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Bodhisattva

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Europa
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« on: August 11, 2007, 04:00:20 am »

Bodhisattas in Theravada Buddhism

The term Bodhisatta (Pali language) was used by the Buddha in the Pali Canon to refer to himself both in his previous lives and as a young man in his current life, prior to his enlightenment, in the period during which he was working towards his own liberation. When, during his discourses, he recounts his experiences as a young aspirant, he regularly uses the phrase "When I was an unenlightened Bodhisatta...". The term therefore connotes a being who is 'bound for enlightenment', in other words, a person whose destiny it is to become fully enlightened. The previous lives of the Buddha as a bodhisattva are featured in the Jataka Tales.

While Maitreya (Pali: Metteya) is mentioned in the Pali Canon, he is not referred to as a bodhisattva, but simply the next fully-awakened Buddha to come into existence.
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