Từ Điển Thuật Ngữ Phật Học Hán Ngữ
bodhisattva, cf. 菩提薩埵. While the idea is not foreign to Hīnayāna, its extension of meaning is one of the chief marks of Mahāyāna. ‘The Bodhisattva is indeed the characteristic feature of the Mahāyāna.’ Keith. According to Mahāyāna the Hinayanists, i.e. the śrāvaka and pratyekabuddha, seek their own salvation, while the bodhisattva‘s aim is the salvation of others and of all. The earlier intp. of bodhisattva was 大道心衆生 all beings with mind for the truth; later it became 大覺有情 conscious beings of or for the great intelligence, or enlightenment. It is also intp. in terms of leadership, heroism, etc. In general it is a Mahayanist seeking Buddhahood, but seeking it altruistically; whether monk or layman, he seeks enlightenment to enlighten others, and he will sacrifice himself to save others; he is devoid of egoism and devoted to helping others. All conscious beings having the Buddha-nature are natural bodhisattvas, but require to undergo development. The mahāsattva is sufficiently advanced to become a Buddha and enter nirvāṇa, but according to his vow he remains in the realm of incarnation to save all conscious beings. A monk should enter on the arduous course of discipline which leads to Bodhisattvahood and Buddhahood.