The Gold Sutra

From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Gold Sutra (Skt. Suvarṇasūtra; Tib. གསེར་གྱི་མདོ་, Wyl. gser gyi mdo) — in this very brief sutra, Venerable Ananda asks the Buddha about the nature of the bodhichitta, the aspiration to attain the awakening of a buddha for the benefit of all beings. The Buddha explains that the mind of awakening is like gold because it is pure. He also teaches the analogy that just as a smith shapes gold into various forms, yet the nature of the gold itself does not change, so too the mind of awakening manifests in various unique ways, yet the nature of the mind of awakening itself does not change. The Buddha then proclaims a single four-line verse that in a few words clearly expresses the nature of the mind of awakening and the way to practise it:

The mind of awakening is pure.
Strive for the benefit of self and other.
Meditate on the insubstantial essence.
Be intent on what causes the birth of wisdom.[1]


The original Sanskrit version cannot be found.


  • There is no known Chinese version of this text.
  • The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 125. The translators are unknown.

English Translations

  • Peter Skilling, Questioning the Buddha: A Selection of Twenty-Five Sutras (Somerville: Wisdom Publications, 2021), pages 221–226.
  • The Gold Sutra


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.