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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 ?
It is possible that the Khmers in the late Bayon period were associating Vajradhara with their hospitals because in the tantric version of the bhaisajyaguru-sutra translated by Yijing in the Tang capital in 707, the Bodhisattva Vajradhara is given special prominence when he utters a concluding dharani for protection against all diseases.
Truly Kathy is a bodhisattva in her heart and action.
A bodhisattva is motivated by compassion and the search for enlightenment for herself and others.
Kannon is the Japanese name for the Buddhist Bodhisattva of mercy and compassion.
Hence, it was used to suggest the difficulties facing those who set forth on the bodhisattva path as well as to praise them for such aspiration.
The tallest figure represents one of the 108 forms of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, with his gentle hand extending.
difficult if I'm not a bodhisattva myself, to recognize one.
Mertz, he argues, was a Bodhisattva, master of "such sophisticated techniques as Senseless Bickering, Scathing Indifference, Bad Timing, Advanced Balding and the Five Secrets of Stinginess.
A magnificent image of a Bodhisattva, that had survived the Civil War and which the museum put back on show in 2000, fell victim to the Taliban hardening in attitude and now stands as a shattered hulk -- smashed in 2001.
He was bestowed the title of Daibosatsu, or Great Bodhisattva, during his later years.