There is No Wisdom, and There is No Attainment Whatsoever.

This part of The Heart Sutra concerns the teaching of the Six Paramitas, or the Bodhisattva, practice as explained in the Tripitaka. Allowing oneís actions to be guided by one or all of the Paramitas, one will surely attain the Path and the Fruit. For each of the aforementioned six fundamental defilements there is one of the Six Paramitas, or Perfections of Virtue, to be used as a specific antidote.

Charity eliminates greed, discipline cures laziness, patience overcomes hatred, determination overcomes laxity, meditation cools the mind making it receptive to wisdom, and wisdom dispels ignorance. The Mahayana doctrine of action and principle differs from that of the Theravada regarding intent. In addition to oneís actions that should follow the Paramitas, one is expected, according to the Mahayana understanding of the Bodhisattva path, to endeavor to liberate all sentient beings by leading them onward and upward while simultaneously seeking his or her own enlightenment. If, however, one has not cut off grasping completely, oneís very wisdom becomes colonized by consciousness, thus, turning into an obstacle rather than being a virtue.

According to the Buddha, ìThere is no wisdom and there is no attainment whatsoever.î It means that the Paramitas and the Bodhisattva action, as promulgated by the Tripitaka, are not things to be grasped, conceptualized, manipulated or used. However, this is the perspective of the Mahayana Dharma only. Such an idea of Emptiness is evident neither in the practice nor in the wisdom and also not in Buddhahood, for that matter, in the teachings of the Theravadins.

The Dharma of Emptiness is characterized by the concept of Emptiness as the substance of all dharmas. In this light, then, even the Six Paramitas and the Bodhisattva action are the reflection in the mirror, since they, too, are all amenable to change and, therefore, empty of self. The already introduced Chinese term Wu (none, nothing) expresses the true nature of the mirror, or its capacity to receive and relinquish all that goes on in front of it without holding on to any part of it. Thus, if the Paramitas are practiced with the understanding that they are rooted in Emptiness, the Great Enlightenment can be attained. Non-wisdom is the True Wisdom, non-attainment is the True Attainment. This is what it means to practice the Prajna Paramita deeply; then, the five fundamental conditions of the passions and delusions stop, and the two kinds of birth and death are finished forever.

In addition to the Paramitas of Bodhisattva action, there is another set of Six Paramitas of principle as part of the teachings of the Intermediate School (Tung Jiao). Action and principle are not separated in the teaching of the Differentiated School (Bie Jiao); but in the Original, or Genuine School (Yuan Jiao), the Six Paramitas are practiced as non-action, and this practice leads to perfect Wisdom and to the supreme Bodhi.