Sentient Beings (Buddhism) - Definition

Definition

Getz (2004: p. 760) provides a generalist Western Buddhist encyclopedic definition:

Sentient beings is a term used to designate the totality of living, conscious beings that constitute the object and audience of Buddhist teaching. Translating various Sanskrit terms (jantu, bahu jana, jagat, sattva), sentient beings conventionally refers to the mass of living things subject to illusion, suffering, and rebirth (Saṃsāra). Less frequently, sentient beings as a class broadly encompasses all beings possessing consciousness, including Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Read more about this topic:  Sentient Beings (Buddhism)

Famous quotes containing the word definition:

    The physicians say, they are not materialists; but they are:MSpirit is matter reduced to an extreme thinness: O so thin!—But the definition of spiritual should be, that which is its own evidence. What notions do they attach to love! what to religion! One would not willingly pronounce these words in their hearing, and give them the occasion to profane them.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    Mothers often are too easily intimidated by their children’s negative reactions...When the child cries or is unhappy, the mother reads this as meaning that she is a failure. This is why it is so important for a mother to know...that the process of growing up involves by definition things that her child is not going to like. Her job is not to create a bed of roses, but to help him learn how to pick his way through the thorns.
    Elaine Heffner (20th century)

    Beauty, like all other qualities presented to human experience, is relative; and the definition of it becomes unmeaning and useless in proportion to its abstractness. To define beauty not in the most abstract, but in the most concrete terms possible, not to find a universal formula for it, but the formula which expresses most adequately this or that special manifestation of it, is the aim of the true student of aesthetics.
    Walter Pater (1839–1894)