Bodhicitta

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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.
  In Vajrayana tibetan Buddhism, Bodhicitta is the premier motivating factor for one's practice. It is said that without grounding in bodhicitta, the practice is all for not.pl:Bodhiczitta
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