If one wishes to make a deep investigation of
the Buddhadharma, a reliable teaching upon which to base one's
studies is essential. Although only about 300 words long,
The Heart Sutra contains the principles which, if genuinely
understood and practiced, lead to Anuttarasamyaksambodhi -- the right, equal,
and proper enlightenment of all Buddhas.
This translation of The
Heart Sutra is particularly noteworthy because it is
accompanied by the translation of a spoken commentary based on a
series of gathas about the Sutra written by Tripitaka Master Hsuan
Hua, and delivered by him at the Buddhist Lecture Hall in 1969.
The translator, Upasaka I Kuo Jung, has a deep
understanding of both the Buddhadharma and the Chinese language, and
is, therefore, well qualified to make reliable translations which
can be used for study and cultivation. He has been a disciple of the
Master Hsuan Hua for many years, and has intimately attended on the
Master and received his instruction. He has also studied with
Professors Helmut Wilhelm, Edward Conze, and Leon Hurvitz at the
University of Washington, where he received his master's degree
after presenting a dissertation consisting of a translation of
The Heart Sutra and the gathas written by the Venerable Master
Hua with an abridged commentary. He is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in
Chinese Language and Literature in the doctoral program of the Oriental
Languages and Literature Department at the University of California
at Berkeley. He is also President of Vajra Bodhi Sea.
The staff of Vajra Bodhi Sea is
delighted to have this opportunity to present this translation to
fellow Buddhists throughout the world, and is confident that
everyone's understanding and cultivation of the Buddhadharma will
improve with a close study of this work.
Bhiksu Heng Ch'ien
Director of Publications, V. B. S.
Wonderful wisdom right now
can arrive at the other shore,
The true heart itself
can mesh with the enlightened source.
Dharma and analogy establish the name,
transcending the relative,
The appearance of all Dharmas is emptiness:
substance beyond words.
Its principle and tendency
originally have nothing to attain;
The power of its function
swiftly removes the three obstacles.
The "Butter Division" determines
the meaning of this teaching:
The great reverse turning
is the Prajna boat.
Lecturing on The Heart Sutra1 as with all
sutras, should be divided into two sections: "General Explanation of
the Title" and "Explanation of the Meaning of the Text". The
"General Explanation of the Title" should be further divided into
two subsections: "The Sutra" and "The Translator".
General Explanation of the Title:
Seven kinds of Sutra
titles are established for the Three Storehouses and Twelve
Divisions of Sutras, which the Buddha spoke. The first of these is
established exclusively by reference to people,
The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sura2 is an
example, wherein both the Buddha and Amitabha are people.
The Nirvana Sutra3 is an example of title
established exclusively by reference to dharma4. Nirvana, a dharma
characteristic5 is used to make up its title.
In the third category are titles established
exclusively by employing analogy. The Brahma Net Sutra6
is an example. This does not mean that this Sutra title, The Brahma Net Sutra,
is an analogy of an analogy. The Brahma Net Sutra speaks
about precepts using the analogy of the cylindrical net curtain of
the Great Brahma Heaven King, which is a manifestation of his
adornments. All around the net curtain are holes, and in the
emptiness of each hole is placed a precious pearl, the most bright
and valuable of all pearls. All the way around, the precious pearls
mutually illumine with light and the emptiness interpenetrates. This
precious pearl illumines that precious pearl; that precious pearl
illumines this precious pearl--back and forth. This is called
Your light illumines my light; my light
illumines your light. These lights, however, produce no opposition.
One cannot say, "Oh, keep your light out of my light. I don't want
my light to illumine yours." None of this, they mutually illumine
and the emptiness interpenetrates.
In other words, precepts are like the light of
the precious pearls, mutually illumining. If you keep a precept,
then it radiates light. Each precept you keep has light. Each of the
ten heavy and forty-eight light precepts shines forth a ray of
light, just as the pearls in the Brahma net curtain give forth light.
Why are precious pearls embroidered in the
holes? This tells us that before we uphold the Bodhisattva precepts,
there originally are holes. How do we know there are holes? Because
there are leaks7. Although there are leaks, they can be transformed
into precious pearls. If you keep a precept, then a precious pearl
shines. If you violate a precept, there is a leak; if you keep a
precept, it is like a precious pearl giving off light.
Light, light, shining together,
Emptiness, emptiness, together respond:8
represents the Buddhadharma, the Buddha's
heart, the Bodhisattva’s heart, the hearts of living beings,
heartland heart, every heart mutually responding—heart and heart.
How did the Buddha realize Buddhahood? Through the cultivation of
precepts. Bodhisattvas as well must cultivate precepts to realize
Buddhahood. Living beings too must uphold precepts; then they can
cultivate and realize Buddhahood. All this represents transformation
—endless transformation. Endless means "no exhaustion".
The Brahma Net Sutra title is established exclusively by reference to analogy.
The first three of the seven types of
titles are called the "single three". The second three are called
the "double three".
First is the title established by reference to both people and
Dharma? An example is The Manjusri Asks Prajna
Sutra9. Manjusri is a person; Prajna is the
The next type is established by reference to
people and analogy, for example,
The Lion's Roar of The Thus Come One Sutra10. Thus Come One is a person; Lion's Roar is an analogy. In
other words, the Buddha speaking Dharma is like a lion roaring. When
the lion roars, the hundred beasts are terrified. This is the fifth kind.
The sixth title variation is established by
reference to Dharma and analogy. In The Prajna
Paramita Heart Sutra11, Prajna Paramita is Dharma, and Heart is an analogy. These are called
the "double three".
There is one variation remaining which is
established by combining all the simple three: people, Dharma, and
analogy. The Universal Vastness Buddha Flower
Adornment Sutra12 is
the example here. This variation is called the "complete in one".
The Universal Vastness is Dharma; Buddha is a person; Flower
Adornment is an analogy. All this represents using the causal
flowers of ten thousand practices to adorn the supreme fruit
attainment. The Universal Vastness is a symbol of the substance of
the Dharma; Flower Adornment represents its function. Therefore, the
Universal Vastness Dharma is that which the Buddha cultivated to
realize Buddhahood. He cultivated the six paramitas and the ten
thousand practices, and used these causal lowers to adorn the
supreme fruit attainment, the Buddha fruit. This completes the
explanation of the seven kinds of titles which are established in
Now I will use gathas in eight verses to
explain the Sutra text. I wrote these gathas some time ago, and used
them once before to lecture this Sutra. The eight lines of the first
gatha all speak about The Prajna Paramita
Heart Sutra according to
the five-fold esoteric meaning13?
The first three verses of the gatha explain the
meaning of the Sutra title in accordance with the first of the
five-fold esoteric meanings: the "explanation of the name".
Wonderful14 wisdom right now can arrive at the other shore. What is
wonderful wisdom? Prajna15 is wonderful wisdom; Paramita16 means to
arrive at the other shore. When you use the wonderful wisdom of
Prajna, you can arrive at the other shore.
The true heart itself can mesh with the
enlightenment17 source. To say "true heart" is to speak of the heart,
and also of "Prajna". When you have the wonderful wisdom of
you have the true heart, and you naturally mesh with the
enlightenment source, unite with the original enlightenment of
Buddha, merge together with it, flow into and become the substance
of the original enlightenment. Mesh means mutually united into one
Dharma and analogy establish its name,
transcending the relative18. The title,
Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, is
established by reference to Dharma and analogy. Transcending
the relative, this phrase represents a dharma, which transcends
the relative and arrives at an absolute19 state. Prajna paramita is this
Dharma; heart is the analogy.
What is Prajna? There are three categories:
- language prajna;
- contemplative illumining prajna;
- actual appearance prajna20.
Contemplative illumining prajna springs from a
reliance upon language prajna. Having contemplative illumining
prajna allows one to mesh with the original substance, the actual
appearance prajna. The actual appearance prajna is called ultimate
wisdom, wonderful wisdom, and wisdom which penetrates to the bottom.
One can also call it the wisdom which arrives home, the wisdom of
What else can it be called? It is the true
heart. True heart is wisdom; wisdom is also true heart. PrajnA can
be translated as true heart and therefore this Sutra is the heart
within the heart—the heart within the six hundred chapters of prajna
texts. But this Sutra is in still another way the heart within the
heart. It is the heart of Prajna, and since Prajna is "heart", it is
the heart of this heart: the heart in the heart within the heart.
Thus it is called The Heart Sutra. Since Prajna
can be translated as heart, The Great Prajna
Sutra can be called The Great True
Heart Sutra. It is not a false heart. This Sutra completely speaks the
true heart and the wonderful principle of its actual use.
This Heart Sutra is the "heart" in the
prajna heart. These 300 or so
English words in The Great Prajna Sutra are
like its heart, its theme. In the heart within the heart there
is yet another heart and thus it is called The Heart Sutra. Since it is
the true heart in the true heart, the word heart is used in the
name. The Dharma is the prajna paramita, the Dharma of arriving at
the other shore. Heart is an analogy. Use this Sutra's analogy to
say that the heart is the theme of one's whole life, and it
transcends all opposites. According to the five-fold esoteric
meaning, this is the first meaning, the "explanation of the name".
Empty are all
Dharma appearances, their
substance beyond words. The topic of the second esoteric meaning is
the "discrimination of the substance". What is this Sutra's
substance? "Empty are all Dharma appearances." What is "empty are all
Dharma appearances"? It is just "all Dharmas are empty appearances".
These two are identical. You don't want to be wrong and think that
"all Dharmas are empty appearances" is just "all Dharmas are empty
appearances". This wording is different from "empty are all Dharma
appearances". Here it's a matter of syntax, and the meaning of the
Dharma, "all Dharmas are empty appearances", is identical to "empty
are all Dharma appearances". Empty appearance is also no appearance.
Their substance beyond words. "Empty are all
Dharma appearances" makes up the substance of this Sutra, and this
substance is beyond words. There is nothing which can be said. Since
this substance is "Empty are all Dharma appearances" there is
nothing at all. Ask, "What is there that is good to say?" Substance
beyond words with certainty:
Leaving the appearances of speaking;
Leaving the appearances which the heart grasps;
Leaving the appearances (the realm of) language;
Leaving all appearances;
IS ALL DHARMAS.
Its principle and tendency21 originally have
nothing to attain.22 The fifth verse of the gatha explains the third
esoteric meaning, "making understood the principle". What is the
principle of this Sutra? It takes "nothing to attain" as its
principle. In the text of the Sutra there is the phrase "no knowing
nor attaining"; therefore, there is nothing which is attained. What
is the principle and its tendency? Nothing which is attained.
The word "person" is a common noun, the
ordinary name by which human beings are distinguished from other
things. A person is simply called a person. Every Sutra is called
Sutra, and in this way the word 'sutra' is analogous to the word
"person". What is his name? He has a name, by which he is
identified, perhaps Smith or Brown. There, he has a name. This is
called the "explanation of the name".
What kind of person is Smith? Is he tall or
short black or white, fat or thin; what does he look like? What is
his substance like? Complete or not? Does he have eyes or not?
Ears? A nose? One wants to investigate the substance so that is
After making clear the substance, one wants to
"make understood its principle": What is making understood the
principle like? Smith is very learned; he could be a secretary or a
PhD. This is called making understood the principle,
Now I am using worldly Dharma to lecture about
the Buddhadharma. The fourth esoteric meaning is the "discussion of
the function". Continuing the analogy, what does this person. Smith,
do all day? What can he do? Observations like these reveal the
usefulness of this person, what he is capable of doing.
The power of its function swiftly removes the
three obstacles23. The power of its
function refers to the Sutra's use, what it can do. What can
The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra do?
Destruction of the three obstacleS is this Sutra's function. The
three obstacles are the retribution obstacle24, the karma obstacle, and
the affliction obstacle.
Of retribution obstacles, the first of the
three obstacles, there are two kinds: dependent retribution and
primary retribution. Primary retribution is the body. Dependent
retribution is clothing, food, Dwelling and so forth, the material
environment upon which the body is dependent. Primary retribution is
retribution that you are undergoing right now. Dependent retribution
is one's environment.
There are all kinds of primary retribution. The
appearance of some is especially full and handsome, and everyone who
sees it likes it. Upon seeing this person everyone loves and
respects him, and he "stands out above his peer"25. Perhaps this
person has wisdom; that person has good roots.
With respect to good roots and wisdom, there
are two kinds of people; some have wisdom and no good roots. What
are these people like? Most of these are weird ghosts and monstrous
demons26 who have come into the world as people. They are mountain
essences which in the mountains became the ghosts and spirits chinq
ling, li mei, and wang liang27. After a long time as weird old spirits
and weird old ghosts, they are capable of eating people. When they
die, they can become people, with a little bit of intelligence.
Compared to most people they are intelligent, but they muddle up
everything they do...their activities are not at all intelligent.
They do whatever is harmful and, without exception, they do not
follow rules. All that is most harmful to people, and disruptive to
the order of society, is what they want to do. These people seem
only to be afraid that the world won't be in disorder. These are the
ones who have some wisdom, but no good roots.
The second kind, those who have good roots and
no wisdom, are those who, in their former lives, only did good, but
did not study Sutras. As a consequence they don't have much wisdom;
in fact, they are very stupid.
Some people undergo the primary retribution of
having an especially ugly appearance, Others have both a beautiful
and full appearance and a long life full of wealth, honor and
respect. Still others have in addition to an ugly appearance a very
short life. There are all kinds of primary fruit retribution from
Dependent retribution consists of one's
dwelling, clothes, food, and so forth. This kind of retribution also
comes from causes in former lives. If in a former life you planted
good seeds, your fruit retribution in this life will be good. In
former lives if you planted evil seeds, the fruit retribution in
this life will reveal it. Therefore, you should certainly be very
cautious in everything you do! If you do not plant evil causes, then
in the future you will not receive evil fruit retribution.
The second of the three obstacles is the karma
obstacle. Not only those who have left home, but also those at home
certainly should have an occupation28 While involved in this
occupation, many problems will arise, many difficult matters, so
that you are afflicted and unhappy. These are karmic obstacles.
The third obstacle is the affliction obstacle.
Everyone has afflictions. Where do they come from? Most afflictions
are produced from a heart of greed, a heart of anger, and a heart of
stupidity. How can you obtain some afflictions? Have greed in your
heart, greed which cannot be satisfied, and affliction is produced.
How else can you get some afflictions? Have a temper. A situation
isn't right for you, and so you give rise to afflictions. Again,
how can one produce afflictions? By being stupid. You misunderstand
affairs, and are afflicted,
Why do you become afflicted?
The contemptuous heart, the arrogant heart, and
the condescending heart, cause affliction to be produced.
Furthermore, you doubt everything, and in this
doubt give rise to afflictions.
Right now. Why are you still afflicted? Because
you have deviant views, because your "seeing states" are not proper,
affliction is produced. If in all events you have proper knowledge,
proper views and genuine wisdom, you will see very, very clearly and
will completely understand. When clarity and understanding manifest
in the midst of circumstances, there is no affliction. Affliction
obstacles are produced from these deviant views of greed, anger,
stupidity, arrogance, and doubt.
The Heart Sutra can remove these three
obstacles: the retribution obstacle; karma obstacle; and the
affliction obstacle. How? It has the genuine wisdom, wonderful
wisdom, the genuine suchness unmoving heart; it therefore removes
and destroys the three obstacles. Wonderful wisdom: if we understand
this Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, then we can have this genuine
wisdom; and with this true, proper wisdom we can destroy and remove
the three obstacles. This completes discussion of the fourth of the
five-fold esoteric meanings.
The fifth esoteric meaning is the
"determination of the characteristics of the teaching" and is
described by the seventh line of the gatha.
The "Butter Division"29
determines the meaning of this teaching. The Prajna Paramita belongs
to the "Butter Division". Butter represents the fourth, or Prajna
period of the five periods of the Buddha's teachings.
The great reverse turning30
is the Prajna boat. Maha is the Sanskrit term for great; "reverse turning" means turning
around. Turn around the Prajna boat; it doesn't mean turn it over.
If you turn over the Prajna boat, then there isn't any Prajna. This
is to tell you to turn around. Turn around? Turn around your
stupidity; when you turn around your stupidity, that is the Prajna
boat, it is Prajna. Reverse turning is analogous to moving a boat
upstream. It is necessary to use a little effort; it is not
something that can be done easily. Although you don't need three
great asamkhyeya31 kalpas for the turning, you at least must pass
through one, two, or perhaps three lives before you can attain
genuine wisdom. "Oh," you say, "even though it's not kalpas. it's
still a really long time; I'm not going to cultivate." If you don't
cultivate, it is not necessary; certainly no one will force you.
Forcing is not the way. With respect to my disciples I am "whoever
wants to fall down, according to your own inclinations, fall down."
If you don't want to turn the Prajna boat around, then you can
follow the great flow, flow along with the current and go down. Go
down further and further. If you turn around, you move upstream. If
you don't turn around, you flow downstream. Take a look. Are you
going upstream or downstream?
This completes the explanation of
The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra in accordance with the five-fold esoteric
Dharma spoken by the Buddha has been divided
into five periods and eight teachings32 by the Great Master Chih Che（智者）33.
The two kinds of wisdom, expedient and actual34, will be used to speak
about the five periods.
The Avatamsaka period includes the Dharma
spoken by the Buddha during the very first twenty-one days of his
teaching. In this period there is one kind of expedient Dharma, and
one kind of actual Dharma, one kind of expedient wisdom, and one kind
of actual wisdom. What is meant by expedient wisdom and actual wisdom? The
Avatamsaka Sutra35 explains the doctrine of the Dharma
realm: the Dharma realm of events; the Dharma realm of principle;
the Dharma realm of unobstructed events; the Dharma realm of
unobstructed principle; and the Dharma realm where both events and
principle are unobstructed36. The teaching meaning
explains that although The Avatamsaka Sutra was spoken for the sake of
Bodhisattvas, there is still one kind of expedient Dharma along with
the actual wisdom, the true and actual Buddhadharma. In the
Avatamsaka period there is one expedient and one actual.
In the second period, the Agama, the Buddha
spoke only one expedient and no actual Dharma. At that time all
sentient beings were like children, and since they did not
understand the Buddhadharma, the Buddha used various expedient
Dharma-doors to induce and guide, transform and cross over these
sentient beings. In the second period there was only expedient
Dharma, no actual Dharma, and no actual wisdom.
During the third period, the Vaipulya, the
Buddha spoke three kinds of expedient and one kind of actual Dharmas.
At this time four teachings were explained together: the store
teaching, connecting teaching, the special teaching, and the
complete teaching. "Revile the one-sided and upbraid the small;
praise the great and extol the perfect."37 "Revile the one-sided and
upbraid the small" is to say that the one-sidedness of the small
vehicle is wrong. "Praise the great and extol the perfect" is to
commend the complete teaching of the great vehicle. In the Vaipulya
period, the four teachings were spoken together, at one time. The
three kind of expedient Dharmas are the store, connecting, and
special. The one kind of actual is the complete teaching.
The fourth period is the Prajna period. In the
Prajna period there were two kinds of expedient Dharmas and one kind
of actual Dharma. The two expedients are the connecting and special
teachings. The one actual is the complete teaching.
In the Dharma Flower-Nirvana38 period there
appears only actual and no expedient wisdom. There is not any
In summary, of the five periods, in the Dharma
Flower-Nirvana there appears only actual and no expedient; in the Prajna there appear two expedient and one actual; in the Vaipulya
period there appear three expedients and one actual; in the Agama
period there is only expedient and no actual; and in the Avatamsaka
there is one expedient and one actual, sudden and gradual. This
explanation uses the two wisdoms, expedient and actual, to speak
about the five periods. If one were to speak in much detail about
these five periods, there would be much more.
So in lecturing Sutras, each time I lecture a
little more, each time tell you a little more of what you haven't
heard. Listen a lot and you will understand a lot.
1.Its full title is
Prajna Paramita Heart (HRDAYA)
Sutra（般若波羅蜜多心經）.心 (hsin) for present purposes has been translated as heart and
意 (i) as mind. This 心 is greater than the 意. The 意 too comes from the 心, as can
be seen from the character itself. The difficulty lies in the fact
that while 意 usually stands for the 6th consciousness, 心 has a wide range
of meanings. A full discussion would be beyond the present scope.
3.（大般）涅槃經，(MAHAPARI) Nirvana Sutra
4.Dharma. 法 is dharma. Dharma is often considered a
difficult word to explain because, as the commentary says, it
transcends all opposites; it is never two, always one. So when
dharma is said to mean the law, or method, or varied appearances, or
henomena—whether it is a general term or a specific item on some
list—these are all one, these are all dharma (or Dharma-neither
Sanskrit nor Chinese has capital letters). Its specific usages will
become clearer when various lists of dharmas are presented further
on, (see also Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought in India. George Alien
and Unwin, Ltd, London, 1962. Chapter 7.)
laksana) is also the name of one of the
major sects of Chinese Buddhism（法相宗）.
7.Leaks. 漏 -- The same character is also sometimes
translated as "outflows".
11.See note #1 above.
13.五重玄義。Use of the five-fold esoteric meaning indicates
explanation according to the T'ien T'ai（天台）School of sutra
interpretation. For an example of explanation in accord with the
other main school of sutra interpretation in China see note #21
14.妙 (miao) is often considered untranslatable.
"Wonderful" is used in its original sense of being "full of wonder".
15.Prajna is the Sanskrit word for "wisdom".
16.Paramita means to reach the other shore, it
means perfection. The perfection of wisdom crosses one over the sea
of suffering to the other shore of nirvana, the extinction of
suffering. (see Edward Conze, Buddhist Wisdom Book. George Alien and
Unwin Ltd., London, 1958, p, 78 for further information on the
Prajna Paramita is transliterated into Chinese as 般若波羅蜜多 (po jo, po
lo mi to). Western scholarship has considered that Chinese
characters for transliteration are picked for their sound values
with no regard for the meaning of the characters themselves. (Some
limited standardization exists among characters used for different
kinds of transliterations, but this standardization will not be
discussed here.) Chinese scholars have also paid lip service to this
Clearly, however, often more than a chance
connection exists between the characters used for transliteration of
Sanskrit Buddhist terms and the meanings of the terms themselves..
For example, if one considers the Shou Wen Chieh Tze（說文解字）definitions, correlation with the imagery involved in the terms
themselves is clear.
To give just the briefest sketch as
illustration, 般 (po) is defined as 辟, a framework (also to spin or twist
thread), and is the image of a boat being revolved. The character
若 (jo) is a hand picking vegetables or grasses. Some connection with
the graph of 苦 (suffering) is obvious. One might easily make the jump
to the idea of pulling out the roots of affliction, (This suggestion
is not to make any etymological claims) 若 is also a kind of
In 波羅蜜多 (po lo mi to) we also have the sweetness of pineapple or honey. 波(po) is
the waves, 羅 (lo) is the net or the snare. 多 (to) is defined as layered,
the image of continuous unraveling or explaining. The connection
with basic imagery of the Sutra should be patently clear.
that this correlation is more than chance, or to establish any
definite causal connections would also be beyond the scope of this
17.覺 (chueh, chiao) has several levels of meaning.
For example, it is a general perception suffix. It means also to
awaken. Thus the Shou Wen（說文）says 寤也, which is explained in the Tuan Chu（段注）as 悟也. The term 覺悟 classically meant to achieve a basic
understanding in the sense of waking up to the meaning of something.
The term introduced into Buddhism came to have a wider range of
meanings from a small understanding or awakening (that is, a new
perception) to attaining proof of the various fruits of
enlightenment. It can be used in several grammatical forms. It is
interesting to note that the Sanskrit root budh has roughly the
same range of meaning: ".... the root budh combines a number of ideas
which in no other language seem to coincide in one word.
it may have the following five more or less distinct meanings.
- To awake, i.e. to wake oneself up, to awaken others, to be awake or
wakeful. As such it is opposed to being asleep, in the slumber of
delusion, from which the enlightened awakens as from a dream.
recognize as, to become aware of. acquainted with, to notice, give
heed to--and so a Buddha is one who has recognized the evils of the
defilements and has his eyes opened to a higher life.
- To know,
to understand. The Buddhas, free from all ignorance, know all the
Dharmas, they have completely understood the Four Truths, and the
Four Paths (or ways of spiritual development)
- To be
enlightened, to enlighten (as in illumination). The opposite here is
darkness, and the corresponding blindness of ignorance.
fathom, a depth, or to penetrate, i.e. the obstructions, or
coverings..." (Conze, Buddhist Wisdom Books. George Alien and Unwin,
Ltd., London. 1958 Pp. 98-99).
B. Contemplative Iillumining
C. Actual Appearance Prajna. 實相般若。
translated "Reality Mark
21.The "principle" and the "tendency" refer to a
teaching of the Hsien Shou School（賢首宗）(also known as the Hua Yen School（華嚴宗）).
The phrase is explained as follows: "By 'principle' is meant that
which is most venerated. Where the 'principle' returns is called the
'tendency'. The expedient vehicle speaks much of cause and effect,
taking cause as the 'principle' and effect as the 'tendency', For
the actual vehicle, of greatest importance is enlightenment, taking
enlightenment as the 'principle' and entering as the 'tendency'."
From Ven. Hstuan-Hua,
unpublished lectures on The Shurangama Sutra, 1968.
The passage is difficult to translate
adequately because of the layered meaning of the key terms. 宗 (tsung), here translated as "principle", usually refers to the underlying
principle of a religious sect—where the Way is. Originally it meant
the temple of the ancestors, 趣 (ch’i), here translated "tendency",
originally meant "quick", and could be said to mean "the going
towards". Nonetheless, the passage purposely defines the terms in
opposition to their normal active static connotations.
22.無所得 also can be translated "nowhere to
attain" which is semantically equivalent to both "nothing to attain"
and "no attaining"（無得）despite the syntactic difference in the English.
23.除…蠲。蠲 (chuan) is a difficult word to translate. Not
only does it mean to remove or get rid of, but also to eradicate; to
make bright, clean, and pure.
24.Retribution obstacle is also taken to refer
specifically to rebirth in the three evil paths--hells, hungry
ghosts, and animals.
27.ching ling（精靈）; li mei（魑魅）; wang liang（魍魎）
28.業 (yeh) usually assumed to be the Chinese
equivalent of karma can be explained here as occupation; or what one
accomplishes in one's work（事業, shin yeh ; 功業, kung yeh）.
division" refers to the T'ien T'ai analogy for the five turnings of the Wheel of Dharma. Refined butter
is the fourth turning and represents the Prajna or Wisdom teachings
to which The Heart Sutra belongs. In the analogy the original
Dharma nourishment is taken to be fresh milk. With each turning it
becomes richer and richer, more and more purified. Yet it is all the
same basic substance, the source nourishment.
The Five Periods of the T'ien T'ai and the Milk Products Analogy
Avatamsaka (21 days)
ksira (whole milk)
Agama (Mrgadava) (12 years)
dadhi (coagulated milk)
Vaipulya (8 years)
Prajna paramita (22 years)
Mahaparinirvana (8 years)
ghee (pure, clarified butter)
The analogy is also found in The Nirvana Sutra.
Further explanation can be found in Leon Hurvitz, Chih I, Mélanges Chinois et Bouddhiques, Vol. XII, Imprimerie Sainte-Catherine,
Bruges, Belgique, pp. 216-217, For information on the eight
teachings see Lotus Sutra lectures #1 & 2, V.B.S. Issues #3 & 5 30.
30.The reverse turning is the ebb current, that
which goes against the great suffering flow of birth, aging,
sickness, and death. This ebb current is cultivating, turning the
31.Asamkhyeya or asamkhya, 阿僧祇, means incalculable.
#29 above and the commentary on The Lotus Sutra, V.B.S. Vol I, Series 1, #3.
33.Chih Che（智者）, also known as Chih I（智顗）, was the first
patriarch of the T'ien T'ai（天台）. For detailed information in English see
Leon Hurvitz, op. cit.
34.Expedient, 權 (often translated "skill in means");
actual (or real), 實.
previously as The Universal Vastness Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. See note #12.
36.(a) 事法界; (b) 理法界; (c) 事無礙法界; (d) 理無礙法界; (e) 事理無礙法界.
Flower-Nirvana" refers to the period in which the Buddha spoke
The Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra （妙法蓮華經）and the (
Maha-Pari-) Nirvana Sutra（大般涅槃經）.
See also Hurvitz op. cit.