The Heart Sūtra (Dharmachakra translation commitee translation)
The Essence of Perfect Wisdom
In Sanskrit: Bhagavatī-prajñāpāramitā-hṛdaya
In Tibetan: Bcom ldan ‘das ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu
phyin pa’i snying po
In English: The Essence of the Blessed Lady, Perfect
Thus have I heard at one time. The Blessed One was
staying at Vulture Peak in Rajgir together with a great
saṇgha of monks and a great saṇgha of bodhisattvas.
At that time the Blessed One entered into a meditation
on the teaching called Profound Illumination. At that
same time, the great bodhisattva, the great being, Noble
Avalokiteśvara, while considering profound practice of
perfect wisdom, saw the five aggregates to be empty of
Then due to the Buddha’s power, Venerable Śāriputra
said to the bodhisattva, the great being, Noble
Avalokiteśvara, “How should a son or daughter of noble
family who wishes to practice profound perfect wisdom
When he had been asked this, the bodhisattva, the great
being, Noble Avalokiteśvara replied to Venerable
Śariputra, “A son or daughter of noble family who
wishes to practice profound perfect wisdom should see
things like this: he or she should correctly see the five
aggregates to be empty of nature. Form is emptiness.
Emptiness is form. Emptiness is not other than form.
Form is not other than emptiness. Sensation,
perception, karmic formation, and consciousness are
likewise empty. Śāriputra, in that way all phenomena are
emptiness; they lack characteristics, they are unborn,
unceasing, unstained, free from stain, not deficient, nor
Thus Śāriputra, in emptiness there is no form, no
sensation, no perception, no karmic formations, no
consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no
tongue, no body, no mind, no form, no sound, no taste,
no smell, no texture, no mental objects. There is no
domain of the eye up to no domain of the mind, all the
way up to no domain of the mental consciousness.
There is no ignorance, no exhaustion of ignorance, up
to no aging and death, all the way up to no exhaustion of
aging and death. Likewise there is no suffering, no origin
of suffering, no cessation of suffering, no path, no
wisdom, no attainment, no non-attainment.
Thus, Śāriputra, since a bodhisattva has no attainment,
he or she relies upon perfect wisdom and thus has no
mental obscuration and no fear. Because of this the
bodhisattva goes beyond all that is mistaken and reaches
All of the buddhas of the three times, as well, fully
awaken to complete and perfect unsurpassed awakening
in reliance on perfect wisdom. Therefore the mantra of
perfect wisdom, the great knowledge mantra, the
unsurpassed mantra, the mantra that is equal to the
unequaled, the mantra that completely pacifies all
suffering should be known as true since it is
undeceiving. The mantra of perfect wisdom is said like
tadyathā gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā
Śāriputra, a bodhisattva, a great being, should train in
perfect wisdom in that way.”
Then the Blessed One arose from meditation and said
to Noble Avalokiteśvara, “Excellent! Excellent! Son of
noble family, it is like that! Son of noble family, it is just
like that! Perfect wisdom should be practiced just as you
have taught, and the Thus-gone Ones will rejoice.”
When the Blessed One said this the Venerable
Śāriputra, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara and their
entire retinues, as well as the world with its gods,
humans, asuras, and gandharvas rejoiced and praised
what the Blessed One had said.
This completes the Noble Essence of Perfect Wisdom.
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee.
This translation is dedicated to the good health and long life of
our precious gurus.