Heart Sutra

Translations of the The Heart Sutra

Translation by E. Conze

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.

Here, O Sariputra,

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.

Here, O Sariputra,

all dharmas are marked with emptiness ;

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

Therefore, O Sariputra,

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.

Therefore, O Sariputra,

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

Bodhi Svaha!

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.

 


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

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.

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