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Bodhisattva, aka: Bodhisatta, Bodhishotto; 30 Definition(s)

Bodhisattva means something in Buddhism, Hinduism, Pali Check out some of the following descriptions and leave a comment if you want to add your own contribution to this article:

27 Definition(s) from various sources:

Bodhisattva-bhūmi (बोधिसत्त्व):—One of the ten grounds shared by adepts of the three Vehicles (sādhāraṇabhūmi). This is the [shared grounds] from Śukladarśanabhūmi to Kṛtāvibhūmi, as has been said above. It is also the [shared grounds] going from the Pramuditā bhūmi to the Dharmamegha bhūmi: all are called Bodhisattvabhūmi. Some say that all the grounds from the production of the first mind of bodhi (prathamacittotpāda) to the diamond-like concentration (vajropamasamādhi) are called Bodhisattvabhūmi].

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Bodhisattva: someone who has aroused bodhichitta, the compassionate wish to attain enlightenment for the benefit of all beings and also wishes to bring them to that state. It also refers to a sublime bodhisattva who has attained one of the ten stages of the bodhisattva path.

The bodhisattvas practise on the basis of their wish to benefit others. They are motivated by bodhichitta, which has as its focus all sentient beings and is characterized by the wish to establish them all at the level of perfect buddhahood, free from the causes and effects of suffering and endowed with all the causes and effects of happiness.

etymology: Bodhisattva (Skt.; Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའ་, chang chub sempa; Wyl. byang chub sems dpa' )

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Bodhisattvas have realized profound emptiness, the realization that their own personalities as well as all phenomena are actually empty of any self-nature. This realization is called non-dual wisdom [gnyis su med pa’i ye shes] and endows them with greater compassion for all sentient beings. Having no doubts, they do not hesitate to directly enter into any situation that could benefit beings. Such courage and compassion can only spring from absolute bodhicitta. This complete realization of bodhicitta clearly distinguishes followers of the Hīnayāna vehicle from followers of the Mahāyāna.

Bodhisattvas are heroes who pursue the benefit of other beings without the slightest hesitation. The word bodhisattva means ’a courageous being determined to gain enlightenment’.

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Bodhisattva Skt., lit., “enlightenment be­ing”; in Mahāyāna Buddhism a bodhisattva is a being who seeks buddhahood through the sys­tematic practice of the perfect virtues (pāramitā) but renounces complete entry into nirvāna until all beings are saved. The determin­ing factor for his action is compassion (karunā), supported by highest insight and wis­dom (prajñā). A bodhisattva provides active help, is ready to take upon himself the suffering of all other beings, and to transfer his own kar­mic merit to other beings. The way of a bodhi­sattva begins with arousing the thought of en­lightenment (bodhichitta) and taking the bodhisattva vow (pranidhāna). The career of a bodhisattva is divided into ten stages (bhūmi). The bodhisattva ideal replaced in Mahāyāna the Hīnayāna ideal of the arhat, whose effort is directed towards the attainment of his own liberation.

Added: 23.Jul.2011 | Shambala Publications: General
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'enlightened being' either the historical Buddha before He became enlightened, or someone close to Buddhahood, or a mythical being representing aspects of enlightenment, or any person who has taken the Bodhisattva Vow.

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'Enlightenment Being', is a being destined to Buddha-hood, a future Buddha.

According to the traditional belief a Bodhisatta, before reaching his last birth as a Buddha on this earth, is living in the Tusita-heaven (s. deva), the heaven of bliss. Cf. A. IV, 127; VIII, 70.

In the Pāli Canon and commentaries, the designation 'Bodhisatta' is given only to Prince Siddhattha before his enlightenment and to his former existences.

The Buddha himself uses this term when speaking of his life prior to enlightenment (e.g. M.4, M.26).

Bodhisatta-hood is neither mentioned nor recommended as an ideal higher than or alternative to Arahantship; nor is there any record in the Pāli scriptures of a disciple declaring it as his aspiration.

See bodhi and the Pail Names Dic.

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Sanskrit; Bosatsu (Japanese), Bosal (Korean); one who postpones his or her own enlightenment in order to help liberate other sentient beings from cyclic existence; compassion, or karuna, is the central characteristic of the bodhisattva; important bodhisattvas include Avaloikitesvara, Manjusri, and Jizo.

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(Sanskrit) A term from Mahayana Buddhism, referring to one who delays complete enlightenment for the sake of helping other beings reach enlightenment first.

Added: 16.May.2009 | Amaravati: Glossary
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An enlightened being who has put aside his own salvation so as to save all sentient beings.

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Mahayana talks a great deal about the bodhisattva (the enlightenment being) as being the ideal way for a Buddhist to live. Anyone can embark on the bodhisattva path. This is a way of life, a way of selflessness; it is a deep wish for all beings, no matter who they are, to be liberated from suffering.

Added: 10.Apr.2009 | BBC: Buddhism
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A person who has generated spontaneous bodhichitta but who has not yet become a Buddha. From the moment a practitioner generates a non artificial, or spontaneous, bodhichitta, he or she becomes a Bodhisattva and enters the first Mahayana path, the path of accumulation. An ordinary Bodhisattva is one who has not realized emptiness directly, and a Superior Bodhisattva is one who has attained a direct realization of emptiness.

Added: 06.Apr.2009 | Mahakaruna: Buddhism Glossary
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1) In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva) or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one (satva) for enlightenment (bodhi)." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and especially in tantric works, this is more commonly reserved for the term jñānasattva ("awareness-being"; Tib. ཡེ་ཤེས་སེམས་དཔའ་་, Wyl. ye shes sems dpa’). Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

etymology: bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta)

2) In Buddhism, a bodhisattva means either "enlightened (bodhi) existence (sattva)" or "enlightenment being" or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic minded one (satva) for enlightenment (bodhi)". Another translation is "Wisdom Being".

The various divisions of Buddhism understand the word bodhisattva in different ways, but especially in Mahayana Buddhism, it mainly refers to a being that compassionately refrains from entering nirvana in order to save others.

Added: 29.Mar.2009 | WikiPedia: Buddhism
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one committed to the path of compassion (Sanskrit)
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In Mahayana Buddhism, a bodhisattva is one who works for the enlightenment of others and who vows not to enter Nirvana until all other beings are enlightened.
Added: 23.Nov.2008 | About: Glossary of Buddhist Terms
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A bodhisattva wishes to help all beings attain nirvana. He must therefore refuse to enter nirvana himself, as he cannot apparently render any services to the living beings of the worlds after his own nirvana. He thus finds himself in the rather illogical position of pointing the way to nirvana for other beings, while he himself stays in this world of suffering in order to do good to all creatures. This is his great sacrifice for others. He has taken the great Vow: "I shall not enter into final nirvana before all beings have been liberated." He does not realize the highest liberation for himself, as he cannot abandon other beings to their fate. He has said: "I must lead all beings to liberation. I will stay here till the end, even for the sake of one living soul. The word bodhisattva itself is prone to a rich etymological analysis. It is composed of two words bodhi and sattva both of which connote deeply spiritually meanings. Bodhi means "awakening" or "enlightenment," and sattva means "sentient being." Sattva also has etymological roots that mean "intention," meaning the intention to enlighten other beings. Thus the composite word bodhisattva signifies the very essence of the divine beings it refers to.
Added: 16.Nov.2008 | Kheper: General
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Divine beings that, although enlightened, deny themselves Buddhahood in order to help others along the path to enlightenment. Still tied to the material world in this manner, they are usually represented in sumptuous garments and adorned with jewelry and crowns (a reference to Shakyamunis earthly existence). Bodhisattvas are usually represented as extremely calm and benevolent beings.
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(Pronunciation: "boh dee SAHT vah") A being who has the wisdom and power sufficient to become a Buddha, but who refrains from doing so in order to help others find salvation.
Added: 04.Oct.2008 | The Art of Asia: Buddhism Glossary
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BODHISATTVA (Skt., = Tib. changch ub sempa). For the Early Schools and the Theravadins, the term bodhisattva refers primarily to the historical Buddha Shakyamuni in his previous lives. For the Mahayana schools, it has a wider meaning, and refers to (1) anyone who has irreversibly entered on the path to Buddhahood through arousing within himself or herself the central Mahayana motivation of BODHICITTA (q.v.); (2) certain highly attained beings such as Avalokiteshvara or Manjushri who can be contacted in ritual for aid and who are, in effect, deities or sambhogakaya forms of the Buddha (see TRIKAYA DOCTRINE).
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One who has taken a vow to become a fully enlightened Buddha; someone known for an unbounded readiness and availability to help all sentient beings
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A Wisdom Being. One intent on becoming, or destined to become, a Buddha. Gotama, before his Enlightenment as the historical Buddha. A being destined for Enlightenment, who postpones final attainment of Buddhahood in order to help living living beings (see Mahayana).
Added: 27.Sep.2008 | GCSE: A Glossary of Buddhist Terms
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In Mahayana Buddhism, a person who has achieved enlightenment, but has who has chosen to remain in this world to help those who are suffering, instead of going on to nirvana. This is the highest ideal. Kuan Yin is an important Chinese bodhisattva; her full name means "Hearing Worlds Cries Bodhisattva." Amitabha Buddha is an important Bohisattva in the Mahayana form of Buddhism called Pure Land. The idea of the bodhisattva should be contrasted to the arhat of Theravada Buddhism.
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Bodhisattva in Sanskrit, Bodhisatta in Pali. A Future Buddha who is a being destined to Buddhahood. Bodhi means Enlightenment and Sattva means Sentient and Conscious. Therefore Bodhisattva refers to the sentient being of or for the great wisdom and enlightenment. Bodhisattvas vow/aim is the pursuit of Buddhahood and the salvation of others and of all. He seeks enlightenment to enlighten others. He will sacrifice himself to save the others. He is devoid of egoism and devoted to help the others. The way and discipline of Bodhisattva is to benefit the self and the others, leading to Buddhahood.
Added: 27.Sep.2008 | Buddhist Door: Glossary
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A future Buddha.
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"one whose essence is wisdom". In Mahayana Buddhism, future buddhas who postpone nirvana in order to help free others from suffering. The goal of Mahayana Buddhism is to become a bodhisattva. See Bodhisattvas.
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"A being (striving) for Awakening"; the term used to describe the Buddha before he actually become Buddha, from his first aspiration to Buddhahood until the time of his full Awakening. Sanskrit form: Bodhisattva.
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A Buddha to be, one who has resolved to attain Enlightenment for the helping of all sentient beings.
Added: 21.Jun.2008 | Chez Paul: A Buddhist Glossary
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Those who aspire to Supreme Enlightenment and Buddhahood for themselves and all beings. The word Bodhisattva can therefore stand for a realized being such as Avalokitesvara or Samantabhadra but also for anyone who has developed the Bodhi Mind, the aspiration to save oneself and others.
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