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Sutra Quotations

The Word of the Buddha: 1. Sutras


ngas ni khyod la thar pa'i thabs bstan gyi/ /

thar pa rang la rag las shes par gyis/ /

I have shown you the methods that lead to liberation,

But you should know that liberation depends upon yourself.[i]


chos rnams thams cad rgyu las byung/ /

de rgyu de bzhin gshegs pas gsungs/ /

rgyu la 'gog pa gang yin pa/ /

dge sbyong chen pos 'di skad gsungs/ /

All dharmas originate from causes.

The Tathagata has taught these causes,

And also that which puts a stop to these causes--

This too has been taught by the Great Shramana. 


dge slong dag dang mkhas rnam kyis/ /

bsreg bcad brdar ba'i gser bzhin du/ /

legs par brtag la nga yi bka'/ /

blang bar bya yi gus phyir min/ /

Just as gold is burnt, cut and rubbed,

Examine my words carefully and

Do not accept them simply out of respect.[ii]


lnga brgya tha mar gyur pa na/ /

nga nyid yi ge'i gzugs su gnas/ /

nga yin snyam du yid byos la/ /

de tshe de la gus par gyis/ /

In the last five hundred year period,

I will appear in the form of scriptures.

Consider them as identical to me,

And treat them with due respect.

Avatamsaka S?tra

thos pas chos rnams shes par 'gyur/ /
thos pas sdig las ldog par 'gyur/ /
thos pas don ma yin pa spong/ /
thos pas mya ngag 'das pa thob/ /
Through study we come to understand phenomena.
Through study we turn away from negative actions.

Through study we give up what is meaningless.

Through study we reach the state beyond sorrow.

Collection of the Bodhisattvas (Bodhisattva Pitaka)

gang dag nga la gzugs su mthong/ /
gang dag nga la sgrar shes pa/ /
log par spong bas zhugs pa ste/ /
skye bo de dag nga mi mthong/ /
Those who see my body as ordinary form,
And hear my voice as ordinary sound,

Have set out upon a mistaken path.

Such people do not truly see me.

Diamond Cutter S?tra

skar ma rab rib mar me dang/ /
sgyu ma zil pa chu bur dang/ /
rmi lam glog dang sprin lta bu/ /
'dus byas de ltar blta bar bya/ /
Like a star, hallucination, candle,
Magical illusion, dewdrop, bubble,

Dream, lightning or a cloud?

Know all compounded phenomena to be like this.

Diamond Cutter S?tra


sems la sems ma mchis ste/ /

sems kyi rang bzhin 'od gsal ba'o/ /

The mind is devoid of mind,

For the nature of mind is clear light.[iii]

Eight Thousand Verse Prajń?paramit?

rigs kyi bu khyod kyis bdag nyid la nas pa'i 'du shes bskyed par bya'o/ /
chos la sman gyi 'du shes bskyed par bya'o/ /
dge ba'i bshes gnyen la sman pa mkhas pa'i 'du shes bskyed par bya'o/ /
nan tan nyams su len pa ni nye bar 'tsho ba'i 'du shes bskyed par bya'o/ /
Noble one, think of yourself as someone who is sick,
Of the Dharma as the remedy,

Of your spiritual teacher as a skilful doctor,

And of diligent practice as the way to recovery.

Gandhavy?ha S?tra


mya ngan ma byed kun dga'o/ /

smre sngags ma 'don kun dga' bo/ /

nga nyid phyi ma'i dus kyi tshe/ /

dge ba'i bshes gnyen nyid sprul nas/ /

khyed la sogs pa'i don byed 'gyur/ /

Don?t feel sad Ananda,

Don?t lament Ananda,

In future times I will

Take the form of spiritual teachers,

To help you and others.

Great Drum S?tra

gzugs stong pa'o/ stong pa nyid gzugs so/
gzugs las stong pa nyid gzhan ma yin/
stong pa nyid las kyang gzugs gzhan ma yin no//
Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.
Emptiness is no other than form,

Form is no other than emptiness.

Heart S?tra

bde gshegs snying pos 'gro ba yongs la khyab/ /
sems ni rgya chen mchog tu rab bskyed de/ /
'gro ba 'di dag ma lus sangs rgyas rgyu/ /
'di ni snod min sems can gang yang med/ /
The essence of the sugatas pervades all beings.
Generate the most vast and sublime of intentions,

For each and every being has the cause of awakening?

There is not a single sentient being who lacks this potential.

King of Sam?dhi S?tra

yod dang med pa 'di yang mtha' yin ste/ /
gtsang dang mi gtsang 'di yang mtha' yin ste/ /
de phyir gnysi ka'i mtha' ni rab spangs nas/ /
mkhas pas dbu la'ang gnas par yong mi byed/ /
Existence and non-existence are extremes,
Purity and impurity are extremes as well,

Thus, having relinquished both extremes,

The wise do not dwell even in the middle.

King of Sam?dhi S?tra

ji ltar bu mo gzhon nu'i rmi lam na/ /
bu pho byung zhing shi ba de mthong na/ /
byung nas dga' zhing shi nas mi dga' ltar/ /
chos rnams thams cad de bzhin shes par bgyis/ /
If, in her dream, a young girl
Has a baby boy who later dies,

She feels joy at first, then grief?

Know all things to be like this.

King of Sam?dhi S?tra

sgyu ma byed pa dag gis gzugs sprul te/ /
rta dang glang po shing rta sna tshogs byas/ /
de la ji ltar snang ba gang yang med/ /
chos rnams thams cad de bzhin shes par bgyis/ /
Just as a magician makes illusions
Of horses, oxen, carts and other things,

Nothing whatsoever is as it appears?

Know all things to be like this.

King of Sam?dhi S?tra


zab zhi spros bral 'od gsal 'dus ma byas/ /

bdud rtsi lta bu'i chos shig bdag gis brnyes/ /

su la bstan kyang go bar mi 'gyur bas/ /

mi smra nags 'dabs nyid du gnas par bya/ /

Profound and peaceful, free from complexity, uncompounded luminosity¾

I have found a nectar-like Dharma.

Yet if I were to teach it, no-one would understand,

So I shall remain silent here in the forest.

Lalitavistara S?tra, XXV, 1


srid gsum mi rtag ston ka'i spring dang 'dra/ /

'gro ba'i skye 'chi gar la blta dang mtshungs/ /

skyes bu'i tshe 'gro nam mkha'i glog 'dra ste/ /

ri gzar 'bab chu bzhin du myur mgyogs 'gro/ /

This existence of ours is as transient as autumn clouds.

To watch the birth and death of beings is like looking at the movement of a dance.

A lifetime is like a flash of lightning in the sky,

Rushing by, like a torrent down a steep mountain.

Lalitavistara S?tra

sred srid ma rig dbang gis skye bo rnams/ /
mi dang lha dang ngan song rnam gsum po/ /
'gro ba lnga po dag tu mi mkhas 'khor/ /
dper na rdza mkhan 'khor lo 'khor ba bzhin/ /
Because of craving, attachment and ignorance
Men, gods, animals, hungry ghosts and hell-beings

Foolishly go round,

Like the turning of a potter?s wheel.

Lalitavistara S?tra


nga yi chis tshul rnam gnyis te/ /

bstan pa dang ni grub mtha'o/ /

byis pa rnams la bstan pa bshad/ /

rnal 'byor pa la grub mtha'o/ /

My Dharma has two aspects,

General advice and philosophy,

To ordinary people I give advice,

And to yogins, philosophy.

Lank?vat?ra S?tra

ming du gdags par ma mdzad na/ /
'jig rten thams cad rmongs par gyur/ /
de bas mgon po thabs mkhas pas/ /
chos rnams ming du gdags par mdzad/ /
If things were not given names,
The world would be bewildered.

So Lord Buddha, skilled in means,

Gives names to various phenomena.

Lank?vat?ra S?tra


sdig pa ci yang mi bya zhing/ /

dge ba phun sum tshogs par spyad/ /

rang gi sems ni yongs su 'dul/ /

'di ni sangs rgyas bstan pa yin/ /

Commit not a single unwholesome action,

Cultivate a wealth of virtue,

Tame completely this mind of ours¾

This is the teaching of the buddhas.

S?tra of Individual Liberation


dus kyi nyen te rgyal po 'gro gyur na/ /

longs spyod mdza' dang bshes rnams rjes mi 'brang/ /

skyes bu dag ni gang nas gar 'gro yang/ /

las ni grib ma bzhin du rjes su 'brang/ /

When his time has come, even a king has to die,
And neither his friends nor his wealth can follow him.

So for us?wherever we stay, wherever we go?

Karma follows us like a shadow.

S?tra of Instructions to the King


'jig rten mkhyen pas bden pa 'di gnyis te/ /

khyed kyis gzhan las ma gsan rang gis rig/ /

de ni kun rdzob bden dang don dam ste/ /

bden pa gsum pa gang yang ma mchis so/ /

You, the knower of the world,
Realized the two levels of reality,

By yourself, not studying them from others.

They are the relative and the ultimate.

There is not some third level of reality.

S?tra of the Meeting of Father and Son


sdig pa chun ngu dag la yang/ /

mi gnod snyam du brnyas mi bya/ /

me stsag chung ngu dag gis kyang/ /

rtsva phung ri tsam sreg par byed/ /

Do not disregard small misdeeds,

Thinking they are harmless,

Because even tiny sparks of flame,

Can set fire to a mountain of hay.

S?tra of the Wise and Foolish

dge ba chung ngu dag la yang/ /
mi phan snyam du brnyas mi bya/ /
chu yis thigs pa bsags pa yis/ /
snod chen rim gyis gang bar 'gyur/ /
Do not disregard small positive acts,
Thinking they are without benefit,

Because even tiny drops of water,

Will eventually fill a large container.

S?tra of the Wise and Foolish


du ba las ni mer shes dang/ /

chu skyar las ni chur shes ltar/ /

byang chub sems dpa' blo ldan gyi/ /

rigs ni mtshan ma dag las shes/ /

Just as one infers the presence of fire by seeing smoke,
Or the presence of water by seeing aquatic birds,

The presence of the intelligent bodhisattvas? disposition

Can be understood from certain signs.

S?tra on the Ten Bh?mis


chos rnams thams cad bka' dang bstan bcos te/ /

legs par gsungs dang de yi dgongs 'grel ba/ /

de'i dbang gis shAkya'i bstan pa ni/ /

'jig rten khams 'dir yun ring gnas par gyur/ /

All Dharma teachings are included in the Buddha?s word and the treatises,
The excellent speech and the commentaries on its intended meaning,

By means of these, the teaching of the ?akya

Will remain for long within this world.

S?tra Requested by Devaputra


ji ltar chu thigs rgya mtsho che nang lhung/ /

rgya mtsho ma zad bar du de mi 'dzad/ /

de bzhin byang chub yongs bsngos dge ba yang/ /

byang chub ma thob bar du de mi 'dzad/ /

Just as a drop of water that falls into the great ocean
Will never disappear until the ocean itself runs dry,

Merit totally dedicated to enlightenment

Will never disappear until enlightenment is reached.

S?tra Requested by S?garamati


rnam shes ni mi rtag pa'o/ /

ye shes ni rtag pa'o/ /

Consciousness is impermanent.
Wisdom is permanent.

S?tra Requested by S?garamati


sna tshogs yid dga' me tog kha phye shing/ /

gser gyi kha mchog 'bar ba yid 'ong ba/ /

de 'dra 'di la'ang byed po 'ga' med de/ /

de dag rtog pa'i dbang gis bzhag pa yin/ /

rtog pa'i dbang gis 'jig rten rnam btags te/ /
All kinds of variety, lovely flowers in bloom,

A golden palace gleaming and delightful,

Even such as these have no ultimate creator,

They are imputed by the power of thought

The whole world is imputed by the power of thought.

S?tra Requested by Up?li


byang chub sems kyi bsod nams gang/ /

gal te de la gzugs mchis na/ /

nam mkha'i khams ni kun gang ste/ /

de ni de bas lhag par 'gyur/ /

If the merit of bodhicitta

Were to take physical form,

Even the whole of space itself

Would not contain its vastness.

S?tra Requested by V?ryadatta


[i] Sometimes it is given as ?I have shown you the path?? (thar pa?i lam bstan gyi?)


[ii] This version, which is the standard form, appears in ??ntarakshita?s Tattvasamgraha, where it is not attributed to any particular s?tra.


A slightly different version is found in a tantra called ?r?mah?b?latantrar?ja (dpal stobs po che?i rgyud kyi rgyal po):


Just as gold is tested by being burnt, cut and rubbed, the learned should accept my words only after examining them, not simply out of faith or other such reasons.


bsregs bcad brdar ba?i gser bzhin du/ /

yongs su brtags nas nga yi bka?/ /

blang bar bya yi mos pa?am/ /

gzhan gyis mkhas pa ?jug mi bya/ /


[iii] Although the paraphrase has become the standard, the actual quotation in the text reads:


'di ltar sems de ni sems ma mchis pa ste/ /

sems kyi rang bzhin ni 'od gsal ba lags so/ /

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