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Sutra 3, Chapter 1 - Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom - Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom

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(Maha-prajna-paramita-hridaya)

THUS HAVE I HEARD. At one time the Blessed One together with a number of the highest Bodhisattvas and a

great company of bhikshus was staying at Rajagriha on Mount Gridhrakta.

The Blessed One was sitting apart absorbed in Samadhi, and the noble Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was

meditating on the profound Prajna-paramita, thinking thus: Personality is made up of five grasping

aggregates--form, sensation, perception, discrimination and consciousness--all of which the Blessed One has

taught us are by nature dream-like and empty.

Then the venerable Sariputra, influenced by the power of the Blessed One absorbed in Samadhi, spoke thus

to the noble Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara: "If a son or daughter of good family wishes to study the profound

Prajna-paramita, how is he to do so?"

The noble Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara replied to the venerable Sariputra: "If a son or daughter wishes to

study the profound Prajna-paramita, he must think thus: Personality? What is personality? Is it an eternal

entity or is it made up of elements that pass away?

"Personality is made up of five grasping aggregates which are by nature empty of any self-substance. Form,

or matter, is emptiness; emptiness is not different from form, nor is form different from emptiness; indeed,

emptiness is form. In like manner: sensation is emptiness; emptiness is not different from sensation, nor is

sensation different from emptiness; indeed, emptiness

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is sensation. In like manner: perception, discrimination and consciousness are also emptiness.

"Thus, O Sariputra, all things having the character of emptiness, have no beginning nor ending; they are

neither faultless nor not faultless; they are neither perfect nor imperfect. Therefore, 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 form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no

mental process, no object, no knowledge, no ignorance. There is no destruction of objects, no cessation of

knowledge, no cessation of ignorance. There is no decay and no death, nor is there any destruction of the

notions of decay and death. There is no Noble Fourfold Truth--no pain, no cause of pain, no cessation of

pain, nor any Noble Path to the cessation of pain. There is no knowledge of Nirvana, there is no obtaining of

Nirvana, there is no not-obtaining of Nirvana.

"Why is there no such thing as the obtaining of Nirvana? Because Nirvana is the realm of no-thing-ness. If

the ego-soul of personality is an eternal entity it cannot attain Nirvana. It is only because personality is

made up of elements and is, therefore, empty of an ego-soul, that it may attain Nirvana. So long as man is

approaching Ultimate Wisdom, he is still dwelling in the realm of consciousness. If he is to realise Nirvana,

he must pass beyond the realm of consciousness. In highest Samadhi when consciousness has been transcended,

he has passed beyond discrimination and knowledge, beyond any reach of change or fear. He is already enjoying

Nirvana.

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"The perfect understanding of this and the patient acceptance of it is the Ultimate Wisdom that is

Prajna-paramita. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future, having attained highest Samadhi, awake to

find themselves realising this highest perfect Wisdom.

"Therefore, every one should seek self-realisation of Prajna-paramita, the Truth of Perfect Wisdom, 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 that other

shore. Thus, O Sariputra, should a Bodhisattva teach all seekers the profound Prajna-paramita."

When the Blessed One had risen from Samadhi, he gave approval to the words of the noble Bodhisattva

Avalokitesvara, saying: "Well done! Well done, Noble Son! So, indeed, must the study of the profound

Prajna-paramita be presented. As it has been described by thee, it is approved by all the Tathagatas."

Thus spoke the Blessed One with joyful mind, and the noble Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and the venerable

Sariputra and the whole company of bhikshus praised the words of the Blessed One.


Sutra1 Chapter1 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Discrimination
Sutra1 Chapter2 - The Lankavatara Sutra - False-Imagination and Knowledge of Appearances
Sutra1 Chapter3 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Right Knowledge or Knowledge of Relations
Sutra1 Chapter4 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Perfect Knowledge, or Knowledge of Reality
Sutra1 Chapter5 - The Lankavatara Sutra - The Mind System
Sutra1 Chapter6 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Transcendental Intelligence
Sutra1 Chapter7 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Self-Realisation
Sutra1 Chapter8 - The Lankavatara Sutra - The Attainment of Self- Realisation
Sutra1 Chapter9 - The Lankavatara Sutra - The Fruit of Self- Realisation
Sutra1 Chapter10 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Discipleship: Lineage of the Arhats
Sutra1 Chapter11 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Bodhisattvahood and Its Stages
Sutra1 Chapter12 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Tathagatahood Which Is Noble Wisdom
Sutra1 Chapter13 - The Lankavatara Sutra - Nirvana
Sutra2 Chapter1 - The Diamond Sutra - The Diamond Scripture
Sutra3 Chapter1 - Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom - Sutra of Transcendental Wisdom
Sutra4 Chapter1 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Autobiography of Hui-Neng
Sutra4 Chapter2 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Discourse on Prajna
Sutra4 Chapter3 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Discourse on Dhyana and Samadhi
Sutra4 Chapter4 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Discourse on Repentance
Sutra4 Chapter5 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Discourse on the Three-Bodies of Buddha
Sutra4 Chapter6 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Dialogues Suggested by Various Temperaments and Circumstances
Sutra4 Chapter7 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Attainment
Sutra4 Chapter8 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Royal Patronage
Sutra4 Chapter9 - Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch - Final Words and Death of the Patriarch

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