Heart Sutra


Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Råjagôiha at Vulture Peak  mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One entered the samådhi that expresses the dharma called “profound illumination,” and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahåsattva, while practicing the profound prajñåpåramitå, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shåriputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahåsattva, “How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajñåpåramitå?”

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahåsattva, said to venerable Shåriputra, “O Shåriputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajñåpåramitå should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature. Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness. Thus, Shåriputra, 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, Shåriputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas; no eye dhåtu up to no mind dhåtu, no dhåtu of dharmas, no mind consciousness dhåtu; no ignorance, no end of ignorance up to no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no nonattainment. Therefore, Shåriputra, since the bodhisattvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajñåpåramitå. Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear. They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvåïa. All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajñåpåramitå, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment. Therefore, the great mantra of prajñåpåramitå, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering, should be known as truth, since there is no deception. The prajñåpåramitå mantra is said in this way:


Thus, Shåriputra, the bodhisattva mahåsattva should train in the profound prajñåpåramitå.”

Then the Blessed One arose from that samådhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahåsattva, saying, “Good, good, O son of noble family; thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is. One should practice the profound prajñåpåramitå just as you have taught and all the tathågatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shåriputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahåsattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

Lotsåwa bhikúhu Rinchen De translated this text into Tibetan with the Indian païçita Vimalamitra.
It was edited by the great editor—lotsåwas Gelo, Namkha, and others. This Tibetan text was copied
from the fresco in Gegye Chemaling at the glorious Samye vihåra. It has been translated into English
by the Nålandå Translation Committee, with reference to several Sanskrit editions.

© 1975, 1980 by the Nålandå Translation Committee. All rights reserved.  Available on our website for personal use. 

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