What is Bodhisattva?

Published on essortment, by Lisa Maliga, 2002.

Becoming a Bodhisattva is a huge step in helping not only yourself, but also every other sentient being, both seen and unseen. Most people are self-motivated and work primarily to solve their own problems, keeping others a distant second. Should someone do an act of kindness, repayment is generally expected whether in the form of a thank you and/or further praise.

A Bodhisattva is motivated by pure compassion and love. Their goal is to achieve the highest level of being: that of a Buddha. Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term which translates as: Bodhi [enlightenment] and sattva [being].  

And their reason for becoming a Buddha is to help others. The Bodhisattva will undergo any type of suffering to help another sentient being, whether a tiny insect or a huge mammal. In Shakyamuni Buddha’s ‘Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines’ it states: “I will become a savior to all those beings, I will release them from all their sufferings.” If this sounds familiar to anyone not acquainted with Buddhism, then you only need to think of the example of Jesus Christ, a true Bodhisattva.

When someone first enters the way of the Bodhisattva, they develop Bodhicitta, or, mind of enlightenment. Even as a person strives towards such an exalted goal, they feel as though they are limited by the fact that they, too, are suffering. So that they can be of aid to others, they decide to become Buddhas for a Buddha is capable of unlimited compassion and wisdom. Also, Buddhas are able to relate to all others at whatever level is needed. To those of lesser intelligence, a Buddha will use simpler words; and to those of great intelligence, a Buddha can explain answers in a more exalted language.

By entering the Bodhisattva way, the mind must become enlightened. And so the training begins by generating the 6 Perfections … (full text).

Links:

Watch this video: Bodhisattva in metro, 6.48 min. When you are in a bad mood, it will cheer you up;

The Bodhisattva Concept;

Bodhisattva – living for others in Buddhism;

Bodhisattva:

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