Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram
The Perfection Wisdom Heart Sutra
More accurately, the Sutra of the Mind, as interpreted from the Chinese version
by Johnson Sumpio
When the Practitioner (a Bodhisattva) gains the Perfection Wisdom and is no longer affected by causal fetters, he sees that the five aggregates (form, feeling, perception, conduct, and consciousness) are impermanent (all being manifested by and dependent on causal conditions) and is thus liberated from sufferings.
Shariputra, form is impermanent; likewise, feeling, perception, conduct, and consciousness (because of dependent origination).
Shariputra, all phenomena are impermanent. There is neither arising nor cessation; neither impurity nor purity; neither growth nor decline with the Perfection Wisdom. Because the Practitioner perceives impermanence (from understanding the doctrine of dependent origination), form no longer manifests with him; likewise, feeling, perception, conduct, and consciousness.
The Practitioner is not bound by the senses (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and thoughts). Therefore, he is not affected by form, sound, smell, taste, contact, and phenomena. He is not bound in the realm of sight and other senses, even the mental.
With the Perfection Wisdom, there is neither ignorance nor absence of ignorance. There is neither old age and death nor the absence of old age and death. There is no Four Noble Truth. There is neither wisdom gained nor wisdom to be gained. Therefore, the Practitioner with Perfection Wisdom does not experience encumbrance and fear. Being free from delusions, he ultimately attains nirvana.
The Buddhas of the past, present, and future attain anuttara-samma-sambodhi (roughly, "the ultimate enlightenment") because of the Perfection Wisdom. Beyond all doubts, the Perfection Wisdom is a divine mantra, a great enlightening mantra, and a supreme mantra, which can remove all sufferings. Thus, the Perfection Wisdom mantra is taught to (and spoken by) the Practitioner. The mantra states: "Go, go to the opposite shore and be enlightened."
1) The Heart Sutra in my book on Buddhism has three chapters. It seems the commonly circulated version of the Heart Sutra is only the first chapter. Noteworthy is, in the third chapter, the Bodhisattva tells Shariputra that "when the mind stops wandering, then the practitioner has already reached the 'opposite shore'." Nonetheless, I am not translating the latter two chapters because I have reservations about their authenticity.
2) This translation of the Chinese version of the Heart Sutra is based on my understanding of the Buddha Dharma (hence the word interpretation as indicated above), particularly the doctrine of dependent origination. Sunyata means "empty" or "void" (of an ego or self-sustaining existence), but I chose to use "impermanence" here because I believe the idea of emptiness is likely to perplex and mislead.
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