Translation by Upasika Gwendolyn B. Winser

When the Bodhisattva Avalokita was

In deep meditation profound,

He saw that all aggregates are empty, and

With one cut passed over sorrow's round.

"Son of Sari, forms from emptiness do not differ,

Nor distinguishable is emptiness from form;

Form is emptiness accordingly

And, emptiness indeed is form.

Sensation, perception, volition, and distinguishment

In like manner are no different.

O, Son of Sari, all manifestations by nature are empty,

Neither arising nor disappearing, neither foul nor pure;

No increasing nor decreasing,

Emptiness' heart is devoid of form, therefore.

No impression is there, nor yet thought.

Again there is not yet action, nor act of knowing wrought.

No eye, ear, nose is there - nor even tongue, body, thought;

No color, sound, smell - nor yet taste, touch, or thing;

In emptiness' heart, no, world to the eye belonging

Nay, nor world of discriminating thought.

There is no ignorance, nor ignorance's ending,

No old age or death, nor their ending wrought.

There is no suffering, nor defilements;

Of suffering no extinction, nor to this a Way;

As there is no knowledge nor attainments,

Hence, the Bodhisattvas do reliance lay

In Prajna Paramita, O Holy Perfect Wisdom! 

And their minds are freed from hindrance, forever and for aye.

From obstacles freed, they no longer have fear,

Abandoning vain dreams, - to them Nirvana's

Peace does appear.

Buddhas of aeons past, and those of the present era.

Buddhas of the times to come, trust in Prajna Paramita, all,

Attaining thus the perfect wisdom, unexcelled,

So know the Prajna Paramita to be called:

The great divine dharani, the great illuminating dharani,

The great supreme dharani, the great unequalled dharani.

The powerful cutter of sorrow,

A genuine mantram without delusion.

Thus do we declare the dharani

Of Prajna Paramita should be sung:

Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, Bodhi, Svaha!

Upasika Gwendolyn B. Winser (Mrs. Takping Pong) is Secretary and a Permanent Director of the Bodhi Dhamma Center of Washington.


Members of the Sangha,

Just a note of thanks for the Vajra Bodhi Sea and literature you have sent allowing me to keep in touch and expand my knowledge of the wondrous Bodhi Dharma. I have been especially moved and inspired by the great struggles and great virtue of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, the virtuous bhiksus and bhiksunis and other members of the Sangha in working to end suffering and open enlightenment for all living beings.

I have enclosed a donation for my subscription to the Vajra Bodhi Sea and to support the work of the Triple Jewel.

In Dharma,


Kuo Ts'ung Korenbaum