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Monday, 20 June 2016

The Heart Sutra. The perfect antidote to politics

The Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra ( Heart of Perfect Understanding ) is one of, if not the most important, Buddhist Sutra.
If you are fed up with trying to score points over somebody with different political viewpoints? Why not try something higher and more challenging. Try to understand this Sutra which goes as follows:

The Bodhisattva of Compassion, When he meditated deeply, Saw the emptiness of all five skandas and sundered the bonds that caused him suffering,

 Here then, Form is no other than emptiness, Emptiness no other than form, Form is only emptiness, Emptiness only form.

 Feeling thought and choice, Consciousness itself, Are the same as this.

All things are by nature void, They are not born or destroyed, Nor are they stained or pure, Nor do they wax or wane.

So in emptiness, no form, no feeling thought, or choice, Nor is there consciousness. No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind, No colour, sound, smell, taste touch, Or what the mind takes hold of, Nor even act of sensing.

No ignorance or end of it, Nor all that comes of ignorance, No withering, no death, No end of them.

Nor is there pain, or cause of pain, Or cease in pain, or noble path to lead from pain, Not even wisdom to attain! Attainment too is emptiness.

 So know that the Bodhisattva, Holding to nothing whatever, But dwelling in Prajna wisdom, Is freed of delusive hindrance, Rid of the fear bred by it, And reaches clearest Nirvana.

All Buddhas of past and present, Buddhas of future time, Using this Pranja wisdom, Come to full and perfect vision.

Hear then the great Dharani, The radiant peerless mantra, The Pranjaparamita Whose words allay all pain, Hear and believe it's truth.

Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha. 

Challenged? After years of being a Buddhist I wrestled with understanding this even though I had read explanations of the Sutra. You are probably more intelligent than me and grasp it in one go? However if not, Thich Nhat Hanh has written a commentary published as a book called simply The Heart of Understanding. One read of this brilliant short book and Eureka I understood. How this amazing man whose first language is not English can simplify this text to understandable form just shows his genius as a teacher.

So do read this and take your mind away from greed, hatred and delusion. If dear reader you already have purged these three poisons from your system then please accept my apologies.

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