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(Sanskrit and Pali: awakening or enlightenment) In Buddhism, the final enlightenment that ends the cycle of death and rebirth and leads to nirvana. This awakening transformed Siddhartha Gautama into the historical Buddha. Bodhi is achieved by ridding oneself of false beliefs and the hindrance of passions through the discipline of the Eightfold Path. Though not supported in canonical texts, commentaries give a threefold classification of bodhi: that of a perfectly enlightened one, or a Buddha; that of an independently enlightened one; and that of an arhat.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bodhi, visit Britannica.com.