Buddhist Heart Sutra
Heart of the Prajna-Paramita Sutra, also called Heart Sutra, is the shortest and the most popular sutra in Buddhism. The Heart
Sutra is regarded as the summation of the wisdom of Buddha. It explains perfectly the teaching of non-attachment, which is
essentially the doctrine of emptiness. The Heart Sutra can be found etched into many styles of Yixing ware. The following is a
English translation of the Heart Sutra; also included is phonetic script of the Heart Sutra in Japanese.
Kan ze on, na mu butsu, yo butsu u in, yo butsu u en,
bup po so en, jo raku ga jo, cho nen kan ze on, bo nen
kan ze on, nen nen ju shin ki, nen nen fu ri shin.
The mind of the great sage of India>/P>
is intimately transmitted from west to east.
While human faculties are sharp or dull,
the Way has no nothern or southern ancestors.
The spiritual source shines clear in the light;
the branching streams flow on in the dark.
Grasping at things is surely delusion;
according with sameness is still not enlightenment.
All the objects of the senses
interact and yet do not.
Interacting brings involvement.
Otherwise each keeps its place.
Sights vary in quality and form,
sounds differ as pleasing or harsh.
Refined and common speach come together in the dark,
clear and murky phrases are distinguished in the light.
The four elements return to their natures
just as a child turns to its mother;
Fire heats, wind moves,
water wets, earth is solid.
Eye and sights, ear and sounds,
nose and smells, tongue and tastes;
Thus with each and every thing,
depending on these roots the leaves spread forth.
Trunk and branches share the essence;
revered and common, each has its speech.
In the light there is darkness,
but don't take it as darkness;
In the dark there is light,
but don't see it as light.
Light and dark oppose one another
like the front and back foot in walking.
Each of the myriad things has its merit,
expressed according to function and place.
Phenomena exist; box and lid fit.
Principle responds, arrow points meet.
Hearing the words, understand the meaning;
don't set up standards of your own. If you don't understand the Way right before you,
how will you know the path as you walk?
Progress is not a matter of far or near,
but if you are confused, mountains and rivers block your way.
I respectfully urge you who study the mystery,
do not pass your days and nights in vain.