Like Gold Dust

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This sutra, Like Gold Dust (Skt. Suvarṇavālukopamā; Tib. གསེར་གྱི་བྱེ་མ་ལྟ་བུ།, Wyl. gser gyi bye ma lta bu) presents a short dialogue between Ananda and the Buddha on the theme of limitlessness. In response to Ananda’s persistent inquiries, the Buddha uses analogies to illustrate both the limitlessness of the miraculous abilities acquired by realized beings, and the limitless multiplicity of the world systems in which bodhisattvas and Buddhas are to be found.

The Buddha then concludes his teaching with a further analogy—referenced in the sutra’s title—to illustrate that although buddhas and bodhisattvas are innumerable, it is nevertheless extremely rare and precious to find a buddha within any given world system, or to find bodhisattvas who engage sincerely in bodhisattva conduct. To encounter such beings, he says, is as rare as finding a single grain of gold dust among all the sands of the ocean, or all the sands of the mighty river Ganges.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 126


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.