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Could someone explain the importance/notability of this page? Everyone and their uncle claim to be bodhisattvas. The term seems to have taken on a new meaning (at least in America) as "one who helps others towards enlightenment". Some clarification would be most appreciated. Jgw 15:33, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, I for one would appreciate a sort of 'user guide' to the main Boddhisattvas and their depictions. If they are only accepted by a particular sect or country - by all means, put them in a seperate list or in the notes for the Buddhism in that country. If they are widely acknowledged or depicted, I think this list would be very helpful for understanding Buddhist icons (perhaps it should then have a different name though? If not, a seperate piece on the postures of the Buddha -Birth, enlightenment, teaching, Parinirvana, being ascetic- would disambiguate). Some criteria of popularity is needed anyway I think, like this or at least being commonly/widely depicted.
As I understand it, as a former Mahayanist, a Bodhisattva is anyone who's taken Bodhisattva vows, even people and their uncles. The article points out that, "Conventionally, the term is applied to beings with a high degree of enlightenment." What is important to distinguish in these discussions is that bodhisattvas are of much greater importance in Mahayana Buddhism than in the Theravada, which is more or less historically-based.184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:57, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
So, Ksitigarbha is the one with a staff to open hell and a wish fulfilling jewel, and is depicted with a radiant halo.
Kuan Yin is also referred to as having a thousand hands and eyes, and answers peoples prayers, being particular popular because of that intercessionary capacity.
budai is the laughing tubby chap, associated with wealth and good fortune, either depicted sitting laughing or with a bag over his shoulder
Maybe sometimes the variations get too much. couldn't the bare bones be covered though?
I found it useful already anyway. Even when they are widely idolised, it can be difficult to be sure one countries name is referring to a bodhisattva you encountered by another.. I personally find it annoying that all Buddhist icons tend to be referred to as 'Buddha' when so many are not - and they may commonly be under-appreciated types like Ksitigarbha. lets spread the knowledge!