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Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha – The Heart Sutra

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha – The Heart Sutra


Gone, gone, gone to the Other Shore, attained the Other Shore having never left.


The Heart Sutra, or Maha-Prajnaparamita-Hridaya-Sutra as written in Sanskrit, means “the Great Heart of Perfect Wisdom” or “the Heart of Great Transcendent Wisdom.”

The Heart Sutra belongs to the Perfection of Wisdom, and in the original Sanskrit, it is made up of fourteen verses, or shlokas; each shloka is comprised of 32 syllables.

When translated into English, it is comprised of just sixteen sentences, which makes it the shortest of texts found in the Perfection of Wisdom. Some of the texts in the Perfection of Wisdom can contain up to 100,000 verses and can take hours upon hours to recite.

The Heart of Wisdom Sutra (the Heart Sutra) is a sutra in which Avalokiteshvara expounds emptiness to his disciple Shariputra. Emptiness is not something where things that exist disappear by means of practice.

There is the expression ‘turning delusion around and awakening to satori,’ yet we are always living within Emptiness. It is because we create a separation from the life within Emptiness and think, ‘Is that really so?’ that delusion arises.

Stating that all phenomena are empty of inherent existence yet exist dependently, it presents the Buddhist view of both the ultimate and conventional natures. Gaining a full understanding of this sutra takes time, dedicated study, and meditation.

“Therefore, this is the mantra of wisdom beyond wisdom, the mantra of great knowledge, the mantra that is unsurpassed, the mantra that is equal to the unequaled, the mantra that pacifies all suffering. Free from deception, it is a simple truth:

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha!” – The Heart Sutra

This amazing mantra serves for the contemplation and realization of the supreme truth that liberates from passion and from guilt. Its reality is that of the great liberation from the vow to relieve all suffering. If we see suffering, we see it in ourselves and are still not yet free.

The true realization of the truth expressed in this mantra enables us to live lives of compassion, free of guilt and compulsion. Liberation is guilt-free compassion.

The essence of this realization may be expressed as “there are no victims, only masters making choices, or souls following orders.”

This may be difficult to understand if you are still relying on your understanding, so rely upon the recitation of the mantra in conjunction with your meditative, contemplative practice from whatever school or way you are learning from, and you will surely come to realize it and attain the freedom to express your natural, guilt-free compassion throughout your life.

The Meaning Of Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha:

Gate means gone. Gone from suffering to the liberation of suffering. Gone from forgetfulness to mindfulness. Gone from duality into non-duality. Gate gate means gone, gone. Paragate means gone all the way to the other shore. So this mantra is said in a very strong way. Gone, gone, gone all the way over.

In Parasamgate, sam means everyone, the sangha, the entire community of beings. Everyone gone over to the other shore. Bodhi is the light inside, enlightenment or awakening. You see it and the vision of reality liberates you. And svaha is a cry of joy or excitement, like “Welcome!” or “Hallelujah!” “Gone, gone, gone all the way over, everyone gone to the other shore, enlightenment, svaha !”

THAT IS WHAT the Bodhisattva uttered.

Listen on more soothing mantras, like: Green Tara, Compassion Mantra or White Tara Mantra.

Images credit – @Getty Images


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