The Sugatagarbha Translation Group encountered serious obstacles during our translation of the Sūtra of Golden Light: The 29 and 31 Chapter Versions, known as ‘The Complete Sūtra of Golden Light Project’. However we are now working on the project again, and hope to finish the translation of the 29 chapter version by the end of this year (2017), and that of the 31 chapter version of next year (2018). Both translations will be published, as separate books.

In fall of 2013, we hired a website designer in India to work on our website (then http://www.SutraofGoldenLight.com). Her redesign of the site was finally (mostly) finished by May of 2014. Unfortunately, it seems that (either out of ignorance or bad intentions) she did something which blocked us from accessing and making changes to the site whatsoever; although later she claimed to know nothing about it when asked (by several people). We first became aware of this a few months later in summer of 2014; and since then, we have been unable to access or make any edits or additions to the site. This problem still remains unresolved, despite the attempts of a few people to fix it; it may be that we will never be able to access that website again. The site remained online until early 2017, after which it was taken down, probably because we had canceled the automatic billing. So, for the last 3 years, we have generally seen little path to move forward with the project.

In hindsight, we wish that we had simply made a new website, which is what we have decided to do now. Our new website for the Complete Sūtra of Golden Light Project will be online within the next month.

In addition, largely due to being unable to access the site, in late 2014 we translated 7 chapters of the text, only one of which we still have the work. At present, we’ve effectively lost the rest of it.

However, we have, at last, decided to take matters into our own hands. We now plan on moving forward and finishing the translation. Luckily, in early 2016, someone saved all the previous translations from the old website onto another website (the wiki-based Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia, http://www.chinabuddhismencyclopedia.com/en/index.php/Chinese_Buddhist_Encyclopedia).

It almost seems like the will of the Buddha; for otherwise we may not have been able to access the old translations at all. This has enabled us to begin working with that material again, editing and reviewing all of it, and bringing it up to our current standards.

Although at present we still have about 6 chapters of missing work, the majority of the work has been retrieved. We are now working on editing all of the 14 finished chapters available online, and will begin posting them within the next few weeks.

We’ve had 3 years of major obstacles for this project; and there is the fact that if we manage to finish the first book by the end of this year, that will around the same time as the project’s official seventh year anniversary (c. late November-early December 2010). Originally we had hoped to finished the first book within 2-3 years, and the whole project within about 6-7 years. Obviously, we are far behind schedule; but it was mostly due to some very strange and obstructive setbacks, in particular all the problems we’ve had with the website, despite attempting for a long time to have people help us fix it, to no avail. Even Google is unfortunately hard to contact, which is maybe why we may not go with Blogger.com again.

One good thing is that our translations skills have improved greatly since we worked on most of the translations on the old website, in 2011-12. It also assures us that now, at this point, we are certainly qualified and talented enough to translate the Sūtra of Golden Light at the very highest level of quality and academic expertise (possibly/probably even better than say, the 84000 translation project).

It is with this good news and excitement that I introduce you (or reintroduce you, as the case may be), to the revived and reanimated Complete Sūtra of Golden Light Project: An endeavor to translate all the three versions of the Sūtra, in its 21, 29, and 31 chapter versions. As before, we will begin with the 29 chapter version, which, if we can find all our previous translation work, is roughly at least 65-70 percent finished, and if we can’t, is at least 50-55 percent finished.

Thereafter we will work on the 31 chapter version. The 31 chapter version, in addition to being a different translation of a different original edition of the Sūtra of Golden Light, includes special chapters. It is the longest and most extensive version of the Sūtra.

Last we shall end with a re-translation of the 21 chapter version, which was translated reasonably well by FPMT in 2006, but is still badly in need of an update. In particular, this re-translation of the 21 chapter version will be based on a more comprehensive study of the elaborated and profound meaning of the Sūtra, after translating the 29 and 31 chapter versions.

As before, we will be seeking sponsorship for the translation of this work, on a general and per page basis. We estimate that thus far, we have raised somewhere around 65-70 percent of the funds needed to cover the basic costs of the translation of the 29 chapter version (not including the 31 chapter version). We are calculating the funding at a $100/page rate (book pages).

All those who contribute to the translation project by making a donation will have their names included in a special ‘Sponsors’ section in the published form of the finished translations, of both the 29 and the 31 chapter version. The publications will be available in both hard copy and Kindle format, and purchasable on Amazon.com (at a low price). For higher donations of $100 or above (which covers the translation of one page of the Sūtras), one can include a special dedication, such as dedicating the merit of your donation to the translation of the Sūtra of Golden Light to one’s family, deceased relatives, and teachers.

Donations can be made via Paypal using the email address EmptyElephant@yahoo.com

For other methods of donation (such as cheque, bank transfer, Western Union, etc.), please contact the same email address, EmptyElephant@yahoo.com

At present, it is estimated that the publication of the 29 chapter version may happen in winter of 2017-2018. The 31 chapter version is estimated to be published approximately 12 months after that.

We look forward to starting this important project anew. We hope you will join us in our efforts; and that you too will be inspired by the power of the Sūtra of Golden Light.

Yours in the Triple Gem,

Erick Tsiknopoulos & the Sugatagarbha Translation Group

email: EmptyElephant@yahoo.com or SugatagarbhaTranslations@gmail.com