The Heart Sutra

This is something I translated some time ago from the Tibetan:

THE HEART SUTRA

The Heart of The Buddha’s Perfection of Wisdom

Homage to the Buddha’s Perfection of Wisdom

     Thus have I heard: At one time the Buddha was staying at Vulture Peak, by Rajagriha, with a great congregation of monks and Bodhisattvas.

     At that time the Buddha entered into a profound and vivid meditation, a samadhi, called Recognizing the True Nature of Things. Meanwhile Arya Avalokitesvara, the great Bodhisattva, was practicing the perfection of wisdom and having his own profound insight, that is, seeing that the five skandhas are empty of inherent existence.

     Then, through the Buddha’s magical power, the venerable Sariputra asked Arya Avalokitesvara, “Concerning this profound perfection of wisdom, if a son of a good family, or daughter of a good family happened to want to study it, what would they be taught?”

     At these words Arya Avalokitesvara replied to the venerable Sariputra, “Sariputra, if a son of a good family, or daughter of a good family happened to want to study this profound perfection of wisdom, he must look at things like this: There are five skandhas and these, when really seen, are seen to be empty of inherent existence. Form is emptiness. Emptiness is form. Form is no different from emptiness; emptiness is no different from form. In the same way are feelings, discriminations, actions and consciousness also empty.

     “Therefore Sariputra, the true nature of things is empty, without attributes, without beginning or end, immaculate, not lost or disconnected, and neither complete nor incomplete. Therefore Sariputra, emptiness is formless, unknown, without eyes, ears, nose or tongue – devoid of a scent, a flavor, and intangible. Without a true nature. This follows through, from there being no ignorance, yet ignorance being inexhaustible, all the way to there being no old age and death, and yet old age and death being inexhaustible. Likewise there is no suffering, origin of suffering, cessation of suffering, and no path. Nor is there any wisdom, attainment, or anything to be attained. Therefore Sariputra, Bodhisattvas, on account of their being supported by this profound perfection of wisdom, abiding without any mental obstructions, and not being frightened by erroneous views, have nothing to attain – for they have gone beyond, as far as they can go, to nirvana.

     “That is why all the Buddhas of the past, present and future come to this profound perfection of wisdom and enter into it – enter into it recognizing complete and perfect enlightenment.

     “Therefore one should know the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, the great magic formula, the highest mantra, the unequaled mantra – one should know the mantra of the perfection of wisdom because it is the truth and not a lie. It goes: Tadyatha Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.

     “In this way Sariputra do great Bodhisattvas train in the profound perfection of wisdom.”

     Then the Buddha emerged from his meditation and, turning to Arya Avalokitesvara, gave his approval, saying, “Well done son of a good family, very well done. It is just like that son of a good family, it is just like that. For, just as you describe the practice of this profound perfection of wisdom, so do all the Tathagatas rejoice in it.”

     After the Buddha pronounced these words, Sariputra, Arya Avalokitesvara, the great Bodhisattva, and the whole congregation and world with its gods, humans, asuras and ghandarvas all praised his speech.

So ends the Heart Sutra

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