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A mahāsattva (P. mahāsatta; T. sems dpa' chen po སེམས་དཔའ་ཆེན་པོ་; C. dashi/mohesa; J. daiji/makasatsu 大士/摩訶薩) is translated as "great being," etc.[1] It is an epithet of a bodhisattva of great accomplishment.[1][2]

In the Sanskrit tradition, some commentators define a mahāsattva as a bodhisattva who has attained the path of seeing (darśana-mārga);[1] and some define it as a bodhisattva who has attained at least the seventh bodhisattva ground (dūraṅgamā-bhūmi).[2] The term is also used in a more general sense.

In the Heart Sutra, Avalokiteśvara is referred to as a "bodhisattva-mahāsattva."

Other bodhisattvas referred to as mahāsattvas in the Sanskrit tradition include: Mañjuśrī, Samantabhadra, Mahāsthāmaprāpta, Akasagarbha, Kṣitigarbha, Maitreya, etc.[3]

In the Pali tradition, the term mahāsatta (great being) was used to refer to the kings of Sri Lanka, who were considered to be bodhisattvas.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. mahāsattva.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Internet-icon.svg mahāsattva, Christian-Steinert Dictionary
  3. needs verification
  4. Holt, 1991 & pp. 59-60.


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