Buddhist Figure: Bodhisattva Main Page

Bodhisattva Figures (General) | Bodhisattva Outline Page | Bodhisattva Sculptural Forms (Non-iconic) | Bodhisattva Figure (Non-Iconic)

Bodhisattva (Tibetan: jang chub sem pa. English: heroic aspirant to enlightenment): idealized beings in the appearance of youthful heavenly gods, generally male and richly attired in silks and jewels. They represent the principal students of the Buddha according to the Mahayana Sutras of Northern Buddhism. More specifically, the the bodhisattva as and the Eight Great Bodhisattvas represent - visually - the realized students of Mahayana Buddhism in Himalayan and Tibetan Art. Full definition of the term Bodhisattva

There are many bodhisattva mentioned in the various Mahayana Sutras. The Eight Great Bodhisattva are a later grouping of what are considered the most important. In the Mahayana Sutra Tradition there are several lists of eight and sixteen great bodhisattva. Following that, in the Himalayan and Tibetan tradition, the names are generally listed as found below. In the Pali Sutras only two bodhisattva are mentioned, the historical buddha with reference to his previous lives (Jatakamala), and the buddha of the coming eon, Maitreya, currently residing in the Tushita heaven. The meaning and function of the eight bodhisattva as depicted in Himalayan art is to represent the Mahayana Sutras and teachings along with the congregation of enlightened students of the Buddha.

Eight Great Bodhisattva:
Akashagarbha: Womb of Space Sutra
Avalokiteshvara: Heart Sutra, Lotus of the Good Law Sutra
Kshitigarbha: Earth Store Sutra
Maitreya: mentioned in the Pali Sutras as the next buddha, Mahayana Sutras
Manjushri: Vimalakirti-nirdesha Sutra, Flower Garland Sutra, Prajnaparamita Sutras
Nivarana-vishkhambhin
Samantabhadra: Lotus of the Good Law Sutra, Flower Garland Sutra
Vajrapani: Early Sutras

Other Important Bodhisattva:
- Suryaprabha (Medicine Buddha)
- Chandrprabha (Medicine Buddha)
- Others

Principal Standing Bodhisattva Forms:
Manjushri | Lokeshvara | Vajrapani | Maitreya | Unidentified Forms

Seated Postures:
Relaxed Posture | Thinking Posture (Lokeshvara) | Standing Sculpture Images

The female deity Tara, while not a true bodhisattva, does have bodhisattva appearance when depicted in her peaceful forms. When Tara is depicted in a standing posture she is very similar to the other bodhisattvas discussed above. Tara in Standing Posture

Bodhisattva Topics:
- Bodhisattva Figures (Unidentified Sculpture)
- Bodhisattva (Mala & Flask)
- Bodhisattva (Types)
- Eight Great Bodhisattva Main Page
- Iconographic Tantric Forms (Bodhisattva)
- Miscellaneous Forms
- Mahayana Buddhism
- Bodhisattva (Unidentified Set)
- Others...

Bodhisattva: (unidentified)
Bodhisattva
(unidentified)
Bodhisattva: (multiple figures)
Bodhisattva
(multiple figures)
Bodhisattva: (unidentified)
Bodhisattva
(unidentified)
Bodhisattva: Kshitigarbha
Bodhisattva
Kshitigarbha
Bodhisattva: (unidentified)
Bodhisattva
(unidentified)
Bodhisattva: (unidentified)
Bodhisattva
(unidentified)
Bodhisattva: Akashagarbha
Bodhisattva
Akashagarbha
Maitreya (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity): Bodhisattva
Maitreya (Bodhisattva & Buddhist Deity)
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva
Bodhisattva