From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Jit Majumdar

  1. the essence of knowledge or enlightenment
  2. the essence of the enlightened or awakened one
  3. one whose essence is enlightenment; one who is embodied wisdom
  4. in Buddhism, a class of enlightened beings, who, motivated by great compassion, has generated a spontaneous wish to attain the state of a Buddha for the benefit of all living beings and to guide other humans towards enlightenment and liberation. A bodhisattva is anyone who is motivated by compassion and seeks enlightenment not only for him/herself but also for everyone.