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Sutra Of Golden Light

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Chapter Summary

The Sutra of Golden Light would have existed in some form already in the first century C.E. Johannes Nobel demonstrated that the text evolved from the chapter on confession. The practice of confession of sins in Buddhism can be traced back to the earliest period, within the lifetime of the Buddha. Confessions were also made throughout the rainy season, but especially on the final day of this three-month retreat period. The Sarasvatī chapter in the extant Sanskrit, in Baogui's edition, and in Yijing's translation of the Sutra of Golden Light, can be divided into three sequential parts, each of which presents the goddess in a different aspect: in the first part Sarasvatī appears as a deity of eloquence; in the second she teaches a ritual herbal/medicinal bath; and in the third she is invoked by the Brahman Kauṇḍinya as a battle goddess.

Keywords: Brahman Kauṇḍinya; Buddhism; Sutra of Golden Light



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