Arya Bhagavati Prajnaparamita Hridaya

A Chanting Guide for the Heart Sutra in Tibetan

I'm currently in the process of memorizing the Heart Sutra, and for this task I've created a small chanting-guide. Actually there is already something similar online at where someone has created a nice website including the Heart Sutra in Tibetan with phonetic transcription and english translation, plus an audio version of the Sutra chanted by Thubten Gelek. Although this website is really great and I really do appreciate the work of this guy, the whole thing has some deficiencies, especially since the Lama who's chanting the Sutra is from Ladakh, therefore his pronounciation is Ladakhi. Also, he's chanting very fast and slurring some phrases etc., and that's why the whole thing isn't that efficient as a chanting guide (at least it wasn't for me).

Hence, I've created my own version of it.... On a russian server I found another recording of the Heart Sutra from a Lama named Nichang Kentrul Rinpoche. The chanting on this recording is also quite fast, but the pronounciation is much clearer, and the recording quality is better as well. I took the original version and stretched it a little, up to the point where it is slow enough, even for Tibetan beginners like myself. Due to the stretching you can hear now some strange background noises sometimes, and the voice sounds a little bit like a robot voice from time to time, but at least the whole thing is quite slow and understandable now ;-)

Another thing is that the two audio versions have some minor textual differences. I did a lot of research and compared various versions of the Heart Sutra in Tibetan and Wylie, but it seems that there are quite a few versions of this Sutra, all with some minor textual differences, so I decided to adjust my own version to the audio recording of Kentrul Rinpoche. I carefully checked the whole text, but since I'm still a beginner in the Tibetan language, it's likely that there are still some mistakes in it, so I would appreciate reports of any typos or other errors.

The word-by-word translation I've used is mainly from the other online audio version at, but since I have adjusted the Tibetan text to Kentrul Rinpoche's recording, I have adjusted the word-by-word translation as well. Also, it seems that there are some small mistakes in the other translation. For example, dri med is translated as 'color not', however, dri is the equivalent of gandha, therefore the correct translation should be 'smell not' or 'odor not'.

The final translation is a mix of different translations. In fact, I just took my favourite translation of each verse from various sources like Edward Conze, George Churinoff, Lama Yeshe, the Dharma Fellowship, Nalanda, and other translations. So take the whole thing with a grain of salt ;-)

Below you can download my version of the Heart Sutra in PDF format, including Tibetan script, Wylie, a word-by-word translation, as well as the 'final' translation. The whole thing is in A4 format, but you can contact me if you need it in A5, Legal, Letter, Kai, Shiroku-ban, Kiku-ban or whatever paper size.

    ⇒ Heart Sutra Chanting Guide (PDF Format, 272 KB)

And here you can download my stretched version of Kentrul Rinpoche's audio recording in MP3 format:

    ⇒ Heart Sutra in Tibetan (128 kbps/4,53 MB)

    ⇒ The Original (un-stretched) version (320 kbps / 6,7 MB)


Anonymous said...

I you still have the PDF and audio file could you share them? The Russian site is closed to me. I believe Nichang Rinpoche is a friend of my root lama the late Chagdud Tulku Rinpoce.



Olde Edo said...

Hello, I just found your blog, and it is beautiful, full of precious information. It seems you have not been active here for a few years, so I don't know if you will see this. My teacher in Tokyo is Nyichang Rinpoche. He was asked to go to Japan to teach about 40 years ago by HH Dalai Lama XIV. Rinpoche was educated in the general Lhasa area, as a child, receiving teaching directly from Shuksep Jetsunma, then at the Nyima Changra monastic college run by the Drikung Kagyu, but with mainly teachers of the Nyingmapa (Rinpoche mainly follows the Longchen Nyingthig tradition). Rinpoche was appointed teacher there while quite young, before being forced to escape from Tibet. He also taught at a monastic college in India before being invited to Koyasan University (run by the Japanese Mikkyo tradition). Rinpoche is now establishing a monastic college and practice center in Kalimpong, where building is making good progress in spite of the slow pace of the local workers.
By the way, Rinpoche's name, nyi lcang mkhan sprul, means "the teacher-tulku at Nyi-ma lcang-ra monastic college". Rinpoche was actually recognized as a tulku while with Shuksep Rinpoche. And, yes, he was a good friend of Chagdud Rinpoche while living in India
Also, and sorry to be a nit-picker, but the Tibetan characters spelling the title of the text at the top of the page are slightly mistaken. The "ti" should be written as a long vowel, and the vowel sign above the "hr" should be pointing to the left to indicate that it is the vowel represented in romanized Sanskrit as an "r" with a dot underneath, instead of the vowel "i". Such errors are extremely common with transcriptions of Sanskrit in Tibetan texts.
Thank you for sharing all this knowledge on your blog!