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The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sūtra

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or the Prajñāparamitā-hṛdaya-sūtra

I prostrate to the Ārya Triple Gem1)

Thus did I hear at one time.

The Bhagavan was dwelling on Mass of Vultures Mountain

In Rājagha2 together with a great community of monks

And a great community of bodhisattvas.

At that time, the Bhagavan [Lord] was absorbed in the concentration on the categories of phenomena called “Profound Perception.”

Also, at that time, the bodhisattva mahāsattva ārya3 Avalokiteśvara (Tibetan: Chenrezig)

Looked upon the very practice of the profound perfection of wisdom

And beheld those five aggregates4, tendencies of mind5; and vijñāna, mental powers67) also as empty of inherent nature.

Then, through the power of Buddha, the venerable Śaripūtra said this to the bodhisattva mahasattva arya Avalokiteśvara:

“How should any son of good lineage train who wishes to practice the activity of the profound perfection of wisdom?”

He said that, and the bodhisattva mahasattva ārya Avalokiteśvara said this to the venerable Śar(advat)ipūtra:

Śaripūtra, any son of the lineage of daughter of the lineage who wishes to practice the activity of the profound perfection of wisdom

Should look upon it like this, correctly and repeatedly beholding

Those five aggregates also as empty of inherent existence.

Form is empty. Emptiness is form.8

Emptiness is not other than form; form is also not other than emptiness.

In the same way, feeling, discrimination, compositional factors, and consciousness are empty.

“Śaripūtra, likewise, all phenomena are emptiness; without characteristics;

Produced, nor ending; stainless nor without stain; deficient nor fulfilled.

“Śaripūtra, therefore, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no discrimination, no compositional factors, no consciousness;

No eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;

No visual form, no sound, no odor, no taste, no object of touch, and no phenomenon.

There is no eye element and so on up to and including no mind element and no mental consciousness element.

There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so on

Up to and including no aging and death and no extinction of aging and death.

Similarly, there is no suffering, origination, cessation, and path;

There is no exalted wisdom, no attainment, and also no non-attainment.

“Śaripūtra, therefore, because there is no attainment, bodhisattvas rely on and dwell in the perfection of wisdom, the mind without obscuration and without fair.

Having completely passed beyond error, they reach the endpoint of nirvāṇa.

All the buddhas who dwell in the three times also manifestly, completely awaken to unsurpassable, perfect, complete enlightenment in reliance on the perfection of wisdom.

Therefore, the mantra of the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge,

The unsurpassed mantra, the mantra equal to the unequaled,

The mantra that thoroughly pacifies all suffering, should be known as truth since it is not false.

The mantra of the perfection of wisdom is declared:

Tadyātha [OṀ] gate gate pāragate pārasaṁgate bodhi svāhā


gone, gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment, hail!)

Śaripūtra, the bodhisattva mahāsattva should train in the profound perfection of wisdom like that.”

Then the Bhagavan arose from that concentration and commended the bodhisattva mahāsattva ārya Avalokiteśvara saying:

Well said, well done, son of the lineage, it is like that.

It is like that; one should practice the profound perfection of wisdom just as you have indicated; even the Tathāgatas rejoice.”

The Bhagavan having thus spoken, the venerable Śaradvatipūtra,

The bodhisattva mahāsattva ārya Avalokiteśvara, and those surrounding in their entirety

Along with the world of gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas, were overjoyed and highly praised that spoken by the Bhagavan.

(This completes the Ārya-bhagavatī-prajñāparamitā-hṛdaya-sūtra)

See also the article and translation: Commentary on the Heart Sūtra by Harischandra Kaviratna.

  1. Āryatriratna): the Buddha, the Dharma (his doctrine) and the Saṅgha (his followers: monks and bodhisattvas []
  2. Rājagha, capital of the kingdom Magadha in the Buddha’s days; now Rajgir, place in the province Bihar, North India. The famous Vulture’s Peak where the Buddha taught is in the outskirts of Rājagha []
  3. Ārya = noble []
  4. The five aggregates or skandhas are the groups of properties or factors of which compose the human being. These skandhas are, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky: rūpa, form or body, which leaves behind it its magnetic atoms and occult affinities; vedanā, sensations, which do likewise; samjñā, or abstract ideas, which are the creative powers at work from one incarnation to another; saṁskāra []
  5. Saṁskāra is often translated as ‘compositional factors’ because they are instrumental in composing the other skandhas []
  6. Vijñāna is often, somewhat confusingly, translated as consciousness, but it is conditional consciousness, mental powers – not absolute consciousness. []
  7. For more detailed information about the meaning of the five skandhas, see the articles Skandhas and Gatis – esoterically and The Buddhist Cycle of Life and Death. (To be published shortly []
  8. For a deeper understanding of emptiness from a Theosophical Point of View see the article Śūnyatā and Pleroma []