Heart of Highest Wisdom Sutra

Kuan Tzu-Tsai (Kuan Yin) Bodhisattva, while engaged in deep practice of the highest wisdom, perceived that all the five aggregates are void, and thereby passed beyond all forms of suffering.

O Sariputra, (her disciple) form differs not from void, nor void from form. Form is void; void is form. With sensation, perception, discrimination and consciousness it is the same. Sariputra, all these are marked by emptiness, neither coming into being nor ceasing to be, neither foul nor pure, neither increasing nor diminishing.

Therefore within the void there is no form, no sensation, perception, discrimination or consciousness; no eyes, no ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; nor form, sound, smell, taste, touch or thought; nor any of the others from eye-consciousness to mind-consciousness.

There is neither ignorance, nor extinction of ignorance, nor any of the others down to decay and death. There is no suffering, no cause, no remedy, no path. There is no wisdom, no attainment. Because there is nothing to be attained, Bodhisattvas, relying on this highest wisdom, are free from hindrances of mind. Being rid of these hindrances, they have no fear, are free from all upsets and delusions, and in the end attain Nirvana. It is by relying on this highest wisdom that all Buddhas of the past, the present and the future achieve supreme enlightenment.

Therefore do we know that the highest wisdom is a great and sacred mantra, a great mantra of knowledge, a mantra unsurpassed, unequalled. It can terminate all suffering truly and unfailingly. Therefore utter this mantra of highest wisdom thus – Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha.
(gone, gone, gone beyond, wholly gone beyond! Enlightenment! Svaha!)

In this sutra Kuan Yin challenges the very foundation on Buddhist teaching, not to undermine the teaching but to challenge students to go beyond their belief system. Belief can take us a long way but to complete the journey we must be prepared to go beyond it, into the direct experience of Oneness.

The Gate mantra is both beautiful and powerful. A version by Deva Premal can be heard at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ocTJqozRng