bodhisattva

In Buddhism, an enlightened being who postpones entry into nirvana in order to help other humans achieve enlightenment. Bodhisattvas can serve as intermediaries between the Buddha and ordinary people. They also represent specific characteristics of the Buddha, such as wisdom, power or compassion. Pronunciation here.

BodhisattvaSeated Guanyin Bodhisattva (Guanyin of the Southern Sea). Painted wood. Liao (907-1125) or Jin Dynasty (1115-1234). Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.