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Members of the early schools and Therevada generally understand this as the historical Buddha Shakyamuni in his previous lives. For members of the Mahayana schools, this can mean anyone who has irreversibly entered on the path to Buddhahood. It can also represent certain highly-attained beings such as Avalokiteshvara or Manjushri, who can be contacted in ritual for aid and who are, in effect, deities or sambhogakaya forms of the Buddha.

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  • Part of Speech: noun
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  • Industry/Domain: Religion
  • Category: Buddhism
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