In Buddhist thought, a bodhisattva (Ch.: 菩薩 pú sà, Jp.: bosatsu) is a being who is dedicated to achieving complete Buddhahood. That is their reason for “being” or raison d’être. Conventionally, the term is applied to hypothetical beings with a high degree of enlightenment. Bodhisattva literally means a “wisdom (“bodhi”) being (“sattva”)” in Sanskrit.
The following is a partial list of bodhisattvas, worshipped in Tibetan, Japanese and Chinese traditions.
List of bodhisattvas
(Ch. 虛空藏 Xu Kong Zang, Jp. Kokuzo) – The Bodhisattva of infinite happiness generated by helping countless number of sentient beings.
(Ch. 觀音 Guan Yin, Jp. Kannon, Tib. Chenrezig) – Possibly the most universally acknowledged.
- Kuan Yin
Bodhisattva of compassion in much of East Asia. The feminine version of Avalokitesvara.
(Ch. 地藏 Di Zang, Jp. Jizo)-The Bodhisattva of the Hell beings, or the Bodhisattva of great vows.
(Ch. 大勢至 Da Shì Zhì, Jp. Seishi)-Represents the power of wisdom.
(Ch. 彌勒 Mi Le Jp. Miroku)-The next Buddha to succeed Sakyamuni.
(Ch. 文殊 Wen Shu, Jp. Monju, Tib. Jampal Yang)-Bodhisattva of keen awareness
(Ch. 蓮華生上師; Lianhuasheng Shang Shi, Tib. Padma Jungne or Guru Rinpoche) – Most associated with Tibetan Buddhism and Bhutanese Buddhism. The Nyingma school regards Padmasambhava as a second Buddha.
(Ch. 普賢 Pu Xian, Jp. Fugen, Tib. Kuntu Zangpo) – Represents the practice and meditation of all Buddhas.
8th century scholar, wrote about Bodhisattvas.
(Ch. 伽藍; Qie Lan) – Best known as the legendary Chinese military general Guan Yu, he is a Dharmapala who protects the Buddhist faith and Buddhist temples. Primarily worshipped in Chinese Buddhism.
Mentioned in Shantideva’s A Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way Of Life
(Ch. 度母; Du Mu) Female bodhisattva, or set of bodhisattvas, in Tibetan Buddhism. She represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. Also a manifestation of Avalokitesvara.
(Ch. 金剛手 Jin Gang Shou, Jp.Shukongojin, Tib. Channa Dorje)-An early bodhisattva in Mahayana.