Having given the basics, lets prepare to look at the Heart Sutra line by line. Today I will provide a copy of the translation I will be using for this discussion. I will also provide links to the definitions of key terms, using Wikipedia. Their explanations are clear, and written in such a way as for most to understand. Also please remember I am not a monk or Buddhist scholar, rather a layperson who is following this path. I provide this to help provide knowledge, and if you are interested please seek out a Buddhist temple for further knowledge.
When Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva was practicing the profound prajna paramita, he illuminated the five skandhas and saw that they are all empty, and he crossed beyond all suffering and difficulty.
Shariputra, form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form. Form itself is emptiness; emptiness itself is form. So, too, are feeling, cognition, formation, and consciousness.
Shariputra, all dharmas are empty of characteristics. They are not produced. Not destroyed, not defiled, not pure, and they neither increase nor diminish. Therefore, in emptiness there is no form, feeling, cognition, formation, or consciousness; no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or mind; no sights, sounds, smells, tastes, objects of touch, or dharmas; no field of the eyes, up to and including no field of mind-consciousness; and no ignorance or ending of ignorance, up to and including no old age and death or ending of old age and death. There is no suffering, no accumulating, no extinction, no way, and no understanding and no attaining.
Because nothing is attained, the Bodhisattva, through reliance on prajna paramita, is unimpeded in his mind. Because there is no impediment, he is not afraid, and he leaves distorted dream-thinking far behind. Ultimately Nirvana!
All Buddhas of the three periods of time attain Anuttarasamyaksambodhi through reliance on prajna paramita. Therefore, know that prajna paramita is a great spiritual mantra, a great bright mantra, a supreme mantra, an unequalled mantra. It can remove all suffering; it is genuine and not false. That is why the mantra of prajna paramita was spoken. Recite it like this:
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha!
translation source: http://www.cttbusa.org/heartsutra/heartsutra.htm
Anuttarasamyaksambodhi: The perfect and universal enlightenment obtained by a Buddha. Also referred to as the supreme enlightenment of Buddhas, Arahats, and Bodhisattvas.
As some of you will have some reading, I will stop for today, and let you become more familiar with the Sutra and terms. Tomorrow we will start examining the Sutra line by line.
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