More resources for studying The Four Great Vows

• Make your own practice sheets: Make your own character practice sheets at Make your own character practice sheets at • You can also just buy books of ready made blank practice sheets. Personally I recommend “Mi-Zi-Ge” style with big squares, like this one available at Amazon: • Tuttle’s flashcards are really nice. […]


Great Compassion Mantra in Siddham: Aksharamukha: Script Converter: Proposal to Encode the Siddham Script in ISO/IEC 10646 by Anshuman Pandey: 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 […]