Bodhisattva, 28 Definition(s)
AKA: Bodhishotto, Bodhisatta
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.
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.
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.
An enlightened being who has put aside his own salvation so as to save all sentient beings.
(Sanskrit) A term from Mahayana Buddhism, referring to one who delays complete enlightenment for the sake of helping other beings reach enlightenment first.
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.
'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.
'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.
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.
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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