THE SUTRA OF THE HEART OF THE PERFECTION OF WISDOM

Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom!

Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha on Massed Vultures Mountain, together in one method 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 on phenomena called Profound Illumination.

At that time also, 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. Then, through the power of Buddha, the venerable Shariputra said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, "How should a son 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 train in the following way: they should reflect perfectly and correctly on the emptiness on the five aggregates."

"Form is emptiness; emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form; form is not other than emptiness. Likewise, sensation, discrimination, compositional factors and consciousness are empty. Shariputra, like this all phenomena are merely empty, having no characteristics. They are not produced and do not cease. They have no defilement and no separation from defilement. They have no increase and decrease.

"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 form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tactile object, no phenomenon. There is no eye element and so forth, up to mind element, and also up to no element of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance, and so forth up to no ageing and death and no cessation of ageing and death. Likewise, there is no suffering, origin, cessation, path; no exalted wisdom, no attainment and also no non-attainment.

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

"Therefore, the mantra the perfection of wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the unsurpassed mantra, the equal-to-the-unequalled 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:

TAYATHA GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA

"Shariputra, a bodhisattva, a great being should train in the profound perfection of wisdom like this."

Then the Blessed One arose from that concentration and said to the Superior Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, that he had spoken well. "Good, good, O son of the lineage. It is like that. Since it is like that, just as you have revealed, the profound perfection of wisdom should be practised in that way, and the tathagatas will also rejoice."

When the Blessed One had said this, the venerable Shariputra, the Superior Avalokiteshvara the bodhisattva, the great being, that entire assembly of disciples as well as the worldly beings-gods, humans, demi-gods and spirits, were delighted and highly praised what had been spoken by the Blessed One.

 

Produced by
Dharma Therapy Trust
under the guidance of
Venerable Geshé Damchö Yönten

March 1998

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