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GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

Posted 10/11/2017

THE SUTRA OF THE HEART

 The metaphysics of emptiness has aroused innumerable comments, brilliant speculations, as well as a brief sutra of the Prajna-Paramita which summarizes, with admirable concision, that decisive conquest of the ineffable by the Mahayana doctors.

The heart sutra is recited daily by Tibetan and Japanese Buddhist monks (yesterday Chinese) before beginning their ritual exercises.

We have chosen it to comment on it, because it constitutes the indestructible core of the doctrine, the nucleus around which the great wheel of Buddha Law, the Dharma, revolves.

The original text in Sanskrit, which was later translated for use by the followers, is the following:

«GATE GATE PARAGUAY PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA!»

What does each of these words mean?

GATE: Literally "Gone". This sutra is, in a way, a testimony and an invitation. Testimony of an experience realized, that of all the living liberated; invitation addressed to all who intend to meet with them, to go and share their immense joy.

Generally, that first word is associated with the following spiritual perception: "form is emptiness"; from the moment we get rid of the emotions, the passions, the desires, sources of inevitable psychic conflicts, things, external forms are emptied of their substance, deprived of the affections that feed them and disintegrate into emptiness.

GATE: repetition now suggests that "emptiness is form"; indeed, once emptiness has been perceived, we might tend to conceptualize the notion of emptiness, but emptiness is no different from form. The Sunyata is an experience of being that has nothing in common with the "nothingness" of existentialist philosophers. You can live very well in emptiness and accommodate the outer manifestations as they arise...

PARAGATE: Literally: "Going beyond." Once we go through the darkening curtain of phenomena, having perceived their congenital unreality, we obtain a natural perception of these phenomena: "Form is form."

PARASAMGATE: Literally: "Completely exposed, stripped." Awakened in the heart of the undifferentiated, we naturally identify with the Last Subject, we have definitively ceased to objectify things in a subject-object relationship: "Void is emptiness."

BODHI: Literally: "Awakened." We no longer wear masks; no matter how appearances change continually as kaleidoscopic figures, we have awakened within an unalterable equanimity of spirit.

Nothing can affect our deep being, small as a grain of sand, immense as the cosmos.

SVAHA: "Salvation!" It is not a farewell but a condescending word, a message of hope: "Rejoin us on the other side, where truth is not different from illusions, where at last the suffering born of desires has disappeared ... »

«GONE GONE GONE BEYOND COMPLETELY OPENED AWAKENED TO SALVATION! »

Buddhists meditate unceasingly on this exceptional sutra whose suggestive charge is decisive for the intellect, still caught up in its projections, focuses directly on the ultimate reality, and exactly encompasses the liberating experience of emptiness. "

In addition to compassion and emptiness, the Mahayana has contributed to creating formulas that cannot be ignored and which are speculative tools that are decisive for Buddhist thought.

ZEN  J. M. Varenne

 

PRACTICE

It is possible that in a practice of deep meditation, the consciousness of a human being can escape from the ego and experience the bliss of the enlightening void. Obviously, if he succeeds, he will work with pleasure on himself, work with ardor, for he will certainly have experienced, in the absence of the ego, that which is the Truth. That which is not of time; that which is beyond the body, the affections and the mind.

Here I have taught you a simple way to meditate, because there is a type of meditation that is dedicated to self-exploration of the ego, with the purpose of disintegrating it, turning it ashes. There is also another type of meditation, which aims to get one day to the experience of the real. I hope you succeeded so that you would continue to be animated inwardly and work on yourself. However, I think it is necessary to have some mantram to serve us.

The mantram I am going to give is very simple: GATE, GATE, PARAGATE, PARASAMGATE, BODHI, SWAHA. This mantram is pronounced like: gaaateeeee, gaaateeeee, paragaaateeeee, parasamgaaateeeee, booodhhhiiiiii, suaaaaa, jaaaaa. In our hearts it must have been recorded.

This mantram is pronounced gently, deeply and in the heart. It can also be used as a muted verb, because there are two types of verb: articulated verb and verb muted. The muted verb is powerful.

This mantram, I understand that it opens the eye of Dagma. This mantram, deep, will one day lead you to experience, (in the absence of the ego), the enlightening emptiness. Then you will know what the Sunyata is, then you will understand what the Prajna-Paramita is.

Perseverance is what is needed, with this mantram you can go very far.

It is convenient to experience the great reality at some time in life, that experience fills one with the spirit to fight against the self. That is the Sunyata's advantage. That is the greatest advantage that exists in relation to the experience of the real.

And today, in order to take advantage of meditation and the mantram as it should, we will enter for a while in meditation with the mantram.

 

PRACTICE OF MEDITATION

I ask all the brothers, then, to enter into meditation.

Relaxe the body totally, after relaxed we surrender totally to our deep inner God. Without thinking of anything, just reciting with the mind and heart the complete mantram.

Meditation should be deep, deep, closed eyes, relaxed body, completely surrendered to our inner God.

Not a thought should be admitted in these moments. The surrender to our God must be total and only the mantra must resonate in our hearts.

- Turn off the lights, relax the whole body.

- Complete relaxation and total surrender to our deep inner God.

- Do not think of anything, nothing, nothing, nothing...

- I will recite the mantra, I will repeat it many times so that they are not forgotten: gaaateeeee, gaaateeeee, paragaaateeeee parasamgaaateeeee, booodiiiiii, suaaaaa, jaaaaa..

- Keep repeating in your hearts ... do not think of anything at all ... let us surrender ourselves to our God...

- Feel like a corpse ... like a deceased...