In Buddhism, one who attains enlightenment through his own efforts rather than by listening to the teachings of a buddha. The way of the self-enlightened buddha was retained only in the Theravada tradition. Mahayana Buddhism rejects the path of self-enlightenment as too limiting and embraces the ideal of the bodhisattva, who postpones final enlightenment to work for the salvation of others.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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