all ways, protect all those classes of people, households, villages, cities, towns, monasteries, and palace areas. We will completely guard them, thoroughly look after them, protect them from punishment, and bring them peace, happiness, and success.”
“Lord Bhagavan, due to what cause has my name become ‘Samjñāya (Perfect Knowledge), the Supreme Commander of the Yakshas’? The Lord Bhagavan himself indeed clearly knows this. Lord Bhagavan, I seek all forms of experience. I thoroughly seek out all forms of experience. I comprehend all phenomena. I have direct cognition of all phenomena in all their multiplicity, of all phenomena in exactly the way they are, of how all phenomena abide, of what all phenomena are, of how all phenomena are classified, and, Lord Bhagavan, I am master of them all.”
“Lord Bhagavan, the precision of my wisdom in regards to all phenomena is inconceivable. The clarity of my wisdom is inconceivable. The range of my wisdom is inconceivable. The elements of my wisdom are inconceivable. Lord Bhagavan, the application of my wisdom to objective fields is inconceivable. Lord Bhagavan, in this way, due to the fact that I perfectly seek out, perfectly and thoroughly investigate, perfectly and thoroughly search for, perfectly and completely observe, and perfectly comprehend all phenomena, Lord Bhagavan, I have come to be called ‘Samjñāya, the Supreme Commander of the Yakshas’.”
“Lord Bhagavan, in order to enhance the words of the monk who expounds the Dharma, I shall strongly inspire confidence in him. How? So that the monk who expounds the Dharma does not become physically fatigued, so that his sense faculties will be well, so that he will give to extreme joy, I shall always give glimmer and majesty to the hair-pores on the body of the monk who expounds the Dharma."
"And why will I do this? So as to benefit the sentient beings who have planted roots of virtue under hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, so that this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light will remain in the world for a long time and will not quickly fade away, and so that sentient beings will also come to listen to this Sovereign King of Sūtras, the Sublime Golden Light and acquire an inconceivable accumulation of wisdom, become endowed with insight, perfectly accomplish the accumulation of merit, experience the inconceivable happiness of gods and humans for billions of eons into the future, accompany the Tathāgatas, and in the future attain the unsurpassed, perfectly and completely manifest enlightenment of buddhahood, as well as to totally pacify all the suffering of the sentient beings born in the hells, the animal realms, and the world of Yama.”
“I shall generate power, strength, and great resilience in his body. I shall make the clarity of his wisdom inconceivable. I shall bring him mastery over mindfulness. I shall cause him to be exceedingly joyful.”
Then, Samjñāya the supreme commander of the yakshas spoke the following words:
“Lord Bhagavan, I have a dhārani-mantra, and out of heart-felt love for all sentient beings and a wish to benefit them, I myself shall intone this mantra before the Lord Bhagavan. The mantra is as follows:
NAMO BUDDHĀYA/ NAMO DHARMĀYA/ NAMAH SANGHĀYA/ NAMO BRAHMĀYA/ NAMA INDRĀYA/ NAMA CHATURNĀM/ MAHĀRĀJĀNĀM/ TADYATHĀ/ HILI HILI/ MILI MILI/ GAURI/ MAHĀGAURI/ GANDHARI/ MAHĀGANDHARI/ DRIMIDI/ MAHĀDRIMIDI/ DANDAKHUKHUNATI/HA HA HA HA/ HI HI HI HI/ HU HU HU HU/ HALODHAME/ GUDHAME/ CHA CHA CHA CHA/ CHI CHI CHI CHI/ CHU CHU CHU CHU/ CHANDESHVARA/ SHIKHARA/ SHIKHARA/ UTISHTHAHE BHAGAVĀN/ SAMVIDJÑĀYE SVĀHĀ
“If anyone upholds and retains this mantra, I will give them all the necessities of life, alms, clothes, flowers, fruits, wealth, jewels and so forth. Furthermore, even if someone wants such things such as conversations with young men and young women, or requires male servants, female servants, gold, silver, jewels, jewelry and so on, I shall bestow upon them each and every thing their heart desires. Because this awareness-mantra is imbued with great power and energy, whenever this secret mantra is recited, I will approach that person, and accomplish everything without obstruction.”
“In regards to the ritual for accomplishment of this secret mantra: First, in front of a painted image of the vast form of the Great Overlord of the Yakshas, Samjñāya, sixteen to twenty finger-breadths in height and brandishing a battle axe in hand, place four vases full of honey or liquid molasses on the four corners of a square mandala. Burn ointments, powders, and incense, and make an offering of flowers as well.”
“Then, in front of that mandala, feed a mixture of butter and mustard seed into the smokeless fire inside a dug-out fire pit for the burnt offerings. Reciting the mantra each time, make the burnt offerings on that hearth.”
“Burn 108 times in this way, and I shall manifestly show my body there. I shall ask what it is you want. The practitioner should then also voice their desires, and I shall grant them everything they wish for. Whether they wish for gold and silver, wish to find treasures, or wish for the divine sages, flying through the air, they will be attained.”
“Furthermore, they will attain the supernormal perceptions of the divine eye, knowledge of others’ minds and so on. They will have power over all sentient beings in accordance with their wishes, will sever the flow of all disturbing mental states, and attain complete liberation.”
“Well done! Well done! For the sake of the benefit and happiness of all sentient beings, and in order to thoroughly protect the sublime Dharma, you have spoken these words of secret mantra, and thus your merit has become immeasurable.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE NINETEENTH CHAPTER, ‘THE LORD OF THE YAKSHAS, SAMJÑĀYA’.
Chapter 27: The Praise by All the Bodhisattvas
Then, those many hundreds of thousands of bodhisattvas went to where the Tathāgata Suvarna-ratna-karacchatra-kuta was, and having gone there, they bowed their heads at the feet of the Tathāgata Suvarna-ratna-karacchatra-kuta, and sat down to one side.
“The supreme body of the Conqueror resembles refined gold,
An exalted form totally imbued with the color of gold.
A golden hue like the golden king of mountains:
The White Lotus Sage is endowed with the color of gold.
With the major marks of excellence, your body is fully adorned,
With the various excellent minor marks, your body is embellished.
Your beauty, like golden light, blazing brightly:
You are utterly without blemish, serene as the king of mountains.
With the voice and pleasing tones of Brahma, the melody of Brahma,
The lion’s roar, and thunder, melody of the dragon’s resounding call,
Your sixty-fold melody is a pristine sound,
With the song of victory, the songs of the peacock and cuckoo.
Totally without stain, spotless, lovely with brilliant light,
Conqueror, you are adorned by the marks of a hundred merits.
Your ocean of transcendent knowledge flawless and unmarred,
Conqueror, like Sumeru you are endowed with all good qualities.
With unexcelled loving compassion that benefits sentient beings,
Supreme bestower of bliss in the universe throughout all world-systems,
Conqueror, revealing the sublime meanings:
You are the excellent one who leads into the bliss of nirvana.
Granting the joy of deathlessness,
Revealing completely the deathless ambrosial Dharma of the Victorious Ones,
Guiding to the city of deathlessness:
You are the source of all bliss, the abode of bliss.
Conqueror, you liberate wandering beings from suffering,
You free living beings from the ocean of suffering,
You perfectly guide living beings to the path of peace:
You grant living beings all happiness.
No one can equal you,
Guide of all that exists, ocean of virtue and wisdom.
Your great compassion for all beings laden with life,
The power of your love, your expertise and resolve:
Even in many thousands of billions of eons,
Among all beings including the gods, there are none who
Can fully describe even a single drop of the virtue
Of the ocean of your wisdom and good qualities.
Showing a single drop of your positive qualities,
We have briefly expounded a mere fraction of them in this way.
Through whatever merit we have thus gathered,
May all sentient beings touch supreme enlightenment."
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE TWENTY-SEVENTH CHAPTER: ‘THE PRAISE BY ALL THE BODHISATTVAS’.
Chapter 28: The Praise to All Tathāgatas
Then, the Bodhisattva Ruchiraketu rose from his seat, placed his upper robe over one shoulder, planted his right knee on the ground, bowed towards the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror with folded hands, and praised the Transcendent and Accomplished Conqueror deeply with these verses:
"Lord of Sages, you are adorned by hundreds of meritorious characteristics
And thousands of glorious beautiful qualities.
Of exquisite appearance, you manifest supreme peace,
And your light is like a thousand suns, streaming forth in all directions.
Blazing with brilliant beams of light, you are pervaded by light,
And replete with a variety of colors like a gemstone,
With blue, white, gleaming gold, lapis, copper, and dawn-crystal colored light,
You pulverize Sumeru, the vajra king of mountains,
Illuminate many billions of realms,
Soothe intense sufferings hard to bear,
And satisfy sentient beings with supreme bliss.
Your physical appearance and intellectual capacities are radiant and beautiful to observe.
One never tires of seeing your form, and all beings who behold it are filled with joy.
Your hair is as utterly lovely as the colors of the peacock,
Like light aswarm with bees.
You are adorned with the qualities of perfectly pure great compassion,
And have established sublime love, meditative concentration, and merit.
Endowed with a variety of excellent attributes and colors,
Adorned with the qualities of profound meditative concentration and the factors of enlightenment,
It is you who perfectly satisfies and brings aid to one and all.
Bringer of joy, you who manifest as the source of all joy,
Adorned with a multitude of profound qualities,
Gloriously manifesting in billions of realms,
Like bright firelight are you beautiful, with your gleaming rays of light.
In this way, you are like the full solar orb in the sky,
Imbued with all positive qualities like Sumeru,
And bringing perfect joy to all worlds throughout the universe.
Like the curd of a cow, a white water lily, and the moon,
Your garland of teeth, brilliant white like the color of snow,
Beautifies your mouth,
Just like Hamsarāja, the king of geese, soaring through the airs.
Your serene face is like the waxing moon,
With your clockwise-curling urna as sublime symbol of perfect mastery;
White radiance streams from your body, like beryl:
You are beautiful like the sun in the center of the sky."
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRAS, THE SUBLIME GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE TWENTY-EIGHTH CHAPTER: THE PRAISE TO ALL TATHĀGATAS.
Translated by the Sugatagarbha Translation Group.