Golden Light Sutra

The Sutra of Golden Light

One night, without any distraction,
I dreamed a vivid dream:
I saw a large beautiful drum
Permeating golden light everywhere.
It glowed just like the sun,
Beaming brightly everywhere
And seen from all the ten directions.
Everywhere, buddhas were seated
On thrones of precious lapis lazuli
At the foot of jewelled trees,
In front of an assembly of many hundreds of thousands.
I saw a form like that
Of a brahmin beat the drum fiercely.
As he beat it
These verses issued forth:
By the sound of this majestic drum of golden light,
May all suffering of lower migration, and of Yama,
Of poverty in the three realms, and
the triple thousand worlds cease to be.
By the sound of this majestic drum,
May the ignorance of the world be dispelled.
With fears quelled, just as the Vanquishing Lords are fearless,
May sentient beings also become fearless and without fear.
Just as the Omniscient Vanquishing Lord in the world
Is possessed of all qualities of the aryas,
May multitudes of beings possess oceans of qualities,
Qualities of concentration, and the wings of enlightenment.
By the sound of this majestic drum,
May all beings be endowed with the melody of Brahma.
May they touch the sublime enlightenment of buddhas.
May they turn the virtuous wheel of Dharma.
May they remain for inconceivable eons.
May they teach Dharma to guide migrating beings.
Conquering delusion and overcoming affliction,
May their attachment, hatred, and ignorance be pacified.
May sentient beings who have fallen to lower migrations,
Whose bodies of bone are alight with blazing flames,
Hear the speech of this majestic drum.
May they hear the proclamation, “Homage to the Buddha.”
In the course of hundreds of births,
And tens of thousands of millions of births,
May all beings come to remember their former lives,
Always keep in mind the Vanquishing Lords,
And hear these teachings at great length.
By the sound of the majestic drum,
May beings always find the company of buddhas.
Thoroughly renouncing all harmful deeds,
May they engage in actions that are only virtuous.
Humans, gods, and all creatures,
Whatever thoughts and wishes they have,
By the sound of this majestic drum
May all these be completely fulfilled.
May the tormenting fires be completely extinguished
For those beings who have been born in the most terrible hells,
Whose bodies are alight with blazing fire,
And who wander aimlessly, grief stricken and without refuge
By the sound of this majestic drum,
May all suffering be completely eased
For hell beings, hungry ghosts, and animals,
And those experiencing unbearable suffering in the human realm.
For those without base, support, or friend,
Who have become without refuge,
May I become their supreme refuge,
Friend, support, and base.
The supreme of the bipeds, O Buddhas
Dwelling in worlds in the ten directions,
With merciful, compassionate mind,
May you kindly listen to me.
O Buddhas possessed of the ten powers
Whatever terrible wicked actions
I have committed in the past,
Before your eyes, I confess them all.
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
Not taking parents as parents,
Not taking buddhas as buddhas
And not upholding what is virtuous
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
Being haughty with the vanity of wealth, youthfulness,
Class, and affluence;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
Through negative thought, negative speech
Harmful actions done,
Perceiving them not as negative;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
Acting with a childish mind,
A mind dark with ignorance,
Under the sway of a non-virtuous friend,
Through a mind highly charged with emotion,
Under the compulsion of frivolous sport,
The power of depression and sickness,
Or being discontent with wealth;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done:
Mixing with base personalities of non-aryas,
Through jealousy and miserliness,
Through guile, and poverty;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
When poverty came to me,
Through fear of losing the desirable,
And being stricken with material poverty;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
Under the power of a flighty mind,
The power of desire and hatred,
Oppressed by hunger and thirst;
Whatever unwholesome deeds I have done
When oppressed by affliction,
For the sake of pursuing women
For the sake of food, drink, and clothing;
Through misdeeds of body, speech, and mind,
I have amassed these three-fold wrong actions.
Whatever actions I have done in this way,
I confess them all.
Whatever I have done that was disrespectful
To buddhas and Dharma
And likewise to shravakas
I confess them all.
Deeds I have done without respect
To pratyekabuddhas
As well as to bodhisattvas,
I confess them all.
Disrespect I have shown
To all who preach Dharma,
Likewise disrespect to Dharma itself,
I confess them all.
Continually unaware of its benefit,
I have rejected the sublime Dharma.
Unwitting disrespect shown to parents,
I confess them all.
Veiled by stupidity and childishness,
Desire, hate, and ignorance,
Arrogance and haughtiness,
I confess them all.
I will worship and honor Those who Possess Ten Powers
Dwelling in worlds of the ten directions.
I will deliver sentient beings dwelling
In the ten directions from all suffering
I will place inconceivable numbers of beings
In the ten grounds of bodhisattvas.
Abiding in the ten grounds,
May they all become tathagatas.
I will strive for ten million eons
For the sake of even one sentient being,
Until I have the ability to free them all
From the ocean of suffering,
I will reveal to these sentient beings
This sutra called the Sublime Golden Light
Which rids one of all unwholesome deeds
And expounds all the profound.
Those who for a thousand eons
Have committed deadly unwholesome deeds,
By confessing them earnestly once
Through this sutra, all will be purified.
By making this confession
Through the Sublime Golden Light,
Whose virtues rapidly consume
All my karmic obstructions,
I will abide in the ten bodhisattva grounds —
The ten supreme mines of precious jewels,
To shine with the Buddha qualities
And free beings from the ocean of existence.
Through buddhas, the ocean of waters
Their qualities, its profound depth
And buddhas qualities, just inconceivable,
I will fully evolve into an omniscient being.
I will become a buddha possessed of the ten powers,
hundreds of thousands of concentrations,
Inconceivable magical incantations,
And the five powers, forces, and seven wings of enlightenment.
I request the buddhas, who incessantly look upon
Sentient beings, to gaze upon me intently.
With minds brimming with compassion
May they hold the remorseful close.
Because of the sinful actions
I have performed over hundreds of eons,
I am pierced by a mind stricken with grief
And wretchedness, sorrow and fear.
I will solemnly fear unwholesome deeds
And always render my mind modest.
Wherever I do anything
I won’t allow frivolous excitement.
Since buddhas are compassionate
Dispelling the fear of all beings,
I entreat them to hold fast the remorseful
And free me from all fear.
May the tathagatas keep at bay
My negative emotions and karma.
May the buddhas bathe me
With the waters of their compassion.
I confess all unwholesome deeds:
Whatever I have done in the past,
Whatever I do in the present,
I confess them all.
In the future, I will refrain from doing all deeds
That render me remorseful.
I will not conceal
Harmful actions that I have done.
Three-fold with the body,
Four-fold with the voice,
And three-fold with the mind,
I confess them all.
What I have done with body and speech,
Clearly prompted by the mind,
These ten-fold actions I have done.
I confess them all.
Renouncing the ten unwholesome deeds,
And cultivating the ten wholesome ones,
I will abide in the ten grounds
And develop the ten supreme powers of a buddha.
In the presence of the buddhas
I confess all unwholesome deeds
I have done
That lead to unwanted results.
I rejoice in all those
Who, in this Jambudvipa
And other world systems,
Engage in wholesome virtuous deeds.
Likewise, whatever merit I have gathered
Through body, speech, and mind,
By dint of these merits,
May I reach the supreme enlightenment.
In precarious cyclic existence and with a childish mind,
Whatever deadly unwholesome deeds I have done,
Approaching the presence of the peerless ten powers,
I confess all unwholesome deeds individually.
I confess the mass of evil deeds I have accumulated
Through feeble birth, feeble existence,
Feeble world, feeble volatile mind,
And multitudes of feeble bodily actions.
Wretched with delusion of the childish and foolish,
Wretched through association with misleading friends,
Wretched with existence, wretched with desire,
Wretched with hatred, wretched with ignorance
Wretched with fatigue, wretched with time,
Wretched in accomplishing merits,
Approaching the incomparable conquerors,
I confess all unwholesome deeds individually.
I prostrate to the buddhas,
Oceans of virtue, and golden like Mount Sumeru.
I go for refuge and bow my head
In prostration to the golden conquerors
Golden in color, they glow with the glitter of pure gold;
Their eyes are fine, like the pure and flawless lapis lazuli.
Buddhas are suns from which arise blazing glory, splendor, and renown.
The light of their compassion dispels the two layers of darkness.
Utterly flawless and perfectly formed, their limbs are exquisitely beautiful.
Buddhas are like the sun, their flawless limbs radiating golden shafts of light.
Consumed by the flame of negative passions, sentient beings, blazing like fire,
Are soothed and refreshed by moon-like light of the buddhas.
The thirty-two major marks render their senses exquisitely refined;
The eighty minor marks make their limbs breathtakingly beautiful.
Full of glory, splendor, and merit, like spinning light beams
They orbit like the sun amidst the darkness of the triple realms.
Pure as lapis lazuli with an array of rich color
Your limbs, like the crimson, silver and crystal of the dawn,
Are exquisitely adorned with by myriad of light webs;
Like the sun, O sages, you are enchantingly glorious.
For those fallen into the great river of cyclic existence,
Tossed amidst crushing waves of sorrow and death,
May the numerous immense rays of the tathagata sun
Dry up the ocean of cyclic existence, violent and cruel.
Their limbs brightly shine in the color of gold.
They are the source of wisdom, peerless among the three realms.
Their limbs are adorned with intensely charming marks.
To the buddhas, whose bodies sparkle gold, I prostrate.
Just as water in the ocean is immeasurable,
Just as dust on the earth is endless,
Just as Mount Sumeru has matchless stone,
Just as the edge of space is infinite,
Likewise, so the virtues of the buddhas are limitless.
Even if sentient beings measure the virtues of buddhas
And reflect upon them for countless eons
The extent of their virtue cannot be known.
If counted for eons, it may be possible to know
Water droplets at hair ends,
Particles in rocks, mountains, and oceans of the earth,
But not the limit of the virtues of buddhas.
May sentient beings evolve into such buddhas,
Graced with virtue, color, fame and renown,
Bodies embellished with the major marks of virtue,
And the sublime eighty minor marks.
Through these virtuous actions,
I will soon become a Buddha in the world.
I will preach the doctrine to guide the world.
I will free beings long afflicted by suffering.
I will triumph over Mara with his might and his army.
I will turn the wheel of virtuous Dharma.
I will abide for inconceivable eons.
I will satisfy sentient beings with the water of Dharma nectar.
Just as the former conquerors completed the six perfections,
I too will fully complete the six perfections.
I will conquer delusion and dispel suffering,
Pacify desire, hate, and ignorance.
I will always remember my former births,
Hundreds of births and ten millions of births.
I will always keep in mind the able sages,
And listen to their teachings at great length.
Through these virtuous actions,
I will always find meeting with buddhas,
Thoroughly renounce unwholesome actions,
And undertake virtue, the source of all excellence.
May all creatures in various realms of existence
Be at peace without the sufferings of their worlds.
Beings without sense faculties, or with defective ones,
May they be endowed with complete faculties.
Those who are feeble in body, afflicted with disease,
And who in the ten directions are rendered defenseless,
May they swiftly be freed from their ailments,
Become healthy, strong, and obtain perfect senses.
May those in danger of being threatened and killed by kings or thugs,
Who are distressed by multitudes of hundreds of sufferings,
Who are wretched and weak with misery,
Be freed from these hundreds of horrific fears.
May all those who are beaten, bound, and tortured,
Caught in a multitude of afflictions,
Distressed by many thousands of emotions,
And faced with terrible fear and various sorrows,
Be freed from the shackles of bondage.
May those who are beaten be free from beating.
May those who are being killed be endowed with life.
May those who are feeble be without fear.
Beings who are tortured by hunger, craving, and thirst,
May they find a wealth of food and drink.
May the blind see an abundance of forms.
May the deaf hear captivating sounds.
May the naked find a rich assortment of clothing.
May the poor find a mine of treasures.
Through a wealth of riches, grains, and various jewels,
May all beings be endowed with peace and happiness.
May no one be afflicted with painful experiences.
May all beings be good-looking.
May they have exquisite, beautiful, and auspicious forms.
May their lives be replete with numerous joys.
As soon as they wish, for them may there immediately be
Food, drink, great affluence, and merit,
Large drums, lutes and piwang,
Springs, pools, water holes, and ponds
Imbued with golden and blue lotuses.
Likewise food, beverages, clothing, wealth, pearls, jewels,
Ornaments of gold, and various gems like lapis,
May these be instantly received.
May there be no sounds of woe anywhere in the world.
May not even one being in poor health be seen.
May they instead have great complexion.
May they glow in each other’s radiance.
Whatever forms of excellence there are in the human world,
May these come into being wherever they are wished for.
The moment they arise, through the ripening of merit,
May the aspirations of sentient beings come to fruition.
May perfumed incense, garlands, ointments,
Clothing, powder and many flowers
Rain down three times from trees.
May sentient beings receive them and be filled with joy.
May they venerate inconceivable tathagatas
In the ten directions,
Consummating bodhisattvas and shravakas;
And likewise, the flawless, pristine Dharma.
May migrating beings avoid the lower realms.
May they go beyond the eight unfortunate states.
May they attain the eight auspicious states.
May they always receive meeting with the buddhas.
May they always be born in higher classes.
May they be replete with wealth and grains.
For numerous eons, may they be endowed
With renown, fame, great form and complexion.
May all women become men,
Strong, heroic, learned, and lucid.
Applying themselves to the six perfections,
May they always strive for enlightenment.
May they come to behold buddhas in the ten directions,
Seated at ease on the thrones of precious lapis
Under bejeweled precious stately trees.
May they hear the buddhas explain the Dharma.
Unwholesome deeds I have performed.
Whatever I have created in wretched existences in previous times,
Whatever undesirable effects I have received from those deeds,
May these be extinguished without exception.
May those beings who are tied to existence,
Tightly bound by the rope of the cyclic round,
Undo their bondage with a wisdom hand,
And quickly be freed from their suffering.
Whatever beings here in Jambudvipa
And in other world spheres too
Perform profound meritorious deeds,
I rejoice in them all.
By the merit of actions through body, speech and mind
And rejoicing in the virtue of others,
May the fruit of my prayers and practice unfold:
May I attain the pristine state of peerless enlightenment.
Those who recite this dedication –
Prostrate and praise with an unsoiled mind
Always devout and free of stains –
Will for sixty eons avoid unfortunate migration.
By reciting these prayers in verses
Men, women, brahmins, and royals
Who praise the conquerors with folded hands,
Will remember their births in all lives.
They will have bodies adorned with all limbs and senses,
And be endowed with myriad merits and virtues.
The lord of humans will always venerate them.
Such will they be in each place of birth.
Those into whose ears this confession enters,
Have performed virtue in the presence of not just one buddha,
Not two, nor four, nor five, nor ten,
Nor in the presence of thousand buddhas have they performed virtue.

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With Metta


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