The Heart Sutra

The Heart Sutra

 

Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak, together with a great gathering of the community of monks and a great gathering of the community of Bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi called “profound illumination,” and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, great being, while practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, saw things thus: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of self-nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, the venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, great being: If a son or daughter of noble family wishes to practice the profound Prajna Paramita, how should this be done?

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, great being, said to the venerable Shariputra: O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound Prajna Paramita should view things thus: he or she should see the five skandhas to be empty of self-nature. Form is emptiness, emptiness also is form; emptiness is not other than form, form is not other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, knowledge, expectations and consciousness are emptiness. Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness. There are no characteristics. There is no birth and no cessation. There is no impurity and no purity. There is no decrease and no increase.

Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no knowledge, no expectations, no consciousness; there is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind; there is no thing seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt or thought; there is no realm of vision, of sounds, of smells, of tastes, of feelings or thoughts. There is no ignorance nor end of ignorance, no expectations nor end of expectations, no consciousness nor end of consciousness,  no body and mind nor end of body and mind, no senses and sense-objects nor end of senses and sense-objects, no feelings nor end of feelings, no craving nor end of craving, no attachment nor end of attachment, no becoming nor end of becoming, no birth nor end of birth, no old age and death nor end of old age and death. There is no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering; there is no Noble Eightfold Path; there is no enlightenment, nor anything attained nor anything not attained. Therefore, Shariputra, having attained nothing, the Bodhisattva, great being, abides in the Prajna Paramita.

Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva through reliance on Prajna Paramita is unhindered in mind. Because there is no hindrance, he is not afraid, and he leaves delusional dream-thinking far behind. Ultimately Nirvana! All Buddhas of the past, present and future attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi through reliance on the Prajna Paramita. Therefore, know that Prajna Paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequaled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false. That is why the mantra of the Prajna Paramita was spoken. Recite it this way:

Gaté Gaté Paragaté Parasamgaté

Bodhi Svaha!

Shariputra, thus should the Bodhisattva-mahasattva discipline himself in the profound Prajna Paramita.

Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, great being, saying: Good, good, O son of noble family. Thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is. One should practice the profound Prajna Paramita just as you have taught, and all the Tathagatas will rejoice.

When the Blessed One had said this, the venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva, great being, the whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas,* rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

*Gandharva (गन्धर्व) refers to divine artists, or musicians, who accompany the gods. (Wisdom Library)


 

Translation by the Nalanda Translation Committee (https://www.dharmanet.org/HeartSutra.htm)

 

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