Bodhisattva from Tibet
Bodhisattva in bronze, Tibet, middlle 19th century
Bodhisattva in bronze, Tibet, middle 19th century – size: 9″w x 13″h, weight: 5 kg
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (Sanskrit: बोधिसत्त्व bodhisattva; Pali: बोधिसत्त bodhisatta) is an enlightenment (bodhi) being (sattva). Traditionally, a bodhisattva is anyone who, motivated by great compassion, has generated bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.According to Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is one of the four sublime states a human can achieve in life (the others being an Arhat, Buddha, or Pratyekabuddha).
The bodhisattva is a popular subject in Buddhist art. Usage of the term bodhisattva has evolved over time. In early Indian Buddhism, for example, the term bodhisattva was primarily used to refer specifically to the Buddha in his former lives. The Jatakas, which are the stories of his lives, depict the various attempts of the bodhisattva to embrace qualities like self-sacrifice and morality.