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Book: Buddhism in Five Minutes

Chapter: 13. What is a Bodhisattva?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40750


In Sanskrit, bodhi means “awakening” and sattva refers to a sentient being. In a narrow sense, the term “bodhisattva” is primarily restricted to the historical Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, in his numerous previous lives before accomplishing buddhahood. Broadly speaking, a bodhisattva can refer to any sentient being who has vowed to pursue the path to buddhahood, which is called the bodhisattva path.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ven Jianchengshi ( - vjianchengshi) 'Lancaster University'