A bodhisattva is one who has dedicated his or her life to the attainment of enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings. The bodhisattva vows to postpone enlightenment in order to help all sentient beings realize liberation. In some cases, the bodhisattva is assumed to have already attained enlightenment, yet remains on this earth out of his or her boundless compassion. In its broadest sense, the term bodhisattva refers to anyone who aspires toward universal Buddhahood or Enlightenment, i.e. any Mahayana Buddhist.