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English translation of
The Larger Pragñâ Pâramitâ Hridaya Sûtra

English translation by E. B. Cowell, F. Max Müller and J. Takakusu
taken from

The Larger Pragñâ Pâramitâ Hridaya Sûtra


This I heard: At one time the Bhagavat dwelt at Râgagriha, on the hill Gridhrakûta, together with a large number of Bhikshus and a large number of Bodhisattvas.

At that time the Bhagavat was absorbed in a meditation, called Gambhîrâvasambodha. And at the same time the great Bodhisattva Âryâvalokitesvara, performing his study in the deep Praâpâramitâ, thought thus: 'There are the five Skandhas, and those he (the Buddha?) considered as something by nature empty.'

Then the venerable Sâriputra, through Buddha's power, thus spoke to the Bodhisattva Âryâvalokitesvara: 'If the son or daughter of a family wishes to perform the study in the deep Praâpâramitâ, how is he to be taught?'

On this the great Bodhisattva Âryâvalokitesvara thus spoke to the venerable Sâriputra: 'If the son or daughter of a family wishes to perform the study in the deep Praâpâramitâ, he must think thus:

'There are five Skandhas, and these he considered as by their nature empty. Form is emptiness, and emptiness indeed is form. Emptiness is not different from form, form is not different from emptiness. What is form that is emptiness, what is emptiness that is form. Thus perception, name, conception, and knowledge also are emptiness. Thus, O Sâriputra, all things have the character of emptiness, they have no beginning, no end, they are faultless and not faultless, they are not imperfect and not perfect. Therefore, O Sâriputra, here in this emptiness there is no form, no perception, no name, no concept, no knowledge. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. No form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and objects. There is no eye,' &c., till we come to 'there is no mind, no objects, no mind-knowledge. There is no knowledge, no ignorance, no destruction (of ignorance),' till we come to 'there is no decay and death, no destruction of decay and death; there are not (the Four Truths, viz.) that there is pain, origin of pain, stoppage of pain, and the path to it. There is no knowledge, no obtaining, no not-obtaining of Nirvâna. Therefore, O Sâriputra, as there is no obtaining (of Nirvâna), a man who has approached the Praâpâramitâ of the Bodhisattvas, dwells (for a time) enveloped in consciousness. But when the envelopment of consciousness has been annihilated, then he becomes free of all fear, beyond the reach of change, enjoying final Nirvâna.


'All Buddhas of the past, present, and future, after approaching the Praâpâramitâ, have awoke to the highest perfect knowledge.

'Therefore we ought to know the great verse of the Praâpâramitâ, the verse of the great wisdom, the unsurpassed verse, the verse which appeases all pain--it is truth, because it is not false--the verse proclaimed in the Praâpâramitâ: "O wisdom, gone, gone, gone to the other shore, landed at the other shore, Svâhâ!"

'Thus, O Sâriputra, should a Bodhisattva teach in the study of the deep Praâpâramitâ.'

Then when the Bhagavat had risen from that meditation, he gave his approval to the venerable Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, saying: 'Well done, well done, noble son! So it is, noble son. So indeed must this study of the deep Praâpâramitâ be performed. As it has been described by thee, it is applauded by Arhat Tathâgatas.' Thus spoke Bhagavat with joyful mind. And the venerable Sâriputra, and the honourable Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and the whole assembly, and the world of gods, men, demons, and fairies praised the speech of the Bhagavat.

Here ends the Praâpâramitâhridayasûtra.

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-- The Larger Pragñâ Pâramitâ Hridaya Sûtra --

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