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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 ?
In line with the royal tradition, the congregation's practices outline a path of bodhisatta, and the members are thus imagined as a moral community of such holy people.
A Place for the Bodhisatta, The Local and the Universal in jataka Stories," Acta Orientalia Vilnensia 8, no.
As a human being, a seeker of Perfect Enlightenment, the Bodhisatta, physically and mentally met and experienced innumerable challenges, impediments and hindrances, as well as eight vicissitudes of human life which today we unavoidably meet and inextricably experience.
The Chinese Buddhist cult deity Kwan Im (the Bodhisatta Avalokitesvara) has captured the imagination of innumerable Thai devotees.
Like prince Vessantara, the penultimate rebirth of the Buddha, Rama seems to follow the Path of Perfection, that of "wakefulness" or bodhisatta, with his attitude of detachment after all the turmoil and human failings he has experienced.
22, suggests a complete overlap between the Preah Bat Thommik and neak mean bon through the conceptual link 'dhammik = bodhisatta = neak mean boun'.
An appreciative connotation is also to be found in an Old Mon inscription from the beginning of the twelfth century, which attests syam identified as "the Bodhisatta in the Sama-Jataka" by H.
The least serious act of killing is one where an insect or animal is killed; the intermediate level of seriousness is one where a human being is killed; and the most serious level is where one kills one's father or mother, or an enlightened being such as an Arahant, Paccekabuddha or bodhisatta (22 220).
It is clear from self-identifications in the colophons to certain of his works that he envisioned himself as a bodhisatta or 'future Buddha'.
Whoever speaks falsely or acts selfishly, after roasting in hell, experiences great suffering and will never get to see the Bodhisatta Metteya.
In the Mahapadana Sutta, the Buddha says that it is dhammata that a bodhisatta entering his final lifetime descends from Tusita heaven, that devas attend his conception, that the mother has no sexual desire while carrying him, that she gives birth standing up and an inconceivable bright light appears, and that she will die seven days after the birth and be reborn in Tusita heaven (D II 13-15).