Copy of the Heart Sutra

Copy of the Heart Sutra



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Decorative copy of the Heart Sutra in Chinese

This Perfection of Wisdom sūtra, commonly called the Heart Sūtra, expounds the fundamental emptiness of all things. It is considered one of the best-known and most popular Mahāyāna scriptures.

How was it translated into Chinese?

There are several versions of this sutra in Chinese. The one copied here is the most widespread. Still recited and studied by many nowadays, it was edited and completed in 649 CE by the Buddhist monk Xuanzang (c. 602-664). Xuanzang portrayed himself as a scholar and traveller. He is famous for the sixteen-year overland journey he made to India in order to bring back Buddhist texts. According to his biography, he returned to China with over 600 titles and provided translations for many Indian sūtras, including the Heart Sūtra.

What is this shape?

The Heart Sūtra is one of the shortest sutras. Brief enough to fit on a single sheet of paper, the scripture was handwritten on this vertical scroll so as to evoke the architectural profile of a five-storey stūpa. The title, located above the pagoda-like structure, is spread across three columns that form a canopy. The characters are all linked with finely dotted red lines that indicate the order of the text. Thus laid out, they constitute a sacred image that could be revered in its own right and was perhaps hung up as part of particular ritual practices.


Translations of the The Heart Sutra

Om Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom the Lovely, the Holy !

Avalokita, the Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, was moving in the deep course of the Wisdom which has gone beyond.

He looked down from on high, He beheld but five heaps, and He saw that in their own-being they were empty.

form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form

emptiness does not differ from form, form does not differ from emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form,

the same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.

all dharmas are marked with emptiness

they are not produced or stopped, not defiled or immaculate, not deficient or complete.

in emptiness there is no form nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness

No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables or objects of mind No sight-organ element, and so forth, until we come to :

No mind-consciousness element There is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, and so forth, until we come to : There is no decay and death, no extinction of decay and death. There is no suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path.

There is no cognition, no attainment and no non-attainment.

it is because of his non-attainmentness that a Bodhisattva, through having relied on the Perfection of Wisdom, dwells without thought-coverings. In the absence of thought-coverings he has not been made to tremble,

he has overcome what can upset, and in the end he attains to Nirvana.

All those who appear as Buddhas in the three periods of time fully awake to the utmost, right and perfect Enlightenment because they have relied on the Perfection of Wisdom.

Therefore one should know the prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequalled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth -- for what could go wrong ? By the 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 the Heart of perfect Wisdom.

Translation by the Nalanda Translation Committee

Thus have I heard. Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi that expresses the dharma called "profound illumination," and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, while practicing the profound prajnaparamita, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, "How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita?"

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, said to venerable Shariputra, "O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature. Form is emptiness emptiness also is form. Emptiness is no other than form form is no other than emptiness. In the same way, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness. Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness. There are no characteristics. There is no birth and no cessation. There is no impurity and no purity. There is no decrease and no increase. Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas, no eye dhatu up to no mind dhatu, no dhatu of dharmas, no mind consciousness dhatu no ignorance, no end of ignorance up to no old age and death, no end of old age and death no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no non-attainment. Therefore, Shariputra, since the bodhisattvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajnaparamita.

Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear. They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana. All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajnaparamita, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment. Therefore, the great mantra of prajnaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering, should be known as truth, since there is no deception. The prajnaparamita mantra is said in this way:

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Thus, Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound prajnaparamita.

Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, saying, "Good, good, O son of noble family thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is. One should practice the profound prajnaparamita just as you have taught and all the tathagatas will rejoice."

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

Translation by the Buddhist Text Translation Society

When Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was practicing the profound Prajna Paramita, he illuminated the Five Skandhas and saw that they are all empty, and he crossed beyond 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, formation, and consciousness.

Shariputra, all Dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced, not destroyed, not defiled, not pure and they neither increase nor diminish. Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, formation, or consciousness no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or Dharmas no field of the eyes up to and including no field of mind consciousness and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death or ending of old age and death. There is no suffering, no accumulating, no extinction, and no Way, and no understanding and no attaining.

Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva through reliance on Prajna Paramita is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid, and he leaves distorted dream-thinking far behind. Ultimately Nirvana! All Buddhas of the three periods of time attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi 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:

Gaté Gaté Paragaté Parasamgaté

End of The Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra

Copyright © 1997 Buddhist Text Translation Society

Translation by the Kuan Um School of Zen

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva
when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita
perceives that all five skandhas are empty
and is saved from all suffering and distress.

Shariputra,
form does not differ from emptiness,
emptiness does not differ from form.
That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness form.

The same is true of feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

Shariputra,
all dharmas are marked with emptiness
they do not appear or disappear,
are not tainted or pure,
do not increase or decrease.

Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind
no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
no object of mind
no realm of eyes
and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.

No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
and so forth until no old age and death
and also no extinction of them.

No suffering, no origination,
no stopping, no path, no cognition,
also no attainment with nothing to attain.

The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita
and the mind is no hindrance
without any hindrance no fears exist.
Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.

In the three worlds
all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita
and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

Therefore know that Prajna Paramita
is the great transcendent mantra,
is the great bright mantra,
is the utmost mantra,
is the supreme mantra
which is able to relieve all suffering
and is true, not false.
So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra,
proclaim the mantra which says:

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

Translation by the Reverend Xuan-Zang, Translated into English by Dr. Yutang Lin

Whenever Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara practices deeply sublimation through Transcendent Wisdom, he intuitively perceives that the five aggregates are of Blank Essence, thus transcending all suffering and difficulties. "Shariputra, phenomena are inseparable from Blank Essence, and Blank Essence is inseparable from phenomena phenomena are identical to Blank Essence, and Blank Essence is identical to phenomena. Feeling, conceptualization, motivation and consciousness are also inseparable from and identical to Blank Essence."

"Shariputra, the characteristics of Blank Essence of all these things are: neither born nor deceased, neither dirty nor clean, neither increasing nor decreasing. Therefore in Blank Essence there are no phenomena, no feeling, conceptualization, motivation, consciousness no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind no color, sound, odor, flavor, touch, impression no eye-species up to and including no perceptual-consciousness-species no Ignorance and no elimination of Ignorance, up to and including no senility and death and no elimination of senility and death no suffering, its causes, its transcendence, the path toward its transcendence no Wisdom and no attainment. Since there is no attainment, by sublimation through Transcendent Wisdom, a Bodhisattva's mind has no attachment. Since there is no attachment, there is no fear. There is freedom from pervasive delusions, and Nirvana is realized."

"Buddhas of the past, present and future attain the Unsurpassable Right and Full Enlightenment by sublimation through Transcendent Wisdom. Therefore sublimation through Transcendent Wisdom is known to be the great wondrous mantra, the great open mantra, the unsurpassable mantra, the no-equal-rank mantra, capable of eliminating all suffering, truthful and without deceit. Hence, the mantra of sublimation through Transcendent Wisdom is to be proclaimed." So He utters the mantra:

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha

Tibetan version, Lama Yeshe Archive

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.


Contents

In the sutra, Avalokiteśvara addresses Śariputra, explaining the fundamental emptiness (śūnyatā) of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence (skandhas): form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), volitions (saṅkhāra), perceptions (saṃjñā), and consciousness (vijñāna). Avalokiteśvara famously states, "Form is Emptiness (śūnyatā). Emptiness is Form", and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty—that is, dependently originated.

Avalokiteśvara then goes through some of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, and explains that in emptiness none of these notions apply. This is interpreted according to the two truths doctrine as saying that teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality—they are not reality itself—and that they are therefore not applicable to the ultimate truth that is by definition beyond mental understanding. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahayana Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, defined in the Mahāprajñāpāramitā Sūtra to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment, thereby achieving nirvana.

The sutra concludes with the mantra gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā, meaning "gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha." [note 1]

The Heart Sutra is "the single most commonly recited, copied and studied scripture in East Asian Buddhism." [4] [2] [note 2] [note 3] It is recited by adherents of Mahayana schools of Buddhism regardless of sectarian affiliation. [5] : 59–60

While the origin of the sutra is disputed by some modern scholars, [6] it was widely known throughout South Asia (including Afghanistan) from at least the Pala Empire period (c. 750–1200 CE) and in parts of India until at least the middle of the 14th century. [7] : 239,18–20 [note 4] [8] : 311–319,308–309 [note 5] The stature of the Heart Sutra throughout early medieval India can be seen from its title 'Holy Mother of all Buddhas Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom' [9] : 389 dating from at least the 8th century CE (see Philological explanation of the text). [2] : 15–16 [7] : 141,142 [note 6]

The long version of the Heart Sutra is extensively studied by the various Tibetan Buddhist schools, where the Heart Sutra is chanted, but also treated as a tantric text, with a tantric ceremony associated with it. [7] : 216–238 It is also viewed as one of the daughter sutras of the Prajnaparamita genre in the Vajrayana tradition as passed down from Tibet. [10] : 67–69 [11] : 2 [note 7] [note 8]

The text has been translated into many languages, and dozens of English translations and commentaries have been published, along with an unknown number of informal versions on the internet. [note 9]

There are two main versions of the Heart Sutra: a short version and a long version.

The short version as translated by Xuanzang is the most popular version of adherents practicing East Asian schools of Buddhism. Xuanzang's canonical text (T. 251) has a total of 260 Chinese characters. Some Japanese and Korean versions have an additional 2 characters. [8] : 324,334 [note 10] The short version has also been translated into Tibetan but it is not part of the current Tibetan Buddhist Canon.

The long version differs from the short version by including both an introductory and concluding section, features that most Buddhist sutras have. The introduction introduces the sutra to the listener with the traditional Buddhist opening phrase "Thus have I heard". It then describes the venue in which the Buddha (or sometimes bodhisattvas, etc.) promulgate the teaching and the audience to whom the teaching is given. The concluding section ends the sutra with thanks and praises to the Buddha.

Both versions are chanted on a daily basis by adherents of practically all schools of East Asian Buddhism and by some adherents of Tibetan and Newar Buddhism. [12]

Earliest extant versions and references to the Heart Sutra Edit

The earliest extant dated text of the Heart Sutra is a stone stele dated to 661 CE located at Yunju Temple and is part of the Fangshan Stone Sutra. It is also the earliest copy of Xuanzang's 649 CE translation of the Heart Sutra (Taisho 221) made three years before Xuanzang passed away. [13] [14] [15] [16] : 12,17 [note 11]

A palm-leaf manuscript found at the Hōryū-ji Temple is the earliest undated extant Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sutra. It is dated to c. 7th–8th century CE by the Tokyo National Museum where it is currently kept. [1] [17] : 208–209

Source of the Heart Sutra - Nattier controversy Edit

Jan Nattier (1992) argues, based on her cross-philological study of Chinese and Sanskrit texts of the Heart Sutra, that the Heart Sutra was initially composed in China. [17]

Fukui Fumimasa, Harada Waso, Ishii Kōsei and Siu Sai yau based on their cross-philological study of Chinese and Sanskrit texts of the Heart Sutra and other medieval period Sanskrit Mahayana sutras theorize that the Heart Sutra could not have been composed in China but was composed in India. [18] [9] [note 12] [19] [20] [21] : 43–44,72–80

Kuiji and Woncheuk were the two main disciples of Xuanzang. Their 7th century commentaries are the earliest extant commentaries on the Heart Sutra both commentaries, according to Hyun Choo, Harada Waso, Ishii Kosei, Dan Lusthaus, etc., contradict Nattier's Chinese origin theory. [22] : 146–147 [note 13] [23] : 6 [note 14] [24] : 111 [note 15] [5] : 83

Title Edit

Historical titles Edit

The titles of the earliest extant manuscripts of the Heart Sutra all includes the words "hṛdaya" or "heart" and "prajñāpāramitā" or "perfection of wisdom". Beginning from the 8th century and continuing at least until the 13th century, the titles of the Indic manuscripts of the Heart Sutra contained the words "bhagavatī" or "mother of all buddhas" and "prajñāpāramitā". [note 16]

Later Indic manuscripts have more varied titles.

Titles in use today Edit

In the western world, this sutra is known as the Heart Sutra (a translation derived from its most common name in East Asian countries). But it is also sometimes called the Heart of Wisdom Sutra. In Tibet, Mongolia and other regions influenced by Vajrayana, it is known as The [Holy] Mother of all Buddhas Heart (Essence) of the Perfection of Wisdom.

In the Tibetan text the title is given first in Sanskrit and then in Tibetan: Sanskrit: भगवतीप्रज्ञापारमिताहृदय (Bhagavatīprajñāpāramitāhṛdaya), Tibetan: བཅོམ་ལྡན་འདས་མ་ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པའི་སྙིང་པོ , Wylie: bcom ldan 'das ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po English translation of Tibetan title: Mother of All Buddhas Heart (Essence) of the Perfection of Wisdom. [11] : 1 [note 17]

In other languages, the commonly used title is an abbreviation of Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayasūtraṃ : i.e. The Prajñāhṛdaya Sūtra )(The Heart of Wisdom Sutra). They are as follows: e.g. Korean: Banya Shimgyeong ( 반야심경 / 般若心經 ) Japanese: Hannya Shingyō ( はんにゃしんぎょう / 般若心経 ) Vietnamese: Bát-nhã tâm kinh (chữ Nho: 般若心經 ).

Content Edit

Various commentators divide this text into different numbers of sections. In the long version, there exists the traditional opening "Thus have I heard" and Buddha along with a community of bodhisattvas and monks gathered with Avalokiteśvara and Sariputra at Gridhakuta (a mountain peak located at Rajgir, the traditional site where the majority of the Perfection of Wisdom teachings were given) , when through the power of Buddha, Sariputra asks Avalokiteśvara [26] : xix,249–271 [note 18] [27] : 83–98 for advice on the practice of the Perfection of Wisdom. The sutra then describes the experience of liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara, as a result of vipassanā gained while engaged in deep meditation to awaken the faculty of prajña (wisdom). The insight refers to apprehension of the fundamental emptiness (śūnyatā) of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence (skandhas): form (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), volitions (saṅkhāra), perceptions (saṃjñā), and consciousness (vijñāna).

The specific sequence of concepts listed in lines 12–20 (". in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, . no attainment and no non-attainment") is the same sequence used in the Sarvastivadin Samyukta Agama this sequence differs in comparable texts of other sects. On this basis, Red Pine has argued that the Heart Sūtra is specifically a response to Sarvastivada teachings that, in the sense "phenomena" or its constituents, are real. [2] : 9 Lines 12–13 enumerate the five skandhas. Lines 14–15 list the twelve ayatanas or abodes. [2] : 100 Line 16 makes a reference to the 18 dhatus or elements of consciousness, using a conventional shorthand of naming only the first (eye) and last (conceptual consciousness) of the elements. [2] : 105–06 Lines 17–18 assert the emptiness of the Twelve Nidānas, the traditional twelve links of dependent origination, using the same shorthand as with the eighteen dhatus. [2] : 109 Line 19 refers to the Four Noble Truths.

Avalokiteśvara addresses Śariputra, who was the promulgator of abhidharma according to the scriptures and texts of the Sarvastivada and other early Buddhist schools, having been singled out by the Buddha to receive those teachings. [2] : 11–12, 15 Avalokiteśvara famously states, "Form is empty (śūnyatā). Emptiness is form", and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths and explains that in emptiness none of these notions apply. This is interpreted according to the two truths doctrine as saying that teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality—they are not reality itself—and that they are therefore not applicable to the ultimate truth that is by definition beyond mental understanding. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahayana Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, defined in the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment thereby achieving nirvana.

All Buddhas of the three ages (past, present and future) rely on the Perfection of Wisdom to reach unexcelled complete Enlightenment. The Perfection of Wisdom is the all powerful Mantra, the great enlightening mantra, the unexcelled mantra, the unequalled mantra, able to dispel all suffering. This is true and not false. [28] The Perfection of Wisdom is then condensed in the mantra with which the sutra concludes: "Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasamgate Bodhi Svāhā" (literally "Gone gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!"). [29] In the long version, Buddha praises Avalokiteśvara for giving the exposition of the Perfection of Wisdom and all gathered rejoice in its teaching. Many schools traditionally have also praised the sutra by uttering three times the equivalent of "Mahāprajñāpāramitā" after the end of the recitation of the short version. [30]

Mantra Edit

The Heart Sūtra mantra in Sanskrit IAST is gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā, Devanagari: गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा, IPA: ɡəteː ɡəteː paːɾəɡəteː paːɾəsəŋɡəte boːdʱɪ sʋaːɦaː , meaning "gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha." [note 19]

China, Japan, Korea and Vietnam Edit

Two commentaries of the Heart Sutra were composed by pupils of Xuanzang, Woncheuk and Kuiji, in the 7th century. [5] : 60 These appear to be the earliest extant commentaries on the text. Both have been translated into English. [22] [31] Both Kuījī and Woncheuk's commentaries approach the Heart Sutra from both a Yogācāra and Madhyamaka viewpoint [5] [22] however, Kuījī's commentary presents detailed line by line Madhyamaka viewpoints as well and is therefore the earliest surviving Madhyamaka commentary on the Heart Sutra. Of special note, although Woncheuk did his work in China, he was born in Silla, one of the kingdoms located at the time in Korea.

The chief Tang Dynasty commentaries have all now been translated into English.

Notable Japanese commentaries include those by Kūkai (9th Century, Japan), who treats the text as a tantra, [32] [33] and Hakuin, who gives a Zen commentary. [34]

There is also a Vietnamese commentarial tradition for the Heart Sutra. The earliest recorded commentary is the early 14th century Thiền commentary entitled 'Commentary on the Prajñāhṛdaya Sutra' by Pháp Loa. [35] : 155,298 [note 20]

All of the East Asian commentaries are commentaries of Xuanzang's translation of the short version of the Heart Sutra. Kukai's commentary is purportedly of Kumārajīva's translation of the short version of the Heart Sutrabut upon closer examination seems to quote only from Xuanzang's translation. [33] : 21,36–37

Major Chinese language Commentaries on the Heart Sutra
# English Title [note 21] Taisho Tripitaka No. [37] Author [note 22] Dates School
1. Comprehensive Commentary on the Prañāpāramitā Heart Sutra[11] T1710 Kuiji 632–682 CE Yogācāra
2. Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sutra Commentary [22] T1711 Woncheuk or (pinyin :Yuance) 613–692 CE Yogācāra
3. Brief Commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sutra [2] : passim [38] T712 Fazang 643–712 CE Huayan
4. A Commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sutra [2] : passim M522 Jingmai c. 7th century [39] : 7170
5. A Commentary on the Prajñāpāramitā Heart Sutra [2] : passim M521 Huijing 715 CE
6. Secret Key to the Heart Sutra [33] [32] : 262–276 T2203A Kūkai 774–835 CE Shingon
7. Straightforward Explanation of the Heart Sutra [2] : passim [40] : 211–224 M542 Hanshan Deqing 1546–1623 CE [39] : 7549 Chan Buddhism
8. Explanation of the Heart Sutra [2] : passim M1452 (Scroll 11) Zibo Zhenke 1543–1603 CE [39] : 5297 Chan Buddhism
9. Explanation of the Keypoints to the Heart Sutra [2] : 74 M555 Ouyi Zhixu 1599–1655 CE [39] : 6321 Pure Land Buddhism
10. Zen Words for the Heart [34] B021 Hakuin Ekaku 1686–1768 CE Zen

India Edit

Eight Indian commentaries survive in Tibetan translation and have been the subject of two books by Donald Lopez. [41] [7] These typically treat the text either from a Madhyamaka point of view, or as a tantra (esp. Śrīsiṃha). Śrī Mahājana's commentary has a definite "Yogachara bent". [7] All of these commentaries are on the long version of the Heart Sutra. The Eight Indian Commentaries from the Kangyur are (cf first eight on chart):

Indian Commentaries on the Heart Sutra from Tibetan and Chinese language Sources
# English Title [note 23] Peking Tripitaka No. [42] [43] [44] Author / Dates
1. Vast Explanation of the Noble Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom No. 5217 Vimalamitra (b. Western India fl. c. 797 CE – 810 CE)
2, Atīśa's Explanation of the Heart Sutra No. 5222 Atīśa (b. Eastern India, 982 CE – 1045 CE)
3. Commentary on the 'Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom No. 5221 Kamalaśīla (740 CE – 795 CE)
4. Commentary on the Heart Sutra as Mantra No. 5840 Śrīsiṃha (probably 8th century CE) [7] : 82 [note 24]
5. Explanation of the Noble Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom No. 5218 Jñānamitra (c. 10th–11th century CE) [45] : 144
6. Vast Commentary on the Noble Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom No. 5220 Praśāstrasena
7. Complete Understanding of the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom No. 5223 Śrī Mahājana (probably c. 11th century) [46] : 91
8. Commentary on the Bhagavati (Mother of all Buddhas) Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra, Lamp of the Meaning No. 5219 Vajrāpaṇi (probably c. 11th century CE) [46] : 89
9. Commentary on the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom M526 Āryadeva (or Deva) c. 10th century [note 25]

There is one surviving Chinese translation of an Indian commentary in the Chinese Buddhist Canon. Āryadeva's commentary is on the short version of the Heart Sutra. [25] : 11,13

Other Edit

Besides the Tibetan translation of Indian commentaries on the Heart Sutra, Tibetan monk-scholars also made their own commentaries. One example is Tāranātha's A Textual Commentary on the Heart Sutra.

In modern times, the text has become increasingly popular amongst exegetes as a growing number of translations and commentaries attest. The Heart Sutra was already popular in Chan and Zen Buddhism, but has become a staple for Tibetan Lamas as well.

Selected English translations Edit

The first English translation was presented to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1863 by Samuel Beal, and published in their journal in 1865. Beal used a Chinese text corresponding to T251 and a 9th Century Chan commentary by Dàdiān Bǎotōng ( 大顛寶通 ) [c. 815 CE]. [47] In 1881, Max Müller published a Sanskrit text based on the Hōryū-ji manuscript along an English translation. [48]

There are more than 40 published English translations of the Heart Sutra from Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan, beginning with Beal (1865). Almost every year new translations and commentaries are published. The following is a representative sample.

Recordings Edit

The Heart Sūtra has been set to music a number of times. [49] Many singers solo this sutra. [50]

  • The Buddhist Audio Visual Production Centre ( 佛教視聽製作中心 ) produced a Cantonese album of recordings of the Heart Sūtra in 1995 featuring a number of Hong Kong pop singers, including Alan Tam, Anita Mui and Faye Wong and composer by Andrew Lam Man Chung ( 林敏聰 ) to raise money to rebuild the Chi Lin Nunnery. [51]
  • Malaysian Imee Ooi ( 黄慧音 ) sings the short version of the Heart Sūtra in Sanskrit accompanied by music entitled 'The Shore Beyond, Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram', released in 2009.
  • Hong Kong pop singers, such as the Four Heavenly Kings sang the Heart Sūtra to raise money for relief efforts related to the 921 earthquake. [52]
  • An Mandarin version was first performed by Faye Wong in May 2009 at the Famen Temple for the opening of the Namaste Dagoba, a stupa housing the finger relic of Buddha rediscovered at the Famen Temple. [53] She has sung this version numerous times since and its recording was subsequently used as a theme song in the blockbusters Aftershock (2010) [54][55] and Xuanzang (2016). [56]
  • Shaolin Monk Shifu Shi Yan Ming recites the Sutra at the end of the song "Life Changes" by the Wu-Tang Clan, in remembrance of the deceased member ODB.
  • The outro of the b-side song "Ghetto Defendant" by the British first wave punk band The Clash also features the Heart Sūtra, recited by American beat poet Allen Ginsberg.
  • A slightly edited version is used as the lyrics for Yoshimitsu's theme in the PlayStation 2 game Tekken Tag Tournament. An Indian styled version was also created by Bombay Jayashri, titled Ji Project. It was also recorded and arranged by Malaysian singer/composer Imee Ooi. An Esperanto translation of portions of the text furnished the libretto of the cantataLa Koro Sutro by American composer Lou Harrison. [57]
  • The Heart Sūtra appears as a track on an album of sutras "performed" by VOCALOID voice software, using the Nekomura Iroha voice pack. The album, Syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism by VOCALOID, [58] is by the artist tamachang.
  • Toward the end of the opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs by Mason Bates the character inspired by Kōbun Chino Otogawa sings part of the Heart Sūtra to introduce the scene in which Steve Jobs weds Laurene Powell at Yosemite in 1991.
  • Part of the Sutra can be heard on Shiina Ringo's song 鶏と蛇と豚 (Gate of Living), from her studio album Sandokushi (2019) [59]

In the centuries following the historical Xuanzang, an extended tradition of literature fictionalizing the life of Xuanzang and glorifying his special relationship with the Heart Sūtra arose, of particular note being the Journey to the West [60] (16th century/Ming dynasty). In chapter nineteen of Journey to the West, the fictitious Xuanzang learns by heart the Heart Sūtra after hearing it recited one time by the Crow's Nest Zen Master, who flies down from his tree perch with a scroll containing it, and offers to impart it. A full text of the Heart Sūtra is quoted in this fictional account.

In the 2003 Korean film Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. and Spring, the apprentice is ordered by his Master to carve the Chinese characters of the sutra into the wooden monastery deck to quiet his heart. [61]

The Sanskrit mantra of the Heart Sūtra was used as the lyrics for the opening theme song of the 2011 Chinese television series Journey to the West. [62]

The 2013 Buddhist film Avalokitesvara, tells the origins of Mount Putuo, the famous pilgrimage site for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in China. The film was filmed onsite on Mount Putuo and featured several segments where monks chant the Heart Sutra in Chinese and Sanskrit. Egaku, the protagonist of the film, also chants the Heart Sutra in Japanese. [63]

In the 2015 Japanese film I Am a Monk, Koen, a twenty-four year old bookstore clerk becomes a Shingon monk at the Eifuku-ji after the death of his grandfather. The Eifuku-ji is the fifty-seventh temple in the eighty-eight temple Shikoku Pilgrimage Circuit. He is at first unsure of himself. However, during his first service as he chants the Heart Sutra, he comes to an important realization. [64]

Bear McCreary recorded four Japanese-American monks chanting in Japanese, the entire Heart Sutra in his sound studio. He picked a few discontinuous segments and digitally enhanced them for their hypnotic sound effect. The result became the main theme of King Ghidorah in the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters. [65]

Schopenhauer, in the final words of his main work, compared his doctrine to the Śūnyatā of the Heart Sūtra. In Volume 1, § 71 of The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer wrote: ". to those in whom the will [to continue living] has turned and has denied itself, this very real world of ours, with all its suns and Milky Ways, is — nothing." [66] To this, he appended the following note: "This is also the Prajna–Paramita of the Buddhists, the 'beyond all knowledge,' in other words, the point where subject and object no longer exist." [67]


The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore

The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore 6:07

Chanted by the brothers and sisters of Plum Village

“The Insight that Brings us to the Other Shore” translation by Thich Nhat Hanh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


HEART SUTRA

This is part of a series of articles on the arc of Zen thought, practice, and history, as presented in The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World. You can start at the beginning of this series or simply explore from here. The Heart Sutra stands among the classic.

What follows is an excerpt from Entry into the Inconceivable: An Introduction to Hua-Yen Buddhism, the basis of which is the Avatamsaka or Flower Ornament Sutra. This is entire work is included in Classics of Buddhism and Zen, Volume Five To appreciate fully the comprehensive scope and detail of the.

For a full reader's guide to his works, visit our Reader Guide. Peter Levitt's introduction to The Essential Dogen In 1954 poet Allen Ginsberg wrote a poem called "Song" that acknowledges the weight of our human circumstance and suf­fering in a particular and somewhat unusual way. I believe it may also.

Shambhala: How long have you known Kaz? Roshi Joan: I met Kaz in the mid 1980s when we invited him and other artists to the Ojai Foundation with Thich Nhat Hanh. I felt an instant connection with him, and since that time we have collaborated on many projects and have become good friends and allies in.

The following article is from the Spring, 2012 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here. by KARL BRUNNHOLZL This excerpt is taken from Karl Brunnholzl's The Heart Attack Sutra, a practical and clear explanation.

The following article is from the Autumn, 2003 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here. Photo by Peter Aronson This short gem of a book shows how distorted perceptions and disturbing emotions―arising from our.

The following article is from the Autumn, 2000 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here. His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso the XIV Dalai Lama, will teach the Heart of Wisdom Sutra in San Jose, California for four hours.

The following article is from the Winter, 1986 issue of the Snow Lion Newsletter and is for historical reference only. You can see this in context of the original newsletter here. Gaden Tenzin Ling, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation center, was founded in Ithaca, NY during the 1980's. Ithaca is a small college.


The best known Buddhist scripture 般若波罗蜜多心经 Bo re bo luo mi duo xin jing The Heart Sutra of Prajna Paramita: pinyin, English translation

The Heart Sutra of Prajna Paramita is the shortest of all the sutras, only 260 characters in the Chinese translation. However, the sutra explains the core teaching of Buddhism — Emptiness. The realization of nothingness is not a negative zero-ness. It conveys the importance of not attached to anything, especially one’s own perceptions, judgements, feelings, desires etc., so that one can see the world wisely and clearly and be able to embrace the joyful and eternal life. The Heart Sutra is very profound and hard to understand, and one can always get better understanding as one keeps observing and practicing it.


般若波羅密多心經唱頌 (Heart Sutra) – 黃慧音 (Imee Ooi)

般若波羅蜜多心經(輕快版)

般若波羅蜜多心經 (國語)

Dalai Lama reciting prajna paramita heart sutra mantra – gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
般若波罗蜜多心经
bō rě bō luó mì duō xīn jīng

The Heart Sutra of Prajna Paramita
or
The Heart Sutra of the perfection of wisdom
or
The heart Sutra of Great Wisdom

般若(Sanskrit prajña:direct insight into the truth taught by the Buddha, as a faculty required to attain enlightenment. wisdom / great wisdom / wondrous knowledge)波罗蜜多(Paramita: Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which means to cross over to the other shore. It implies crossing over from the Sea of suffering to the Shore of happiness, from the Samsara of birth and death to Nirvana and from ignorance to enlightenment.)心经(the heart sutra)

观自在菩萨,行深般若波罗蜜多时,照见五蕴皆空,度一切苦厄。
guān zì zài pú sà , xíng shēn bō rě bō luó mì duō shí,zhào jiàn wǔ yùn jiē kōng, dù yī qiē kǔ è。
When Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara deeply practices Prajna Paramita (the wisdom of life and death transcendence), he clearly sees all emptiness of the Five Aggregates and is able to cross beyond all sufferings and distressed situations.

观自在菩萨(Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara),行(practice)深(deeply)般若波罗蜜多(see the annotation of the title)时(time),照(brightly)见(see)五蕴(Skandhas-the Five Aggregates:In Buddhist phenomenology and soteriology, the skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi), aggregates in English, are the five functions or aspects that constitute the sentient being: matter, sensation, perception, mental formations and consciousness.)皆(all)空(empty),度(transcend)一切(everything)苦(bitterness/sufferings)厄(disasters/difficult situation)。

舍利子,色不异空,空不异色,色即是空,空即是色。
shè lì zǐ, sè bù yì kōng ,kōng bù yì sè , sè jí shì kōng , kōng jí shì sè。
Shariputra,substance does not differ from emptiness emptiness doesn’t differ from substance substance exactly is emptiness and emptiness exactly is substance.

舍利子(Shariputra – Śāriputra or Sāriputta was one of two chief male disciples of the Buddha),色(substance/appearance)不(not)异(different from)空(emptiness),空(emptiness)不(not)异(different from)色(substance),色(substance)即(exactly)是(is)空(emptiness),空(emptiness)即(exactly)是(is)色(substance)。

受想行识,亦复如是。
shòu xiǎng xíng shí,yì fù rú shì。
Perception, thinking, doing and knowledge are also like this (Perception, thinking, doing and consciousness don’t differ from emptiness Perception, thinking, doing and consciousness exactly are emptiness).

舍利子,是诸法空相,
shè lì zǐ, shì zhū fǎ kōng xiāng,
Shariputra, the appearances of emptiness of all ways are

舍利子(Shariputra – Śāriputra or Sāriputta was one of two chief male disciples of the Buddha),是(is)诸(all)法(law/way/principles)空(empty)相(appearance),

不生不灭,不垢不净,不增不减,
bù shēng bù miè, bù gòu bù jìng, bù zēng bù jiǎn ,
(They) do not produce, not extinguish, not become filthy, not become pure, not increase and not decrease.

不(not)生(produce)不(not)灭(extinguish),不(not)垢(become filthy)不(not)净(become pure),不(not)增(increase)不(not)减(decrease),

是故空中无色,无受想行识,
shì gù kōng zhōng wú sè, wú shòu xiǎng xíng shí,
Therefore, within emptiness, there is no substance (as well as) no perception, thinking, doing and consciousness.

无眼耳鼻舌身意,无色声香味触法,无眼界,
wú yǎn ěr bí shé shēn yì, wú sè shēng xiāng wèi chù fǎ, wú yǎn jiè,
There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue,body and consciousness there is no color, sound, fragrance, smell, sense of touching and Buddhist teaching there is no boundary of eyes.

无(no)眼(eye)耳(ear)鼻(nose)舌(tongue)身(body)意(consciousness),无(no)色(color)声(sound)香(fragrance)味(smell)触(sense of touching)法( Buddhist teaching),无(no)眼(eye)界(boundary)

乃至无意识界,无无明,亦无无明尽,
nǎi zhì wú yì shí jiè, wú wú míng , yì wú wú míng jìn,
It goes as far as to the involuntary(unconscious ) boundary, without ignorance, and also without the extremity of ignorance.

乃至(go as far as)无(no/without)意识(conscious)界(boundary),无(no)无(not)明(bright/understand),亦(also)无(no)无(not)明(bright/understand)尽(the end/extremity/limit),

乃至无老死,亦无老死尽。
nǎi zhì wú lǎo sǐ, yì wú lǎo sǐ jìn。
It goes as far as to no aging and dying, as well as no extremity of aging and dying.

乃至(go as far as/and even)无(without)老(aging)死(dying),亦(also)无(without)老(aging)死(dying)尽(limit/extremity)。

无苦集灭道,无智亦无得,以无所得故。
wú kǔ jí miè dào, wú zhì yì wú dé, yǐ wú suǒ dé gù。
There is no accumulation of suffering, no extinguish of the Way there is no wisdom as well as no gains because of none to attain.

无(no)苦(bitterness/suffering)集(accumulate)灭(extinguish)道(the way),无(no)智(wisdom)亦(also)无(no)得(obtain/gain),以(for)无(no)所得(something to attain)故(reason)。

菩提萨埵,依般若波罗蜜多故,心无挂碍。
pú tí sà duǒ yī bō rě bō luó mì duō gù xīn wú guà ài。
Bodhisattva, due to Prajna Paramita , has no worries in his heart.

菩提萨埵(Bodhisattva),依(according to)般若(Sanskrit prajña:direct insight into the truth taught by the Buddha, as a faculty required to attain enlightenment. wisdom / great wisdom / wondrous knowledge)波罗蜜多(Paramita: Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which means to cross over to the other shore. It implies crossing over from the Sea of suffering to the Shore of happiness, from the Samsara of birth and death to Nirvana and from ignorance to enlightenment.)故(reason),心(heart)无(without)挂碍(worry)。

无挂碍故,无有恐怖,远离颠倒梦想,究竟涅槃。
wú guà ài gù, wú yǒu kǒng bù, yuǎn lí diān dǎo mèng xiǎng, jiū jìng niè pán。
Because of no worrying, there is nothing that can frighten him. Therefore, he is able to keep away from distorted dreams, and is able to achieve Nirvana after all.

无(no)挂碍(worry)故(reason),无(not)有(have)恐怖(terror/fearful things),远离(far away from)颠倒(upside down)梦想(dream),究竟(after all)涅槃((in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.)。

三世诸佛,依般若波罗蜜多故,得阿耨多罗三藐三菩提。
sān shì zhū fó, yī bō rě bō luó mì duō gù, dé ā nuò duō luó sān miǎo sān pú tí。
Buddhas of the past, present and future, due to Prajna Paramita , obtains Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.

三世(past/present/future three generation)诸(all)佛(buddhas),依(due to)般若(Sanskrit prajña:direct insight into the truth taught by the Buddha, as a faculty required to attain enlightenment. wisdom / great wisdom / wondrous knowledge)波罗蜜多(Paramita: Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which means to cross over to the other shore. It implies crossing over from the Sea of suffering to the Shore of happiness, from the Samsara of birth and death to Nirvana and from ignorance to enlightenment.)故(reason),得(obtain)阿耨多罗三藐三菩提(Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi/Supreme Perfect Enlightenment)。

故知般若波罗蜜多,是大神咒,是大明咒,
gù zhī bō rě bō luó mì duō, shì dà shén zhòu, shì dà míng zhòu,
Therefore, we understand that Prajna Paramita is the great wondrous mantra, is the great bright mantra.

故(so)知(understand)般若(Sanskrit prajña:direct insight into the truth taught by the Buddha, as a faculty required to attain enlightenment. wisdom / great wisdom / wondrous knowledge)波罗蜜多(Paramita: Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which means to cross over to the other shore. It implies crossing over from the Sea of suffering to the Shore of happiness, from the Samsara of birth and death to Nirvana and from ignorance to enlightenment.)是(is)大(great)神(wondrous)咒(mantra),是(is)大(great)明(bright)咒(mantra),

是无上咒,是无等等咒。能除一切苦,真实不虚。
shì wú shàng zhòu, shì wú děng děng zhòu。néng chú yī qiē kǔ, zhēn shí bù xū。
It is the supreme manta, the unparalleled mantra that can get rid of all sufferings, and it is real and not false.

是(is)无上(supreme)咒(mantra),是(is)无等等(unparalleled)咒(mantra)。能(able to)除(get rid of)一切(every/all)苦(bitter/suffering),真实(real)不(not)虚(false)。

故说般若波罗蜜多咒。
gù shuō bō rě bō luó mì duō zhòu。
Therefore, he utters Mantra of the Prajna Paramita

故(therefore)说(say)般若(Sanskrit prajña:direct insight into the truth taught by the Buddha, as a faculty required to attain enlightenment. wisdom / great wisdom / wondrous knowledge)波罗蜜多(Paramita: Paramita is a Sanskrit word, which means to cross over to the other shore. It implies crossing over from the Sea of suffering to the Shore of happiness, from the Samsara of birth and death to Nirvana and from ignorance to enlightenment.)咒(mantra)。

即说咒曰:
jí shuō zhòu yuē:
The mantra is recited:

揭谛揭谛,波罗揭谛,波罗僧揭谛,菩提萨婆诃。
jiē dì jiē dì, bō luó jiē dì, bō luó sēng jiē dì, pú tí sà pó hē。
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.
Go, go, go beyond and transcend, go utterly beyond, awakened, well said.

Gate(go) gate(go) paragate(go beyond and transcend) parasamgate(go utterly beyond) bodhi(awakened) svaha (is a denouement indicating the end of the mantra. Literally, it means “well said”).


Copy of the Heart Sutra - History

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THE HANNYA SHINGYO
The Heart Sutra (of Transendental Wisdom)
Copyright © 2003 James Deacon


The Heart Sutra ( or 'Heart of the Wisdom Sutra' ) is the shortest of all the Sutras.

Comprised of less than 300 kanji characters, the Hannya Shingyo is regarded as the summation of the wisdom of Buddha.

A distillation of the essence of Zen thought, the Hannya Shingyo teaches the most basic of all Buddhist philosophy - the insight attained by non-attachment - the doctrine of Emptiness or Ku.

The Heart Sutra is derived from the Hannya Kyo or 'Great Wisdom-perfection Heart Sutra'

Reciting the Heart Sutra is, on one level a sign of one's devotion to Zen Buddhism, and the unknowable it is also a way of generating 'merit' - for oneself, or for one on whose behalf the sutra is recited.

In folk belief, it is said that reciting the hannya shingyo makes one invisible to evil spirits and demons.

Click on image for a printable copy of the Hannya Shingo written in bonji
- the sacred characters of the Siddham Script


THE HEART SUTRA

BU SETSU MAKA HANNYA HARAMITA SHIN GYO

KAN JI ZAI BO SA GYO JIN HAN NYA HA RA MI TA JI SHO KEN GO UN KAI KU DO IS-SAI KU YAKU SHA RI SHI SHIKI FU I KU KU FU I SHIKI SHIKI SOKU ZE KU KU SOKU ZE SHIKI JU SO GYO SHIKI YAKU BU NYO ZE SHA RI SHI ZE SHO HO KU SO FU SHO FU METSU FU KU FU JO FU ZO FU GEN ZE KO KU CHU MU SHIKI MU JU SO GYO SHIKI MU GEN NI BI ZETS SHIN NI MU SHIKI SHO KO MI SOKU HO MU GEN KAI NAI SHI MU I SHIKI KAI MU MU MYO YAKU MU MU MYO JIN NAI SHI MU RO SHI YAKU MO RO SHI JIN MU KU SHU METSU DO MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU I MU SHO TOK-KO BO DAI SAT- TA E HAN-NYA HA RA MI TA KO SHIN MU KE GE MU KE GE KO MU U KU FU ON RI IS SAI TEN DO MU SO KU GYO NE HAN SAN ZE SHO BUTSU E HAN- NYA HA RA MI TA KO TOKU A NOKU TA RA SAN MYAKU SAN BO DAI KO CHI HAN- NYA HA RA MI TA ZE DAI SHIN SHU ZE DAI MYO SHU ZE MU JO SHU ZE MU TO DO SHU NO JO IS-SAI KU SHIN JITSU FU KO KO SETSU HAN-NYA HA RA MI TA SHU SOKU SETSU SHU WATSU GYA TE GYA TE HA RA GYA TE HARA SO GYA TE BO DHI SOWA KA HAN-NYA SHIN GYO


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Prajñāpāramita-hṛdayam sūtra

oṃ namo bhagavatyai ārya prajñāpāramitāyai!

ārya-avalokiteśvaro bodhisattvo gambhīrāṃ prajñāpāramitā caryāṃ caramāṇo vyavalokayati sma:
panca-skandhās tāṃś ca svābhava śūnyān paśyati sma.

iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ. evam eva vedanā saṃjñā saṃskāra vijñānaṃ.

iha śāriputra: sarva-dharmāḥ śūnyatā-lakṣaṇā, anutpannā aniruddhā, amalā avimalā, anūnā aparipūrṇāḥ.

tasmāc chāriputra śūnyatayāṃ na rūpaṃ na vedanā na saṃjñā na saṃskārāḥ na vijñānam. na cakṣuḥ-śrotra-ghrāna-jihvā-kāya-manāṃsi. na rūpa-śabda-gandha-rasa-spraṣṭavaya-dharmāh. Na cakṣūr-dhātur. yāvan na manovijñāna-dhātuḥ. na-avidyā na-avidyā-kṣayo. yāvan na jarā-maraṇam na jarā-maraṇa-kṣayo. na duhkha-samudaya-nirodha-margā. Na jñānam, na prāptir na-aprāptiḥ.

tasmāc chāriputra aprāptitvād bodhisattvasya prajñāpāramitām āśritya viharatyacittāvaraṇaḥ. cittāvaraṇa-nāstitvād atrastro viparyāsa-atikrānto niṣṭhā-nirvāṇa-prāptaḥ.

tryadhva-vyavasthitāḥ sarva-buddhāḥ prajñāpāramitām āśrityā-anuttarāṃ samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhāḥ.

tasmāj jñātavyam: prajñāpāramitā mahā-mantro mahā-vidyā mantro 'nuttara-mantro samasama-mantraḥ, sarva duḥkha praśamanaḥ, satyam amithyatāt. prajñāpāramitāyām ukto mantraḥ.

tadyathā: gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.

iti prajñāpāramitā-hṛdayam samāptam.


A new translation of the Heart Sutra by Sensei Kaz Tanahashi and Roshi Joan Halifax

Avalokiteshvara, who helps all to awaken,
moves in the deep course of
realizing wisdom beyond wisdom,
sees that all five streams of
body, heart, and mind are without boundary,
and frees all from anguish.

O Shariputra,
[who listens to the teachings of the Buddha],
form is not separate from boundlessness
boundlessness is not separate from form.
Form is boundlessness boundlessness is form.
The same is true of feelings, perceptions, inclinations, and discernment.

O Shariputra,
boundlessness is the nature of all things.
It neither arises nor perishes,
neither stains nor purifies,
neither increases nor decreases.
Boundlessness is not limited by form,
nor by feelings, perceptions, inclinations, or discernment.
It is free of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind
free of sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and any object of mind
free of sensory realms, including the realm of the mind.
It is free of ignorance and the end of ignorance.
Boundlessness is free of old age and death,
and free of the end of old age and death.
It is free of suffering, arising, cessation, and path,
and free of wisdom and attainment.

Being free of attainment, those who help all to awaken
abide in the realization of wisdom beyond wisdom
and live with an unhindered mind.
Without hindrance, the mind has no fear.
Free from confusion, those who lead all to liberation
embody profound serenity.
All those in the past, present, and future,
who realize wisdom beyond wisdom,
manifest unsurpassable and thorough awakening.

Know that realizing wisdom beyond wisdom
is no other than this wondrous mantra,
luminous, unequalled, and supreme.
It relieves all suffering.
It is genuine, not illusory.

So set forth this mantra of realizing wisdom beyond wisdom.
Set forth this mantra that says:

Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi! Svaha!

The Heart Sutra chant in Sino-Japanese

MAKA HANNYA HARAMITA SHINGYO

KAN JI ZAI BO SA GYO JIN HAN NYA HA RA MI TA JI SHO KEN GO ON KAI KU DO IS SAI KU YAKU SHA RI SHI SHIKI FU I KU KU FU I SHIKI SHIKI SOKU ZE KU KU SOKU ZE SHIKI JU SO GYO SHIKI YAKU BU NYO ZE SHA RI SHI ZE SHO HO KU SO FU SHO FU METSU FU KU FU JO FU ZO FU GEN ZE KO KU CHU MU SHIKI MU JU SO GYO SHIKI MU GEN NI BI ZES SHIN NI MU SHIKI SHO KO MI SOKU HO MU GEN KAI NAI SHI MU I SHIKI KAI MU MU MYO YAKU MU MU MYO JIN NAI SHI MU RO SHI YAKU MU RO SHI JIN MU KU SHU METSU DO MU CHI YAKU MU TOKU I MU SHO TOK KO BO DAI SAT TA E HAN NYA HA RA MITA KO SHIN MU KE GE MU KE GE KO MU U KU FU ON RI IS SAI TEN DO MU SO KU GYO NE HAN SAN ZE SHO BUTSU E HAN NYA HA RA MI TA KO TOKU A NOKU TA RA SAM MYAKU SAM BO DAI KO CHI HAN NYA HA RA MI TA ZE DAI JIN SHU ZE DAI MYO SHU ZE MU JO SHU ZE MU TO DO SHU NO JO IS SAI KU SHIN JITSU FU KO KO SETSU HAN NYA HA RA MI TA SHU SOKU SETSU SHU WATSU

GYA TEI GYA TEI HA RA GYA TEI HARA SO GYA TEI BO JI SOWA KA HAN NYA SHIN GYO


Watch the video: Chant The Heart Sutra Gate Gate Pāragate Pārasaṃgate Bodhi Svāhā Follow The Words On Screen