HE UTTERED THE SPELL OF PRAJNAPARAMITA, SAYING GATE, GATE, PARAGATE,
PARASAMGATE, BODHI SVAHA."
The above is
a mantra, i.e., an esoteric teaching by means of which we are reminded
of the subtlety and complexity of the inconceivable Dharma. The
body of the Teachings includes some exoteric parts, such as the
sutras, and some esoteric ones, such as the dharmas and the mantras.
Exoteric Teachings are accessible to rational understanding and
can be explained, but the meanings of the esoteric or mystic forms
of prayer such as dharmas and mantras are not within the reach of
the intellect; the good is upheld and cannot be lost and evil cannot
arise. During recitation, dharmas and mantras enable the one reciting
them to control both the sound and the timing, but any recognizable
words and meanings which would normally hold his/her mind captive
are not there. He/she has then an opportunity to experience expansiveness
or spaciousness of mind, it being one of mind's very special characteristics.
To recite this
mantra by itself, omitting the text of the sutra is a true Mahayana
practice of the non-discriminating mind. The inconceivable nature
of the teaching is apprehended and the teaching seen as a whole.
Thorough study of the sutra and a complete understanding, equal
the meaning implied in the mantra (sometimes referred to as "spell").
of The Heart Sutra, including both the exoteric and the esoteric
aspects, is presently completed. Any contrived and/or faulty interpretations
of the Teachings ought to be carefully avoided.