Thus have I heard: once the Blessed One was dwelling in the royal domain of the Vulture Peak Mountain, together with a great gathering of monks and Bodhisattvas.

At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi which examines the dharmas, called "Profound Illumination", and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, looking at the profound practice of transcendent knowledge, saw the five skandhas and their natural emptiness.

Then through the inspiration of the Buddha, Shariputra said to Avalokiteshvara: "How should those noble ones learn, who wish to follow the profound practice of transcendent knowledge?" And Avalokiteshvara answered: "Shariputra, whoever wishes to follow the profound practice of transcendent knowledge should look at it like this, seeing the five skandhas and their natural emptiness, form is emptiness, emptiness itself is form; emptiness is no other than form, form is no other than emptiness; in the same way feeling, perception, concept and consciousness are emptiness. Thus all the dharmas are emptiness and have no characteristics. They are unborn and unceasing, they are not impure or pure, they neither decrease nor increase. Therefore since there is emptiness there is no form, no feeling, no perception, no concept, no consciousness; no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind; no appearance, no sound, no quality of hearing, no quality of smelling, no quality of tasting, no quality of sensing, no quality of thought, no quality of mind-consciousness; there are no nidanas, from ignorance to old age and death, nor their wearing out; there is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no ending of suffering and no path; no wisdom, no attainment and no non-attainment. Therefore since there is no attainment, the Bodhisattvas abide by means of transcendent knowledge; and since there is no obscurity of mind they have no fear, they transcend falsity and pass beyond the bounds of sorrow. All the Buddhas who dwell in the past, present and future by means of transcendent knowledge fully and clearly awaken to unsurpassed, true, complete enlightenment. Therefore the mantra of transcendent knowledge, the mantra of deep insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequalled mantra, the mantra which calms all suffering, should be known as truth, for there is no deception. In transcendent knowledge the mantra is proclaimed:

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.

O Shariputra, this is how a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva should learn profound transcendent knowledge"

Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised the Bodhisattva-mahasattva Avalokiteshvara saying: "Good, good, O son of noble family! Profound transcendent knowledge should be practiced just as you have taught, and the Tathagatas will rejoice"

When the Blessed One had said this, Shariputra and Avalokiteshvara, that whole gathering and the world with its gods, men asuras and gandharvas, their hearts full of joy, praised the words of the Blessed One.