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In Buddhist thought, bodhicitta (Ch. 菩提心, pudixin, Jp. bodaishin) is the motivation of a bodhisattva. Etymologically, this is the combination of the words Bodhi or enlightenment, and Citta - mind, and is sometime translated as mind of enlightenment.

Bodhicitta is invariably taught to be selfless determination, as the purpose of enlightenment is not for ones-self, but for the benefit of all beings.

According to the teachings of Shantideva and his followers, there are two flavours of Bodhicitta, which represent.

  1. The desire for enlightenment - similar to wishing to travel to India.
  2. Practicing for enlightenment - similar to actually travelling to India.

Moreover, traditions such as Vajrayana establish that there are two more pervasive flavours of Bodhicitta. These are:

  1. Relative Bodhicitta - the practice for enlightenment based on compassion for all (as above)
  2. Absolute Bodhicitta - the practice for enlightenment based upon the wisdom of the emptiness of madhyamaka.


  • Wikipedia (2005). Bodhicitta. Retrieved 9 March 2005.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.