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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 ?
Tenders are invited for Procurement Of Video Projection System For Bodhisatva Hall At Officers Training Academy, Gaya (Bihar)
A long panel, depicting eight life-size icons of the Bodhisatva Avalokiteshvara on its western gallery was once the highlight of the Banteay Chhmar temple.
82ab ku bodhisatva ttu [] butte | ttye tta saitta .
Bodhisatva Sidhartha, which has now been restablished at a place of pride at the top of the Kabul Museum's staircase.
Dating back to 1931, it was built by Bodhisatva Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) from Sri Lanka.
The Mahavastu, Senart (2: 1,3) points out that "bodhisattvas are born in two types of families, warrior families or Brahmin families," dvThi kulehi bodhisatva jayanti, ksatriyakule va brahmanakule va.
Of the various sutras that accompanied the spread and popularization of Mahayana Buddhism around Asia, the most popular in Korea expounded universal salvation, especially The Lotus Sutra that also stressed the "compassion of the Bodhisatva Avalokitesvara [Guanyin]" and The Nirvana Sutra that asserted the "eternal life of the soul in a state of perpetual bliss" (Grayson, Korea 32).
According to Daniel Wright's account (1972:78) the Buddhist scriptures of Nepal credited Bodhisatva Arya Manjushree from China for making the Nepal Valley fit for habitation.
He invited his monks and nuns to come and chant the name of Avalositeshvara (the Bodhisatva of compassion, known in Vietnam as Qan Yin or Quan Te Am).
Studies include Hiram Woodward, 'Southeast Asian traces of the Buddhist pilgrims', Muse, Annual of the Museum of Art and Archaeology, University of Missouri-Columbia, 22 (1988): 75-91; Claudine Bautze-Picron, 'Le groupe des huit grands Bodhisatva en Inde: Genese et developpement', in Living a life in accord with Dhamma: Papers in honor of Professor Jean Boisselier on his eightieth birthday, ed.
However, When we see the evolution of Buddhism through the last century or so we know that Mahayana Buddhism has been in the forefront in activities related to human welfare, in addition to the relative economic prosperity of the societies where Mahayana is practiced, there is no doubt that its emphasis on Bodhisatva practice has played a crucial role in this.