The Heart Sutra

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva,
when deeply practicing prajna-paramita,
clearly saw that the five skandhas are all empty,
and was saved from all suffering and distress.


form is no different to emptiness,
emptiness no different to form.


That which is form is emptiness,
that which is emptiness, form.


Sensations, perceptions, impressions, and consciousness
are also like this.


all things and phenomena are marked by emptiness;
they are neither appearing nor disappearing,
neither impure nor pure,
neither increasing nor decreasing.


Therefore, in emptiness,
no forms, no sensations, perceptions, impressions, or consciousness;
no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind;


no sights, sounds, odors, tastes, objects of touch, objects of mind;
no realm of sight up to no realm of consciousness;


no ignorance and no end of ignorance,
up to no aging and death,
and no end of aging and death;


no suffering, accumulation, cessation, or path;
no wisdom and no attainment.


With nothing to attain,
rely on prajna-paramita,
and their minds are without hindrance.


They are without hindrance,
and thus without fear.


Far apart from all confused dreams,
they dwell in nirvana.


All buddhas of the past, present and future
rely on prajna-paramita,
and attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.


Therefore, know that prajna-paramita
is the great transcendent mantra,
the great bright mantra,
the supreme mantra,
the unequalled balanced mantra,
that can eliminate all suffering,
and is real, not false.


So proclaim the prajna-paramita mantra,
proclaim the mantra that says:


gate, gate,
bodhi, svaha!


The Heart Sutra of Prajna.
Audio file

Click here to hear the Japanese version of the heart sutra (hannya shingyo) being chanted at Ennyoji temple in Japan.

PDF files

Here's a PDF file with this Heart Sutra translation.

If you want to know what words like "prajna paramita" mean, here's a PDF file with the Heart Sutra translation and some notes at the end that explain a few of the unusual words in the translation.

Here's the Heart Sutra in Chinese characters with the Japanese pronunciations.