The Highest Mantra
The heart sutra has long been considered one of the most popular Buddhist scriptures.
Composed in both Chinese characters and Sanskrit, the sutra itself is considered to be one of the shorter scriptures at only 260 characters or 280 words.
Though I can only confess to the most basic understanding of this important text, it never ceases to captivate me.
It contains within it the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara speaking to Sariputra, a student of the Buddha, on supreme enlightenment. One might say it contains the path to enlightenment through the understanding of no path.
The Truth of the Highest Mantra
You could spend a lifetime contemplating the sutra. You can also enjoy its gift: the highest mantra.
The mantra is a powerful and poetic petal of the blossom that is the heart sutra.
OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!
“Just as a seed contains the tree, this mantra contains the entire teachings on abiding in prajnaparamita, abiding in the fearless state.” — Bodhichitta: The Excellence of Awakened Heart by Pema Chodron, The Lion’s Roar, September 1, 2001
Many have meditated upon this mantra until they have gained sufficient understanding to translate its words.
“Om gone, gone, gone beyond, gone completely beyond, awake, so be it.” — Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
“Go. Go. Go to the other side of the shore. We all together go to the other side of the shore, and this is a quick way to achieve enlightenment.” — Master Chunyi Lin, Spring Forest Qigong
“Go, go, go beyond, go totally beyond, be rooted in the ground of enlightenment.” — Essence of the Heart Sutra: The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings by Thupten Jinpa
Perhaps the power of this mantra is in the going, the going beyond: beyond obstacles, beyond mind, beyond separation or suffering, beyond ground. Or maybe the key to enlightenment is us all going together.
Whichever translation resonates with you, add the heart sutra mantra to your practice and allow its fragrance to infuse your heart.
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