Who or what is a bodhisattva

Who or what is a bodhisattva

Very often the person who devotes the life to religion sets before himself a definite purpose. The bodhisattva can serve in the Buddhism as this purpose. The person who chose the Way of development can face that there is no accurate description of this phenomenon, his representatives, their way of life and necessary conditions for achievement of this state. Let's understand what is it and what role it plays in the doctrine of the Buddhism.

Definition of a concept

The way of a bodhisattva is a dedication of own life to rescue of all existing in the world, living beings. As in the Buddhism there is a circle of regenerations in the course of which the person is formed, improves the qualities and, at achievement of the ideal way of life meeting all necessary canons and standards, the individual reaches a condition of nirvana.

Important! The one who refused to accept a condition of nirvana and remained at a transitional stage and is considered reached a bodhisattva.

It does it with the direct purpose of rescue of all live on Earth. The word consists of two parts: bodh that means achievement of education and also satva — an essence, or a being. It is possible to tell that this decision-making to become Buddha for the good of everything existing. The etymology of a word has a certain feature, the particle of sattv – means the hero, or the person with big courage while satva matters the being, in this regard often arises confusion. In general it means the person who has the altruistic purpose.

History of origin

Emergence of the term budda of a bodhisattv first of all, is connected with a name of Gautama Buddha. By its search the ways of release and regeneration defined him as the first Buddha. After that the word began to be applied directly in value of the person who wants to reach Buddha's condition and to offer nirvana for the sake of rescue of all live. Many try to reach a condition of nirvana, but they need the conductor or the assistant, and such person will help with it. But he has to reach a certain level of understanding, namely the first bkhum. The period before it is called a dzhatisattva.

Whether you know? The Buddhist monk cannot cook to himself food, it is authorized to use to him only that food which it was given as alms.

Still the explanation of this concept can be met in treatises: Madhjyamikavatara and Pradzhnya. Fundamentals of Madhyamaka Buddhism. Mentions of them can be found in early sutra, for example the bodhisattva as comprehensive wisdom was mentioned in Saddharmapundarika-sutr 23 times, in Vimalakirti a nirdesha to a sutra the word was used more than 50 times.


The main idea is execution of altruism, certainly, it does not deny own education on the way of achievement of nirvana, but first of all is the aspiration to educate others and to save them from sufferings. As life is full of misfortunes, one of the purposes is comprehension of empathy. In some sutra it is specified that showing deep compassion to the person, the individual on achievement of a bodhisattva can even get sick. At the answer to a question of the one who such a bodhisattva, say that it is that who has great courage to reach Awakening from an ignorance dream for the benefit of all beings. Also distinguish three types of motivation for achievement of this phenomenon:

  • king. At first I will reach itself, I will help others later;
  • boatman. I will reach education together with the others;
  • shepherd. Reaches education in the last turn as at first specifies a way by another.

The similar spirit received the name of bodhichitt — motivation for achievement of wellbeing for all living beings.

Read also about the sacred Hindu writing Bhagavad Gita and the deity to Ganesh.

Qualities which Bodhisattva has to have

It is considered that those who reach certain stages of development have already other shape and qualities therefore on the way of Knowledge it is necessary for the person:

  • ability to communicate with others not haughtily;
  • good oratorical skills to convince people of that, properly to work and tell them about sufferings which can be avoided;
  • feeling of boundless compassion;
  • indefatigability and humility;
  • readiness to help without encouragement and gratitude;
  • love for all living beings.

Qualities can be accepted in understanding of paramita — force which helps to reach an enlightenment, or special ability. Usually allocate 10 necessary paramit:

  1. Dhyana — concentration, or the paramit of contemplation.
  2. Given — manifestation of generosity and kindness.
  3. Bala — force, confidence in intentions.
  4. Sheelah — ability to keep everything these vows and the commandments which are necessary for achievement of nirvana.
  5. Virya — commitment, zeal, concentration.
  6. Dzhnyana — universality of knowledge, ability to reach independent existence.
  7. Kshanti — ability to deny negative feelings, or the paramit of patience.
  8. Pradzhnya — purity of a thought, wisdom.
  9. Pranidhana — the paramit of oaths.
  10. Upaya — ability to find special approach to each living being.

Also during formation of people has to accept a special vow of a bodhisattva which will fix certain rules and will serve as additional motivation for their embodiment in life. A main goal of a vow is that we cease to serve own interests, or to seek for achievement of comfort, and we devote everything completely to others.

Whether you know? The Buddhism is called experience religion because the majority of conclusions has to be based on personal experience.

Vows can be met in such sutra: Lankavatara, Bodhipatkhapradipa, or the Torch on the way to Awakening.

Development steps

The way of a bodhisattva begins with acceptance of a vow, it can be various and include much more elements, than 10 main. After that it is necessary to pass 4 steps of development:

  • Prakriticharya — the first step, understanding of spirit of an enlightenment, or a bodhichittotpad.
  • Pranidhanacharya — the second step, adoption of the accurate decision on formation on the way and a gift of an indestructible vow before Buddha.
  • Anulomacharya — the third step, the beginning of activity it is strict according to a vow.
  • Anivartanacharya — the fourth step, indestructible following to the chosen way, also has the name of a way from which there is no return.

Besides 4 steps, there is also an achievement of certain levels which are called bkhum, or the earth of a bodhisattva. For achievement of each bkhuma it is necessary to respect the laws and rules of a vow.

Bodhisattva in the hinayena

Hinayana – one of exercises of traditions, has the second name Small Chariot. In the context of this doctrine of a bodhisattv it is understood as future Buddha. In total in this current there are 24 bodhisattva. This number is small as not all are capable to reach this state but only the condition of the arkhat preceding it. At the same time they pursue, first of all, achievements of own enlightenment, and later — others.

Bodhisattva in a Mahajana

The Mahajana, or the Great Chariot represents infinite number bodhisatv.

Important! Each civilian can generate desire to become Buddha.

In this concept a main goal is achievements of an enlightenment of others, and after itself. Both improvement of life of all living beings, and disposal of their sufferings in a wheel of regenerations — a sansara.

Bodhisattva in Vajrayana

The Vajrayana, or the Diamond Chariot also presents to a bodhisattv in the hierarchy of divine beings. Transfers to itself the ideas of a Mahajana as is one of subspecies of this doctrine. In all from them the 37th practician of a bodhisattva is used. That is, we can draw a conclusion that for achievement of the status of Buddha it is necessary to have sincere motives, certain qualities also to be ready to difficulties on the Way of Education!

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team