The Heart Sutra, also known as Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram in Sanskrit, is a famous sutra in Mahayana Buddhism, one of two main existing branches of Buddhism.
Its Sanskrit title, Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram, literally translates as „The Heart of the Perfection of Understanding”.
The Heart Sutra is the most popular, simple, short, easy-to-understand, and easy to chant sutra.
The core message is that you can liberate yourself from suffering by being awakened to the true nature of yourself that is beyond perception, form, feelings, will, and consciousness.
The text is very short, and it is generally considered to be Buddhist apocrypha written in China using fragments of a translation of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra (literally meaning „Large Perfection of Wisdom Sutra”), commonly attributed to Nagarjuna, which is widely considered one of the most important Buddhist philosophers after Shakyamuni Buddha.
Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram – Heart Sutra, translated by the Kuan Um School of Zen:
„Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita perceives that all five skandhas are empty and is saved from all suffering and distress.
Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form. That which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness form.
The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, consciousness.
Shariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness; they do not appear or disappear, are not tainted or pure, do not increase or decrease.
Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings, impulses, perceptions, consciousness.
No eyes, no ears, no tongue, no nose, no body, no mind; no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no object of mind; no realm of eyes and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.
No ignorance and also no extinction of it, and so forth until no old age and death and also no extinction of them.
No suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path, no cognition, also no attainment with nothing to attain.
The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and the mind is no hindrance; without any hindrance, no fears exist.
Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.
In the 3 worlds, all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.
Therefore know that Prajna Paramita is the great transcendent mantra, is the great bright mantra, is the utmost mantra, is the supreme mantra which is able to relieve all suffering and is true, not false.
So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra, proclaim the mantra which says:
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.”
The Heart Sutra reveals the entire secret of the truth of the universe and life. Therefore, you should be open-minded, and think deeply and carefully.