The Heart Sutra

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By The Buddha (Last Updated Sep 11, 2008)

This teaching belongs to the class of texts called the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras. It is the Tibetan version.

The Sutra on the Heart of the Transcendent and Victorious Wisdom

Homage to the exalted Three Jewels!

Thus have I heard at one time. The Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha on Vulture Mountain together with a great assembly of monks and a great assembly of bodhisattvas. At that time, the Blessed One was absorbed in the concentration of the countless aspects of phenomena called “profound illumination.”

At that very time the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, was looking perfectly at the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom, perfectly looking at the emptiness of inherent existence of the five aggregates also.

Then, through the power of Buddha, the Venerable Shariputra said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, “How should a child of the lineage train who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom?”

Thus he spoke, and the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, replied to the Venerable Shariputra as follows:

“Shariputra, whatever son or daughter of the lineage wishes to engage in the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom should look perfectly like this: subsequently looking perfectly and correctly at the emptiness of inherent existence of the five aggregates also.

“Form is empty, emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form. Form is not other than emptiness. In the same way feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty. Shariputra, like this all phenomena are empty, without characteristics, that is, they are not produced and do not cease; they have no defilement and no separation from defilement; they have no decrease and no increase.

“Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no visible form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no object of touch, no mental phenomenon. There is no eye element and so forth up to no mind element, up to no element of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance and no cessation of ignorance and so forth up to no aging and death and no cessation of aging and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, no origin, no cessation, and no path; no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no nonattainment.

“Therefore, Shariputra, because there is no attainment, bodhisattvas rely on and abide in the perfection of wisdom, and because their minds have no obstructions, they have no fear. Passing utterly beyond error they attain the final state beyond sorrow. All the buddhas who reside in the three times, by relying upon the perfection of wisdom, become manifest and complete buddhas in the state of unsurpassed, perfect, and complete enlightenment.

“Therefore, the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal-to-the-unequaled mantra, the mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, since it is not false, should be known as the truth. The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is proclaimed:

tayata gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi soha!

“Shariputra, this is how a bodhisattva, a great being, should train in the profound perfection of wisdom.”

Then the Blessed One arose from that concentration and said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being: “Well said, well said, O child of the lineage. So it is. The profound perfection of wisdom should be practiced exactly as you have taught, and the tathagatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, the Venerable Shariputra, the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, and the entire assembly as well as worldly beings— gods, humans, demigods, gandharvas, and others—were filled with admiration and highly praised what had been spoken by the Blessed One.

So ends the noble discourse on the essence of the wisdom gone beyond.

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