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bodhisattva

(bō'dĭsät`wə) [Sanskrit,=enlightenment-being], in early BuddhismBuddhism
, religion and philosophy founded in India c.525 B.C. by Siddhartha Gautama, called the Buddha. There are over 300 million Buddhists worldwide. One of the great world religions, it is divided into two main schools: the Theravada or Hinayana in Sri Lanka and SE Asia, and
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 the term used to refer to the Buddha before he attained supreme enlightenment; more generally, any being destined for enlightenment or intent on enlightenment. The spiritual path of the bodhisattva is the central teaching of Mahayana Buddhism. One becomes a bodhisattva by arousing the "mind of enlightenment," taking a vow to attain supreme enlightenment for the sake of all beings. The bodhisattva does not aspire to leave the round of birth-and-death (samsara) before all beings are saved; he is thus distinguished from the arahant of earlier Buddhism, who allegedly seeks nirvananirvana
, in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, a state of supreme liberation and bliss, contrasted to samsara or bondage in the repeating cycle of death and rebirth.
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 only for himself and who, according to Mahayana teaching, has an inferior spiritual attainment. The practice of a bodhisattva consists of the six "perfections" or paramitas: charity (dana), morality (sila), forbearance (ksanti), diligence (virya), meditation (dhyana), and wisdom (prajna). Both laymen and monks may be regarded as bodhisattvas. In addition, many celestial bodhisattvas are worshiped along with the Gautama Buddha and the buddhas of other worlds. The most important celestial bodhisattvas are Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion; Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, and Maitreya, who in heaven awaits birth as the next buddha. See also sunyatasunyata
[Skt.,=emptiness], one of the main tenets of Mahayana Buddhism, first presented by the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajna-paramita) scriptures (1st cent. B.C. on) and later systematized by the Madhyamika school.
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Enlarge picture
Bronze statue of Bodhisattva Maitreya. Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term that translates as: enlightenment (Bodhi) and being (sattva). The Art Archive/ Musée Guimet Paris/Dagli Orti.

Bodhisattva

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

In Mahayana Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is one who has attained enlightenment, whose Buddha nature has found peace, but who has renounced Nirvana for the sake of helping others in their journey to liberation from suffering.

Bodhisattva

 

(Sanskrit, he whose being is illumination), according to the conceptions of the Buddhists, a mentor who guides men along the path of inner perfection, thereby bringing them liberation from earthly sufferings. At the same time, the state of Bodhisattva is a step on the path to the state of supreme illumination and attainment of Nirvana, that is, the state of Buddha.

The veneration of the Bodhisattva arose with the development of Mahayana, northern Buddhism. At the beginning of the Christian era, the title Bodhisattva began to be bestowed even on mortals, for example, on the Indian poet, philosopher, and playwright Asvaghosa (died, according to Chinese sources, in 194 A.D.). The most popular of the Bodhisattvas in Mahayana are Avalokiteshvara, Manjusri, Maitreya, and Vajrapani.

REFERENCE

Dayal, Har. The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature. London, 1932.

Bodhisattva

“the enlightened one” deferring Nirvana to help others. [Buddhism: Parrinder, 48]

Bodhisattva

enlightened one deferring Nirvana to help others. [Buddhism: Parrinder, 48]