Ganden Dheling
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The Heart Sutra



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Copyright 2002
Ganden Dheling Buddhist Temple, Inc.

Thus I have heard: Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha on Vulture's peak, together with a great assembly of monks and Bodhisattvas. At that time the Blessed One was totally absorbed in the concentration that examines all phenomena called "Profound Illumination". And at the same time the Nobles Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, was looking at the profound practice of the wisdom gone beyond, analyzing the five aggregates, by nature empty.

Then through the inspiration of Buddha, the Venerable Shariputra spoke to the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, saying, "How should those of good family learn who wish to follow the profound practice of the wisdom gone beyond?" Thus he spoke, and the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, replied to the Venerable Shariputra, "O Shariputra, whatever son or daughter of a good farnily wishes to follow the profound practice of the wisdom gone beyond should look at it like this, analyzing the five aggregates, by nature empty."

Form is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness. In the same way feeling, recognition, karmic formations and consciousness are all empty. Therefore, Shariputra, all phenomena are empty, without characteristics. They are unborn and unceasing; They are neither impure nor free from impurity. They neither decrease nor increase.

Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no recognition, no karmic formations, no consciousness; there is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind... There are no spheres of the eyes... up to no spheres of the mind. There are none of these all the way up to the sphere of mental consciousness. There is no ignorance, nor is there destruction of ignorance... there are none of these all the way up to there is no old age and death; nor is there destruction of old age and death. Thus there is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering and no path. There is no wisdom, no attainment and no non-attainment.

Therefore, Shariputra, because there is no attainment, all Bodhisattvas hold to the wisdom gone beyond; And because there is no obscurity of mind they have no fear. Passing utterly beyond falsity, they reach beyond the bounds of sorrow.

All the Buddhas who dwell in the three times, by relying on the wisdom gone beyond, fully and clearly awaken to the unsurpassed, most perfect and complete Enlightenment. Therefore, the mantra of the wisdom gone beyond, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequalled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering should be known as the Truth, for there is no deception. The mantra of the wisdom gone beyond is proclaimed:

THA YA THA: GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA (21x)
(Gone, Gone, Gone Beyond, Gone Completely Beyond, Awakened. So Be It.)

O Shariputra, this is how a bodhisattva-Mahasattva should learn the profound wisdom gone beyond.

Then the Blessed One arose from that concentration and praised the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, saying, "very good, very good, O son of a good family. It is exactly like that. The profound wisdom gone beyond should be practiced exactly as you have said and Tathagatas will rejoice."

When the Blessed One had said this, the Venerable Shariputra, the Noble Avalokiteshvara, the Boddhisattva-Mahasattva, that whole gathering, and the world with its gods, men anti-gods and spirits, their hearts full of joy, praised the words of the Blessed One.

So ends the noble discourse on the essence of the wisdom gone beyond.

Translated by: J. Landaw




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