Heart Sutra, in a sense, summarizes the "Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra" - which is a massive 600 volumes and 6 million Chinese characters long - into just 276 Chinese characters.

It apparently teaches us a way to reach enlightenment - but the language is so far removed from modern Japanese, a lot of people just don't have access to the meaning of this text. See the text below? It's as gobbledy-gook for many Japanese people as it is for English-speaking people:

観自在菩薩 行深般若波羅蜜多時 照見五蘊皆空 度一切苦厄 舎利子
色不異空空不異色 色即是空空即是色 受想行識亦復如是 舎利子
是諸法空相 不生不滅不垢不浄 不増不減 是故空中
無色無受想行識 無眼耳鼻舌身意 無色声香味触法 無眼界乃至無意識界
無無明 亦無無明尽 乃至無老死 亦無老死尽 無苦集滅道 無智亦無得
以無所得故 菩提薩垂 依般若波羅蜜多故 心無罫礙 無罫礙故 無有恐怖
遠離一切顛倒夢想 究竟涅槃 三世諸仏 依般若波羅蜜多故
得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提 故知 般若波羅蜜多 是大神呪 是大明呪
是無上呪 是無等等呪 能除一切苦 真実不虚 故説 般若波羅蜜多呪 即説呪曰
羯諦羯諦波羅羯諦 波羅僧羯諦 菩提薩婆訶 般若心経

It's a pity when potentially-meaningful texts like this don't get exposure to modern audience.

Well, here's a translation of it which might be a good way of introducing people into Buddhist texts:

You wanna find out a way to find solace?
It's a key for all to find a blast.
Take it easy coz pain and suffering's all fake - don't worry.

The world's empty - even the despairs, from the very beginning.
The world's always changing - pain can also turn into solace.
It might stain ya, it might give you a lot of burden.
But you can also get rid of all the heavy luggage.

You got it? That the world's so f**ked up?

Leave aside the pain and disease.
Leave aside all the things you see.
Leave aside all the things you hear.

The guy next door will have different senses,
so there's nothing to rely on there.

Don't bother with the swaying heart - that's emptiness.
Shit happens in life - and it's hard to ignore.
But leave'em aside.

No one can see what's ahead of us,
so don't even try and light the path,
but enjoy the darkness surrounding:
that's the proof that we're alive.

Yeah, it's hard to live right, but we can all live bright.

There's a way of life as a Bodhisattva:
there's no need to suffer in life.
Become a Bodhisattva that enjoy life.

It ain't good if you lose all fear though,
a bit of fear is a tool for survival.
But don't mistake - I ain't sayin' we ought to lose all emotion.
Remember dreams, fantasy, and compassion - then nirvana is everywhere.

The way to live your life won't change - just the way you embrace it.
A bit of legroom in our soul turns us all into Buddha.

Remember these words - it's short.
You don't need to know what it means,
who cares about the details.
Dissipating a little suffering is all we need.

Suffering will go when you take in all the lies and bullshit.
That's how it is.

All the rumbles up to now you can forget, but remember what I tell you now.
Say it when you get a chance. You can say it in your mind too.

Now, listen out carefully:

"Recite; heart will disappear, soul will ease, everything is here, and everything exceeded."
"That is when enlightenment is accomplished. All comes to this truth."

So remember - don't worry.

It is certain that a liberal translation/localization like this has plenty of flaws - it takes away the subtle meaning that the original carried, and all the nuance and beauty of tone is all but disappeared when casual (and profane) words are used.

But even then, there were people who gained some encouragement from these modernized version of the Buddhist text. Even though the original text is over 1,000 years old, the essence of it has the ability to move us.

While there is no need to convert to Buddhism, it does lead us to ponder - how can we try and live a better life?

By - grape Japan editorial staff.