Glossary: The Heart Sutra

Maha:
Great, eminent, excellent.


Prajna-paramita:
The perfection of wisdom.


Hridaya:
Heart.


Sutra:
A preaching of the Buddha as recorded in documents.


Bodhisattva:
Bodhi (perfect wisdom) + sattva (an intelligent being whose actions make for harmony). Sages who have reached the point of illumination and have decided not to retire into nirvana, but to help other living beings until all are free.


The Bodhisattva of great compassion:
Also known as, Avalokistevara = Kuan Yin = Kuan Um; Goddess of Mercy who hears the cries of the world. A Bodhisattva who attained enlightenment by means of the faculty of hearing. The name also means 'Sound Regarder.'


Skandhas:
Aggregates or components./dd>

Sariputra:
One of the ten major disciples of the Buddha. Born in a village to the north of Rajagrha in Magadha, India, he became a follower of [the famous ascetic Master] Samjaya, along with Maudgalyana. Each had one hundred disciples. Sariputra was the foremost in wisdom among the Buddha's disciples. He died while Buddha was still alive.


Dharma (Dhamma):
a. The teachings of the Buddha (generally capitalized in English); 
b. law, doctrine;  c. things, events, phenomena.


Nirvana:
Originally meant total extinction of desire and suffering. Today it refers to the state of liberation through full enlightenment. Svabhava Nirvana: The Primeval Nirvana which is always present, whether we realize it or not.  Non-abiding Nirvana: In which one abides in neither Samsara (Cycle of Birth and Death) nor ultimate quiescence, Nirvana of the Buddhas.


Dharani:
Mantra.


Mantram:
The words which unite all Dharma & hold all meanings.


Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha:
Gone, gone, gone to the other shore; safely passed to that other shore, O Prajnaparamita! So make it be!

Heart Sutra



The Diamond Sutra