The Heart Sūtra is the most recited, copied, and studied text in all schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It reviews the foundations of Buddhist philosophy while revealing the profound Perfection of Wisdom: the doctrine of emptiness. In this class series, we will study the Sutra in Sanskrit, discuss the key philosophical points of Buddhism, and reveal the deep teachings on emptiness.
Below is the video of the six-class course, the Heart Sūtra in Sanksrit and translated into English, and visual aids mentioned in the course.
Heart Sutra in Sanskrit, Roman transliteration
mahā prajñāpāramita hṛdayam sūtra
oṃ namo bhagavatyai ārya prajñāpāramitāyai
ārya-avalokiteśvaro bodhisattvo gambhīrāṃ prajñāpāramitā caryāṃ caramāṇo vyavalokayati sma panca-skandhās tāṃś ca svābhava śūnyān paśyati sma.
iha śāriputra: rūpaṃ śūnyatā śūnyataiva rūpaṃ; rūpān na pṛthak śūnyatā śunyatāyā na pṛthag rūpaṃ; yad rūpaṃ sā śūnyatā; ya śūnyatā tad rūpaṃ. evam eva vedanā saṃjñā saṃskāra vijñānaṃ.
iha śāriputra: sarva-dharmāḥ śūnyatā-lakṣaṇā, anutpannā aniruddhā, amalā avimalā, anūnā aparipūrṇāḥ.
tasmāc chāriputra śūnyatayāṃ na rūpaṃ na vedanā na saṃjñā na saṃskārāḥ na vijñānam. na cakṣuḥ-śrotra-ghrāna-jihvā-kāya-manāṃsi. na rūpa-śabda-gandha-rasa-spraṣṭavaya-dharmāh.
na cakṣūr-dhātur yāvan na manovijñāna-dhātuḥ.
na-avidyā na-avidyā-kṣayo yāvan na jarā-maraṇam na jarā-maraṇa-kṣayo.
na jñānam, na prāptir na-aprāptiḥ.
tasmāc chāriputra aprāptitvād bodhisattvasya prajñāpāramitām āśritya viharatyacittāvaraṇaḥ. cittāvaraṇa-nāstitvād atrastro viparyāsa-atikrānto niṣṭhā-nirvāṇa-prāptaḥ.
tryadhva-vyavasthitāḥ sarva-buddhāḥ prajñāpāramitām āśrityā-anuttarāṃ samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhāḥ.
tasmāj jñātavyam: prajñāpāramitā mahā-mantro mahā-vidyā mantro anuttara-mantro samasama-mantraḥ, sarva duḥkha praśamanaḥ, satyam amithyatāt. prajñāpāramitāyām ukto mantraḥ. tadyathā:
gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.
iti prajñāpāramitā hṛdayam samāptam
Heart Sutra English Translation by Michael “Mojo” Tchudi
The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom
Homage to the Awakened Woman, the Noble Perfection of Wisdom
The Noble and Profound Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, while practicing the practice of the Perfection of Wisdom looked down upon the world and saw that the five categories they were empty of self-nature.
“Here, Śariputra: form is emptiness and emptiness alone is form. Form is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from form. What form is, that is emptiness; what emptiness is, that is form. In just such a way are also feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness.
“Here, Śariputra, all phenomena have the defining characteristic of emptiness. They are not created, they are not destroyed. They are not dirty, they are not pure. They are not deficient, they are not complete.
“Furthermore, Śariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no impulses, and no consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind. No forms, sounds, smells, tastes, things to touch, or thoughts. No capacity for sight, or all the others up to capacity for thought. (18 sense spheres)
“No ignorance or ending of ignorance, through to no decay and death or ending of decay and death. (12 links of interdependent origination)
“No suffering, cause, ending of suffering, or path to end suffering. (4 noble truths)
“No wisdom, no attainment, and no non-attainment. (4 paths of the arhat)
“Therefore, Śāriputra, because of the Bodhisattva’s state of non-attainment, having relied upon the Perfection of Wisdom, he/she dwells without obstacles of mind. Because he is not in the state of having obstacles of mind, unafraid, having stepped beyond delusion, he has attained the condition of nirvāṇa.
“All enlightened beings situated in the three times, having obtained the asylum of the unsurpassed Perfection of Wisdom, followed the path of the perfect wisdom and joined with enlightenment.
“Therefore, this is to be known: the Perfection of Wisdom is a great incantation, an incantation of great wisdom, an unsurpassable incantation, an unequaled incantation. All suffering is pacified, it is genuine and without wrongness. The incantation of the Perfection of Wisdom was spoken thus:
“gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā”
Twelve Links of Interdependent Origination