The Sutra of Golden Light: Passing From This Life to the Next

August 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

Anthony Guilbert’, Contributing Writer
Waking Times

In the ‘Sutra of Golden Light’ Guatama Siddhartha, the Shakyamuni Buddha invites anyone experiencing misery and affliction, bad health, poverty, loss, abuse, ill will, fear, nightmares, or any other harm to hear his words. He states: “To these sentient beings I shall reveal this sutra called ‘Sublime Golden Light,’ which rids one of every harmful misdeed, and expounds upon the profound.”

During his discourse, Guatama gives testimony to the life of Lord Ratnashikhin, a Buddha from an earlier Æon. He tells us Lord Ratnashikhin vowed “ . . . at the time of death, whoever in the ten directions hears my name, may they transmigrate from their world and be reborn in the heaven of the Trayastrimsa. There, may they be equal among the gods.” Guatama goes on to discuss, in some detail, how he used the name of this earlier Buddha to save a community of fish whose pond was drying up. The higher state discussed in this sutra is the Heaven of the Trayastrimsha gods.

In Buddhist cosmology, the ‘Trayastrimsa Heaven is an extraterrestrial paradise in this ‘world system’ where inhabitants enjoy magnificence and pleasure for life spans of many centuries. The “Buddhist cosmology (or universe) is distinctly different from that of other religions which usually only recognize this solar system, with Earth as the centre of the Universe, and the only planet with living beings.” This position is contrary to the Buddhist perspective, which recognizes ‘life is the rule not the exception’ in the universe.

The ‘Trayastrimsa Heaven’ is named for the 33 people who were reborn there after doing selfless acts of charity on Earth. It is said inhabitants of this world, the ‘Trayastrimsha gods,’ visited Shakyamuni Buddha during his lifetime to receive the dharma.

. . . In Practice

The English poet Lord Byron called “Death, the sable smoke where vanishes the flame;” though most cultures are less romantic about it. In fact, almost globally, humans fear death. Still, it comes to us as a great teacher.

When we encounter those who are dying, or have just passed, we have an opportunity to engender Lord Ratnashikhin’s vow. Simply chanting or saying this sutra: “Namu Sugata Ratnashikhin,” over those who are passing will help them to be reborn into the ‘Trayastrimsha Heaven.’ Don’t worry about getting the pronunciation correct, like many spiritual matters, it is the intent that counts most.

In fact, it takes very little to help those who are passing. All Ratnashikhin’s vow requires of us is a small amount of presence, the intent to help, and the ability to act. Three qualities that if cultivated regularly, would improve everyone’s lives.

The most profound aspect of this practice is that it is not limited to humans. Guatama’s own example saves not a village of people, but a community of fish. More and more the natural world is at odds with human culture and we encounter dying animals with much greater frequency. The ability to help them pass on to a better world is quite possibly the best gift we can give them until we can engineer a less caustic human world.

For a moment, let’s get back to the three qualities needed to enact Ratnashikhin’s vow. ‘Presence, Intent, and Action:’ an adept spiritual practitioner will see these qualities are nested in the core of every deep tradition. By bringing them into our death practices, we engender the act of dying with the dignity and wisdom of life.

Ratnashikhin’s vow engages the living as well, as the dying, in the act of passing on, transforming fear & loss into an opportunity for compassionate action.

——————-
This Sutra was taught to my by the late Rev. Madeline Ko-i Bastis a priest in the White Plum lineage of Soto Zen Buddhism. Ko-i was ordained in 1993 by Matthiessen Roshi. She was the founder of The Peaceful Dwelling Project, an educational organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with profound illness & caregivers working with terminal and profound illness. Her books ‘Peaceful Dwelling: Meditations for Healing and Living’ & ‘Heart of Forgiveness: A Practical Path to Healing’ are among those I highly recommend to students.

About the Author

Anthony Guilbert is an American poet & essayist, as well as, a distinguished teacher of writing and mind-body arts. An erudite explorer of the human experience, Guilbert brings a poet’s sensibilities to the study and promotion of human potential.” Among the new generation of mind/body thought leaders, Guilbert stands out as one of the most ambitious pundits of Qigong & Taiji culture. He is the publisher of ‘Into Mountains, Over Streams: an International Journal of Qigong & Taiji Culture online.’

Many of Guilbert’s thoughts on Taoism & social action are continued in The Teapot Monk’s interview with him on The Bean Curd Boxer. [http://teapotmonk-thebeancurdboxer.blogspot.com/2012/01/erasing-cultural-operating-system-10.html]

Please visit In Mountains, Over Streams, IMOS Journal, The International Journal of Qigong and Taiji Culture. 

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with the buttons below…

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Category: Body, Community, Consciousness, Contributors, Culture, Earth, History, Ideas, Meta-physics, Peace, Resources, Self, Society, Spirituality, Time & Space

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

An Introduction to Awakening

An Introduction to Awakening













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

The waking up process is a very personal experience. Once we become aware of the existence of a fabricated world we thought to be real and that our true nature is anything but what we’ve been told, there’s no turning back.

It may appear to … More

April 21, 2014 | By | Reply More
Nearly a Thousand Environmental Activists Murdered Worldwide Since 2002

Nearly a Thousand Environmental Activists Murdered Worldwide Since 2002













Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
Waking Times

At least 908 people were murdered for taking a stand to defend the environment between 2002 and 2013, according to a new report today from Global Witness, which shows a dramatic uptick in the murder rate during the past four years. Notably, the report appears … More

April 19, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public

Open Source Plans for Modern Tesla Free Energy Generator Released to Public













Terence Newton, Staff Writer
Waking Times

In a world of problems and solutions, few ideas spur both immediate hope and skepticism as the idea of free energy, and, on the brink of ecological disaster, nothing may be of greater importance to the human race.

The story of Nikola More

April 14, 2014 | By | 44 Replies More
Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields

Neuroscientist Exposes Dangers of Electromagnetic Fields













Kevin Samson, Guest
Waking Times

Neuroscience has come under scrutiny for its involvement in an array of mind control initiatives and other ethically questionable research. But at least one neuroscientist from Sweden has gone on record to caution against the increasing dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) on human beings … More

April 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
On the Eve of Construction

On the Eve of Construction













Zen Gardner, Guest
Waking Times

I love the sound of construction. I always have. Not the industrial sound from the kind of massive, offensive structures made with other-worldly looking machines, but the intentional, gentle kind. Small structures going up, improvements on homes, road repairs, even tending to gardens whether … More

April 13, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More

Activism Works

Ecuador Will Have Referendum on Fate of Yasuni After Activists Collect Over 700,000 Signatures

Ecuador Will Have Referendum on Fate of Yasuni After Activists Collect Over 700,000 Signatures













Jeremy Hance, Mongabay
Waking Times

In what is a major victory for environmentalists, campaigners with United for Yasuni have collected 727,947 signatures triggering a national referendum on whether or not oil drilling should proceed in three blocs of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador. The effort started last year after Ecuador’s … More

April 17, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known

The Truth About Fluoride Becoming More Widely Known













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Fluoride is a poisonous substance added to many municipal water supplies across the US, Canada, and elsewhere without the permission of the residents. Is there a model that communities can follow to remove it from their water supply? The short answer to this question is yesMore

April 1, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry

6 Crimes Against Nature Perpetrated By The Food Industry













Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet
Waking Times

While many procedures on factory farms are cruel, breeding animals into mutants and violating mother/offspring bonds are truly crimes against nature.

The horrors of factory farming are multifold. Treating animals like heads of lettuce—”forget it’s an animal” says one farming magazine—has created institutionalized ruthlessness toward … More

March 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason

Our Respective Journeys Into the Valley of Reason













Michael T. Winter, Contributor
Waking Times

The Internet awakening has given birth to a worldwide multitude of people that are disengaging from the programmed paradigm created for us, and awakening to the reality of the dangers we face. The web has supplied a platform for writers to take a crack … More

March 26, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry

13 Ways Foodies Are Changing The Food Industry













Heather Callaghan & Jeffrey Green, Guests
Waking Times

A major shift in the consciousness of food consumers is forcing the industry into a competitive race to become more natural.  The market is telling food producers that they no longer want so-called factory food because of its many harmful effects on … More

March 25, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More