Sutra: Heart–Essence of the Conqueress Transcendent and Perfect Insight


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In Sanskrit this is called the Bhagawati Prajñâ Pâramitâ Hridaya, which, in Tibetan, means "The Heart–Essence of the Conqueress Transcendent and Perfect Insight."It is in a single volume.


Thus upon one occasion did I hear: The Victorious One was residing on the Vulture Peak in Rajagriha with a large assembly of monks and Bodhisattvas, and was at that time in the rapt concentration that examines all dharmas (phenomena) and is known as The Profoundly Illumining. Also at that time, the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Arya Avalokiteshvara, looking deeply into the profound practice of transcendent and perfect insight, clearly perceived that even the five aggregates are intrinsically void.Then, by the power of the Buddha, the Venerable Shariputra addressed the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Arya Avalokiteshvara as follows: "What should be the training of a Son of Good Family who wishes to undertake the profound practice of transcendent and perfect insight?" thus he asked, and Bodhisattva Mahasattva Arya Avalokiteshvara replied to the Venerable Son of Sharadvati with these words:"Shariputra, a Son or Daughter of Good Family who wishes to undertake the profound practice of perfect transcendent insight should perceive it clearly in this way: They should unequivocally see that the five aggregates are intrinsically void in nature. Form is void and void is form. The void is none other than form, nor form in any way different from the void. Similarly, feelings, perceptions, mental associations and consciousness all are void.Shariputra, this being so, all phenomena (dharma) are void. They are devoid of characteristic marks, unborn, unceasing, pure, absolutely free from defilement, and neither decrease nor increase.

Shariputra, this being so, in emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no mental association and no consciousness. There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind, there are no forms, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings or mental objects.From visual faculty through to mental faculty and on up to a faculty of mental apprehension, all of these do not exist for it. It knows no ignorance, nor any ending of ignorance, right up to the fact that there is no old age and death nor any ending of old age and death.Similarly there is no suffering, sin, obstruction or path, no primordial wisdom, realisation or lack of realisation. And Shariputra, this being so, since there is no realisation, all Bodhisattvas, taking support from and abiding in the state of perfect and transcendent insight, because their minds are free from all defilement, are free from fear and passing far beyond the deceptive and mistaken, come to the transcendence of sorrow and misery.All Buddhas throughout the three times, also, have attained to peerless, utterly pure and perfect enlightenment — the realised state of perfect and complete Buddhahood — by dependence upon transcendent and perfect insight, and this being so, the mantra of transcendent and perfect insight, the mantra of vast pure awareness, the peerless mantra, the unequalled and all–levelling mantra, the mantra perfectly pacifying all suffering, and which — because not false — should be recognised as being true, the mantra of perfect and transcendent insight I now proclaim:TEYAT'A GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SOHA

Shariputra, it is thus that the Bodhisattva Mahasattva should train himself in profound and transcendent perfect insight." The Victorious One then Arose from that rapt concentration and, speaking to the Bodhisattva Mahasattva Arya Avalokiteshvara, said, "Excellent! Well done! Well done! It is just like this, O Son of Good Family! It is exactly as you have said! The practice of the profound and transcendent perfection of insight should be practised exactly as you have taught it, and all Who Course in Thusness will rejoice." When the Victorious One had spoken these words, the Venerable Shariputra, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and all that vast assemble of gods and men, anti–gods, gandharvas and other such beings rejoiced, heartily praising the words of the Victorious One.


The Heart–Essence of the Noble Transcendent and Perfect Insight’ is thus complete.If you wish to put the sutra into practice, you should visualise, in the space before you, the Tathagata in the gesture of subjugating Mara (Mârajitamudrâ), and, to either side of him, Avalokiteshvara and Shariputra requesting for and giving instruction, surrounded by the Hinayana and Mahayana Sanghas in adoration. Keeping before the mind the meaning of emptiness, read the profound sutra as many times as possible up to seven times, and recite its vidya–mantra as much as seems appropriate, after which, if you wish to do the repelling practice...To the Buddha I bow down, To the Dharma I bow down, To the Sangha I bow down, To the Great Mother, Transcendent and Perfect Insight I bow down: Please accomplish my words of truth!Just as, formerly, the great god Indra, bearing in mind the profound meaning of the transcendent perfection of insight and taking his support in the recitation of the text, Repulsed the evil demon of limited perspective and all that provokes discord, in just this way, keeping in mind the profound meaning of the Great Mother, Perfect and Transcendent Insight and taking my support in the recitation of the text, May I too repulse the evil demon of limited perspective and all that provokes discord! May they be annihilated! May they be pacified! May they be utterly pacified!And then, appended to this,Teaching the arising from interdependent co–origination, The unobstructed and unborn, Beyond nihilism or eternalism, Beyond coming or going, Free from many meanings and free from one, Teacher of peace, pacifier of all extremes, Perfect Buddha, best among men, To you I bow down.... and so forth, thus one should conclude with prayers of dedication and blessing.

This translation was auspiciously completed while on retreat by the Buddhist layman, Orgyen Norbu, on the fifteenth day of the sixth month of the Male Water Monkey Year of the Seventeenth Tibetan Sexegenary Cycle,final corrections and adjustments being completed on the eleventh day of the ninth month of the Male Earth Tiger.By this merit may all beings,Perfecting the accumulations of merit and primordial wisdom,Realise the twofold noble bodyThat springs from such accumulation.

SARVA MANGALAM.– May all be auspicious.


Orgyen Tendzin Norbu (Wyl. o rgyan bstan 'dzin nor bu) aka Önpo Tendzin Norbu (b.1851) — the nephew of Gyalsé Shenpen Tayé, and one of the main students of Patrul Rinpoche. His disciples included Khenpo Shenga and Khenpo Yönga. He requested Mipham Rinpoche to compose The Treasury of Blessings



July 2012

John Hopkins....Northern New Mexico


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