Who’s Who in Buddhism: Samantabhadra Bodhisattva


Sanskrit: Samantabhadra समन्तभद्र
Kun-tu bzang-po ཀུན་ཏུ་བཟང་པོ
Pǔxián Púsà 普賢菩薩
Fugen Bosatsu 普賢菩薩
Phổ Hiền Bồ Tát
Bohyeon Bosal 보현보살


Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, Universal Worthy, is often depicted riding a white elephant while holding a lotus in the right hand and a sutra in the left hand. Along with Sakyamuni Buddha and Manjushri Bodhisattva, Samantabhadra forms the trinity in Buddhism. In Mahayana Buddhism, Samantabhadra is associated with meditation and Buddhist practice/action.

In the Āvataṃsaka-sūtra, the Buddha states that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva made ten great vows in his path to full Buddhahood. which are the basis of a Bodhisattva:

  1. To pay homage and respect to all Buddhas.
  2. To praise the Thus Come One-Tathagata.
  3. To make abundant offerings (generosity).
  4. To repent misdeeds and evil karmas.
  5. To rejoice in others’ merits and virtues.
  6. To request the Buddhas to continue teaching.
  7. To request the Buddhas to remain in the world.
  8. To follow the teachings of the Buddhas at all times.
  9. To accommodate and benefit all living beings.
  10. To transfer all merits and virtues to benefit all beings.

The ten vows have become a common practice in East Asian Buddhism, particularly the tenth vow, which many Buddhists traditionally dedicate their merit to all beings during Buddhist services.


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