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n. Buddhism
An enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.

[Sanskrit bodhisattvaḥ, one whose essence is enlightenment : bodhiḥ, perfect knowledge; see bheudh- in Indo-European roots + sattvam, essence, being (from sat-, existing; see es- in Indo-European roots).]


(ˌbəʊdɪˈsætvə; -wə; ˌbɒd-; ˌbəʊdiːˈsʌtvə)
(Buddhism) (in Mahayana Buddhism) a divine being worthy of nirvana who remains on the human plane to help men to salvation. Compare arhat
[Sanskrit, literally: one whose essence is enlightenment, from bodhi enlightenment + sattva essence]


(ˌboʊ dəˈsʌt və)

n., pl. -vas.
a Buddhist who has attained prajna, or Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana in order to help others to attain Enlightenment.
[1820–30; < Pali, Skt]


A person who vows to become a Buddha by leading a virtuous and wise life. At the highest level, this is a person who postpones entering nirvana by doing charitable work.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Bodhisattva - Buddhist worthy of nirvana who postpones it to help others
References in periodicals archive ?
The lobby of Wellsprings Residence is decorated with her beautifully crafted artwork - including a stone carving of Bodhisattva - that she created in her 80s.
Striding across the Korean peninsula, Ko Un is a literary giant once described by Allen Ginsberg as a demon-driven bodhisattva.
Another beautiful quotation is in How to Stay Awake: "A bodhisattva thinks like this: May I be a bridge for everyone who wants to cross the water.
It is about the transformation of Bodhisattva Guanyin into a Buddhist monk and the subjugation of the dragon (Yu, 2001).
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Beautiful Way of Life: A Meditation on Shantideva's Bodhisattva Path" is truly extraordinary and a welcome addition to personal, community, and academic library Buddhist Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.
The Dazu Thousand-hand Bodhisattva Statue is China's largest three-dimensional (3D) cliff-carved statue, combining sculpture, clay sculpture, gold foil painting, and colored drawing [1].
It means awakening one's self in the world, becoming a spiritual activist, a bodhisattva who is healing the world, restoring it to balance and wholeness.
MARDAN -- Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan Archaeology Department discovered the largest Bodhisattva broken head and toe ever found in Pakistan during Koi-Tangay excavation in Katlang Mardan, dating to 4th - 5th century A.
Vajrayana Buddhism drew Singh as it emphasises the role of the Bodhisattva, but the tradition tends to favour fierce deities, and significantly expands the Bodhisattva pantheon.
It was composed in English rather than his native French (though with nary a hint of impediment) and focuses on two pieces of Buddhist art from a private collection, devoid of inscriptions: a Mathuran sandstone bust, partially damaged, and a heavily restored seated Gandharan bodhisattva in the classic pensive pose.
The Bodhicaryavatara is a guide to the path of awakening for a bodhisattva.