Thursday, January 11, 2018

"The Heart Sutra" (new translation)

Dhr. Seven (trans.), based on fine but archaic Edward Conze trans., Wisdom Quarterly 2018
Avalokitesvara = Kwan Yin = Kannon = Bodhisattva of Compassion (Wisdom Quarterly).

Heart chakra at our center merges triangles.
OHM and OH, behold, the perfection of wisdom:
Kannon, teacher-to-be, to awaken, was moving
deep in insight gone beyond and looking down
from on high beheld but five clots.

O, Sari's son, this body is form, this body is empty*;
empty is form, form is empty, without self, without identity;
the same is true of feeling, perception,
mental formations, and consciousness
void and impersonal;
They are neither produced nor stopped,
defiled nor cleansed, deficient nor complete.
Wisdom Quarterly regularly seeks to clarify and explicate the Heart Sutra. MORE
This sutra is alleged to have been delivered in front of the Buddha here at Vulture's Peak.
Site of the sutra: Vulture's Peak, Rajgir, India
So, Sari's son, because they are impersonal,
they are not what they seem; there is neither
eye nor sight, ear nor sound, nose nor smell
tongue nor taste, tactile nor tangible
mind nor abstractions; no visual-element...
no mind-consciousness-element;
there is no unknowing, no end of unknowing...
no contabescence, no end of contabescence.

There is no disappointment, no  originating,
no stopping, [no duality,] no way.
There is no knowing, no attaining,
no nonattaining.

So, Sari's son, it is on account of one's
nonattaining that a great teacher,
having developed the perfection of wisdom,
abides without conception.

Free of conception,
one ceases to tremble,
having overcome all that can upset,
and so experiences complete liberation.

All who arise as great teachers of the
past, present, future awaken replete,
full and perfected in their enlightenment,
having developed the perfection of wisdom.

Therefore, know this perfection by the mantra,
the mantra of transcendent wisdom,
the most high, utmost and unsurpassed,
fulfillment, for how else could it be?

Perfection of Wisdom = sutra = 7-word mantra
The perfection of wisdom gives rise
to this realization and mantra:
Gone, gone, gone beyond,
gone altogether beyond!
O, what an awakening!
So it is!
This completes the heart of perfect wisdom.

I heart the Heart Sutra cuz it's all about feelings 'n stuff like mystical compassion, right?
  • "The Heart Sutra EXPLAINED"
  • Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, 6:30 PM
  • Neighborhood UU Church, Room 23
  • 301 N. Orange Grove Bl., Pasadena CA 91103
For further reading
Further literature recommended by Ven. Nyanatiloka (author of Buddhist Dictionary: A Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines):
  • Anattā-lakkhana Sutta, Vinaya I, 13-14; S.22. 59; translated in Three Cardinal Discourses of the Buddha (, Wheel #17)
  • Another important text on anattā is the "Discourse on the Snake Simile " (Alagaddūpama Sutta, MN 22; translated in Wheel #48/49)
  • Texts in Path to Deliverance (Ven. Nyanatiloka,
  • Anattā and Nibbāna (Ven. Nyanaponika Thera, Wheel #11)
  • The Truth of Anattā (Dr. G. P. Malalasekera, Wheel #94)
  • Three Basic Facts of Existence III: Egolessness (Wheel #202/204)

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