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])

Another version:

Maha-Prajna-Paramita-Hridaya Sutra The Heart Sutra When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, he investigated and perceived the five Skandhas and saw that they were all non-existent, thus securing his deliverance from all suffering and difficulty.

"Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So too are feeling, cognition, mental function and consciousness in relation to emptiness.

Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not created, not annihilated, not impure, not pure, and they neither increase nor decrease. Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, mental function, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind; no sights, sounds, smells, taste, touch, and ideas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness1, and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death, or ending of old age and death.2 There are no Four Noble Truths, no wisdom and no gain.

Because nothing is gained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on Prajna Paramita, has no hindrances in his heart. Because there is no hindrance, he is not afraid, is free from contrary and delusive ideas and attain the Final Nirvana.

All Buddhas of the past, present and future attain enlightenment through reliance on Prajna Paramita. Therefore, know that Prajna Paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequalled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false. That is why the mantra of Prajna Paramita was spoken. Recite it like this:


(Translator Unknown)