A bodhisattva is an educated (bodhi) being (sattva). A bodhisattva is anyone who, inspired by great compassion, has created bodhicitta, which is a spontaneous wish to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Based on Tibetan Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is among the four sublime states a person can attain in life (the others being an Arhat, Buddha, or Pratyekabuddha).
Use of the term bodhisattva has evolved over time. For instance, in early Indian Buddhism, the term bodhisattva was mostly used to refer particularly to the Buddha in his former lives. The Jatakas, which are the narratives of his lives, depict the various efforts of the bodhisattva to adopt qualities like self sacrifice and morality. The bodhisattva is a popular subject in Buddhist artwork.
This item is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a nonprofit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we're creating an electronic archive of landmarks, artworks and totally 3D printable sculptures from across the world for the people to access free of charge. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you've got interesting pieces around you and want to give, e-mail [email protected] to learn ways to help.