Singer: Vidya Rao
English translation: Edward Conze
Chinese translation: Xuan Zang’s
The Heart Sūtra (Sanskrit: प्रज्ञापारमिताहृदय Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya) is a popular sutra in Mahāyāna Buddhism. In Sanskrit, the title Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya translates as “The Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom”.
The Sutra famously states, “Form is emptiness (śūnyatā), emptiness is form.” It is a condensed exposé on the Buddhist Mahayana teaching of the Two Truths doctrine, which says that ultimately all phenomena are sunyata, empty of an unchanging essence. This emptiness is a ‘characteristic’ of all phenomena, and not a transcendent reality, but also “empty” of an essence of its own. Specifically, it is a response to Sarvastivada teachings that “phenomena” or its constituents are real.
It has been called “the most frequently used and recited text in the entire Mahayana Buddhist tradition.” The text has been translated into English dozens of times from Chinese, Sanskrit and Tibetan as well as other source languages.
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