Buddhism a person who has achieved great moral and spiritual wisdom and is a potential Buddha, esp. such a person who rejects nirvana in order to assist suffering mankind
Origin of bodhisattvaSans, literally , one enlightened in essence ; from bodhi, enlightenment (; from Indo-European base an unverified form bheudh-, to be alert, recognize from source Old English beodan, to command: see bid) + sattva, being, existence (; from Indo-European an unverified form sent-, participle, paricipial stem of base an unverified form es-, be from source is)
An enlightened being who, out of compassion, forgoes nirvana in order to save others.
Origin of bodhisattvaSanskrit bodhisattva&hlowdot;, one whose essence is enlightenment : bodhi&hlowdot;, perfect knowledge; see bheudh- in Indo-European roots + sattvam, essence, being (from sat-, existing; see es- in Indo-European roots).
- (Buddhism) A person who has taken specific lay or monastic vows and who is on the road to perfect knowledge; specifically, one who foregoes personal nirvana in order to help others achieve enlightenment.
- (Buddhism) An enlightened being existing in a form of existence beyond the ordinary forms of physical reality understood and acknowledged by scientific thought, resembling the Western notion of angels, but with a wealth of its own nuances and expectations. These include the compassionate working for enlightenment of all sentient beings.
Borrowed from Sanskrit बोधिसत्त्व (bodhi-sattva, “enlightened existence”).