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Book: Buddhism in Five Minutes

Chapter: 44. What is the Bodhisattva Vow?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.40783


The bodhisattva vow concerns (a) a commitment to cultivate the perfections of a buddha and (b) the aspiration to achieve buddhahood in order to benefit all sentient beings. This is in contrast to the kinds of awakened beings who enter final nirvana upon physical death, individually escaping saṃsāra’s round of birth and rebirth and leaving others behind. The bodhisattva vow is overwhelmingly associated with Mahayana and Vajrayana
(Tantric) Buddhism, but bodhisattvas are identified in contemporary Southern (Theravada) traditions too.

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