In Theravada Buddhism, a Bodhisatta is a “Future Buddha”.
In Theravada Buddhism, there are 8 conditions to be fulfilled before one may be considered a Bodhisatta;
1. He must be human,
2. He must be Male,
3. Must have fulfilled all conditions such as Perfection of Virtues necessary for the realization of Arahantship in that very life,
4. Must have met a living Buddha
5. Must be a firm believer in the laws of Kamma, or be ordained in an order of monks during the dispensation of a Buddha,
6. He must master the 8 jhanas (levels of intense concentration) and achieve the 5 supernatural powers (see Apinya),
7. Act of merit i.e. must be prepared to lay down his life for the sake of the Buddha
8. Must possess the strong will/wish for Buddhahood that cannot be broken by the woe of endless rebirth (even in woeful states or realms),
When these 8 conditions are fulfilled, and one receives verbal confirmation from a Buddha, he will be considered a Bodhisatta. In Theravada, the term “Paramo” (highest) is used to describe a Bodhisatta. These beings are endowed with extraordinary virtue, skill, and supernatural prowess (these are described as the ability to “shake worlds” in the Mahayana Sutras). They also possess the ability to achieve Nibbana at will, yet choosing to postpone it out of compassion for others, by guiding them out of the cycle of endless births, deaths and rebirths.
In the Mahayana tradition, there are 10 stages or Bhumi of Bodhisattvahood to be attained, before one can successfully become a Buddha.« Back to Glossary Index