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HoaSung01.jpg (10460 bytes)The Heart Sutra

 Thus have I heard at one time. The Buddha dwelt at Vulture Peak together with a sangha of one hundred thousand monks and nuns, and seventy thousand bodhisattvas. At that time the bodhisattva Avolokitesvara arose from her seat among the assembly and went up to the Buddha. Facing him she joined her palms together and bowed respectfully. With reverence she said, "I wish to explain for this assembly the bodhisattva’s Heart of Perfect Wisdom which is the Universal Womb of Wisdom."

Then the Buddha said, "Excellent, excellent, Great Compassionate One!"

Then Avolokitesvara entered into her meditation and coursing in Perfect Wisdom observed that all five aggregates are empty of own-nature. Arising from her meditation she said:

"The nature of form is empty, emptiness is form. Form is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from form. That which is form is empty, that which is emptiness is form. Feelings, perceptions, mental formations are also like this. The nature of consciousness is empty, emptiness is not different from consciousness. That which is consciousness is empty, that which is emptiness is consciousness.

"These dharmas are marked with emptiness, neither arising nor ceasing, neither tainted nor pure, neither increasing nor decreasing. Therefore in emptiness there is no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no mental formations, no consciousness, no eye, ear, nose, taste or touch; no realm of eyes and so on up to no realm of mind consciousness; no ignorance and no extinction of ignorance, and so on up to no old age and death and also no extinction of old age and death; no suffering, no origin of suffering, no end to suffering, no path, no wisdom and also no attainment.

"With nothing to attain the bodhisattvas depend on Perfect Wisdom and their minds are without any hindrance. Without any hindrance no fears exist. Far removed from perverted thought they are awake. All the Buddhas in the past, present and future depend on Perfect Wisdom in attaining their unsurpassed complete and perfect awakening.

"Therefore, know the Perfection of Wisdom is the great mantra, is the bright mantra, is the unsurpassed mantra, is the unequaled mantra that can remove all suffering, and is true not false.

"Therefore proclaim the Perfect Wisdom mantra. Proclaim the mantra that says,


(The Heart Sutra, translated by Gil Fronsdal)

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