Skip to content

Hannya Shingyo

Hannya Shingyo (The Heart Sutra)

The Heart Sutra is chanted several times daily in every Zen Buddhist monastery. It is called the Heart Sutra because it is the core of Zen Buddhism (as in the “heart of the matter”). My understanding is that it is a mashup of words and languages that have developed over the centuries. Below is the phonetic version from the New Orleans Zen Center. I chose it because it is the one I chanted at least once every day and often more. Words with two syllables are chanted in double-time so that single syllable and two syllables take up the same amount of time (like quarter and half notes in music). Below that is the English version from Maria Kannon Zen Center

Maka Hannya Haramita Shingyo

Kan ji zai bo za tsu
Gyo jin han ya ha ra mi ta
Ji sho ken go on kai ku
Do i sai ku
Yaku sha ri shi

Shiki fu i ku
Ku fu i shiki
Shiki soku ze ku
Ku soku ze shiki
Ju so gyo shiki

Yaku bu nyo ze
Sha ri shi
Ze sho ho ku so
Fu sho fu metsu
Fu ku fu jo
Fu zo fu gen

Ze ko ku chu
Mu shiki mu ju so gyo shiki
Mu gen ni bi ze shin i
Mu shiki sho ko mi soku ho
Mu gen kai nai shi mu i shiki kai
Mu mu myo yaku mu mu myo jin
Nai shi mu ro shi yaku mu ro shi jin
Mu ku shu metsu do mu chi yaku mu toku i

Mu sho toku ko bo dai sa ta e
Han ya ha ra mi ta ko
Shin mu ke ge mu ke ge ko
Mu u ku fu on ri i sai ten do mu so ku gyo ne

Han san ze sho butso e
Han ya ha ra mi ta ko
Toku a noku ta ra san myaku san bo dai
Ko chi han ya ha ra mi ta
Ze dai jin shu ze dai myo shu
Ze mu jo shu ze mu to do shu
No jo i sai ku shin jitsu fu ko
Ko setsu han ya ha ra mi ta shu
Soku setsu shu watsu

Gya tei gya tei
Ha ra gya tei
Hara so gya tei
Bo ji so wa ka

Hannya Shingyo

Heart Sutra — ( The Heart of the Perfection of Great Wisdom Sutra)

AvalokitesvaraBodhisattva doing deep Prajna Paramita
Perceived the emptiness of all five conditions,
And was freed of pain.
O Sariputra, formis no other than emptiness,
Emptiness no other than form,
Form is precisely emptiness,
Emptiness precisely form.
Sensation, perception, reaction and consciousness are also like this.
O Sariputra , all things are expressions of emptiness,
Not born, not destroyed, not stained, not pure,
Neither waxing nor waning.
Thus emptiness is not form;
Not sensation nor perception,
Reaction nor consciousness;
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
No color, sound, smell, taste, touch, thing;
No realm of sight, no realm of consciousness;
No ignorance, no end to ignorance;
No old age and death; no cessation of old age and death
No suffering, no cause or end to suffering,
No path, no wisdom and no gain.
No gain – thus Bodhisattvas live this Prajna Paramita
With no hindrance of mind –
No hindrance therefore no fear.
Far beyond all such delusion, Nirvana is already here.
All past, present and future Buddhas live this Prajna Paramita
And attain supreme, perfect enlightenment.
Therefore know that Prajna Paramita Is the holy mantra, the luminous mantra,
The supreme mantra, the incomparable mantra
By which all suffering is cleared.
This is no other than truth.
Therefore set forth this Prajna Paramita mantra,
Set forth this mantra and proclaim:
Gate, Gate, Paragate Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha
Prajnaparamita Sutra.

  1. Patera permalink

    Thanks !

  2. Gary permalink

    Thank you for posting and making this widely available. Blessings.

  3. Truly fascinating– thanks for sharing. : )

  4. I chanted it daily for a long time. It’s very rhythmical as you know. I found it calming and focusing.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. To Death and Back Again
  2. The Hannya Shingyo | Contemplations
  3. The Hannya Shingyo – Rikson's Contemplations

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

%d bloggers like this: