Heart Sutra

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Heart Sutra (shes rab snying po'i mdo). The shorter version of the Prajnaparamita Sutra.


Om Homage to this Perfection of Wisdom, this Loveliness, this Holiness!

Avalokita, this Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, is moving in this deep course of Wisdom which is gone beyond. Looking down from on high, He beholds but five heaps, and He sees in their own-being these are empty.

Here, O Sariputra, form is emptiness and this very emptiness is form ; emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness, whatever is emptiness, such also is form, this same is true of these other four heaps, these feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.

Here, O Sariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness ; these are not produced or stopped, neither defiled nor immaculate, not deficient or complete.

Herein O Sariputra, in emptiness is neither form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness; No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind ; No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables nor objects of mind; No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to:

No mind-consciousness element ; Here is neither ignorance nor extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to: Here is neither decay and death, nor extinction of decay and death. Here is neither suffering nor origination, no stopping, no path.

Here is neither cognition nor attainment, nor any non-attainment.

Herein, O Sariputra, it is because of one's non-attainment-ness that a Bodhisattva, through having relied on this Perfection of Wisdom, dwells without thought-coverings. In absence of thought-coverings one has not been made to tremble, one overcomes what can upset, and in the end one attains to Nirvana.

Any who appear as Buddhas in three periods of time fully awaken to this utmost, right and perfect Enlightenment because these have relied on this Perfection of Wisdom.

Herein one should know this Prajnaparamita as a great spell, a spell of great knowledge, an utmost spell, an unequalled spell, an allayer of all suffering -- in truth -- for what could go wrong? By this Prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered. It runs like this :

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

( Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond, O what an awakening, all-hail ! -- )

This completes this Heart of Perfect Wisdom.

(Translated by E. Conze)
(revised by [RWB])