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The Bodhisatta is one who seeks awakening (bodhi) or an individual on the path to becoming a buddha. The stories of the Gautama Buddha portray the efforts of the bodhisattva to cultivate the qualities, including morality, self-sacrifice, and wisdom, etc, with the wish to attain buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings.

When a Bodhisatta makes a vow or resolve (panidhāna) to fulfil the ten perfections (pāramīs), the Bodhisatta is said not to be born in any of the 18 ‘impossible states’ (abhabbaṭṭhāna). The list contains the following:

(1) Blind (jaccandha)

(2) Deaf (jaccabadhira)

(3) Insane (ummataka)

(4) Deaf and dumb (elamuga)

(5) Crippled (pithasappi)

(6) Among babarians (milakkhesu)

(7) Born of a woman (itthibhāva )

(8) One with confirmed wrong views (niyatamicchaditthika)

(9) Of changeable sex (hermaphrodite) (lingam parivattati)

(10) Among those guilty of committing the five heinous actions (pancanantariyakamma)

(11) A lepper (kutthi)

(12) Smaller than a quail, or larger than an elephant in size, if born an animal

(13) Among the khuppipasikanijjhamatanhika petas

(14) Among the kalakanjakas Asuras or in Avici or lokantarika nirayas (eight great hells)

(15) In sense sphere ( kamavacara) world as Mara

(16) In the material sphere (rupavacara) world, among those lacking in consciousness (asannibhava),

or in the pure abode (suddhavasa)

(17) In the immaterial sphere ( arupa) world

(18) In another world-system (anna-cakkavala).

Some of the items such as (8), (14), (15), (16), (17), and (18) mentioned in the list are significant and are all within the doctrinal framework of Theravāda Buddhism. Moreover the theoretical background on which the list is based could be the Jātakas which show different places of Gotama Bodhisatta’s rebirths.

May all beings be well and happy & attain the fruits of Nibbana.

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