The Bodhisattva in Buddhism
Bodhisattvas are persons who have attained the bodhi
- enlightenment - enabling them to enter nirvana, but who have
elected to remain in the world to guide and comfort ordinary men
Like the Buddha, a bodhisattva is recognizable by his elongated
earlobes, his urna (tuft of hair grown in the center
of the forehead by reason of wisdom), and his ushnisha
(a protuberance of wisdom on the crown of the head). The figure
on the left is the Bodhisattva Manjushri, the Lord of Wisdom.
Gilt bronze statue with inlaid jewels, from Nepal, late 16th century.
See the original in the Cleveland Museum of Art.