The Heart Sutra (Full Text)
Thus have I heard,
The Blessed One was staying in Rajgriha at Vulture Peak
Along with a great community of monks and bodhisattvas, and at that time, the Blessed One entered the meditative absorbtion of the varieties of phenomenon called the appearance of the profound. At that time as well, Avalokiteshvara (Kwan Yin in Chinese, Kannon in Japanese), the bodhisattva, the great being, clearly beheld the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom [Prajna] itself and saw that even the five aggregates [skandas] are empty of intrinsic existance.
Thereupon, through the Buddha's inspiration, the venerable Sharipura spoke to the noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, and said, "How should any noble son or noble daughter who wishes to engage in the practice of the profound perfection of wisdom train?"
When this had been said, the holy Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva, the great being, spoke to the venerable Shariputra and said, "Sharipura, any noble son or noble daughter who so wishes to engage in the practice of wisdom should clearly see this way: they should see perfectly that even the five aggregates are empty of intrinsic existance. Form is emptiness[shunyata], emptiness is form; emptiness is not like other then form, form too is not other like emptiness. Likewise feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and conciousness are all empty. Therefore, Shariputra, all phenomena are emptiness; they are without defining characteristics; they are not born, they do not cease; they are not defiled, they are not undefiled; they are not deficiant, they are not complete.
Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feelings, no perceptions, no mental formations, and no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. There is no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no texture and no mental objects. There is no eye-element and so on up to no mind element including up to no element of mental conciousness. There is no ignorance, and so on up to no aging and no death and no extinction of aging and death. No suffering, no origination, no stopping, no path, no cognition, also no attainment.
With nothing to attain the bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita and his mind is no hinderance.
Without hinderance no fears exist; far apart from every inverted view he dwells in nirvana.
In the three worlds all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita and attain
Therefore know that Pranja Paramita is the great transcendent mantra, is the great illuminted mantra, is the utmost supreme mantra,
which is able to relieve all suffering and is true, not false.
So proclaim the Pranja Paramita mantra thus:
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate! Bodhi! Svaha!
The above translation of the Heart Sutra, sometimes called The Blessed Mother, the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom, is taken from myself from several translations. Mainly the one used in the book "Essence of the Heart Sutra" by the Dalai Lama and several found online and in the book "Radiant Mind: Essential Buddhist Teachings and Texts", edited by Jean Smith. I've highlighted the blue portion for those who wish to chant the Sutra since that is nearly always the portion that is chanted in Zen, Tibetan, and other traditions. I've included a short glossery just below to make life easier and it is my profound hope that this thread will lead to thoughtful discussions, debates, and perhaps a bit less samsara for the world.
Prajna- Intuitive Wisdom, as opposed to "intellectual" wisdom one might find in a book. It is direct knowing through experiance. Remember, knowledge can block understanding, which is capable of flowing freely around such obsticles.
Shariputra- One of the Buddha's greatest students.
The Five Aggrigates/Skandhas(Heaps)- Forms, Feelings, Perceptions, Mental Formations, Conciousness.
Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate! Bodhi! Svaha! -Gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond!
The Three Worlds- Past, Present and Future. Symbolized sometimes as Siddartha Gautama (the past Buddha who began the turning of the wheel of the Dharma), Amida Buddha (the present Buddha that is in fact our real Buddha-nature) and Maitreya Buddha (future Buddha of the next kalpa/cycle of existance)
Annuttara-samyak-sambodhi -Literally, "complete, unsurpassed, perfect enlightenment."
Emptiness (Shunyata)- Suchness. Thus-ness. As-it-is-ness. Remember: The world we perceive and the thing that perceives the world are one and the same. Put another way, there is no "Universe" and then "You". There is only the Youniverse, at all time and in all space.
Nirvana- The "state beyond sorrows".
Mantra- "True words."