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The Heart Sutra

The Heart Sūtra (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञापारमिताहृदय Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya) is a famous sūtra in Mahāyāna Buddhism. Its Sanskrit name Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya literally means “The Heart of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom”. The Heart Sūtra is often cited as the best-known and most popular Buddhist scripture of all.

The Heart Sutra

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty*, and so released himself from suffering. Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this:

Body is nothing more than emptiness, emptiness is nothing more than body. The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.

The other four aspects of human existence — feeling, thought, will, and consciousness — are likewise nothing more than emptiness, and emptiness nothing more than they.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained, nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body, no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,

no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing, no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard, nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no end to suffering, no path to follow. There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom, and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom, and live in full enlightenment.

The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra. It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.

This is truth that cannot be doubted. Say it so:

Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté.Bodhi! Svaha!
Which means… Gone, gone, gone over, gone fully over. Awakened! So be it!


heart sutra

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