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Popular Sutra in Mah?y?na Buddhism
A reproduction of the palm-leaf manuscript in Siddham script, originally held at H?ry?-ji Temple, Japan; now located in the Tokyo National Museum at the Gallery of H?ry?--ji Treasure. The original copy may be the earliest extant Sanskrit manuscript dated to the 7th-8th century CE.
The sutra famously states, "Form is empty, emptiness is form." (nyat?). It is a condensed exposé on the Buddhist Mahayana teaching of the Two Truths doctrine, which says that ultimately all phenomena are sunyata, empty of an unchanging essence. This emptiness is a 'characteristic' of all phenomena, and not a transcendent reality, but also "empty" of an essence of its own. Specifically, it is a response to Sarvastivada teachings that "phenomena" or its constituents are real.:9
It has been called "the most frequently used and recited text in the entire Mahayana Buddhist tradition." The text has been translated into English dozens of times from Chinese, Sanskrit and Tibetan as well as other source languages.
Summary of the sutra
In the sutra, Avalokite?vara addresses ?ariputra, explaining the fundamental emptiness (nyat?) of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence (skandhas): form (r?pa), feeling (vedan?), volitions (sa?kh?ra), perceptions (sa?jñ?), and consciousness (vijñ?na). Avalokite?vara famously states, "Form is Emptiness (nyat?). Emptiness is Form", and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty--that is, dependently originated.
Avalokite?vara then goes through some of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths, and explains that in emptiness none of these notions apply. This is interpreted according to the two truths doctrine as saying that teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality--they are not reality itself--and that they are therefore not applicable to the ultimate truth that is by definition beyond mental understanding. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahayana Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, defined in the Mah?prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment thereby achieving nirvana.
The sutra concludes with the mantra gate gate p?ragate p?rasa?gate bodhi sv?h?, meaning "gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha."[note 1]
Popularity and stature
The Heart Sutra engraved on a wall in Mount Putuo, bodhimanda of Avalokite?vara Bodhisattva. The five large red characters are Chinese for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (also known as Guanyin Pusa) which is the beginning of the sutra. The rest of the sutra is in black characters.
The Heart Sutra is "the single most commonly recited, copied and studied scripture in East Asian Buddhism."[note 2][note 3] It is recited by adherents of Mahayana schools of Buddhism regardless of sectarian affiliation.:59-60
While the origin of the sutra is disputed by some modern scholars, it was widely known in Bengal and Bihar during the Pala Empire period (c. 750-1200 CE) in India, where it played a role in Vajrayana Buddhism.:239,18-20[note 4] The stature of the Heart Sutra throughout early medieval India can be seen from its title 'Holy Mother of all Buddhas Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom':389 dating from at least the 8th century CE (see Philological explanation of the text).:15-16:141,142[note 5]
The long version of the Heart Sutra is extensively studied by the various Tibetan Buddhist schools, where the Heart Sutra is chanted, but also treated as a tantric text, with a tantric ceremony associated with it.:216-238 It is also viewed as one of the daughter sutras of the Prajnaparamita genre in the Vajrayana tradition as passed down from Tibet.:67-69:2[note 6][note 7]
The text has been translated into many languages, and dozens of English translations and commentaries have been published, along with an unknown number of informal versions on the internet.[note 8]
There are two main versions of the Heart Sutra : a short version and a long version.
The short version as translated by Xuanzang is the most popular version of adherents practicing East Asian schools of Buddhism. Xuanzang's canonical text (T. 251) has a total of 260 Chinese characters. Some Japanese versions have an additional 2 characters. The short version has also been translated into Tibetan but it is not part of the current Tibetan Buddhist Canon (Kangyur).
The long version differs from the short version by including both an introductory and concluding section; features that most Buddhist sutras have. The introduction introduces the sutra to the listener with the traditional Buddhist opening phrase "Thus have I heard". It then describes the venue in which the Buddha (or sometimes bodhisattvas, etc.,) promulgate the teaching and the audience to whom the teaching is given. The concluding section ends the sutra with thanks and praises to the Buddha.
Both versions are chanted on a daily basis by adherents of practically all schools of East Asian Buddhism and by some adherents of Tibetan and Newar Buddhism.
Dating and origins
The third oldest dated copy of the Heart Sutra, on part of the stele of Emperor Tang Taizong's Foreword to the Holy Teaching, written on behalf of Xuanzang in 648 CE, erected by his son, Emperor Tang Gaozong in 672 CE, known for its exquisite calligraphy in the style of Wang Xizhi (303-361 CE) - Xian's Beilin Museum
Earliest extant versions
The earliest extant dated text of the Heart Sutra is a stone stele dated to 661 CE located at Yunju Temple and is part of the Fangshan Stone Sutra. It is also the earliest copy of Xuanzang's 649 CE translation of the Heart Sutra (Taisho 221); made three years before Xuanzang passed away.:12,17[note 9]
A palm-leaf manuscript found at the H?ry?-ji Temple is the earliest undated extant Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sutra. It is dated to c. 7th-8th century CE by the Tokyo National Museum where it is currently kept.:208-209
Source of the Heart Sutra - Nattier controversy
Jan Nattier (1992) argues, based on her cross-philological study of Chinese and Sanskrit texts of the Heart Sutra, that the Heart Sutra was initially composed in China.
Fukui, Harada, Ishii and Siu based on their cross-philological study of Chinese and Sanskrit texts of the Heart Sutra and other medieval period Sanskrit Mahayana sutras theorizes that the Heart Sutra could not have been composed in China but was composed in India.[note 10]:43-44,72-80
Kuiji and Woncheuk were the two main disciples of Xuanzang. Their 7th century commentaries are the earliest extant commentaries on the Heart Sutra; both commentaries contradict Nattier's Chinese origin theory.:27:146-147[note 11]
Philological explanation of the text
Gridhakuta (also known as Vulture's Peak) located in Rajgir Bihar India (in ancient times known as R?jag?ha or R?jagaha (Pali) - Site where Buddha taught the Prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya (Heart Sutra) and other Prajñ?p?ramit? sutras.
The titles of the earliest extant manuscripts of the Heart Sutra all includes the words "h?daya" or "heart" and "prajñ?p?ramit?" or "perfection of wisdom". Beginning from the 8th century and continuing at least until the 13th century, the titles of the Indic manuscripts of the Heart Sutra contained the words "bhagavat?" or "mother of all buddhas" and "prajñ?p?ramit?".[note 12]
Later Indic manuscripts have more varied titles.
Titles in use today
In the western world, this sutra is known as the Heart Sutra (a translation derived from its most common name in East Asian countries). But it is also sometimes called the Heart of Wisdom Sutra. In Tibet, Mongolia and other regions influenced by Vajrayana, it is known as The [Holy] Mother of all Buddhas Heart (Essence) of the Perfection of Wisdom.
In the Tibetan text the title is given first in Sanskrit and then in Tibetan: Sanskrit: (Bhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya), Tibetan: , Wylie: bcom ldan 'das ma shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i snying po English translation of Tibetan title: Mother of All Buddhas Heart (Essence) of the Perfection of Wisdom.:1[note 13]
In other languages, the commonly used title is an abbreviation of Prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayas?tra? : i.e. The Prajñ?h?daya S?tra )(The Heart of Wisdom Sutra). They are as follows: e.g. Korean: Banya Shimgyeong (? / ?); Japanese: Hannya Shingy? ( / ?); Vietnamese: Bát-nhã tâm kinh (ch? Nho: ?).
Various commentators divide this text into different numbers of sections. In the long version, we have the traditional opening "Thus have I heard" and Buddha along with a community of bodhisattvas and monks gathered with Avalokite?vara and Sariputra at Gridhakuta (a mountain peak located at Rajgir, the traditional site where the majority of the Perfection of Wisdom teachings were given) , when through the power of Buddha, Sariputra asks Avalokite?vara:xix,249-271[note 14]:83-98 for advice on the practice of the Perfection of Wisdom. The sutra then describes the experience of liberation of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokite?vara, as a result of vipassan? gained while engaged in deep meditation to awaken the faculty of prajña (wisdom). The insight refers to apprehension of the fundamental emptiness (nyat?) of all phenomena, known through and as the five aggregates of human existence (skandhas): form (r?pa), feeling (vedan?), volitions (sa?kh?ra), perceptions (sa?jñ?), and consciousness (vijñ?na).
The specific sequence of concepts listed in lines 12-20 ("...in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, ... no attainment and no non-attainment") is the same sequence used in the Sarvastivadin Samyukta Agama; this sequence differs in comparable texts of other sects. On this basis, Red Pine has argued that the Heart S?tra is specifically a response to Sarvastivada teachings that, in the sense "phenomena" or its constituents, are real.:9 Lines 12-13 enumerate the five skandhas. Lines 14-15 list the twelve ayatanas or abodes.:100 Line 16 makes a reference to the 18 dhatus or elements of consciousness, using a conventional shorthand of naming only the first (eye) and last (conceptual consciousness) of the elements.:105-06 Lines 17-18 assert the emptiness of the Twelve Nid?nas, the traditional twelve links of dependent origination.:109 Line 19 refers to the Four Noble Truths.
Avalokite?vara addresses ?ariputra, who was the promulgator of abhidharma according to the scriptures and texts of the Sarvastivada and other early Buddhist schools, having been singled out by the Buddha to receive those teachings.:11-12, 15 Avalokite?vara famously states, "Form is empty (nyat?). Emptiness is form", and declares the other skandhas to be equally empty of the most fundamental Buddhist teachings such as the Four Noble Truths and explains that in emptiness none of these notions apply. This is interpreted according to the two truths doctrine as saying that teachings, while accurate descriptions of conventional truth, are mere statements about reality--they are not reality itself--and that they are therefore not applicable to the ultimate truth that is by definition beyond mental understanding. Thus the bodhisattva, as the archetypal Mahayana Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, defined in the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra to be the wisdom that perceives reality directly without conceptual attachment thereby achieving nirvana.
All Buddhas of the three ages (past, present and future) rely on the Perfection of Wisdom to reach unexcelled complete Enlightenment. The Perfection of Wisdom is the all powerful Mantra, the great enlightening mantra, the unexcelled mantra, the unequalled mantra, able to dispel all suffering. This is true and not false. The Perfection of Wisdom is then condensed in the mantra with which the sutra concludes: "Gate Gate P?ragate P?rasamgate Bodhi Sv?h?" (literally "Gone gone, gone beyond, gone utterly beyond, Enlightenment hail!"). In the long version, Buddha praises Avalokite?vara for giving the exposition of the Perfection of Wisdom and all gathered rejoice in its teaching. Many schools traditionally have also praised the sutra by uttering three times the equivalent of "Mah?prajñ?p?ramit?" after the end of the recitation of the short version.
The Heart S?tra mantra in Sanskrit IAST is gate gate p?ragate p?rasa?gate bodhi sv?h?, Devanagari: ? , IPA: te?te: pa:?te: pa:s?te bo:d s?a:?a:, meaning "gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha."[note 15]
Two commentaries of the Heart Sutra were composed by pupils of Xuanzang, Woncheuk and Kuiji, in the 7th century.:60 These appear to be the earliest extant commentaries on the text. Both have been translated into English. Both Ku?j? and Woncheuk's commentaries approach the Heart Sutra from both a Yog?c?ra and Madhyamaka viewpoint; however, Ku?j?'s commentary presents detailed line by line Madhyamaka viewpoints as well and is therefore the earliest surviving Madhyamaka commentary on the Heart Sutra. Of special note, although Woncheuk did his work in China, he was born in Silla, one of the kingdoms located at the time in Korea.
The chief Tang Dynasty commentaries have all now been translated into English.
Notable Japanese commentaries include those by K?kai (9th Century, Japan), who treats the text as a tantra, and Hakuin, who gives a Zen commentary.
There is also a Vietnamese commentarial tradition for the Heart Sutra. The earliest recorded commentary is the early 14th century Thi?n commentary entitled 'Commentary on the Prajñ?h?daya Sutra' by Pháp Loa.:155,298[note 16]
All of the East Asian commentaries are commentaries of Xuanzang's translation of the short version of the Heart Sutra. Kukai's commentary is purportedly of Kum?raj?va's translation of the short version of the Heart Sutra;but upon closer examination seems to quote only from Xuanzang's translation.:21,36-37
Major Chinese language Commentaries on the Heart Sutra
Eight Indian commentaries survive in Tibetan translation and have been the subject of two books by Donald Lopez. These typically treat the text either from a Madhyamaka point of view, or as a tantra (esp. ?r?si?ha). ?r? Mah?jana's commentary has a definite "Yogachara bent". All of these commentaries are on the long version of the Heart Sutra. The Eight Indian Commentaries from the Kangyur are (cf first eight on chart):
Indian Commentaries on the Heart Sutra from Tibetan and Chinese language Sources
There is one surviving Chinese translation of an Indian commentary in the Chinese Buddhist Canon. ?ryadeva's commentary is on the short version of the Heart Sutra.:11,13
Besides the Tibetan translation of Indian commentaries on the Heart Sutra, Tibetan monk-scholars also made their own commentaries. One example is T?ran?tha's A Textual Commentary on the Heart Sutra.
In modern times, the text has become increasingly popular amongst exegetes as a growing number of translations and commentaries attest. The Heart Sutra was already popular in Chan and Zen Buddhism, but has become a staple for Tibetan Lamas as well.
Selected English translations
The first English translation was presented to the Royal Asiatic Society in 1863 by Samuel Beal, and published in their journal in 1865. Beal used a Chinese text corresponding to T251 and a 9th Century Chan commentary by Dàdi?n B?ot?ng (?) [c. 815 CE]. In 1881, Max Müller published a Sanskrit text based on the H?ry?-ji manuscript along an English translation.
There are more than 40 published English translations of the Heart Sutra from Sanskrit, Chinese, and Tibetan, beginning with Beal (1865). Almost every year new translations and commentaries are published. The following is a representative sample.
The Heart S?tra has been set to music a number of times. Many singers solo this sutra.
The Buddhist Audio Visual Production Centre () produced a Cantonese album of recordings of the Heart S?tra in 1995 featuring a number of Hong Kong pop singers, including Alan Tam, Anita Mui and Faye Wong and composer by Andrew Lam Man Chung () to raise money to rebuild the Chi Lin Nunnery.
Malaysian Imee Ooi () sings the short version of the Heart Sutra in Sanskrit accompanied by music entitled 'The Shore Beyond, Prajna Paramita Hrdaya Sutram', released in 2009.
An Mandarin version was first performed by Faye Wong in May 2009 at the Famen Temple for the opening of the Namaste Dagoba, a stupa housing the finger relic of Buddha rediscovered at the Famen Temple. She has sung this version numerous times since and its recording was subsequently used as a theme song in the blockbusters Aftershock (2010) and Xuanzang (2016).
Shaolin Monk Shifu Shi Yan Ming recites the Sutra at the end of the song "Life Changes" by the Wu-Tang Clan, in remembrance of the deceased member ODB.
The heart sutra appears as a track on an album of sutras "performed" by VOCALOID voice software, using the Nekomura Iroha voice pack. The album Syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism by VOCALOID is by the artist tamachang.
In the centuries following the historical Xuanzang, an extended tradition of literature fictionalizing the life of Xuanzang and glorifying his special relationship with the Heart S?tra arose, of particular note being the Journey to the West (16th century/Ming dynasty). In chapter nineteen of Journey to the West, the fictitious Xuanzang learns by heart the Heart S?tra after hearing it recited one time by the Crow's Nest Zen Master, who flies down from his tree perch with a scroll containing it, and offers to impart it. A full text of the Heart S?tra is quoted in this fictional account.
The 2013 Buddhist film Avalokitesvara, tells the origins of Mount Putuo, the famous pilgrimage site for Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in China. The film was filmed onsite on Mount Putuo and featured several segments where monks chant the Heart Sutra in Chinese and Sanskrit. Egaku, the protagonist of the film, also chants the Heart Sutra in Japanese.
In the 2015 Japanese film I Am a Monk, Koen, a twenty-four year old bookstore clerk becomes a Shingon monk at the Eifuku-ji after the death of his grandfather. The Eifuku-ji is the fifty-seventh temple in the eighty-eight temple Shikoku Pilgrimage Circuit. He is at first unsure of himself. However, during his first service as he chants the Heart Sutra, he comes to an important realization.
Bear McCreary recorded four Japanese-American monks chanting in Japanese, the entire Heart Sutra in his sound studio. He picked a few discontinuous segments and digitally enhanced them for their hypnotic sound effect. The result became the main theme of King Ghidorah in the 2019 film Godzilla: King of the Monsters.
Influence on western philosophy
Schopenhauer, in the final words of his main work, compared his doctrine to the nyat? of the Heart S?tra. In Volume 1, § 71 of The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer wrote: "…to those in whom the will [to continue living] has turned and has denied itself, this very real world of ours, with all its suns and Milky Ways, is — nothing." To this, he appended the following note: "This is also the Prajna–Paramita of the Buddhists, the 'beyond all knowledge,' in other words, the point where subject and object no longer exist."
^This is just one interpretation of the meaning of the mantra. There are many others. Traditionally mantras were not translated.
^Pine : *On p 36-7: "Chen-k'o [Zibo Zhenke or Daguan Zhenke (one of the four great Buddhist Masters of the late Ming Dynasty - member of the Chan sect] says 'This sutra is the principal thread that runs through the entire Buddhist Tripitaka. Although a person's body includes many organs and bones, the heart is the most important.'
^Storch : *On p 172: "Near the Foguangshan temple in Taiwan, one million handwritten copies of the Heart-sutra were buried in December of 2011. They were interred inside a golden sphere by the seat of a thirty-seven-meter-tall bronze statue of the Buddha; in a separate adjacent stupa, a tooth of the Buddha had been buried a few years earlier. The burial of one million copies of the sutra is believed to having created gigantic karmic merit for the people who transcribed it, as well as for the rest of humanity."
^Lopez, Jr.: * On p 239: "We can assume, at least, that the sutra was widely known during the Pala period (c. 750-1155 in Bengal and c. 750-1199 in Bihar)." * On pp 18-20 footnote 8: "...it suggests that the Heart Sutra was recited at Vikramalala (or Vikramashila)(located in today's Bihar, India) and Atisa (982 CE - 1054 CE) appears to be correcting his pronunciation [Tibetan monks visiting Vikramalala - therefore also an indication of the popularity of the Heart Sutra in Tibet during the 10th century] from ''ha r?pa ha vedan?'' to ''a r?pa a vedan?'' to, finally, the more familiar ''na r?pa na vedan?'', saying that because it is the speech of Avalokita, there is nothing wrong to saying ''na''."
^Lopez, Jr.: Jñ?namitra [the medieval Indian monk-commentator c. 10th-11th Century] wrote in his Sanskrit commentary entitled 'Explanation of the Noble Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom' (?ryaprajñ?p?ramit?h?dayavy?khy?), "There is nothing in any sutra that is not contained in the Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom. Therefore it is called the sutra of sutras." Jñ?namitra also said regarding the Sanskrit title of the Heart Sutra 'bhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya?' and the meaning of the word bhagavat?,"With regard to [the feminine ending] '?', all the buddhas arise from practicing the meaning of the perfection of wisdom. Therefore, since the perfection of wisdom comes to be the mother of all buddhas, [the feminine ending] '?' is [used].
^Sonam Gyaltsen Gonta (),?....,?,...(transl: Among all the teachings taught by Sakyamuni Buddha to his disciples, the highest is the prajñ?p?ramit?....there are no works besides the Heart Sutra that even comes close to condensing the vast contents of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra's [the name of a Chinese compilation of complete prajñ?p?ramit? sutras having 16 sections within it] far-reaching profundity into an extremely concise form without any lost in meaning...
^The Prajñ?p?ramit? genre is accepted as Buddhavacana by all past and present Buddhist schools with Mahayana affiliation.
^ Of special interest is the 2011 Thai translation of the six different editions of the Chinese version of the Heart Sutra under the auspices of Phra Visapathanee Maneepaket 'The Chinese-Thai Mah?y?na S?tra Translation Project in Honour of His Majesty the King'; an example of the position of the Heart Sutra and Mahayana Buddhism in Theravadan countries.
^He and Xu: On page 12 "Based on this investigation, this study discovers ... the 661 CE Heart Sutra located in Fangshan Stone Sutra is probably the earliest extant "Heart Sutra"; [another possibility for the earliest Heart Sutra,] the Shaolin Monastery Heart Sutra commissioned by Zhang Ai on the 8th lunar month of 649 CE [Xuanzang's translated the Heart Sutra on the 24th day of the 5th lunar month in 649 CE]:21 mentioned by Liu Xihai in his unpublished hand written draft entitled "Record of Engraved Stele's Surnames and Names", [regarding this stone stele, it] has so far not been located and neither has any ink impressions of the stele. It's possible that Liu made a regnal era transcription error. (He and Xu mention there was a Zhang Ai who is mentioned in another stone stele commissioned in the early 8th century and therefore the possibility Liu made a regnal era transcription error;however He and Xu also stated the existence of the 8th century stele does not preclude the possibility that there could have been two different persons named Zhang Ai.):22-23 The Shaolin Monastery Heart Sutra stele awaits further investigation.":28 On page 17 "The 661 CE and the 669 CE Heart Sutra located in Fangshan Stone Sutra mentioned that "Tripitaka Master Xuanzang translated it by imperial decree" (Xian's Beilin Museum's 672 CE Heart Sutra mentioned that "?rama?a Xuanzang translated it by imperial decree"..."
^Harada's cross-philological study is based on Chinese, Sanskrit and Tibetan texts.
^Choo : * On p 146-147 [quote from Woncheuk's Prajñ?p?ramit? Heart Sutra Commentary] "A version [of the Heart S?tra] states that "[The Bodhisattva] illuminatingly sees that the five aggregates, etc., are all empty." Although there are two different versions, the latter [that is, the new version] is the correct one because the word "etc." is found in theoriginal Sanskrit scripture. [The meaning of] "etc." described in the latter [version] should be understood based on [the doctrine of Dharmap?la]."
^Some Sanskrit Titles of the Heart Sutra from 8th-13th centuries CE
?ryabhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya? (Holy Mother of all Buddhas Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom) Sanskrit title of Tibetan translation by unknown translator.
bhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya? (Mother of all Buddhas Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom) Sanskrit title of Tibetan translation by Vimalamitra who studied in Bodhgay? (today's Bihar State in North Eastern India) in the 8th century CE.
?ryabhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit? (Holy Mother of all Buddhas Perfection of Wisdom) Sanskrit title of Chinese translation by D?nap?la who studied in Oddiyana (today's Swat Valley Pakistan near Afghanistan-Pakistan border) in the 11th century CE.
?ryabhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit? (Holy Mother of all Buddhas Perfection of Wisdom) Sanskrit title of Chinese translation by Dharmalana in the 13th century CE.:29
^Sonam Gyaltsen Gonta : bCom ldan 'das mashes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i?()?.......,?,,?(transl: Directly translating the title "bCom ldan 'das ma" - it has the meaning of "Mother of all Buddhas". Now we will discuss the meaning of "shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa'i" (prajñ?p?ramit?).... Describing the prajñ?p?ramit?, we have the ?atas?hasrik? Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra [Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra in 100,000 verses], the Pañcaviatis?hasrik? Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra [Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra in 25,000 verses], Aas?hasrik? Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra [Prajñ?p?ramit? S?tra in 8,000 verses]...there are no works besides the Heart Sutra that even comes close to condensing the vast contents of the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra's [(the name of a Chinese compilation of complete prajñ?p?ramit? sutras having 16 sections within it and including the 3 aforementioned sutras)] far-reaching profundity into an extremely concise form without any lost in meaning and therefore the title has the two words ["snying po"] meaning "essence" [or "heart"]
^Powers xix: [Avalokite?vara Bodhisattva's association with the Prajñ?p?ramit? genre can also be seen in the Sa?dhinirmocana Mah?y?na S?tra, where Avalokite?vara asks Buddha about the Ten Bodhisattva Stages and ] Each stage represents a decisive advance in understanding and spiritual attainment. The questioner here is Avalokite?vara, the embodiment of compassion. The main meditative practice is the six perfections - generosity, ethics, patience, effort, concentration and wisdom - the essence of the Bodhisattva's training. (for details pls see pp 249-271)
^There were two waves of transliterations. One was from China which later mainly spread to Korea, Vietnam and Japan. Another was from Tibet. Classical transliterations of the mantra include:
^Nguyen *gives the Vietnamese title of Phap Loa's commentary as 'Bát Nhã Tâm Kinh Khoa S?' which is the Vietnamese reading of the Sino-Viet title (also given) ''. (The English translation is 'Commentary on the Prajñ?h?daya Sutra'.) Thich *gives Pháp Loa's name in Chinese as 
^For those interested, the Chinese language titles are as follows:
^For those interested, the CJKV names are as follows:
^For those interested, the Sanskrit titles are as follows: 1.?ryaprajñ?p?ramit?h?dayak? 2.Prajñ?h?dayak? 3.Prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayamak? 4.Mantraviv?taprajñ?h?dayav?tti 5.?ryaprajñ?p?ramit?h?dayavy?khy? 6.?ryaprajñ?p?ramit?h?dayak? 7.Prajñ?p?ramit?h?day?rthamaparijñ?na 8.Bhagavat?prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayathaprad?pan?mak? 9.Prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayak?
^Lopez, Jr.: [Vairocana, a disciple of Srisimha was] ordained by ntarak?ita at bSam yas c. 779 CE.
^Zhou 1959 : (not the famous ?ryadeva from the 3rd century CE but another monk with a similar name from c. 10th century)
^ abe-Museum 2018 Ink on pattra (palmyra leaves used for writing upon) ink on paper Heart Sutra: 4.9x28.0 Dharani: 4.9x27.9/10.0x28.3 Late Gupta period/7-8th century Tokyo National Museum N-8'
^ (? ) [Heart of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutra (tr. from Sanskrit to Nepal Bhasa)] (in Nepali). Translated by Sh?kya, Milan. 2003.
^Ledderose, Lothar (2006). "Changing the Audience: A Pivotal Period in the Great Sutra Carving Project". In Lagerway, John (ed.). Religion and Chinese Society Ancient and Medieval China. 1. The Chinese University of Hong Kong and École française d'Extrême-Orient. p. 395.
^Lee, Sonya (2010). "Transmitting Buddhism to A Future Age: The Leiyin Cave at Fangshan and Cave-Temples with Stone Scriptures in Sixth-Century China". Archives of Asian Art. 60.
^- [Digital Database of Buddhist Tripitaka Catalogues-Prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayas?tra]. CBETA (in Chinese). No.28? :2 / :1 / :1 / ?:?[661?] / :? [tr to English : Fangshan Stone Sutra No. 28 "Prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya Sutra" Tripitaka Master Xuanzang translated by imperial decree Volume 2, Page 1 , Scroll 1 , Engraved 661 CE...]
^If listing starts with 'T' and followed by number then it can be found in the Taisho Tripitaka; if listing starts with 'M' and followed by number then it can be found in the Manjizoku Tripitaka; If listing starts with 'B' and followed by number then it can be found in the Supplement to the Great Tripitaka
^ [The Tibetan Tripitaka]. [Universal Sutra of Tibetan Dragon]. Retrieved . (1683)?,(1724)?, (tr. to English: Beijing (Peking Tripitaka) ed., is also known as Songzhu Temple edition. In 1683, Beijing's Songzhu Temple first carved woodblocks for the Kangyur based on manuscripts from Tibet's Xialu Temple (Shigatse's Shalu Monastery). In 1724, they continued with the carving of woodblocks for the Tengyur. The early impressions were in large part, printed in vermilion ink and therefore are also known as the 'Vermilion Text Edition.' The woodblocks were destroyed in 1900 during the Boxer Rebellion.)
^If listing starts with 'M' and followed by number then it can be found in the Manjizoku Tripitaka
^Chen, Xiaolin (); Chen, Tong (). Episode 1. (2011?) (in Chinese). This prelude song was not used in the television series shown in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The mantra as sung here is Tadyatha Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha.
^ [Avalokitesvara] (in Chinese). 2013. In the first five minutes, there are two chantings of the Heart Sutra. The first time, Buddhist monks chant in Chinese blessing the making of a statue of Avalokitesvara bodhisattva for the benefit of a disabled prince. (The prince is later healed and becomes the future Emperor Xu?nzong.) The second time, we hear the singing of the mantra of the Sanskrit Heart Sutra in the background. Shortly after the N?lakaha Dh?ra is chanted. The Chinese version of the Eleven-Faced Guanyin Heart Dharani is also chanted. Egaku chants the Heart Sutra in Japanese in a later segment. The film is a loose retelling of the origin of Mount Putuo.
^…ist denen, in welchen der Wille sich gewendet und verneint hat, diese unsere so sehr reale Welt mit allen ihren Sonnen und Milchstraßen--Nichts.
^Dieses ist eben auch das Pradschna–Paramita der Buddhaisten, das 'Jenseit aller Erkenntniß,' d.h. der Punkt, wo Subjekt und Objekt nicht mehr sind. (Isaak Jakob Schmidt, "Über das Mahâjâna und Pradschnâ-Pâramita der Bauddhen". In: Mémoires de l'Académie impériale des sciences de St. Pétersbourg, VI, 4, 1836, 145-149;].)
Beal, Samuel. (1865) The Paramita-hridaya Sutra. Or. The Great Paramita Heart Sutra. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, No.2 Dec 1865, 25-28
BTTS, (Buddhist Text Translation Society) (2002). Daily Recitation Handbook : Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. ISBN0-88139-857-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Choo, B. Hyun (February 2006), "An English Translation of the Banya paramilda simgyeong chan: Wonch'uk's Commentary on the Heart S?tra (Prajñ?p?ramit?-h?daya-s?tra)", International Journal of Buddhist Thought & Culture., 6: 121-205.
Foguangshan Foundation for Buddhist Culture and Education () (1989). [Foguangshan Dictionary of Buddhism] (in Chinese). ISBN9789574571956.
Fukuda, Ryosei (?) (1964). Jñ?namitra [A Few Problems with Jñ?namitra's Commentary on the Adhyardha?atik? prajñ?p?ramit?]. Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies (Indogaku Bukkyogaku Kenkyu) (in Japanese). Journal of Indian and Buddhist Studies. 12 (23): 144-145. doi:10.4259/ibk.12.144.
Hakeda, Y.S. (1972). K?kai, Major works: Translated and with an account of his life and a study of his thought. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN978-0231059336. esp. pp 262-276 which has the English translation of Secret Key to the Heart SutraCS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Harada, Waso (?) (2002). ? [An Annotated Translation of The Prajñ?p?ramit?h?daya]. ? (in Japanese). Association of Esoteric Buddhist Studies. 2002 (209): L17-L62. doi:10.11168/jeb1947.2002.209_L17.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Harada, Waso (?) (2010). [History of the Establishment of Prajñ?p?ramit?h?dayas?tram] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Daiz?-shuppan ?. ISBN9784804305776.
He, Ming (); Xu, Xiao yu () (2017). "2" [Early Editions of the Heart Sutra]. In Wang, Meng nan (); Fangshan Stone Sutra Museum (?); Fangshan Stone Sutra and Yunju Temple Culture Research Center () (eds.). ? [Research on Stone Sutras Part I] (in Chinese). 1. Beijing Yanshan Press. pp. 12-28. ISBN9787540243944.
Ishii, K?sei ( ) (2015). ? : [Issues Surrounding the Prajñ?p?ramit?-h?daya: Doubts Concerning Jan Nattier's Theory of a Composition by Xuanzang]. 64. Translated by Kotyk, Jeffrey. . pp. 499-492.
The Scripture on the Explication of the Underlying Meaning [Sa?dhinirmocana S?tra]. Translated by Keenan, John P.; Shi, Xuanzang [from Sanskrit to Chinese]. Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. 2006. ISBN978-1886439108. Translated from Chinese
McRae, John (2004), "Heart Sutra", in Buswell, Jr., Robert E. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Buddhism, MacMillan
Minoru Kiyota (1978). Mahayana Buddhist Meditation: Theory and Practice Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. (esp. Cook, Francis H. 'Fa-tsang's Brief Commentary on the Prajñ?p?ramit?-h?daya-s?tra.' pp. 167-206.) ISBN978-8120807600
Müller, Max (1881). 'The Ancient Palm Leaves containing the Prajñ?p?ramit?-H?idaya S?tra and U?ni?a-vijaya-Dh?ra?i.' in Buddhist Texts from Japan (Vol 1.iii). Oxford Univers* ity Press. Online
Fox, Douglass (1985). The Heart of Buddhist Wisdom: A Translation of the Heart Sutra With Historical Introduction and Commentary. Lewiston/Queenston Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press. ISBN0-88946-053-1.
Shih, Heng-ching, trans. (2001). A Comprehensive Commentary on the Heart Sutra (transl. from the Chinese of K'uei-chi). Berkeley, Calif.: Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research. ISBN1-886439-11-7.