Sutra, the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra, is an ancient
scripture from the Mahayana sutras belonging to the collection
of the Prajnaparamita sutras. The explicit subject matter
of the sutra is the doctrine of emptiness, and it is written
in the form a dialogue between Shariputra (one of the two principal
disciples of the Buddha Shakyamuni) and the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
It is an insight into the nature of ultimate reality through
intuitive wisdom and is regarded as the essence of Buddhist teaching.
It is recited daily in Mahayana temples and practice centers
throughout the world. Following is the text of The Heart Sutra.
Thus I have
heard: once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajargriha
on Vultures Peak, together with a great assembly of monks
and Bodhisattvas. At that time, the Blessed One was totally
absorbed in the concentration that examines all phenomena called
Profound Illumination. And at the same time,
the Noble Avalokiteshvarathe Bodhisattva Mahasattvawas
looking a the profound practice of the Wisdom Gone Beyond, analyzing
the five aggregates, by nature empty.
the inspiration of Buddha, the Venerable Shariputra spoke to
the Noble Avalokiteshvarathe Bodhisattva Mahasattva, saying,
How should those of good family learn who wish to follow
the profound practice of the Wisdom Gone Beyond?
Thus he spoke
and the noble Avalokitshvarathe Bodhisattva Mahasattva,
replied to the Venerable Shariputra, Oh Shariputra, whatever
son or daughter of a good family wishes to follow the profound
practice of the Wisdom Gone Beyond should look at it like this,
analyzing the five aggregates, by nature empty.
is empty; emptiness is form. Emptiness is no other than
form; form is no other than emptiness. In the same way
feeling, perception, karmic formations, and consciousness are
all empty. Therefore, Shariputra, all phenomena are empty,
without characteristics. They are unborn and unceasing;
they are neither impure nor free from impurity. They neither
decrease nor increase.
Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception,
no karmic formations, no consciousness: there is no eye,
no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind. There are
no spheres of the eyes . . . up to no spheres of the mind . .
. there are none of these all the way up the spheres of mental
consciousness. There is no ignorance, nor is there destruction
of ignorance. . . there are none of these all the way up to there
is no old age and death. Thus, there is no suffering no
cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering, and no path.
There is no wisdom, no attainment and non-attainment.
Shariputra, because there is no attainment, all Bodhisattvas
hold to the Wisdom Gone Beyond; and because there is no obscurity
of mind they have no fear. Passing utterly beyond falsity,
they reach beyond the bounds of sorrow.
Buddhas who dwell in the three times, by relying on the Wisdom
Gone Beyond, fully and clearly awaken to the unsurpassed, most
perfect and complete Enlightenment. Therefore, the mantra
of the Wisdom Gone Beyond, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed
mantra, the unequaled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering
should be known as the truth, for there is no deception.
of the Wisdom Gone Beyond is proclaimed:
Ta dya thaOm
gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Gone, Gone Beyond, Gone Completely Beyond, Awakened. So
this is how a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva should learn the profound
Wisdom Gone Beyond.
Then the Blessed
One arose from that concentration and praised the Noble Avalokiteshvarathe
Bodhisattva Mahasattvasaying, Very good, very good,
oh Son of good family. It is exactly like that. The profound
Wisdom Gone Beyond should be practiced exactly as you have said
and the Tathagatas will rejoice.
When the Blessed
One had said this, the Venerable Shariputra, the Noble Avalokiteshvarathe
Bodhisattva Mahasattva, that whole gathering, and the world with
its gods, men, anti-gods, and spirits, their hearts full of joy,
praised the Blessed One.
So ends the
noble discourse on the essence of the Wisdom Gone Beyond.
Geshe Wangdak, Khensur Rinpoche, was born in 1934 in the Kham
province in Tibet. At age ten he entered Ba Zingon Monastery
there. At 18, Rinpoche journeyed to central Tibet and joined
the Loseling College at Drepung Monastery near Lhasa, where he
studied until 1959.
In 1960, after
fleeing to India, he resumed his studies at Buxa, where a temporary
monastery was established. In 1970, he moved to the newly relocated
Drepung Monastic University in Mundgod, south India. After
two years of intensive study and practice he moved to Sarnath,
studying there until 1977. Rinpoche returned to Drepung to take
his Geshe exams, and his scholastic achievement earned him the
Geshe Lharampa degree.
completing his Geshe exams, he was invited to teach at Namgyal
Monastery in Dharamsala, India, where he was senior teacher for
14 years, teaching both sutra and tantra. While at Namgyal,
Rinpoche received initiations and teachings of tantric practices
if all four traditions of Tibetan Buddhism.
In 1991, he
was appointed Abbot of the monastery by H.H. the Dalai Lama,
a position he held until 1994. In 1995, His Holiness appointed
Khensur Rinpoche Abbot and Senior Resident Teacher at Namgyal
Monastery in Ithaca, NY. He retired from Ithaca in 1998,
and now resides at the Chenrezig Tibetan Buddhist Center in Middletown,
studies in the core curriculum under his tutor at Drepung, Pema
Jetsun, Khensur Rinpoche received tantric initiations from H.H.
the Dalai Lama; from His Holiness' two tutors, Ling Rinpoche
and Trijang Rinpoche; and other esteemed scholars including Zong
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