I have recently finished reading Red Pine’s translation and commentary on the Heart Sutra. If I understand correctly, the author of this sutra (whoever that may be) is writing a response to misconceptions surrounding of the Sarvastivada Abdhidharma, and is basically contrasting (or perhaps nullifying) all the main pillars of Sarvastivada knowledge by exposing them in the light of perfect wisdom (Prajnaparamita). I guess you could say the author (or Avalokiteshvara in the case of this dialogue) is exposing all the biggest fingers that point to the moon as only fingers, and the moon as being something far beyond the fingertip.
Anyways, I didn’t really understand who the Sarvastivadans were besides ‘an old mainstream sect of Buddhism’. But I noticed in the recent E-Sangha thread, in Jundo’s quotation of Malcom Smith’s email, Malcom refers to the Tibetan practice (what I had always considered Vajrayana) as “Mula-sarvastivada [Tibetan]”.
So this got me thinking, was the Heart Sutra written as a criticism of the practices of the Tibetan tradition (or at least Tibetan’s ancestral lineage)? Was it a sort of poke to say that wisdom should take precedence over the compilation of knowledge?
And whether aimed at them or not, how does the Tibetan tradition view the Heart Sutra?
Just some curiosity on my part. If anyone has any insights please share.
Cheers and Gassho,
PS- Thanks again Paige, I enjoyed the read!