Talk on the Heart Sutra, The Scripture of Great Wisdom

Click here to listen to the talk

This talk was given in October 2018 at Dharmazuflucht Schwarzwald an OBC temple in Germany. With gratitude to Rev Master Fuden for the recording and for making this possible.

The version of the Heart Scripture we use at the Priory is called the Scripture of Great Wisdom and is the one that is mainly referred to in the talk. It is reproduced below.

The alternative version read out in the talk is from a limited-edition book called Buddha Daily Readings compiled from various sources by Swami Venkatesananda and published in 1982 by the Chiltern Yoga Trust in South Africa.

There is a photograph of the mind maps showing the Five Skandhas.

When one with deepest wisdom of the heart
That is beyond discriminative thought,
The Holy Lord, — great Kanzeon Bosatsu,
Knew that the skhandas five were, — as they are, —
in their self-nature, — void, unstained and pure.
O Shariputra, form is only pure,
Pure is all form; there is, then, nothing more than this,
For what is form is pure — and what *is pure is form;
The same is also true of all sensation, — thought, activity
and consciousness.
O Shariputra, here all things are pure
For they are neither born nor do they wholly die;
They are not stained nor yet immaculate;
Increasing not, decreasing not.
O Shariputra, — in this pure there is no form, —
sensation, — thought, — activity or
No eye, — ear, — nose, — tongue, — body, —
mind; — no form, — no tastes, — sound, —
colour, touch or objects;
Vision none; — no consciousness; — no knowledge
and no sign of ignorance;
Until we come to where old age and death have
ceased — and so has all extinction of
old age and death
For here there is no suffering, — nor yet again
is there accumulation,
Nor again annihilation nor an Eightfold Path, —
no knowledge, no attainment.
In the mind of the Bosatsu who is truly one
with Wisdom Great the obstacles dissolve
* And, — going on beyond this human mind,
he IS Nirvana.
All the Buddhas True of present, — past and
future they ARE all,
Because upon Great Wisdom they rely, —
the perfect and most high enlightenment.
The Prajnaparamita one should know — to be
the Greatest Mantra of them all,
The highest and most peerless Mantra too; —
* allayer of all pain Great Wisdom is,
It is the very Truth, no falsehood here.
This is the Mantra of Great Wisdom, hear!
+ O Buddha, going, going, going on +beyond
And always going on beyond, — always
BECOMING Buddha. Hail! Hail! Hail!

This translation is taken from  the usual published OBC Liturgy Books
© 1990 P.T.N.H. Jiyu-Kennett. All rights reserved