Kanzeon Kanji

觀 世 音 kan ze on Kuan Shi Yin 南 無 佛 na mu butsu Homage to the Buddha 與 佛 有 因 yo butsu u in There is a cause connecting me to Buddha 與 佛 有 縁 yo butsu u en There is a condition connecting me to Buddha 佛 法 僧 縁 […]


Great Compassion Mantra in Siddham: http://www.siddham.org/yuan_english/mantra/emantra_84s_s.pdf Aksharamukha: Script Converter: https://aksharamukha.appspot.com/input/Siddham Proposal to Encode the Siddham Script in ISO/IEC 10646 by Anshuman Pandey: https://escholarship.org/uc/item/1zx6t75q The Siddham script (Chi. 悉曇文字 xītán wénzì; Jap. 悉曇 shittan; Kor. 실담 siltam) is a Brahmi-based script historically used for writing Sanskrit in China, Japan, and Korea. It is also known in […]

五 蘊 皆 空 (five skandhas all empty)

In this post I’ll do the last four characters of the third line of the Heart Sutra. But perhaps before going any further I should point out that there is no standardization (at least none that I am aware of and/or comply with) for numbering the “lines” of the Heart Sutra. So these “lines” of […]

菩薩: Chinese for “Bodhisattva”

The Chinese name of Avalokiteshvara, as we saw in the previous post, is 觀自在. But the Chinese title of Avalokiteshvara is the next two words on the second line of the Heart Sutra: 菩薩. Here is the whole second line, with these two characters in red: 觀  自  在  菩  薩  行   深   般  若 […]

般若: How to write प्रज्ञा (prajñā) in Chinese characters

The first two characters in the Heart Sutra are 摩訶, which is the Chinese transliteration of महा (mahā́), which in English means “great”. The third and fourth characters are 般若, which is the Chinese transliteration of प्रज्ञा (prajñā), which in English means, more or less, “wisdom”. But actually it’s best not to assume that prajñā […]

寫經 (Sutra Copying)

寫經 (pinyin: xiě-jīng) literally means “copy sutra”. Koreans pronounce it as sagyeong (사경). In Japanese Buddhism it is pronounced shakyo. And to keep us on our toes, the Japanese use two different Chinese characters: 写経 (don’t ask me why – but the first character, 写, is the cursive form of 寫, and the second character, […]