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A 12th-century statue of the bodhisattva Vajrapāṇi from the Long Đoị Pagoda in Hà Nam Province, Vietnam. The statue is now in the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi.

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Sanskrit बोधिसत्त्व (bodhi-sattva, enlightened existence).



bodhisattva (plural bodhisattvas)

  1. (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.
  2. (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.