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16 Powerful Ways to Build Good Karma

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The positive karmic experience accumulated during all earthly incarnations tends to be spent aimlessly or changed for the worse, which leads to negative consequences in real life. To reverse this process, it is necessary to constantly improve karma. In this article, I will share with you 16 powerful ways to attract good karma.

But first, let’s find out what good karma actually is.

What Is Good Karma?

Karma is based on cause-and-effect relationships. In other words, we always get back what we give to the world. The more good deeds accumulated on the invisible “account” of each soul, the more bonuses it receives in its future life and next incarnations. If karmic “savings” are spent selfishly, without bringing benefit to others and the planet, then in future reincarnations such a soul will have “to reap the fruits” of his irresponsibility, because karma will change from good to bad.

Therefore, to build good karma is the main goal of every soul.

How Do I Know If My Karma Is Good Or Bad?

What Is Karma Image

If we try to create a simplified model of testing karma, it will be based on four components:

  • relationships with others;
  • health (both physical and mental);
  • prosperity;
  • life purpose.

If each of these components is present in your life, then we can probably say that your karma, in this case, tends to be good. Thus, the good karma manifests itself in the harmony achieved in all spheres of our lives.

However, most people have problems at least in one of these spheres.

Have you seen babies being born with disabilities? This is an example of negative karma brought to this incarnation from past lives. But sometimes healthy people get into car accidents and get disabilities. This would be an example of negative karma that was created during this life.

Why Should We Build Good Karma?

Karma Yoga Image

Bad karma involves problems in all or some areas of life. If a person is haunted by constant failures, negativity, then his karmic debts exceeded the profit from good deeds.

The karmic debts accumulated in all incarnations will result in diseases, poverty, alcohol or drugs addiction, unsuccessful marriages, and other negative consequences.

Do you experience any health problems? Do you have relationship problems? Do you suffer from money loss or poverty? Do you feel like your life has no purpose? If you answered ‘yes’ to at least one of these questions then you should consider taking actions for improving your karma.

How to Build Good Karma?

#1 Keep It Clean

Try to make sure that everything in your life is clean: your body, home, workplace, etc. But especially important to keep your thoughts and actions clean! Keep in mind that negative thoughts, emotions, and actions create negative karma. And positive thoughts and actions create good karma. Be mindful of what you thinking and doing!

Louise Hay Quote On Positive Thinking Image

#2 Get Involved in Charity

This would be especially helpful for those of you who have financial problems. You may say: “How can I do charity if I have no money?” Well, there are different ways to do it. We can help people even if we don’t have money to offer. A kind word, a smile, good advice – this is also a kind of charity that can change someone’s life for the better.

#3 Help Others Selflessly

Maya Angelou Quote On Helping Image

You can offer help to those who are currently suffering. The main thing is not to try to radically correct someone else’s karma. But helping them find their way is quite acceptable.

#4 Self-Development

Inertia is bad for your soul. Instead of dwelling on your past, you should be constantly moving forward. Every day you try to learn something new. Every event that life presents to you should be considered as a life lesson. Every night before you go to bed ask yourself: “What have I learned today? What did I realize today?“. If you find it difficult to answer these questions, then you probably have lost your awareness and mindfulness. Tomorrow will be a new day, try not to waste it!

#5 Spiritual Development

spiritual retreat image

Constant training of the body is well reflected in its appearance and health. But we should also remember to give equal attention to our spirit. The purer your soul is, the higher your moral foundations, moral values, and the easier it is to learn the life lessons on the way to good karma. Make sure to train your mental essence with the help of prayers and meditations.

#6 Love

Radhanath Swami Quote On Love Image

Open your heart to every creature of existence. Make your love available for everyone: people, animals, nature, planet, your work, every action you take, every word you speak, every thought you think. Unconditional love will help you achieve harmony and approach good karma.

#7 Take Responsibility For Your Life

dalai lama quotes joy image

You and only you are responsible for your actions, words, and thoughts. Thus, you and only you are responsible for every event and situation in your life. There’s no point in blaming other people, Government, President, parents, etc. for everything you’re not happy about in your life.

All your failures and successes are the results of your own actions and thoughts. You have the power to change your life, but it will require a change in your thinking. Stop hiding behind the mask of a victim of circumstances. You are the Creator of your own life, so start creating it! The more you take responsibility for your life, the more power you have!

#8 Be Honest

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One lie inevitably begets another like a virus. Remember that lost trust is very difficult to regain. After catching you multiple times on lying people will eventually stop believing you. So in relations with others it will pursue misunderstanding and resentment. And sooner or later this will turn into another karmic debt.

#9 Listen to Your Inner Voice

Always remember that your subconscious has the answers to all your questions. You just need to be able to listen. Listen to your inner voice in every situation – this is the Universe talking to you. The more you’re connected to the Universe the more you follow the path that leads you to good karma.

#10 Be In a Present Moment

Eckhart Tolle Quote Image

The past is gone. The future hasn’t come yet. Don’t distract yourself with thinking about your past or daydreaming about the future. Focus on the present moment and live it to the fullest. Put 100% energy and awareness in everything you’re doing in the present moment. The practice of being in the present moment will teach you to live your life consciously.

#11 Pray

Peace mantra Om Shanti Image

When we pray we cleanse our karma. Especially powerful when you pray for other people, animals or planet. But such practice should be consistent and you should put all your attention to focus on the intention of the prayer. You can also use special mantras for purifying karma and chant them daily.

#12 Volunteering

By doing volunteering work you greatly improve your karma!

#13 Be Grateful

Michael Bernard Beckwith Quote About Gratitude Image

Never blame anybody (including God and Universe) for not receiving exactly what you’ve been asking for. If you believe in karma, then you have to accept the fact that we always receive exactly what we deserve.

Therefore if you’re not getting what you want you have to ask yourself: “Why am I not getting this?” Maybe it’s not time yet, or maybe the receiving of what you’re asking wouldn’t serve your Higher purpose and the Universe is trying to show you that you will receive something much better if you’ll be patient and grateful. Be grateful for every little thing you have in your life and very soon you will see that you attract more and more happiness and joy into your life.

#14 Forgive

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Life doesn’t give us lessons that we are not capable of learning. And one of the most important lessons we come to this life for is the lesson of forgiveness. Most people choose not to learn this lesson which leads to repeating it again and again during many incarnations. But if you believe in karma and want to evolve you have to learn to forgive.

Every time we forgive someone we remove a giant block of negative karma and heal our heart. And the thing is, the more hurtful our resentment is, the more cleansing and healing the forgiveness brings to our souls. If you want to build good karma, sometimes the best way to do so is to forgive people for some of the bad vibes they’ve sent your way.

#15 Donate Blood

It is believed that when you donate your blood the ones who need it you improve your karma tremendously. The whole intention behind blood donation is saving someone’s life. And since the law of karma states that we receive what we give, then when you save somebody’s life the Universe will make sure that you will stay safe. Yes, it can even save your life if you experience any danger or health issues in the future!

#16 Inspire

Jay Shetty Quote About Smile Image

Let every person that meets you become happier and inspired. Spread positive vibes and don’t let your negative emotions affect other people. Be mindful of what you’re saying and how you’re saying it.

Listen to other people who need to be heard. Sometimes inspiration is better expressed when we stay quiet to give other people room to speak their truth. Be a patient listener, care for other people, and provide them the type of inspiration they need at the moment.


Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Spirituality

8 Common Signs Of Heart Chakra Awakening You Could Be Experiencing

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8 Symptoms of Heart chakra awakening image

The heart chakra is a source of love and compassion. This energy center is responsible for intuitive understanding, healing abilities, cleansing the aura from negative energy and the ability to give and receive love. In this article, I want to share with you 8 signs of Heart chakra awakening that you could be having without even knowing. Hopefully, this article will help you to understand yourself better and what you’re going through.

What Is The Heart Chakra?

Your heart chakra is the fourth chakra located in the center of the body. It connects your physical and spiritual nature. It is located in the center of your chest and it is responsible not only for the heart function but also for the lungs, thymus gland, and the cardiac plexus.

In Sanskrit, the heart chakra is called Anahata, which means an unharmed, spiritual place where past resentment and experiences cannot hurt us anymore. Anahata is associated with the green color, which represents the transformation and energy of love.

The heart chakra is associated with the air element. As air fills everything, the Anahata chakra fills the entire human being with energy – prana. The energy of this chakra is the energy of love, it tends to grow and can be expressed on any scale – from self-love to love for everything in the Universe.

At the level of the physical body, it is connected to the heart and circulatory system. As the circulatory system carries nutrition and oxygen to every cell of the body, so the energy of the Anahata chakra feeds the entire human being – the physical and subtle plane, thus influencing both the physical body and the psycho-emotional and spiritual life of a person.

Anahata Symbology

Anahata Chakra Test Image

Usually, the heart chakra is depicted as a circle surrounded by twelve green petals. The petals symbolize the movement of energy from twelve sources in twelve directions. In other words, twelve energy channels.

Inside the circle are inscribed two triangles – one point down, the other point up, forming a six-pointed star, symbolizing the five senses and the consciousness that can control these senses.

The triangle with the point downwards symbolizes the male principle, the male hypostases of the Trimurti: Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma; and the three paired male (Yang) energy channels (meridians) associated with them.

The triangle with the tip up symbolizes the feminine principle, the female hypostases of the Tridevi: Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Kali; and the three paired female (Yin) energy channels (meridians) associated with them.

The connection of two triangles is a symbol of mutual attraction, the unity of two opposites – male and female, earthly and heavenly, material and spiritual.

The Anahata chakra in the system of seven chakras is located in the middle. This is the center of balance. It balances and regulates the ascending and descending energy flows in the body. It controls the interaction of six pairs of opposite channels – Yin and Yang – meridians and, accordingly, regulates the work of twelve related systems of the body.

What is Heart Chakra Awakening?

Heart Chakra Healing image

Heart chakra awakening is the conscious awareness of the connection and communion of the person with the Divine.

—Tony Cuckson

Heart chakra awakening can be very challenging, and you have to reach a certain level of consciousness in order to experience it. It requires courage! But this is not the courage of the action rather than the courage of being open, vulnerable, and empowered in the service of Love.

In other words, Heart chakra awakening is not just about following your bliss but embracing your heartbreak.

Anahata awakening is only possible if your three lower chakras are aligned.

Heart chakra awakening starts when you turn within and are prepared to enter the unknown. From this place of unknowing and through the open heart in surrender to Love, you realize that you are not separated from the Divine anymore. You feel a constant connection with Divine love because you know that you are the tool through which it gets expressed.

8 Signs Of Heart Chakra Awakening

The transition of consciousness from the third (Solar Plexus chakra) to the fourth chakra (Anahata) is usually long and requires big changes in the mindset and world perception. Let me share with you symptoms and signs of Heart chakra awakening that you could be having without even understanding what you are going through.

#1: Silence

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Heart consciousness cannot be reached unless your ego is dropped. Therefore, most people that experience Heart chakra awakening notice that there is no need to prove your point anymore. They stop dividing world into opposite polarities: black or white; hot or cold; democrats or republicans; etc. Instead they start seeing the middle point which is more balanced way to perceive the world.

If you feel that you are no longer interested in fighting and proving your point, protesting, and seeing the world as “them against us”, then it could be one of the signs of your Heart chakra awakening.

You may notice that your silence is more misinterpreted than usually and people try to get you involved in opinion sharing games and defending your beliefs. Maybe you even lost some of your friends because of this? Well, there are some side effects of the Heart chakra awakening, and losing toxic friends is one of them.

#2: Compassionate love

Dalai Lama Quotes Compassionate Image

You feel compassion for everyone – both close friends and family members and people you barely know. You clearly understand that all the suffering of the world is due to the individual consciousness of people based on the lower principles and vibrations. At the same time, you do not judge anyone, knowing that everyone has the right to make a mistake, but, on the contrary, try to help others find the joy that the awakened Anahata chakra gives.

This level of consciousness requires well-balanced lower chakras, otherwise, the perception of suffering inherent in this stage of development can overwhelm you and, instead of being compassionate, you may begin to suffer yourself, increasing the amount of suffering in the world.

Overwhelming perception of suffering is another side effect of the Anahata chakra awakening. It can be especially intense if you are an empath.

#3: Unconditional love

Heart chakra awakening image

Once you reach this level, you can’t help but radiate love. And this love is unconditional. It is not related to a sense of possession or passion. You don’t need people to have certain qualities in order to love them. Your love is unconditional. You give your love to others, to the whole world. Love is not just a feeling or emotion anymore. It is a process, your very essence. Your love is an inexhaustible source.

#4: Trust

Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction.

Rumi

Instead of trying to bend reality tp the way you want, you relax and allow the Universe to take care of you. You trust the process and that the Universe always leads you in the best way.

Life ceases to be a struggle for existence, as at the level of Muladhara chakra and competition, as at the level of Manipura chakra. When you’re going through the Heart chakra awakening, you start seeing the abundance of this world, that there is enough for everyone. You are not interested in any forms of competition anymore. Instead, you wish everyone the best. When the ego is dropped, there is no need to prove anything to anyone, even to yourself.

People reach this level of consciousness only when their trust becomes stronger than their fears. As the Anahata chakra awakens, your trust moves from dependency on the personality to alignment with the Universe.

#5: Feeling the unity

Anahata awakening Image

With all your uniqueness, you however see yourself as a part of the Universe. You start seeing/feeling the invisible connections between yourself and everything/everyone else – the unity of the world. In other people’s actions, you can see the reflections of your own shadow side. You know that everything we notice in others is a reflection of our own blocks.

#6: Taking personal responsibility

You stop blaming others for your problems. Instead, you take personal responsibility for everything that happens to you. You don’t enjoy playing victim anymore. Therefore, you take any negative situation as a karmic lesson that is essential for your spiritual growth and personal evolution.

#7: Taking care of others

At the level of the Anahata chakra consciousness, a person is able to accept others for who they are, take care of them, without demanding anything in return. You are able to give without thinking about how you will be rewarded. Love at the level of the Heart chakra is selfless, has no hidden motives.

Anahata chakra awakening begins with good deeds that a person does on a spiritual impulse, in a state of harmony, when there is nothing to worry about. As the heart chakra develops, states of harmony, joy, and satisfaction become stronger.

#8: Synchronicity

Synchronicity divine guidance image

According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.

Deepak Chopra

Synchronicity is the language that the universe uses for communicating with you. It is where you are open to communion beyond the personal. This is Divine guidance!

However, at the very beginning of the Heart chakra awakening you may feel confused because very often the coincidences that arrive are not logical. Most people feel resistance. It might be fun, but the challenge is to honor what is being invited. This might mean change or leaving your comfort zone. And it can be very uncomfortable. However, you should learn to trust!

The Bottom Line

The above signs of Heart chakra awakening are the most essential and common ones. This list could be continued. If you found at least one sign that resonates with what you’re feeling then it means you are on a path of the Anahata awakening. Focus on love and compassion, trust the Divine guidance, and listen to your heart!


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Abundant Living

Brahma Muhurta Time: A Powerful Period For Manifesting

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Brahma Muhurta Time Image

Setting an intention is important. But how do you stay focused on your goals and not lose your motivation? For accomplishing our goals, we need four components: clarity, energy, calmness, and inspiration. In this article, I will share with you how to stay focused, grounded, inspired, and energized by using the Brahma Muhurta time period.

What is Brahma Muhurta time?

The Yoga Sutras mention the time of day called “Brahma-muhurta” – a 48-minute period that begins 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before sunrise.

Brahma means ‘knowledge‘. Muhurta means ‘time period‘. Brahma Muhurta considered being the time period perfect to perceive knowledge.

The literal translation of Brahma Muhurta is ‘the hour of Brahma‘ or ‘Creator’s Hour‘.

Brahma Muhurta is the best time for meditation, yoga practice, or any other spiritual practice because at this time the receptivity is increased, the mind is naturally calm and does not resist the guidance from “above”.

The interaction of our planet’s energy with the energies of the Sun and the Moon creates certain physiological changes in the human system at this time. Medical science has even found that the waste material in your body, such as urine, for example, has certain qualities at that time which it does not have at any other time of the day.

Your entire body is immersed in a certain conducive atmosphere. The melatonin level is increased, which boosts the pineal gland’s activity. Therefore it is so beneficial to use this time consciously.

Why is the wake up time so essential?

Yawning woman image

Have you noticed that sometimes even after a seemingly full and prolonged sleep, you do not feel rested, fresh, and full of energy? The whole point is that at certain times of the day, certain qualities of energy (gunas) dominate. And depending on when and how we start our day, the certain quality of energy will prevail in us and, as a result, it will form the level of consciousness we will have.

You may have noticed that people who like to sleep longer often have such personality traits as inertia, passivity, infantile, laziness, and negative thinking.

Most often, these people are dissatisfied with their lives and deeply unhappy, and during the weekend, the first important thing for them is to sleep in as long as they possibly can. These are the signs of the predominance of the Tamas guna (ignorance) in the consciousness. And the reason for this is the regular late rise.

If you take a closer look at people who wake up early you will notice that most often such people have an active life position and a positive mindset. This is a sign of the Sattva guna (harmony) consciousness. This guna is active until sunrise, and if a person wakes up at this time, he will be full of strength, energy, and positivity.

There is the third quality of energy – Rajas guna – guna of passion and manipulation, which is active about 4 hours after sunrise.

What is the best time to wake up?

the Hour of Brahma image

In the period before sunrise, there is a special time that is not affected by the influence of any of the three gunas. This time is called Brahma muhurta, or ‘the Hour of Brahma’.

To be precise, this is not exactly an hour, but 48 minutes. These 48 minutes, when there is no influence of any gunas, are considered the most beneficial for awakening.

The fact is that all three energies (Gunas) have both positive and negative qualities, and being influenced by any of them for too long will lead to imbalance. There are no bad or good energies. Each of the three (Tamas, Rajas, Sattva) can be beneficial. For example, Tamas is necessary for falling asleep; and Rajas is essential for being active.

But to keep our consciousness in a state of harmony and balance, we need to wake up at a time when there is no influence of these three energies or, at the very least, when such influence is minimal.

Brahma Muhurta time is ideal for spiritual practices. Serious spiritual practitioners all over the world, get up at this time to devote themselves to prayer and meditation.

It may sound hardly believable but a person who gets up during the Brahma Muhurta time period will be much more energetic, cheerful, and productive than someone who slept for a few hours longer. It’s due to the fact that it’s not the amount of sleep that matters, but the quality of it. And you can sleep effectively even for just 4 hours if you go to bed and wake up at the right time.

5 Thing to Do During Brahma Muhurta Time

#1: Meditation

Brahma Muhurta Image

There are many different ways to meditate. You just need to choose the method that feels right for you. Let the practice bring you joy and balance.

Wrap yourself in a soft blanket or a fluffy sweater. Take a few deep breaths. Feel the support of the earth, and stretch up through the top of your head as if you are a conductor between heaven and earth (because you are!!).

Then experiment with different types of meditation and choose the one that resonates with you the most.

When your thoughts begin to slow down, you will create space for inspiring ideas to appear. By the end of your practice, you will begin to understand the next steps that you need to take towards your goals.

Benefits:

  • calm mind;
  • relaxation;
  • anxiety and stress relief;
  • creativity boost;
  • inspiration;
  • increased focus;
  • ability to concentrate on daily tasks.

#2: Free writing or journaling

free writing image

If you have room in your life for only one daily habit, let it be this one – writing down the stream of words that constantly revolve in your head. Over time, you will be able to hear your own inner guide with amazing clarity.

If you make a daily habit of cleaning out your inner reservoir of resentments, worries, and even thoughts about current affairs by pouring them out on paper, you will soon discover that free writing is like the process of cleaning up your internal space and preparing it for something new to come.

Also, use journaling for writing down your ideas, intentions, goals, and gratitude.

Benefits:

  • thoughts become clearer;
  • solving problems with less effort;
  • your timing is getting better;
  • you become more open to inspiration;
  • increased ability of hearing the inner voice and follow inner guidance;
  • receiving answers to your questions.

#3: Reading spiritual literature/Sacred texts

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During Brahma Muhurta time, it is also very beneficial to read spiritual literature or Sacred texts. Sometimes it gets difficult to fully understand spiritual texts with our “material” minds. But when we read such texts during Brahma Muhurta time, it gets much easier to understand the information written in spiritual books. Moreover, the understanding itself will be much deeper than if you were reading it at any other time of the day.

Such a deep understanding of spiritual principles will open up your mind to a better understanding of your daily challenges and of the best ways to manifest your intentions and live according to your true purpose.

#4: Affirmations

Brahma Muhurta time period Image

Brahma Muhurta is the best time to work on removing your subconscious blocks and manifest your goals! Affirmation practice is the best way to re-program your mind and tune it in with your desired reality.

Here are some examples of affirmations you can use:

  • I love and approve of myself!
  • My life is magnificent!
  • I follow my inner call and fearlessly share my gifts with the world!

For more information about affirmations, read the following articles:

How To Create Powerful Law Of Attraction Affirmations

Abundance Affirmations: A Powerful Tool For Creating Abundant Living

Self-Love Affirmations That Really Work!!

Powerful Gratitude Affirmations for Health, Joy, Love and Success

Activate Romantic Luck With These Powerful Love Affirmations!

Boost Your Prosperity With These Powerful Money Affirmations

Alternatively, you can also chant mantras.

#5: Movement

Early morning yoga image

During Brahma Muhurta time, it is beneficial to perform:

What NOT to do during Brahma Muhurta?

There are 2 things that are not recommended doing during this time:

  • eating – because during Brahma Muhurta causes illnesses;
  • stressful activity – because it may reduce your lifespan.

Precaution

According to Ashtanga Hridaya, only a healthy person should wake up during Brahma Muhurta time. It is not recommended to do it for:

  1. pregnant women;
  2. children;
  3. aged people who have not been waking up in this period for a very long time (or never);
  4. people suffering from any physical and mental illness.

The Bottom Line

Awakening during Brahma Muhurta hour image

Awakening during Brahma Muhurta time will have a very positive impact on your life and significantly accelerate your progress in spiritual practice and increase your manifesting power.

However, it should be noted that it’s not good to change your daily routine abruptly. If, for example, you usually wake up at 8 am, do not immediately shift your wake-up time to 4 am. This will be a big stress for your body. The body will not be able to adapt to such a sudden change in your daily routine, and most likely, you will return to your previous routine very quickly.

Experience shows that it is much more effective to make changes to your daily routine gradually. And if you need to move your wake-up time from 8 am to 4 am, it is better to get up earlier every week by half an hour. This way the body can gradually adapt to the new daily routine, and over time it will become a steady habit.


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Spirituality

Heart Sutra: Hidden Meaning Of the Sacred Text

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Heart Sutra, also known as The Essence of Wisdom is a popular sutra in Mahayana Buddhism. Recited daily by many Buddhist practitioners, this is the shortest of the Perfection of Wisdom texts. Heart Sutra practice opens the connection between the understanding of emptiness and the five stages of the path to enlightenment. In this article, we will share with you this beautiful sutra and its hidden meaning.

The Essence of The Heart Sutra

The Sutra basically describes the teachings of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, who in this context represents the virtue of wisdom.

Avalokiteshvara refers to Shariputra, who in the Sutra represents the early Buddhist school of “perfect wisdom”. The bodhisattva especially emphasizes that “form is emptiness, and emptiness is form” and declares the skandhas to be equally empty.

After this, Avalokiteshvara talks about some of the most important Buddhist dogmas and explains that they are simple explanations of reality, but not reality itself, and therefore are not truth in the highest sense of this concept. In other words, a Buddhist cannot rely on words or traditional dogmas of teaching. The bodhisattva, as an archetypal Buddhist, relies on the perfection of wisdom, which perceives things as they really are, that is, perceives reality directly.

This perfect wisdom is centered in the mantra of the heart Sutra, also called Mahamantra:

गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा

GATE GATE PARA GATE PARA SAM GATE BODHI SVAHA

Which can be translated as “gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha“.

Which means complete liberation from illusions and welcomes enlightenment.

The peculiarity of this Sutra is that the teaching does not come from the mouth of the Buddha himself (which is traditional for all sutras); instead, the Buddha only confirms the correctness of Sri Avalokitesvara’s conclusions regarding Prajnaparamita.

The Translation of the Heart Sutra

Heart Sutra Image

There are multiple translations of the Heart sutra. Here is the most common version.

Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, meditating deeply on Perfection of Wisdom, saw clearly that the five aspects of human existence are empty, and so released himself from suffering.  Answering the monk Sariputra, he said this:

Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.

The other four aspects of human existence —
feeling, thought, will, and consciousness —
are likewise nothing more than emptiness,
and emptiness nothing more than they.

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

So, in emptiness, there is no body,
no feeling, no thought,
no will, no consciousness.
There are no eyes, no ears,
no nose, no tongue,
no body, no mind.
There is no seeing, no hearing,
no smelling, no tasting,
no touching, no imagining.
There is nothing seen, nor heard,
nor smelled, nor tasted,
nor touched, nor imagined.

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

All the Buddhas,
past, present, and future,
rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and live in full enlightenment.

The Perfection of Wisdom is the greatest mantra.
It is the clearest mantra,
the highest mantra,
the mantra that removes all suffering.

This is truth that cannot be doubted.
Say it so:

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!

The Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore

Thich Nhat Hanh Sutra Image

Let us also share with you the new Heart Sutra translation by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Avalokiteshvara while practicing deeply with the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore, suddenly discovered that all of the five Skandhas are equally empty, and with this realization, he overcame all Ill-being.

“Listen Sariputra,
this Body itself is Emptiness
and Emptiness itself is this Body.
This Body is not other than Emptiness
and Emptiness is not other than this Body.
The same is true of Feelings,
Perceptions, Mental Formations,
and Consciousness.

“Listen Sariputra,
all phenomena bear the mark of Emptiness;
their true nature is the nature of
no Birth no Death,
no Being no Non-being,
no Defilement no Purity,
no Increasing no Decreasing.

“That is why in Emptiness,
Body, Feelings, Perceptions,
Mental Formations and Consciousness
are not separate self entities.

The Eighteen Realms of Phenomena
which are the six Sense Organs,
the six Sense Objects,
and the six Consciousnesses
are also not separate self entities.

The Twelve Links of Interdependent Arising
and their Extinction
are also not separate self entities.
Ill-being, the Causes of Ill-being,
the End of Ill-being, the Path,
insight and attainment,
are also not separate self entities.

Whoever can see this
no longer needs anything to attain.

Bodhisattvas who practice
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
see no more obstacles in their mind,
and because there
are no more obstacles in their mind,
they can overcome all fear,
destroy all wrong perceptions
and realize Perfect Nirvana.

“All Buddhas in the past, present and future
by practicing
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
are all capable of attaining
Authentic and Perfect Enlightenment.

“Therefore Sariputra,
it should be known that
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore
is a Great Mantra,
the most illuminating mantra,
the highest mantra,
a mantra beyond compare,
the True Wisdom that has the power
to put an end to all kinds of suffering.
Therefore let us proclaim
a mantra to praise
the Insight that Brings Us to the Other Shore.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!

Hidden Meaning of the Heart Sutra

Now let’s dive deeper into understanding the hidden meaning of the Heart Sutra.

Let’s take a closer look at the mantra that is found at the end of the Heart Sutra.

GATE GATE PARA GATE PARA SAM GATE BODHI SVAHA

Gate means gone.

Paragate signifies gone to the further shore and is a stock Sanskrit expression used by Buddhists and Jains to refer to arahants. (The word para signifies the bank of a river opposite to the one on which one is presently standing).

Parasamgate signifies completely gone to the further shore. (The syllable sam means: altogether, thoroughly, or completely.)

The syllable bodhi is a feminine noun that signifies awakening, knowledge, and enlightenment.

The syllable svaha is an indeclinable part of Vedic Sanskrit. It is said to be the name of the wife of Agni, the god of fire. This syllable is used at the end of a chanting that accompanies a burnt offering made at a Vedic sacrifice (rather as “amen” is used at the end of a prayer in Christian liturgy). This syllable cannot really be translated since it is a performative word.

We can read the first “GATE” or “gone” as an incentive to enter the path of accumulating merit, and the second “GATE” or “gone” as a way to prepare the mind for a deep perception of emptiness.

Gone to the further shore” refers to the path of seeing reality, the direct perception of emptiness. One who attains this vision becomes Arya, or “noble.”

The words “completely gone to the further shore” indicate the path of meditation in which the practitioner through constant practice becomes familiar with emptiness on a deeper level.

The last words of this mantra “Bodhi Svaha” are an incentive to take root in the soil of enlightenment, that is, to enter the final Nirvana.

Stages of enlightenment image

There are five stages of the path to enlightenment:

  1. accumulation;
  2. preparation;
  3. vision;
  4. meditation;
  5. no further learning.

These five stages can be connected with various fragments of the main text of the Heart Sutra.

Four-part representation of emptiness at the beginning of the Sutra:

“Body is nothing more than emptiness,
emptiness is nothing more than body.
The body is exactly empty,
and emptiness is exactly body.”

is a way of practicing emptiness in the first two stages – accumulation and preparation.

The emptiness of the eight aspects of phenomena, expressed in the words:

All things are empty:
Nothing is born, nothing dies,
nothing is pure, nothing is stained,
nothing increases and nothing decreases.

is the realization of emptiness at the stage of vision.

The words:

There is no ignorance,
and no end to ignorance.
There is no old age and death,
and no end to old age and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering,
no end to suffering, no path to follow.
There is no attainment of wisdom,
and no wisdom to attain.

indicate the method of practicing emptiness at the stage of meditation.

The words in the next section:

The Bodhisattvas rely on the Perfection of Wisdom,
and so with no delusions,
they feel no fear,
and have Nirvana here and now.

indicate the practice of emptiness of the last of the ten levels of bodhisattva, where he resides in a state of meditative concentration.

The actual transition from one stage to another takes place while you are in a state of meditative balance.

At the initial stage, when the practitioner goes through the path of accumulation, his understanding of emptiness is primarily intellectual. Practitioners with a sharp mind can reach a sufficiently deep understanding of emptiness before generating the altruistic attitude of bodhichitta. Those who are less inclined to intellectual thinking, first develop the intention to free all living beings from suffering.

In any case, a deep understanding of emptiness has a powerful effect on all other practices, enhancing and complimenting them. It can lead to a powerful renunciation, which is the desire to free oneself from the sufferings of the cycle of being, as well as to become the basis of strong and all-encompassing compassion.

In the accumulation stage, awareness of voidness is mainly the result of learning, reflection, and intellectual understanding. Through meditation on what has been learned, the practitioner further deepens his understanding until eventually, he attains full clarity of penetrating vision.

From this moment, the preparation stage begins. Here the understanding of emptiness is no longer purely intellectual or conceptual, but rather has the character of an experience, although it is not yet a direct comprehension of it.

In the preparation stage, the understanding of emptiness becomes more and more deep, subtle, and clear. The use of conceptual thinking in meditation is gradually fading into the background.

When all the dual perception of subject and object, conditional reality and self-existence is eliminated, the practitioner enters the path of vision. At this stage, there is no division into subject and object. Subjective perception and its object merge into one, and meditation is carried out in the direct perception of emptiness.

As this direct experience of emptiness deepens, the practitioner steadily counteracts the various obscurations that occur during the stage of meditation or assimilation by passing through the so-called seven levels of contamination.

In a Nutshell

Dalai Lama Sutra Image

According to Dalai Lama XIV interpretation, the stages work like this:

Accumulation refers to realizing emptiness as an intellectual exercise.

Preparation represents actually experiencing emptiness, but indirectly. Here one progressively sees emptiness while concepts gradually recede.

The path of Vision is attained when dualistic perceptions of subject and object are removed, and where emptiness becomes unmediated and direct.

During the stage of meditation, one progresses through subtle “imprints” of mental afflictions, eventually eradicating them.

This finally leads to full Buddhahood, or the stage of No More Learning.

The Bottom Line

First, it may seem very difficult to understand Heart Sutra. Therefore, it is recommended to meditate on it. By meditating on the Heart Sutra, you will, again and again, enter deeply the mysteries of these sacred words. And by making the Mahamantra your daily practice you will see that you’re observing your life experience from a higher perspective.


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