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THE “HEART” OF THE PERFECT WISDOM SŪTRA

(Prajñāpāramitā Hidaya Sūtra)

Translated into Chinese from Sanskrit by

Tripiaka Master Xuan-Zhang in T’ang Dynasty

(Translated from Chinese into English by

Le Bich Son with his homage and honorific)

 

          The Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, treading from the profound and unfathomable path of the perfect wisdom, beheld clearly that the five aggregates (pañcaskandha) were empty; thus, he overcame all ills and sufferings.

          Oh, Śāriputra! “Form” or “Material” (rūpa) is non-different from emptiness, and emptiness is non-different from “Material”; “Material” is emptiness and the very emptiness is “Material”, too. Even so, “Feeling” (vedanā), “Perception” (sañjña), “Psychological impression” (samskāra) and “Consciousness” (vijñāña) are similar.

          Here, Oh Śāriputra! Similarly, all phenomena and elements (dharmas) are characterized by emptiness; they are not given rise to nor are they restrained, they are neither impure nor immaculate, neither increasing nor decreasing. Therefore, in the emptiness, there are no forms or material, no feelings, no perceptions, no impulses or consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind. There is no form or material, sound, smell, taste, touch, or psychological object. There is also nothing known as the element of sight and so on, up to the element of mind. There is no ignorance, and there is no ending of ignorance. All the same, there is no old age and death, and there is no ending of old age and death. There is no pain or suffering (dukha), no cause of suffering (samudaya), no cessation of suffering (nirodha) and no attainment of any nirvāa (mārga). There is no wisdom, and there is no attainment whatsoever, because there is nothing to be attained. Therefore, a Bodhisattva should dwell solely in perfect wisdom, without the least veil of mental activity. Because if there is no obstruction or veil, he has no fear, and he passes far beyond all confused imagination and attains ultimate Nirvāa. All Buddhas in the past, present and future were also dwelling solely in perfect wisdom for attaining Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sabodhi). Therefore, one should know the perfect wisdom (Prajñāpāramitā) as a great mantra, a great Devas incantation, a supreme Dhāraī (spell), an unequalled mantra, which can lead all living beings to cessation of all pains and sufferings. This is highest wisdom, true beyond all doubt.

          Therefore, while one recites the mantra of Prajñāpāramitā (perfect wisdom) means he chants that: “Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha!” (Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone totally beyond, the awakening, svaha!).

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