Bodhisattva

Bodhisattva

[boh-duh-suht-vuh]
noun Buddhism.
a person who has attained prajna, or Enlightenment, but who postpones Nirvana in order to help others to attain Enlightenment: individual Bodhisattvas are the subjects of devotion in certain sects and are often represented in painting and sculpture.
Compare Arhat.


Origin:
1820–30; < Pali, Sanskrit

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World English Dictionary
Bodhisattva (ˌbəʊdɪˈsætvə, -wə, ˌbɒd-, ˌbəʊdiːˈsʌtvə)
 
n
Compare arhat (in Mahayana Buddhism) a divine being worthy of nirvana who remains on the human plane to help men to salvation
 
[Sanskrit, literally: one whose essence is enlightenment, from bodhi enlightenment + sattva essence]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Bodhisattva
1828, from Skt., lit. "one whose essence is perfect knowledge," from bodhi "perfect knowledge" (see Buddha) + sattva "reality, being."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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