Bodhisattvas, wisdom or enlightenment beings, are those who wish to be awakened so that with the supreme wisdom they may sufficiently guide others on their paths, and through compassion they may help others understand, deal with, and overcome their suffering. Rather than seeking enlightenment to free themselves from samsara, this realm of suffering, Bodhisattvas choose to be reborn, to continue existence in samsara in service for other beings. Samsara is the realm of continuous or wandering existence within the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.
Bodhisattvas continuously work to be self-aware of all their actions, thoughts, and intentions so that they may never cause harm to any sentient being, living creature, and even the environment in any way – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. The way of the Bodhisattva is the way of love and peace.
Whether Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Atheist, etc. incorporating the way of the Bodhisattva into our lives can open the way for more loving, compassionate, and peaceful interactions, and lessen suffering, cruelty, and violence within ourselves, towards others, and throughout the world. To do this we must first find peace and love within and for ourselves so that we can then radiate our inner peace and love to all others. May we all seek, find, vow to, and follow the way of the Bodhisattva, the way of peace.
The Bodhisattva comes where an all-embracing love abides, because he desires to discipline all beings; he comes where there is a great compassionate heart, because he desires to protect all beings from suffering; he comes where there are deeds of morality, because he desires to be born wherever he can be agreeable; he comes wherever there are great vows to fulfill because of the power of the original vows…
– The Flower Ornament Sutra
May beings everywhere who suffer
Torment in their minds and bodies
Have, by virtue of my merit,
Joy and happiness in boundless measure.
As long as they may linger in samsara,
May their joy be undiminished;
May they taste of unsurpassed beatitude
In constant and unbroken continuity…
May those caught in the freezing ice be warmed,
And from great clouds of Bodhisattvas
Torrents rain in boundless streams
To cool those burning in infernal fires…
And may the stooping animals be freed
From fear of being preyed upon,
And may the famished spirits have such joy
As those who dwell in [heaven]…
May those who go in dread have no more fear.
May captives be unchained and set free.
And may the weak receive their strength.
May living beings help each other in kindness.
– Shantideva, Bodhicharyavatara (The Way of the Bodhisattva)