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Library: Maha-prajna-paramita-hridaya

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Author: Darshan
Date:Jun 7 1998

  Thus have I heard. At one time the Blessed One together with many
of the highest Bodhisattvas and a great company of Bhikshus was staying
at Rajagaha on Mt. Gridhrakuta. The Blessed One was sitting apart
absorbed in Samadhi and the Noble Avalokiteshvara was meditating on the
profound Prajna-paramita. The Venerable Sariputra, influenced by the
Blessed One absorbed in Samadhi, spoke thus to the Noble Bodhisattva
Avalokiteshvara: 
  "If a son or daughter wishes to study the profound Prajna-paramita,
   how is he to do so?"

  The Noble Avalokiteshvara replied to the Venerable Sariputra, saying:
  "If a son or daughter wishes to study the profound Prajna-paramita, he
must first get rid of all ideas of ego-selfness. Let him think thus: 
Personality? What is personality? Is it an enduring entity? or is it made
up of elements that pass away? Personality is made up of the five grasping
aggregates: Form, sensation, perception, discrimination, consciousness,
all of which are by nature empty of any self-substance. Form is emptiness,
emptiness is not different from form, neither is form different from
emptiness, indeed, emptiness is form. Also, sensation is emptiness,
emptiness is not different from sensation, neither is sensation different
from emptiness, indeed, emptiness is sensation. Also, perception is
emptiness, emptiness is not different from perception, neither is 
perception different from emptiness, indeed, emptiness is perception.
Also, discrimination os emptiness, emptiness is not different from 
discrimination, neither is discrimination different from emptiness, indeed,
emptiness is discrimination. Also, consciousness is emptiness, emptiness is
not different from consciousness, neither is consciousness different from
emptiness, indeed, emptiness is consciousness.
  Thus, O Sariputra, all things having the nature of emptiness have no
beginning and no ending. They are neither faultless nor not faultless;
they are neither perfect nor imperfect. In emptiness there is no form, no
sensation, no perception, no discrimination, no consciousness. There is no
eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no sensitiveness to contact, no mind.
There is no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no mental
process, no object, no knowledge, no ignorance. There is no destruction,
of objects, there is no cessation of knowledge, no cessation of ignorance.
There is no Noble Fourfold Truths; no pain, no cause of pain, no cessation
of pain, no Noble Path leading to the cessation of pain. There is no decay
and no death, and no destruction of the notion of decay and death. There
is no knowledge of Nirvana, there is no obtaining of Nirvana, there is no
not obtaining of Nirvana.
  Why is there no obtaining of Nirvana? Because Nirvana is the realm of
no "thingness". If the ego-soul of personality was an enduring entity it
could not obtain Nirvana. It is only because personality is made up of
elements that pass away, that personality may attain Nirvana. So long as
man is seeking highest perfect Wisdom, he is still abiding in the realm
of consciousness. If he is to realize Nirvana, he must pass beyond
consciousness. In highest samadhi having transcended consciousness, he
has passed beyond discrimination and knowledge, beyond the reach of 
change or fear; he is already enjoying Nirvana. The perfect understanding
of this and the patient acceptance of it is the highest perfect Wisdom
that is Prajna-paramita. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future
having attained highest samadhi, awake to find themselves realizing Prajna-
paramita.
  Therefore, O Sariputra, everyone should seek self-realization of Prajna-
paramita, the Transcendent Truth, the unsurpassable Truth, the Truth that
ends all pain, the Truth that is forever true. O Prajna-paramita! O
Transcendent Truth that spans the troubled ocean of life and death; safely
carry all seekers to the other shore of Enlightenment.
  Listen to the Mantra, the Great, Mysterious Mantra; 
  Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha! 
  Gone, gone, gone to that other shore; safely passed to that other shore,
  O Prajna-paramita! So may it be."


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