Heart Sutra rigpawiki

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Heart Sutra (Skt. prajñāpāramitā hṛdaya; Tib. ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོལ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པའི་སྙིང་པོ་, Wyl. rigpawiki shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po) (Toh rigpawiki 21), aka The Twenty-Five Verses on the Perfection of Wisdom — the most popular sutra of the prajñaparamita collection and indeed of the mahayana as a whole. Although the sutra primarily consists of a dialogue between Shariputra rigpawiki and the great bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara rigpawiki, their words are inspired by the blessings of the Buddha rigpawiki, who remains absorbed in samadhi meditation until the end of the discussion. As with all the prajñaparamita sutras, the teaching took place at Vulture's Peak near Rajagriha.

It was first translated into Tibetan by Vimalamitra rigpawiki and Rinchen Dé. The translation was later revised by Gewé Lodrö, Namkha and others.

Related to the Five Paths

In the various commentaries, there are different explanations as to how the sutra can be related to the five paths.


The sutra includes the mantra tadyatha om gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha (tadyathā oṃ gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā). Atisha rigpawiki explained that the mantra encapsulates the entire teaching of the Heart Sutra for the benefit of those of the sharpest faculties.[1]


The Heart Sutra is often recited together with a supplemental section for dokpa, the practice of averting harm and negativity. The text of the dokpa section refers to an incident recounted in the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eight Thousand Lines and Perfection of Wisdom Sutra in Eighteen Thousand Lines, when the god Indra turned away Mara rigpawiki and his forces, who were approaching the Buddha, by contemplating and reciting the Prajnaparamita.[2]



  • Atisha rigpawiki,
  • Jñanamitra, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayavyākhyā ('phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po'i rnam par bshad pa)
  • Kamalashila rigpawiki,
  • Mahajana, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdārthaparijñāna (shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po'i don yongs su shes pa)
  • Prashastrasena, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayaṭīkā ('phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po rgya cher 'grel pa)
  • Shri Singha rigpawiki,
  • Vajrapani, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdārthapradīpa (bcom ldan 'das ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po'i 'grel pa don gyi sgron ma)
  • Vimalamitra rigpawiki, Prajñāpāramitāhṛdayaṭīkā ('phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po rgya cher bshad pa)


  • Gungthang Tenpé Drönmé, shes rab snying po'i sngags kyi rnam bshad sbas don gsal ba sgron me
  • Jamyang Gawé Lodrö
  • Ngawang Tendar, Light of the Jewel (shes rab snying po'i 'grel pa don gsal nor bu'i 'od)
  • Taranatha rigpawiki, Word Commentary (Tib. ཤེར་སྙིང་གི་ཚིག་འགྲེལ་, sher snying gi tshig 'grel)


  • Chögyam Trungpa rigpawiki, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, (Boulder & London: Shambhala, 1973) chapter 'Shunyata', pages 187-206.
  • Dalai Lama rigpawiki, Essence of the Heart Sutra (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2002), includes a commentary by Jamyang Gawé Lodrö (1429-1503).
  • Garchen Rinpoche, Oral Commentaries on the Heart Sutra in Relation to Shamatha and Vipassana Meditation And Seven Point Mind Training, San Francisco 2001 (San Francisco, Ratna Shri Sangha).
  • Rabten, Geshe, Echoes of Voidness (Boston: Wisdom Publications, 1983)
  • Sonam Rinchen, Geshe, The Heart Sutra, translated and edited by Ruth Sonam (Ithaca: Snow Lion, 2003)
  • Thich Nhat Hanh rigpawiki, The Heart of Understanding: Commentaries on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1988, 2009)
  • Khenpo Palden Sherab rigpawiki Rinpoche, Ceasless Echoes of the Great Silence, a Commentary on the Heart Sutra. Translated by Khenpo Tsewang Dongyal Rinpoche. Published by Sky Dancer Press. ISBN 1-880976-01-7


Famous Quotations


Form is emptiness; emptiness also is form.
Emptiness is no other than form,
Form is no other than emptiness.

Buddha Shakyamuni rigpawiki, Heart Sutra rigpawiki

Page is sourced from

www.rigpawiki.org Quotations: Heart Sutra


  1. Lopez (1996), p.170
  2. Lopez (1996) pp.223-4

Teachings on the Heart Sutra Given to the Rigpa Sangha

Further Reading

  • Conze, Edward. The Prajñāpāramitā Literature (1960)
  • Eckel, Malcolm David, "Indian Commentaries on the Heart Sutra: The Politics of Interpretation" in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, vol. 10, no. 2 (1987), pp. 69-79.
  • Lopez, Donald S. The Heart Sutra Explained: Indian and Tibetan Commentaries, Abany: SUNY, 1988
  • Lopez, Donald S. "Inscribing the Bodhisattva's Speech: On the "Heart Sutra's" Mantra" in History of Religions, Vol. 29, No. 4. (May, 1990), pp. 351-372
  • Lopez, Donald S. Elaborations on Emptiness: Uses of the Heart Sūtra. Princeton University Press, 1996
  • Silk, Jonathan. The Heart Sūtra in Tibetan: A Critical Edition of the Two Recensions Contained in the Kanjur, Arbeitskreis für Tibetische und Buddhistische Studien, Universitāt Wien (Vienna 1994).

Internal Links

External Links

Page is sourced from

www.rigpawiki.org Heart Sutra