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Difference between Buddha and Bodhisattva

Difference between Buddha and Bodhisattva

What is the difference between a Buddha and a Bodhisattva? A Buddha is someone who has reached Enlightenment and attained Nirvana. A Bodhisattva, on the other hand, chooses to forgo their own Enlightenment so that they can help others reach it. This is just one of the many differences between these two concepts. Let’s take a closer look at both of them and see what else sets them apart.

What is Buddha?

Buddha was a spiritual teacher in ancient India who founded the Buddhist religion. His original name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was born into a wealthy family. As a young man, Siddhartha renounced his material possessions and embarked on a journey of spiritual enlightenment.

After years of meditation and study, he attained nirvana or perfect peace of mind. Buddha then began teaching his philosophy to others, and his followers soon came to revere him as a Buddha, or “enlightened one.”

Buddha’s teachings emphasize the importance of leading a moral life and doing good deeds, and they have exerted a profound influence on the cultures of Asia. Buddha is also revered as a compassionate deity who can offer guidance and protection to those who seek it.

What is Bodhisattva?

Bodhisattva is a being who is on the path to Bodhi, or enlightenment. In Mahayana Buddhism, Bodhisattvas are those who have Bodhichitta, which is the aspiration to attain Buddhahood for the sake of all sentient beings. Bodhisattvas are also often seen as protectors and teachers.

In some texts, Bodhisattvas are even described as Buddhas-to-be. The most famous Bodhisattva is probably the Bodhisattva of Compassion, known as Avalokitesvara in Sanskrit or Kuan Yin in Chinese.

Bodhisattvas are often depicted holding lotuses, which represent purity and detachment from the world. Bodhisattvas are also often shown with halos, which represent their divine nature.

Difference between Buddha and Bodhisattva

Buddha and Bodhisattva are two different terms that are often used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between the two.

  • Buddha refers to a specific person, Siddhartha Gautama, who achieved enlightenment and founded Buddhism.
  • Bodhisattva, on the other hand, is a term that can refer to anyone who seeks to achieve enlightenment.
  • In Mahayana Buddhism, it is believed that everyone has the potential to become a Buddha.
  • However, the path to Buddhahood is long and difficult, and most people will need many lifetimes to achieve it.

The Buddha is someone who has already achieved enlightenment, while a Bodhisattva is someone who is still on the path to achieving it.


The difference between a Buddha and Bodhisattva is that a Buddha has attained Nirvana, while a Bodhisattva has not. A Bodhisattva makes the decision to postpone their own liberation in order to help all other sentient beings achieve Buddhahood. This selfless act of compassion is at the heart of Mahayana Buddhism. We can learn from these compassionate beings and aspire to emulate their qualities in our own lives.

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