The Dharani of the Jewel Torch

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This profound Mahayana sutra, The Dharani of the Jewel Torch (Skt. Ratnolkādhāraṇī; Tib. དཀོན་མཆོག་ཏ་ལ་ལའི་གཟུངས།, Wyl. dkon mchog ta la la’i gzungs), although it is found in the Kangyur among other Mahayana sutras in the General Sutra section (as Toh 145 in the Dergé Kangyur) and is listed as belonging to that general category in the Denkarma inventory of translated texts (as well as to the Dharani section). So although it is seen as a sutra in its own right, it also belongs to the family of texts related to the Avataṃsakasutra, Toh 44), two chapters of which it shares. As its title suggests, it can also be seen as a dharani, or as a sutra about a dharani.

It starts with a conversation between the Buddha and the bodhisattvas Samantabhadra and Manjushri on the nature of the dharmadhatu, buddhahood, and emptiness. The bodhisattva Dharmamati then enters the meditative absorption called the infinite application of the bodhisattva’s jewel torch and, at the behest of the millions of buddhas who have blessed him, emerges from it to teach how bodhisattvas arise from the presence of a tathagata and progress to the state of omniscience. Following Dharmamati’s detailed exposition of the “ten categories” or progressive stages of a bodhisattva, the Buddha briefly teaches the mantra of the dharani and then, for most of the remainder of the text, encourages bodhisattvas in a long versified passage in which he recounts teachings by a bodhisattva called Bhadashri on the qualities of bodhisattvas and buddhas.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 145


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.