From: <MORIARTY@VM1.NoDak.EDU> Newsgroups: soc.religion.eastern Subject: The Heart Sutra in Buddhist Sanskrit Date: 19 Sep 1993 15:57:28 -0700 Organization: North Dakota Higher Education Computer Network Sincere thanks to the many people on s.r.e. who expressed an interest in my quest for a Sanskrit version of the Heart Sutra. The quest has come to a (temporary) stopping point, and I have some results to share with you. This presentation will be lengthy, so I am giving it to you in two sections, both in this posting.
The title of The Heart Sutra appears to refer to the use of perfect wisdom (prajnaparamita) to cleanse error from the heart (hridaya). There are numerous variations of the sutra in Sanskrit and many other classical, Asian languages. Edward Conze did extensive work in this field, although his methods are now challenged by contemporary scientific philologists. The search for an ur-text is probably always going to be inconclusive, although some evidence points to the existence of a single, original version. This is of no consequence for people whose interest in the Sanskrit text is based on a desire to inspect the Sanskrit vocabulary of the concepts in The Heart Sutra or to draw spiritual nourishment from the elegantly poetic repetitions of the Sanskrit text that follows. A spiritual friend provided me with the materials I have used to prepare this version of the text in Buddhist Sanskrit.
This text is modified from:
Hurtz, Leon. Hsuan-tsang (602-664) and the Heart Scripture in Prajnaparamita and Related Systems: Studies in Honor of Edward Conze (University of California at Berkeley Press). 103-113.
Hurtz describes this text as "brahmanical" and reports that Hsuan-tsang transcribed it in Chinese characters from a wall of a cave at Ta hsing-shan-ssu in Lo-yang, China, apparently on the Silk Road, during the 7th century A.D. The context in which the Chinese scholar presented the Hridaya Sutra makes it clear that he considered it a magical text. Although this text is not precisely identical with existing English translations of "The Heart Sutra," it is obviously consistent with the Hridaya textual tradition. The Sanskrit scans metrically and by sense into mostly four line verses, a classical verse form that suggests a strong literary value in the text. Repetitions and thematic emphasis on the pervasiveness of emptiness (sunyata) characterize the text. I found that in order to preserve the sense of the verses it was necessary to shorten one verse to three lines, to lengthen another verse to five lines.
I modified the Hurtz text by eliminating all Sanskrit diacritical marks, regularizing the spacing of the Sanskrit words and their spelling, and adjusting the lines of the text according to sense and (in some cases) meter. I used Hurtz's interlinear vocabulary as a base and added to it. The difficulties in this text are partly due to the obscurities of Buddhist Sanskrit, partly to the awkardness of the transcription into Roman letters from Chinese phonological equivalents by Hurtz, and mostly to my radically imperfect knowledge of Sanskrit. I accept full responsibility for the errors experts in the Sanskrit language will find here.
May the merit of this effort benefit all sentient beings.
(perfect wisdom heart sutra)
rupam sunyata va rupam rupan na prithak
iha sariputra sarva dharma sunyata
na rupam na vedana na samjna na samskara na vijnana
na vidya na vidya na vidya ksayo va vidya ksayo
tvad bodhisattva prajnaparamita asritya
tvad bodhisattvanam prajnaparamita asritya
sarva buddhah prajnaparamitam asritya
anuttaramantram asamasama mantram
GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA
Dr. Michael E. Moriarty