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The 'Heart' of 'Perfect Wisdom' Sutra

(In Sanskrit: Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra)


Thus have I heard the story:

Once upon a time, The Conqueror, the fully Enlightened One, admidst the Great rainbow-like gathering of the The Sangha (The 'community' of those that are followers of the truth) composed of Bhikshus (monks) and Bodhisattvas (Enlightened- Beings), on the Vulture's Peak in Rajagriha on the Nepal / Indian Border, was sitting immersed in theat Samadhi (complete, contemplative, direct perception and identity with the object of perception) called the 'profound' understanding.

And at the same time the Enlightened-Being, the Great Being, Arya (Noble) Avalokiteshvara (the 'Lord' of this world who looks down with compassion and pity) sat meditating upon the deep doctrine of the 'Perfect Wisdom', that the 'Five Heaps' (1. your body, 2. your perceptions, 3. your feelings, 4. your thoughts, 5. your consciousness.) are the nature of Voidness!

Thereupon, inspired by the power of the Buddha (ie., the Enlightened One), the Noble Shari-Putra asked the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, Arya Avalokiteshvara, the following question:

"How many any one that desires to practice the profound Teaching of the Perfection of Wisdom understand these Truths?"

Upon this being asked, the Bodhisattva, the Great Being, Arya Avalokiteshvara, made His reply and said this to Shari-Putra:

"Shari-Putra, anyone born on this earth, any son or daughter, brother or sister, that has desire of practicing the profound teachings of the 'Perfection of Wisdom' should understand reality in the following way:

"The 'Five Heaps' are to be understood as being the naturally and wholly Voidness.

"Forms are Voidness and Voidness is Form, nor are Forms and Voidness separable, or Forms other than Voidness.

"In the same way, Perception, Feelings, Motivation and Consciousness are Voidness.

"Thus, Shari-Putra, all things are Voidness, without any characteristics, Unborn, Unharmed, Unsullied, Unsulliable, Unsubtracted, Unfilled.

"Shari-Putra, such being true, Voidness has no Form, no Perception, no Feeling, no Motivation, no Consciousness; no eye, no sense of smell, no tongue, no body, no mind, no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch no qualities at all!

"Where there is no eye there is no desire, and so on with all the senses and even the mind and consciousness, there is no consciousness of desire.

"There is no ignorance, there is no overcoming of ignorance; and so on, and on, until there is no decay and no death; also there is no overcoming of death and decay.

"In the same way, there is no sorrow, there is no evil, there is no taking away, there is no spiritual 'path', there really is no 'wisdom', nor anything in the universe to attain, nor not attain.

"Shari-Putra, such being true, even the Bodhisattvas and the Buddhas have nothing to attain!

"By relying on the 'Perfection of Wisdom' and fully living in it, there is no mental obscuration (of the Truth) and, therefore, no fear; and passing far beyond all the false teachings and paths, one successfully attains NIRVANA (the 'blowing out', such as the 'flame of a fire').

"All, each and every Buddha, also, who abides in the Three Times (past, present, and future) have fully realized the highest, the purest, and most perfect 'Buddhahood' by depending upon this 'Perfect Wisdom'."

The Mantra of the Prajna Paramita

"Such being so Shari-Putra, the Mantra (literally: 'word-tools') of the 'Perfection of Wisdom', the Mantra of GREAT LOGIC, the HIGHEST Mantra, the Mantra which makes ONE EQUAL TO THAT WHICH CAN NOT BE EQUALLED (The Buddha), the Mantra which will take away all sorrows, and which not being false or a lie ..... please know this as Truth, the Mantra of the 'Perfection of Wisdom' is now spoken:"

Tadyatha, Aum. Gate Gate Para-Gate Para-Sam-GateBodhi Sva-ha!


(Oh Wisdom. Gone, Gone, Gone Far-Beyond, Completely-Blown-Away, Gone. Enlightenment Hail!)

"Shari-Putra, a Bodhisattva, a Great Being, should comprehend the 'Perfect Wisdom' in this manner."

The Buddha's Approval

Then the Conqueror arose out of the Samadhi, and, to the Bodhisattva, The Great Being Avalokiteshvara, said:

"Well Done, Well Done, Well Done."

And having expressed his approval, he also said: "This is True. Just as you have shown, the profound 'Perfection of Wisdom' should be understood! The Tathagatas (the succession of living Buddhas on all the many planets, world systems, and three times) are also very happy with what you have said."

The Conqueror, The Buddha, thus having said this to His company at the gathering, The Noble Shari-Putra, and the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshara, and all the beings at the gathering, all the pagan gods, the men, the gods, celestial spirits, and the whole world were gladdened, and praised the words of The Buddha.

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