What is the word used in this jataka?


I recently read in google answer that this Jataka was the starting point where the Buddha to be was considered a Bodhisattva. But out of curiosity I went to see if it’s true in Pali version after reading the English which did have it translated as Bodhisatta. But that word itself was not found in the Pali version. So my question is, what is the word used here? Because I got lost looking for it in Pali. There’s different words. O.o

By the age of sixteen, the Bodhisatta had attained a mastery of all sciences.

Bodhisatta not used in this Pali version

It is. But your link is to the Jātaka verses, which are canonical, not to the Jātaka stories, which are commentarial. In the latter you’ll find both the passages you quoted:

Bodhisattassa paṭisandhiggahaṇakālato paṭṭhāya rañño āyassa pamāṇaṃ nāma nāhosi. Tassa puññānubhāvena sakalajambudīparājāno paṇṇākāraṃ pahiṇiṃsu.


Bodhisatto soḷasavassikakāleyeva sabbasippesu nipphattiṃ pāpuṇi.


I tend to believe it’s been slowly introduced by the other Sri Lanka Vihara which was more influenced by it. I know the word is in many suttas, Jatakas used. But since I do not find also in Netti I really accepted that it must have slowly been introduced. And actually by the time the nikayas was written down. The Mahavihara lost support. So we can not be sure who wrote the nikayas down. For example in the Nālaka Sutta was the only place I have seen in suttanipata until now bodhisatta used. But since it’s not the earliest part it’s likely it was a sutta added later.

But what is the word used in this version then? I couldn’t trace it back.

But I will get back to you about Abhayagiri vihāra. Because there is a theses title: The impact of the Abhayagiri practices on the development of Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It might say something

But I forgot to mention in Majjhima Nikaya only 9 suttas used it.

And in Anguttara Nikaya 7 suttas.

I don’t understand the question. The word for what in what version?

There are many more occurrences of bodhisatta than that.

DN - 97
MN - 56
SN - 59
AN - 25

But the significant thing is not really the number of occurrences but the difference in meaning between bodhisatta in the above texts and in later texts. In the MN, SN and AN it simply means Gotama from his birth in his final life until his enlightenment (“Before my awakening, bhikkhus, when I was still just an ignorant bodhisatta…”), while in the DN it’s mostly used for this same period in the lives of various past Buddhas. There isn’t yet any conception of people being bodhisattas over a long duration, let alone of their taking a vow to become one and then developing the perfections over multiple aeons.


I mean in my link in the Pali version. The word bodhisatta right? But the one in Pali use another word.

But btw you will be surprised by all what is said in the theses I mentioned. So I do not think the word meaning didn’t change. The word itself got changed together with the Sri Lankan movement toward Buddhahood. Like you said the later commentary has the word.

Later this happened to be the favorite word replaced by the old. The last time the canon was written down. Or the last generation who started a new transmission.

Dear Upasaka_Dhammasara,

It would be beneficial to spend a bit of extra time, clarifying what it is you ask for. Asking questions is about communicating the issue clearly. If you want people to understand, you have to take the trouble to be specific, and clear about the terms, the sources and the relationships between these… especially if you have a particular view on the matter that you are trying to explore.

With the very best intentions, it is impossible for members to participate in discussion in a meaningful way, if you don’t take some extra time to formulate your ‘questions’ more clearly. We recognise that this is extra challenging and takes greater effort for people from a non-english speaking background, but it is something that can’t be avoided :slight_smile:


Yes, it’s true that bodhisatta doesn’t occur in the verses to the Vessantara Jātaka, but only in the story. The Sutta Central Pali text of the Jātakas gives only the verses, while its English translation gives both the verses and the story.

In the Jātaka verses as a whole, bodhisatta occurs twice: in the Catuposathiya and the Mahānāradakassapa Jātakas.


I tried again but there was many words. Is this one? brahmabandhu

I just collecting words used. Netti also use another one. I think each generation changes