sentient beings

Sanskrit: Sattva.
The sentient being is generally defined as any living creature with a mind, one which has developed enough consciousness awareness to experience feelings, particularly suffering. This generally includes all animal life and excludes botanical life forms. These then are the object of Buddhist ethics and compassion. The religious order exists in a larger sense not simply to aid its membership in their own personal liberation but also to function within the world to improve the conditions of life for all sentient beings.

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