• Luigi

What Is Bodhisattva?

Question:

It is said that there are many bodhisattvas, including Maitreya Bodhisattva and Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva. What is a “bodhisattva”?

Answer: “Bodhi” means true happiness and “sattva” means a seeker, so it means a seeker of true Buddhism.

Explanation: “Bodhi” means true happiness or a buddha’s enlightenment. “Sattva” means “a person that seeks.” A bodhisattva, then, is a person that is seeking true happiness, or a person that is striving to attain a buddha’s enlightenment. In other words, it means a person that is seeking true Buddhism. Generally, when people hear the word “bodhisattva,” they will often imagine a higher being who never gets angry and never lies. In actuality, anyone that is startled at the fact that we are living in an ocean of suffering and strives to carry out Buddhist practices in order to be saved can be called a bodhisattva, even if they are masses of worldly passions.

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