A Bodhisattva is a lover of enlightenment, literally an enlightenment hero or heroine. Bodhisattvas come in many forms: female, male, animal, human, and divine. Although they have reached a level of spiritual enlightenment permitting them to break cycles of incarnation, the Bodhisattva resolves to transform the entire universe into a realm of abundance, peace, and happiness for all. Because of purity of soul, goodness, and love, the Bodhisattva postpones his or her own personal salvation for the benefit of all.
Bodhisattvas vow to save all living beings from suffering and to persist in this quest for as long as it takes: through many lifetimes, if necessary. Bodhisattvas differ from Arhats in that they seek not only their own personal enlightenment, salvation, and freedom, but that of the entire world.
Avalokitesvara; Ksitigarbha; Kwan Yin; Manjusri
Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses – Written by : Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.