An Introduction to the Heart Sutra By Barbara O'Brien
Origins of the Heart Sutra
The Heart Sutra is part of the much larger Prajnaparamita (perfection of wisdom) Sutra, which is a collection of about 40 sutras composed between 100 BCE and 500 CE. The precise origin of the Heart Sutra is unknown. According to the translator Red Pine, the earliest record of the sutra is a Chinese translation from Sanskrit by the monk Chih-ch'ien made between 200 and 250 CE...more
chanting Heart Sutra in Sanskrit uploaded and text by Phil Tan
-Adoration to the Omniscient!
Aaryaavalokiteshvara-bodhisattvo gambhiiraayaam prajnaapaaramitaayaam caryaam caramaano vyavalokayati sma: panca skandhaah; taamshca svabhaava-shuunyaan pashyati sma.
-When Holy Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva performed the deep practice in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, he contemplated that there were five aggregates but observed that they were devoid of essential nature.
Iha Shaariputra ruupam shuunyataa shuunyataiva ruupam, ruupaan na prithak shuunyataa, shuunyataayaa na prithag ruupam, yad ruupam saa shuunyataa, yaa shuunyataa tad ruupam.
-In this case, Shaariputra, form is voidness and voidness is itself form; voidness is not different from form, and form is not different from voidness; that which is form is voidness, and that which is voidness is form.
Evem eva vedanaa-samjnaa-samskaara-vijnaanaani.
-So it is for perception, conception, volition and consciousness.
Iha Shaariputra sarva-dharmaah shuunyataa-lakshanaa, anutpannaa, aniruddhaa, amalaa, na vimalaa, nonaa, na paripuurnaah.
-In this case, Shaariputra, all things have the characteristics of voidness; they neither arise nor perish; they are neither defiled nor pure, neither deficient nor complete.
Tasmaac Chaariputra shuunyaayaam na ruupam na vedanaa na samjnaa na samskaaraa na vijnaanaani.
-Therefore, Shaariputra, within the voidness, there is no form, no perception, no conception, no volition, nor consciousness.
Na cakshuh-shrotra-ghraana-jihvaa-kaaya-man aamsi.
-Neither is there eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind.
Na ruupa-shabda-gandha-rasa-sprashtavya-dha rmaah.
-Neither is there form, sound, smell, taste, touch nor concepts.
Na cakshurdhaatur yaavan na mano-vijnaana-dhaatuh.
-Neither is there realm of sight, etc., until we come to the non-existence of realm of consciousness.
Na vidyaa, naavidyaa, na vidyaa-kshayo, naavidyaa-kshayo, yaavan na jaraa-maranam na jaraamarana-kshayo, na duhkha-samudaya-nirodha-maargaa, na jnaanam, na praaptir apraaptitvena.
-Neither is there wisdom, nor ignorance, nor extinction of wisdom, nor extinction of ignorance, etc., until we come to the non-existence of old age and death and the non-extinction of old age and death. Neither is there suffering, cause of suffering, extinction of suffering, nor the path leading to extinction of suffering. Neither is there wisdom nor acquisition because there is no grasping.
Bodhisattvasya prajnaapaaramitaam aashritya viharaty acittaavaranah. Cittaavarana-naastitvaad atrasto, viparyaasaatikraanto nishtha-nirvaanah.
-Depending on the bodhisattva's Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom, one dwells without any mental hindrance. Because of the absence of mental hindrance, one is fearless; freed from delusory thoughts, one will reach Nirvana.
Tryadhva-vyavasthitaah sarvabuddhaah prajnaapaaramitaam aashrityaanuttaraam samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhaah.
-All Buddhas dwelling in the three periods realize the highest, perfect enlightenment depending on the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.
Tasmaaj jnaatavyo prajnaapaaramitaa-mahaamantro mahaavidyaa-mantro 'nuttara-mantro 'samasama-mantrah, sarvadukha-prashamanah, satyam amithyatvaat, prajnaapaaramitaayaam ukto mantrah.
-For this reason, know that the Great Mantra of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom is the Great Wisdom Mantra, the Unsurpassed Mantra, and the Unequaled Mantra. It extinguishes all suffering, and is true and real because it is not false. It is the Mantra proclaimed in the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.
Tad yathaa gate gate paaragate paarasamgate bodhi svaaha.
-Namely, "Gone, gone, gone to the other shore;
Gone completely to the other shore.
Iti prajnaapaaramitaa-hridayam samaaptam.
-Thus ends the Essence of the Transcendent Wisdom Sutra.
Another translation of Heart Sutra by Barbara O’Brien
Maha Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, doing deep Prajna Paramita,
Clearly saw emptiness of all the Five Conditions, thus completely relieving misfortune and pain.
O Shariputra, all Dharmas are forms of emptiness,
Not born, not destroyed, not stained not pure, without loss, without gain;
So in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, conception, discrimination, awareness;
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
No color, sound, smell, taste, touch, phenomena;
No realm of sight, no realm of consciousness;
No ignorance and no end to ignorance;
No old age and death, and no end to old age and death;
No suffering, no cause of suffering,
No extinguishing, no path; No wisdom and no gain.
No gain and thus the Boddhisattva lives Prajna Paramita,
With no hindrance in the mind, no hindrance, therefore no fear,
Far beyond deluded thoughts, this is Nirvana.
All past, present, and future Buddhas live Prajna Paramita,
And therefore attain Annuttara-samyak-sambodhi.
Therefore know, Prajna Paramita is the great mantra,
The vivid mantra, the best mantra, the unsurpassable mantra;
It completely clears all pain. This the truth, not a lie.
So set forth the Prajna Paramita Mantra, set forth this mantra and say:
Gaté! Gaté! Paragaté! Parasamgaté!
Prajna Heart Sutra.
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See commentary by Barbara O’Brien, About.com:
chanting Heart Sutra