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Bodhisattva Sculptures

The Bodhisattva: An Embodiment of Compassion

The pantheon of Mahayana Buddhism contains numerous Bodhisattvas. The Bodhisattva works in wisdom and love so that after many lives he may ultimately become a Buddha. Ordinary believers are encouraged to follow his example and so, eventually, achieve nirvana. Yet the Bodhisattva is a being of immeasurable charity and compassion; while suffering individuals remain in the toil of transmigration he will not leave them without help. Though the Bodhisattva is to become a Buddha, he bides his time until even the most insignificant worshipper has reached the highest goal.

Clearly, the Bodhisattva is a spirit of compassion and suffering. In the Vajradhvaja Sutra the Bodhisattva pronounces:

I take upon myself the deeds of all beings, even those in the hells in other worlds, in the realms of punishment.

I take their suffering upon me, I bear it, I do not draw back from it, I do not tremble at it, I have no fear of it.

I must bear the burden of all beings, for I have vowed to save all things living, to bring them safe through the forest of birth, age, disease, death and rebirth.

I think not of my own salvation, but strive to bestow on all beings the royalty of supreme wisdom.

So I take upon myself the sorrow of all human beings. I agree to suffer as a ransom for all beings, for the sake of all beings.

Truly I will not abandon them.

For I have resolved to gain supreme wisdom for the sake of all that live, to save the world.