The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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The Heart Sutra of Perfect Wisdom
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The Heart Sutra of Perfect Wisdom
Thus have I heard. At one time The Lord was staying at Rajagriha on Vulture Peak Mountain together with a great host of monks and a great host of Bodhisattvas. At that time, the Lord was composed in the concentration on the course of Dharmas called Profound Illumination. At that time also, the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom looked down; he beheld but five skandhas and that in their own-being they were empty. Then, through the inspiration of the Buddha, the elder Sariputra said to the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, "How should any son of good family train who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom?" And the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, spoke to the elder Sariputra as follows: "Sariputra, any son or daughter of good family who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound Perfection of Wisdom should look upon it thus: he (or she) beholds but five skandhas and that in their own-being, they are empty.
"Form is emptiness, emptiness is form Emptiness does not differ from form, and form does not differ from emptiness. Likewise, feelings, recognition, volitions and consciousnesses are empty. "So, Sariputra, all dharmas are emptiness, lacking differentiating marks; they are not produced nor stopped, not defiled and not immaculate, not deficient and not complete.
"Therefore, Sariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no recognition, no volition, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no visible form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no tangible, no mental object; no eye-element, etc., up to no mind-element, and no mental-consciousness element; no ignorance and no extinction of ignorance, etc., up to no ageing and death and no extinction of ageing and death; likewise there is no Suffering, Origin, Cessation or Path, no wisdom-knowledge, no attainment and no non-attainment.
"Therefore, Sariputra, because there is no attainment, Bodhisattvas abide relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, without obscuration of thought, and so are unafraid. Transcending perverted views, they attain the end, Nirvana. "All Buddhas existing in the three times, relying on the Perfection of Wisdom, fully awaken to the highest, perfect Enlightenment.
"Therefore, one should know that the mantra of the Prajnaparamita is the mantra of great knowledge, the highest mantra, the unequalled mantra, the mantra which allays all suffering, the Truth, since it has nothing wrong. The mantra of the Prajnaparamita is proclaimed:
TAYATA OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA
"In this way, Sariputra, should a Bodhisattva and Mahasattva train in the profound Perfection of Wisdom." Then the Lord rose from that concentration and commended the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, saying "Well done, well done, oh son of good family! So it is, oh son of good family, so it is. Just as you have taught, should the profound Perfection of Wisdom be practised and all the Tathagatas will rejoice." When the Lord had uttered this, the elder Sariputra, the noble Lord Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva and Mahasattva, and all the people present, including the devas, human beings, asuras and gandharvas were delighted and applauded the Lord's speech.