When Shākyamuni Buddha was about to enter nirvāṇa, he passed on the 84,000 teachings to Ānanda. He then solemnly addressed him, declaring: “I will not blame you if you forget entirely, or if you damage completely, the 84,000 teachings, except for the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita). But if you misplace a single line of the Perfection of Wisdom, I will hold you personally responsible for it.”
This passage illustrates how, setting apart the Perfection of Wisdom, the 84,000 teachings as a whole are not as important in content as a single verse of the Perfection of Wisdom.
More than 2,500 years has elapsed since the Buddha turned the wheel of the Dharma and passed into nirvāṇa. In this long time, great masters and eminent monks in both Tibetan and Han Buddhism have all attached great importance to the Heart Sūtra, the scripture on the Perfection of Wisdom.
The main doctrinal traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, with the four great traditions of the Geluk, the Sakya, the Kagyü, the Nyingma, as well as the Jonang, all attach great importance to the Heart Sūtra, adopting it in their collections of recitations. The Heart Sūtra is also an indispensable scripture in any master’s repertoire of teachings and practices. In performing ceremonies for the dead, and also in any other Buddhist rituals such as consecrations, in the practice of animal liberation, and even in building a new house, the Heart Sūtra is essential. As long as one recites the Heart Sūtra, the activity as a whole will be complete, for no adverse conditions due to harmful demons will arise during its course.
Upcoming Course on the Heart Sūtra
We are pleased to announce that in the beginning of April, 2017, Wisdom & Compassion Dharma University will launch an online Dharma course on the Heart Sūtra taught in English by respected Dharma teachers from Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. The teaching will be exactly based on Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche’s commentary on the Heart Sūtra, which explains in great detail the Abhidarma and the Middle Way (Madhyamaka) related to the Heart Sūtra. The course will be both theoretical teaching and Dharma discussion.
With great joy, we welcome you to join us in this opportunity to study the Heart Sūtra. By learning this great sūtra, we’re hoping to show you a systematic approach to the study and practice of the Dharma.
If you are interested in joining us, please fill out the registration and questionnaire form through the following link. Your answers will help us to understand how best to set up this course so that it can bring the greatest benefit. Please be sure to include information on your scheduling preferences, so that we can do our best to arrange the course so it is as convenient as possible for those who would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity.
We will keep you informed with updates, when time and dates have been determined. The registration will be closed on March 26th, 2017. If you have any questions, please email email@example.com, we’ll respond to you as quickly as we can.
May everything always be auspicious with you!
The English Translation Group at Larung Gar
Under the Direction of Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche