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Term Definition

(skt.: bodhichitta; tib.: jang chub kyi sem) Usually translated as Wish for Enlightenment or Awakening Mind. Bodhichitta is defined as the wish to achieve Buddhahood for the benefit of others. Bodhichitta is the main mind and not a mental factor and it is an underlying motivation of practitioners of Mahayana Buddhism. Beings who have realized Bodhichitta are called Bodhisattvas.

There are many types of divisions of Bodhichitta: 
1. Divison corresponding to the two truths
- (kun dzob jang sem) Conventional Bodhichitta, which is wanting to become a Buddha to help all sentient beings
- (don dam jang sem) Ultimate Bodhichitta, which is direct perception of emptiness
2. Division by its nature:
- (mön sem) Aspiring Bodhichitta, which is the aspiration to achieve enlightenment to benefit all beings.
- (jug sem) Engaged Bodhichitta, which is to follow Bodhisattva vows and Bodhisattva behavior to practice six perfections that will actually bring us to Enlightenment. 
3. Divison by the way one thinks:
- (gyel po ta bui sem kye) King-like Bodhichitta, where you want to become enlightened first and then lead others to Enlightenment.
- (dzi bu ta bui sem kye) Shepherd-like Bodhichitta, where you stay behind and shepherd all other beings to Enlightenment before realizing it yourself.
- (nyen pa ta bui sem kye) Ferryman-like Bodhichitta, where you want to achieve Enlightenment along with all other beings.
(note: Shepherd like Bodhichitta and Ferryman like Bodhicitta are only a kind of description of willingness to help others first; actually no one would postpone their own Enlightenment, because realizing it is the highest way of helping others.)


Words of Wisdom

"If the merit of Bodhichitta were to take physical form, even the whole of space itself would not contain its vastness."
- Buddha

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