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.
Below, we list the Heart Sutra of Prajna Paramita and its meaning.
The Heart Sutra of Prajna Paramita
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.
Shariputra,substance does not differ from emptiness; emptiness doesn’t differ from substance; substance exactly is emptiness and emptiness exactly is substance.
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).
Shariputra, the appearances of emptiness of all ways are
(They) do not produce, not extinguish, not become filthy, not become pure, not increase and not decrease.
Therefore, within emptiness, there is no substance (as well as) no perception, thinking, doing and consciousness.
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.
It goes as far as to the involuntary(unconscious ) boundary, without ignorance, and also without the extremity of ignorance.
It goes as far as to no aging and dying, as well as no extremity of aging and dying.
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.
Bodhisattva, due to Prajna Paramita , has no worries in his heart.
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.
Buddhas of the past, present and future, due to Prajna Paramita , obtains Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.
Therefore, we understand that Prajna Paramita is the great wondrous mantra, is the great bright mantra.
It is the supreme manta, the unparalleled mantra that can get rid of all sufferings, and it is real and not false.
Therefore, he utters Mantra of the Prajna Paramita
The mantra is recited:
Go, go, go beyond and transcend, go utterly beyond, awakened, well said.