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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 top lot of the week came from the Chinese Buddhist sculpture from the holdings of the late Stephen Junkunc III, offered at Sotheby's on 12 September: a particularly graceful painted limestone figure of a Boddhisattva (Fig.
Herein lies the difference between the beautiful dream of the Boddhisattva [sic] ...
She is the Tibetan Green Tara, goddess of mercy and compassion, a Boddhisattva or enlightened being who may enter Nirvana but elects to remain to help others.
Of the six [remaining] sons one will be a Boddhisattva of the tenth stage who will uphold the teachings pertaining to explanations of the doctrines and their realization, and who will be of infinite benefit to sentient beings." Filling the skull-cup with ale, he said: "oh, Great Jo bo!
The First Commitment is to do no harm with our thoughts, words, or actions; the Second Commitment, or the Boddhisattva Vow, calls us to nurture our sense of compassion and dedicate our lives to easing the world's suffering; and the Third Commitment, the Samaya Vow, teaches us to see everything as a manifestation of awakened energy and to embrace the world as it is, without labeling it "good" or "bad."
The evident cross-cultural exchange of objects and technologies that resulted clearly influenced this evolution, and were well defined by the time Buddhism arrived, as John Guy's placement of the region into wider networks of the Boddhisattva cult shows.
See Toshikazu Arai, "The Meaning and Role of the Boddhisattva in Shinran's Pure Land Tradition," Horin: Vergleichende Studien zur japanischen Kultur 10 (2003), 194.
The sermon would involve the teachings of Gyalsey Thokme Sangpo's 37 practices of Boddhisattva (Laklen Sodunma) and confers a Guhyasamaja Initiation.