When Kuan Yin was deep in meditation she experienced, with profound intuitive wisdom, the absolute limitation of perceiving the world through just the mind. Shedding light on the five faculties of mind, she found them all to be empty of intrinsic existence. And in this sublime moment of understanding the essential interrelation of all things, she immediately transcended all suffering and pain.
Listen, she said, all things are permeated with space and space itself is full of things:
Form does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from form;
Form is exactly emptiness; emptiness is exactly form.
Likewise, all our feelings, our perceptions, our impulses and consciousness are also like this.
Listen, she said, the original nature of all things is without defining characteristics: There is nothing that begins And there is nothing that ends; There is nothing that is pure And nothing that is impure; There is nothing to be added And nothing to be taken away.
Therefore, within this vastness: There are no separate things, nor feelings, nor perceptions, nor impulses, nor consciousness;
There is no eye, no ear, no tongue, no body, no mind.
There is no colour, no sound, no taste, no feeling, no thought.
The world of things does not exist as we think. The world of the mind does not exist as we think.
Because everything is empty of intrinsic existence, everything is perfect: There is no ignorance, And there is no end to ignorance. There is no old age and no death, And there is no end to old age and death. There is no suffering and no cause of suffering; And there is no end of suffering and no path to end suffering There is nothing to know and no enlightenment, Yet there is also no non-enlightenment.
When you seek the truth through this practice of the perfection of wisdom, you will find that the complete understanding of these words can come only through cultivating deep intuitive insight.
When the mind does not become attached to anything, you will find no obstacles in your way and you will not be afraid.
When the mind goes beyond all discursive thoughts, you will be free from all illusions You will find complete liberation in this spaciousness.
All the enlightened beings of the past, the present and the future depend upon this perfection of wisdom for enlightenment.
And so to attain the supreme wisdom of enlightenment, Kuan Yin teaches: the mantra of great wisdom, the mantra of great light, the unsurpassable mantra, the eternal mantra, the mantra that removes all suffering.
This is the truth, without deception.
Therefore speak aloud these true words of wisdom and say:
Ga-te Ga-te, Para Ga-te, Para Sum Ga-te, Bo-dhi Sva-ha!
(This mantra means literally “Go! Go over! Go right over to the other side!” It is a call to “Wake up! Wake up! Realise your true nature!”)