The Heart Sutra is the most popular Sutra amongst the Prajnaparamita scripts in Buddhism. It consists of only 262 characters in Chinese translation, however, it summarizes the essence of the concept of emptiness expounded in the great volume of Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra, from which the Heart Sutra is extracted. There are many basic terms generally used in the Buddhist doctrine, thus the Sutra is suitable as an introduction to Buddhism by reciting it.
Apart from recitation in its popularity, the Sutra is also commonly used in copying scriptures as a religious Practice.
When Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is practising the profound Prajna-paramita,
He sees and illuminates to the emptiness of the five skandhas, and thus attains deliverance from all suffering.
Sariputra, matter is not different from emptiness, and Emptiness is not different from matter.
Matter is emptiness and emptiness is matter. So too are sensation, recognition, volition and consciousness.
Sariputra, the emptiness character of all dharmas, neither arises nor ceases, is neither pure nor impure, and neither increases nor decreases.
Therefore, in emptiness: there is no matter,
no sensation, recognition, volition or consciousness,
no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, or mind,
no sight, sound, scent, taste, tangibles, or dharma,
no field of the eye up to no field of mental consciousness,
no ignorance or the ending of ignorance up to
no ageing and death of the ending of ageing and death,
no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no ending of suffering, and no path,
no wisdom and also no attainment.
Because there is nothing obtainable,
Bodhisattvas through the reliance on Prajna-paramita
have no attachment and hindrance in their minds.
Because there is no more attachment and hindrance,
there is no more fear, and
Far away from erroneous views and wishful-thinking,
Ultimately : The Final Nirvana.
Buddhas of the past, present, and future all rely on Prajna-paramita
to attain Annutara-samyak-sambodhi.
Therefore, realize that Prajna-paramita
is the great wondrous mantra,
the great radiant mantra,
the unsurpassed mantra, and
the unequalled mantra.
It can eradicate all suffering, and
It is genuine and not false.
Therefore, utter the Prajna-paramita mantra -
Gate Gate Paragate Parasmagate Bodhisvaha!