The compassionate bodhisattvas within our society

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As practised in India, early Buddhism preached that every man must strive alone to escape into eternal peace from a cycle of reincarnation. The version of Buddhism that became popular in China was different. It elaborated on the concept of bodhisattvas » godlike beings, sometimes called potential Buddhas, who postponed their own salvation so that could help living men to find the true path.

Various bodhisattvas were endowed with the power to dispel greed, to protect men against ghosts who might interfere with spiritual practices and to confer merit to the faithful.

I do not subscribe to Buddhism although I do respect all faiths, though not necessarily their institution. However my point is how many of us are seeking the bodhisattvas-like enlightenment for the sole purpose of helping others in need? How many of us truly possess the compassion to leave the ill-hearted norms and greed of society, and embrace empathy?

I leave this message at your feet, please consume it when you are ready.


An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at and @bedlamfury

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