Sutra of Golden Light: Preamble

Homage to all past, future and present buddhas, bodhisattvas, pratyekabuddhas and shravakas!

Thus I have heard at one time: the Tathagata, entering buddhas’ domain of experience, the profound sphere of reality, at Vulture Peak expounded to the supreme bodhisattvas, who were pure and stainless, this King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light, which is extremely profound upon hearing and profound upon examination.

The buddhas in the four directions confer their blessings: blessings from Akshobhya in the east, Ratnaketu in the south, Amitabha in the west and Dundubhi-ishvara in the north.

In order to extinguish all unwholesome deeds I will proclaim this auspicious sublime discourse that exhausts all negative karma, grants all peace and happiness, completely eliminates suffering, which is adorned with all that is glorious and is the foundation of omniscience. Granting blessings, this I shall explain. Sentient beings whose senses are defective, whose life expectancy has ended or is fading, whom the gods have turned against, who are burdened by misfortune, hated by their loved ones, or oppressed as household servants, in conflict with one another, afflicted with decline in material wealth, grief-stricken and miserable, ridden with fear and stricken by poverty, troubled by stars, planetary bodies and fierce demonic spirits, or who see excruciating nightmares following grief and fatigue, they should bathe well to render themselves clean and listen to this sublime sutra.

Should those with virtuous intent and pure mind adorn themselves well in clean garments, then listen to this sutra on the profound, the domain of buddhas’ experience, through the awe-inspiring power of this sutra, the suffering of all creatures – the likes of which cannot be endured – will be forever pacified.

Protection will be offered to them by the guardians of the world, their ministers and army chiefs, tens of thousands of millions of yakshas, the great goddess Sarasvati, and the goddess who dwells in the Nairanjana, by Hariti, mother of bhutas, the earth goddess Drdha, by the Brahma kings and kings of the Thirty-Three, the powerful kings of serpents, kings of kinnaras and kings of asuras, likewise by the kings of garudas. They, with their clans and might will arrive, along with their mounts, and unfailingly day and night, offer protection to beings. I will clearly expound this sutra on the profound, the domain of buddhas’ experience, the secret of all buddhas, difficult to find in tens of millions of eons.

Those who hear this sutra, those who cause others to hear it, those who rejoice upon hearing and make offerings to it, for tens of millions of eons shall be venerated by gods and nagas, humans and kinnaras, asuras and yakshas.

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

Fiercely they will be protected by buddhas in the ten directions; likewise, also by bodhisattvas engaged in the profound.

Clad in clean garments, wearing well-perfumed clothes, possessing a mind firm with love, without distraction, one should honor this sutra.

Render the mind spotless, put forth effort to make it expansive and intensely clear, then listen to this sublime sutra.

Those who listen to this sutra will be acclaimed among humans, attain an excellent human existence and live a life of comfort.

Those into whose ears this sublime discourse is echoed, will have merit roots refined and numerous buddhas will extol them.

This ends the first chapter, the Chapter on the Preamble to the King of Glorious Sutras, the Sublime Golden Light.