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Heart Sutra - E. Conze Heart Sutra  


(The Prajna-Paramita-Hrdaya Sutra)


Translated by F. Max Muller

When Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara practices the profound Prajna-paramita, he intuitively realizes that the five aggregates (skandhas) are of Sunyata nature thus securing his deliverance from all distress and sufferings.

Sariputra! Form (rupa) does not differ from Sunyata, nor Sunyata from form. Form is identical with Sunyata (and) Sunyata is identical with form. So also are reception (vedana), conception (sanjna), mental conduct (samskara) and consciousness (vijnana) in relation to Sunyata.

Sariputra, the Sunyata nature of all things is neither created nor annihilated; neither impure nor pure; and neither increasing nor decreasing.

Therefore, in Sunyata, there is neither form (rupa), reception (vedana), conception (sanjna), mental conduct (samskara), nor consciousness (vijnana); there is neither eye, ear, nose, tongue, body nor mind; there is neither form, sound, odor, flavor, feeling nor idea; there are no such things as the eighteen realms of sense (dhatus) from the realm of sight up to that of the faculty of mind (vijnana); there are no such things as the twelve links in the chain of existence (nidanas) from ignorance (avidya) with also the end of ignorance up to old age and death (jaramarana) with also the end of old age and death; there are no (such things as) the four noble truths and there is neither Wisdom nor obtainment.

Because of no obtainment, Bodhisattvas who rely on Prajna-paramita, have no hindrance in their minds, and since they have no hindrance, they have no fear, are free from perversive and delusive ideas and attain the Ultimate Nirvana.

All Buddhas of the past, present and future attain the Full Enlightenment (anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) by relying on Prajna-paramita. So we know that Prajna-paramita is the great supernatural Mantra, the great bright, unsurpassed and unequalled Mantra which can truly and without fail wipe out all sufferings.

Therefore, He uttered the Prajna-paramita mantra which reads:

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!

(Vol. XLIX of The Sacred Books of the East)


The venerable Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, performing his study in the deep Pragñâpâramitâ (perfection of wisdom), thought thus: 'There are the five Skandhas, and these he considered as by their nature empty (phenomenal).'

'O Sâriputra,' he said, 'form here is emptiness, and emptiness indeed is form. Emptiness is not different from form, form is not different from emptiness. What is form that is emptiness, what is emptiness that is form.'

'The same applies to perception, name, conception, and knowledge.'

'Here, O Sâriputra, all things have the character of emptiness, they have no beginning, no end, they are faultless and not faultless, they are not imperfect and not perfect. Therefore, O Sâriputra, in this emptiness there is no form, no perception, no name, no concepts, no knowledge. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind. No form, sound, smell, taste, touch, objects.'

'There is no eye,' &c., till we come to 'there is no mind.'

{p. 154}

(What is left out here are the eighteen Dhâtus or aggregates, viz. eye, form, vision; ear, sound, hearing; nose, odour, smelling; tongue, flavour, tasting; body, touch, feeling; mind, objects, thought.)

'There is no knowledge, no ignorance, no destruction of knowledge, no destruction of ignorance,' &c., till we come to 'there is no decay and death, no destruction of decay and death; there are not (the four truths, viz. that there) is pain, origin of pain, stoppage of pain, and the path to it. There is no knowledge, no obtaining (of Nirvâna).'

'A man who has approached the Pragñâpâramitâ of the Bodhisattva dwells enveloped in consciousness[1]. But when the envelopment of consciousness has been annihilated, then he becomes free of all fear, beyond the reach of change, enjoying final Nirvâna.'

'All Buddhas of the past, present, and future, after approaching the Pragñâpâramitâ, have awoke to the highest perfect knowledge.'

'Therefore one ought to know the great verse of the Pragñâpâramitâ, the verse of the great wisdom, the unsurpassed verse, the peerless verse, which appeases all pain--it is truth, because it is not false-the verse proclaimed in the Pragñâpâramitâ: "O wisdom, gone, gone, gone to the other shore. landed at the other shore, Svâhâ!"'

Thus ends the heart of the Pragñâpâramitâ.

Heart Sutra Sanskrit prajñāpāramita-hṛdayam sūtra Sūtra du Cœur