Category:Bodhisattvas (Buddhist Saints)

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Bodhisattavas are revered figures within the Buddhist tradition and are sometimes referred to as Buddhist saints.

Who Are the Bodhisattvas?

The word bodhisattva means "enlightenment being" in Sanskrit, bodhi being the word for enlightenment.

Generally speaking, the term bodhisattva can can refer to any person who is on the path towards enlightenment, but modern definitions of who this includes vary somewhat among the different denominations of Buddhism.

* In Theravada Buddhism, any person who has vowed to become a Buddha and has also been given confirmation from a from a living Buddha that this will be so is a bodhisattva.
* In Mahayana Buddhism, the term indicates a person who has developed bodhicitta ("enlightenment mind"), a spontaneous mental wish to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings; in popular understanding, a bodhisattva is someone capable of reaching nirvana (transcendence of suffering and desire) but who holds back from doing so in order to save others from suffering.
* In Vajrayana Buddhism, the term indicates a person who is dedicated to achieving the status of buddhahood, has developed bodhicitta ("enlightenment mind"), is capable of reaching nirvana, but refrains from doing so.

The bodhisattvas are venerated by many Buddhists, and their life stories are well known to dedicants.

Popular Bodhisattvas

As with any group of revered spiritual helpers, the bodhisattvas have individual personalities and temperments. Each is revered for some specific quality or activity.


Akasagarbha is the bodhisattva of infinite happiness generated by helping others.


Avalokitesvara is the bodhisattva of compassion and mercy and the most widely-known bodhisattva.


Ksitigarbha is the bodhisattva of those suffering torment and the bodhisattva of vows.


Mahasthamaprapta is the bodhisattva of wisdom.


Maitreya is the bodhisattva to be reborn and to become enlightened.


Manjusri is the bodhisattva of awareness and wisdom.


Nagarjuna is one of the two main architects of Mahayana Buddhism. (Read More ...)


Nio are manifestations of the Bodhisattva Vajrapani and are the two guardians of Buddha.


Padmasambhava is the founder of Tibetan Buddhism. (Read More ...)


Samantabhadra is the bodhisattva of meditation.


Sangharama are the bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhism-Taoism who guard monasteries.


Sitatapatra is the bodhisattva of the White Parasol and protector against supernatural danger.


Skanda is a Dharmapala who guards the Dharma and is found in Chinese Buddhism.


Tara is the female bodhisattva of success in work and is also considered by some to be a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.


Vajrapani is the protector and guide of Gautama Buddha and a bodhisattva who represents the Buddha's power.


Vasudhara is the bodhisattva of abundance and fertility.

See Also

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