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Buddhist Wisdom: Containing the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra (Vintage Spiritual Classic Orig)

by Edward Conze, Judith Simmer-Brown

Buy the book: Edward Conze. Buddhist Wisdom: Containing the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra (Vintage Spiritual Classic Orig)

Release Date: 17 April, 2001

Edition: Paperback


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Buy the book: Edward Conze. Buddhist Wisdom: Containing the Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra (Vintage Spiritual Classic Orig)

The heart sutra in sanskrit and english

This is a very fine text of the heart sutra which encourages
us to pronounce the sanskrit out loud as a spiritual
practice. I keep wondering though, isn't there more?
Sutras usually take a little longer to read.

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Heart & Diamond reviewed

I am familiar with Edward Conze's translations and comments on the Diamond and Heart Sutras primarily through the 1958 edition of this work. First of all, these are scholarly translations and commentaries. The commentaries are logical and precise, as they need to be to get at the heart of the teaching, in particular, of the Heart Sutra. Conze states, correctly, that to understand the Heart Sutra one has to understand something about Abhidharma concepts. The Abhidharma texts represent early schools of thought in India regarding consciousness and read like a Sears catalog of psychological elements put into a moral context and including conditioned and unconditioned dharmas. The Heart Sutra is in part a response to Abhidharma; one which goes beyond it. Abhidharma is considered the "dry bones" of Zen for good reason. Nevertheless, there are equally good reasons why Shunryu Suzuki told his students at San Francisco Zen Center to study with Conze (advice which was followed). The Heart Sutra is such a pure and intense condensation of wisdom that the effort to understand it is repaid tenfold by even small glimpses of its meaning. It is paradoxical that the teaching of "form is emptiness, emptiness is form,"etc., is amenable to a logical approach, yet Conze is very effective at demonstrating that, at least for those of us who have not attained wisdom-that-goes-beyond (prajna), this is precisely the path to take. His analysis of the Sanskrit in the context of Buddhist logic unlocks a very fruitful path for following the meaning of the Heart Sutra. An openminded approach to Conze's translation and commentaries, applied with some determination and perseverance, is well worth the effort, both with the Diamond and the Heart Sutras, though perhaps more so with the latter. What hits us in the face at first as flatly contradictory reveals itself to be something more than we can imagine. Shunryu Suzuki told us that the "No" in the Heart Sutra is far more positive than any "Yes" could ever be. I haven't seen another approach to the Heart Sutra in print that equals Edward Conze's.

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