The ‘Heart of Perfect Wisdom’, Short Form

Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom, the Lovely, the Holy!


Avalokiteshvara, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Avalokita, the Holy Lord and Bodhisattva, was moving in the deep course of the wisdom which has gone beyond.

He looked down from on high, he beheld but five heaps, and he saw that in their own-being they were empty.

Here, O Sariputra, form is emptiness, and the very emptiness is form, emptiness does not differ from form, nor does form differ from emptiness; whatever is form, that is emptiness, whatever is emptiness, that is form.

The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses and consciousness.

Here, O Sariputra, all dharmas are marked with emptiness, they are neither produced nor stopped, neither defiled nor immaculate, neither deficient nor complete.

Therefore, O Sariputra, where there is emptiness there is neither form, nor feeling, nor perception, nor impulse, nor consciousness, no eye, or ear, or nose, or tongue, or body, or mind, no form, nor sound, nor smell, nor taste, nor touchable, nor object of mind, no sight organ element, etc. until we come to, no mind-consciousness element; there is no ignorance, no extinction of ignorance, etc. until we come to, there is no decay and death, nor extinction of decay and death; there is no suffering, nor origination, nor stopping, nor path; there is no cognition, no attainment and no nonattainment.

Therefore, O Sariputra, owing to a Bodhisattva’s indifference to any kind of personal attainment, and through his having relied on the perfection of wisdom, he dwells without thought-coverings.

In the absence of thought-coverings he has not been made to tremble, he has overcome what can upset, in the end sustained by Nirvana.

All those Buddhas who appear in the three periods of time, through having relied on the perfection of wisdom they fully awake to the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment.

Therefore, one should know the Prajnaparamita as the great spell, the spell of great knowledge, the utmost spell, the unequalled spell, allayer of all suffering, in truth—for what could go wrong? By the Prajnaparamita has this spell been delivered.


Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts

‘Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts’ translated by Edward Conze.

Perfect Wisdom: The Short Prajnaparamita Texts,
Edward Conze (translator),

ISBN 13: 9780946672288
Buddhist Publishing Group
Published: 1973 and 2003
Paperback, 284 pages.

£15.95 / $24.95

Buddhist writer and translator Edward Conze ( 1904—1979) devoted around thirty years of his life to translating the Perfection of Wisdom sutras (Prajnaparamita). His pioneering translations of these Mahayana texts include, The Large Sutra on Perfect Wisdom: With the Divisions of the Abhisamayalankara, and The Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines, and Its Verse Summary, as well as this collection of the Short Prajnaparamita Texts.

You can buy Perfect Wisdom: Prajnaparamita Texts from: The Book Depository for around £14 with free worldwide delivery. (The Book Depository is owned by Amazon.)  Or from for around $18 — Amazon Canada — Amazon Germany — Amazon SpainAmazon India — Amazon FranceAmazon UK

All prices are approximate.

#DeepBuddhism “The Bodhisattva who courses in this perfection of wisdom courses in the heights.” #Prajnaparamita #Sunyata #Śūnyatā

Perfect Wisdom Review

Perfect Wisdom Amazon Review.

Other titles from Buddhist Publishing Group.

Categories: Buddhism, Foundations of Buddhism, Mahayana, Texts

Tags: , , , ,

6 replies

  1. I’m not keen on that translation of the Heart Sutra. The use of the word, spell, for example smacks of superstition. What is wrong with the word ‘mantra’?

    • 😀 Mantra, Dharani, Spell — The Perfection of Wisdom is beyond words, way beyond words, way way beyond words.


      • Because many of these texts were called Dharanis (“incantation”) in Sanskrit. I’m pretty sure this one was called “The Hridaya Dharani”.

        One of the things we’re told is “Chant these incantations. Don’t worry about the meanings, just listen to the sound.” I’ve found that very helpful, because of course you want to focus on the meaning.

    • Mantra is good. But at Conze’s time it was not yet regarded as English.

  2. Thank you so much for making all of this wisdom available on line to all. It is of immeasurable value.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: