Heart Sutra


Thus have I heard.

Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas.  At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi that expresses the dharma called “profound illumination,” and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, while practicing the profound prajñaparamita, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, “How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajñaparamita?”

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, said to venerable Shariputra, “O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajñaparamita should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature.  Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.  Emptiness is no other than form; form is no other than emptiness.  In the same way, feeling perception, formation, and consciousness are emptiness.  Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas are emptiness.  There are no characteristics.  There is no birth and no cessation.  There is no impurity and no purity.  There is no decrease and no increase.  Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no formation, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no appearance, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no dharmas; no eye dhatu up to no mind dhatu, no dhatu of dharmas, no mind consciousness dhatu; no ignorance, no end of ignorance up to no old age and death, no end of old age and death; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no wisdom, no attainment, and no nonattainment.  Therefore, Shariputra, since the bodhisattvas have no attainment, they abide by means of prajñaparamita.  Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear.  They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana.  All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajñaparamita, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment.  Therefore, the great mantra of prajñaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering should be known as truth, since there is no deception.  The prajñaparamita mantra is said in this way:


Thus, Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound prajñaparamita.”  Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, saying, “Good, good, O son of noble family; thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is.  One should practice the profound prajñaparamita just as you have taught and all the Tathagatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

This concludes the “Heart-Essence of the Prajnaparamita.”

If one wishes to put this Sutra into practice, in the space before one-self visualize the Tathagata with a devil taming gesture while surrounded by Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra who are conversing with each other and many other Sangha of the Greater and the Lesser Vehicles. And then recite the profound Sutra while being mindful of the emptiness meaning for seven times or more and having recited its awareness mantra to an appropriate number of times, finally do the Reversing of Devils Ritual.


Namo! I prostrate to the guru!

I prostrate to the Buddha!

I prostrate to the Dharma!

I prostrate to the Sangha!

I prostrate to the Sublime Mother, the Prajnaparamita!

May the truth of my words be accomplished!

As when the lord of gods, Indra Sakaratu, by contemplating and chanting the profound meaning of the Prajnaparamita, repelled all negative forces and other inopportune circumstances, may I also, through contemplating the profound meaning of the Praajnaparamita, the Sublime Mother, and by chanting the text,

(clap hands at *)

Ward off all unwholesome forces and all other unfavorable conditions!*

May they be annihilated!*

May they be pacified!*

May they be utterly pacified!*

(At the end, recite the following:)

The Prajnaparamita, whose interdependent arising has no cessation or birth, has no nihilism or eternalism, has no coming or going, is not about being multiple or single entities, but has been taught as the total pacification of elaborations. Of the speeches of the Perfected Buddhas, it is the most sublime one. To this, I prostrate!

While accomplishing the perfect Buddhahood,

May the external and internal harms, and all interrupting obstacles be utterly calmed!*

Pacify the eighty-thousand classes of obstacles!*

Free us from inconsistent and harmful conditions!*

And be filled with harmonious conditions!*

By this auspiciousness, bring happiness and wholesomeness to all beings!*

(After that, recite prayers of dedication, good wishes, and auspiciousness!)

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