The full text and meaning of the Heart Sutra

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  The Heart Sutra is a classic sutra that Buddhists must read and know. The full title is the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra. It is slightly called the Prajna Heart Sutra or the Heart Sutra. The entire sutra is only one volume and 260 words. It is one of the 600-volume sections of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, a classic work with the least number of words in the Buddhist scriptures, and is considered the synopsis of the Prajna Sutra category because it has the least number of words, the deepest meaning, the most legend, and the greatest influence. There have been seven Chinese translations of the sutra. The more famous ones are the Mahabharata Paramita Mantra Sutra translated by Hatoma Roshi in the later Qin Dynasty and the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra translated by Xuanzang in the Tang Dynasty. 


  The "Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra" used here summarizes the essence of the teachings of the Mahabharata from the shallow to the deep. It can be said that the words are simple but rich in meaning, and the words are few but deep in purpose. It is believed that reading this sutra can understand the basic spirit of the Prajna Sutra. 


  The full text of the Heart Sutra:

The Bodhisattva Guanzai, when practicing deep Prajna Paramita, sees the emptiness of all the five aggregates, and tries to overcome all sufferings. The same is true for the mind, thought, action and consciousness. The same is true of the mind, thought, and consciousness. Therefore, there is no color in the air, no thought, no consciousness, no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, no color, sound, scent, touch, eye realm, and even no consciousness realm. There is no ignorance and no end of ignorance, and even no old age and death and no end of old age and death. There is no suffering, no set, no extinction, no wisdom, and no gain. In the absence of gain, bodhisattva, in accordance with Prajna Paramita, has no hindrances, no hindrances, no fears, no dreams, and ultimate nirvana. All the Buddhas in the three worlds, by virtue of Prajna Paramita, attain Avalokiteshvara. Therefore, we know that Prajna Paramita is a great mantra, a great mantra of clarity, a supreme mantra, and a mantra without equal, which can remove all sufferings and is true. Therefore, the mantra of Prajna Paramita is said to be: Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva, Jie Shiva.


Translation of the Heart Sutra:

A Bodhisattva who has attained liberation and freedom by observing his own mind with the wisdom of Prajna, when practicing the very deep wisdom of Prajna, observes the insight that the five elements that collectively constitute the human self, such as the physical body, feelings, thoughts, will, and mind, are the relationship of cause and effect. Its essence is emptiness, not physical existence. The bodhisattva is free from the suffering of birth, old age, sickness, death, and all suffering because he sees these five elements of aggregation as karmic emptiness. 


O Shakyamuni! There is no difference between matter and emptiness, and there is no difference in the nature of emptiness and matter, so emptiness is not different from matter. Some people think that emptiness is nothing and matter is something, but the Bodhisattva sees with the wisdom of Prajna that matter is emptiness and emptiness is matter, just like the relationship between water and water waves, which are both separate and one. The same is true of feeling, thought, will, and mind. 


O Shakyamuni! These five elements of aggregation, by their nature of karmic emptiness, neither arise or perish, nor are they defiled or purified, nor do they increase or decrease. Therefore, in the nature of karmic emptiness, matter, feeling, thought, will, and mind are not real existence, but empty. Human awareness of the external world is through the six senses: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness, and the six external worlds: matter, sound, smell, taste, touch, and all other things and concepts, which are not real, but empty. All human cognitive roles are different, including the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, matter, sound, smell, taste, touch, all other things and concepts, and even the recognition roles of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, all of which are not real, but empty.


 A karmic sage who is not enlightened by Buddhism alone is enlightened by looking at the twelve causes, but the bodhisattva sees with the wisdom of Prajna that the twelve causes are karmic emptiness, so that neither ignorance, the main cause of the cycle of birth and death, nor the elimination of ignorance, nor even birth, old age, sickness, or death, nor the separation from birth, old age, sickness, and death by the elimination of ignorance, are real beings. The Bodhisattva who has heard the Buddha's words and attained enlightenment is enlightened by looking at the four traits, but the Bodhisattva who sees suffering with the wisdom of Prajna, the cause of suffering, the method of extinction of suffering and liberation from suffering, and the method of extinction of suffering, these four traits are not physical beings because they are karmically empty.


In the realm that the Bodhisattva has attained, there is neither the Prajna wisdom that can be attained nor the realm that is attained, for the Bodhisattva sees thoroughly that everything is karmic emptiness, that everything is unattainable, and that the mind does not cling to everything. The bodhisattva who has achieved enlightenment for himself and all sentient beings is free from fear of birth and death, free from all wrong thoughts, unreasonable actions, delusions, etc., and has finally reached the highest state of silence and inaction because he has practiced the wisdom of Prajna, which leads to the other side of life and death, and has realized the truth of emptiness.


 All the Buddhas in the past, present and future are able to attain Buddhahood because of the wisdom of Prajna. Therefore, it is clear from the above that Prajna Wisdom is a mantra of incredible power, a mantra that can break all foolishness and darkness, a mantra that is supreme, and a mantra that can achieve the unparalleled fruit of Nirvana. It removes all suffering and misfortune, and is the true and unchanging truth. Therefore, the mantra that proclaims the wisdom of Prajna is as follows: Go! Go! Go to the other shore of birth and death! Go with all beings to the other shore of birth and death! May one quickly attain righteousness and great attainment!


The following is a translation of the Holy City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

(Translated by Tang Dharma Master of the Tripitaka Hsüan-Tsang on imperial command.)


When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva 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, 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:


Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!


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