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Bodhisattva, aka: Bodhisatta; 12 Definition(s)


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

In Buddhism

General definition (in Buddhism)

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].

Source: Wisdom Library: The Treatise on the Great Virtue of Wisdom, Volume V

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.

Source: Mokurai's Temple: A Buddhist Glossary

'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.

Source: Pali Kanon: Manual of Buddhist Terms and Doctrines

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’.

Source: Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara

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

Source: Amaravati: Glossary

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.

Source: Shambala Publications: General

An enlightened being who has put aside his own salvation so as to save all sentient beings.

Source: Buddhism Tourism: Glossary of Buddhist TermsBodhisattva 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.Source: Buddhist Door: Glossary(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. Source: The Art of Asia: Buddhism GlossaryDivine 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.Source: The Art of Asia: Who is Who in Heaven

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.

Source: WikiPedia: Buddhism"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.Source: Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

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