I’ve written about fifteen posts about the Heart Sutra, or some aspect of it. You can find them here. It’s been said that the Heart Sutra is Buddhism in a nutshell, containing only 632 characters in the traditional Chinese version, distilled from the voluminous Maha-Prajna-Paramita Sutra.
Thich Nhat Hanh calls the Heart Sutra, “A wonderful gift.” And Zen Teacher Norman Fischer writes that “The insight of prajnaparamita, the perfection of wisdom as taught in the Heart Sutra, is the ultimate truth, transcending of all conventional truths. It is the highest vision of the Buddha.”
Penetrate the true meaning of the Heart Sutra, and nothing will be the same again, says Karl Brunnhölzl at Lion’s Roar.
The mantra at the end encapsulates the teachings of the Heart Sutra.
tadyatha [om] gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
I translate it as: tadyatha gone gone gone beyond gone far beyond be set upon awakening.
If I do say so myself, I think this translation is perfect for chanting in English. However, when I recite the sutra itself, I usually do it in Japanese.
In his book, The Essence of the Heart Sutra, the Dalai Lama notes,
“We can interpret this mantra metaphorically to read “Go to the other shore,” which is to say, abandon the shore of samsara [suffering], unenlightened existence, which has been our home since beginningless time, and cross to the other shore of final nirvana and complete liberation.”
Here, then, is the Dalai Lama reciting the Heart Sutra mantra accompanied by some ambient music I put together. I hope it will meet with your approval.