The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom

A translation from Sanskrit of the Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya


Homage to the All-Knowing One.

When the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara was practising the profound perfection of wisdom, he closely examined the five categories of experience, and saw that they were empty of any inherent existence.

‘Here Śāriputra, form is emptiness, and emptiness itself is form. Form is not distinct from emptiness, and emptiness is not distinct from form. The same is true of feeling, perception, volitional activities, and consciousness.

'Here Śāriputra, all phenomena are characterised by emptiness. They do not arise, and they do not cease. They are not pure, and they are not impure. They are not complete, and they are not deficient.

'Therefore Śāriputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no volitional activity, and no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, and no mind. There is no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no physical object, and no mental object. There is no eye-element and so forth, up to no mind-consciousness-element. There is no ignorance, and no destruction of ignorance, and so forth, up to no old age and death, and no destruction of old age and death. There is no suffering, no cause, no cessation, and no path. There is no knowledge, and no attainment.

'Therefore Śāriputra, because a bodhisattva does not attain anything, but relies on the perfection of wisdom, they dwell with their mind unrestricted. Because their mind is unrestricted, they are not afraid, and they overcome deluded perceptions. This culminates in nirvana. All the buddhas of the three times have relied on the perfection of wisdom, and awoken to unsurpassed, perfect awakening. Therefore, the perfection of wisdom should be known as a great incantation, an unsurpassed incantation, an unequalled incantation which removes all suffering because it is true, and not false.

The dhāraṇī of the perfection of wisdom is gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā.'

This concludes the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom.