In this following context, what does the verbal phrase 'presented to' mean?

Does it mean 'shown'?

How should I understand this clause 'that has ever been presented to this ego-centric world,'?


One who aspires to become a Buddha is called a Bodhisatta, which, literally, means a wisdom-being. This Bodhisatta ideal is the most beautiful and the most refined course of life that has ever been presented to this ego-centric world, for what is nobler than a life of service and purity?

Source: P. 7

Buddhism in a Nutshell BY NARADA THERA

  • 2
    Present here implies (I think)-to show...
    – Sam
    Jul 24, 2023 at 10:41
  • 1
    "Does it mean 'shown'?" Yes. Is there a reason you think it would mean something else? If so, please specify that in your question.
    – oerkelens
    Jul 24, 2023 at 11:16
  • 2
    You keep asking awkward questions about this text, which is really not suitable material for learning English at all, let alone current English. The cited example could well reflect a level of "anthropomorphism" in the writer's (or translator's) native language, but in "normal" English I'd expect something more like This Bodhisatta ideal is the most beautiful and the most refined course of life that has ever arisen in this ego-centric world. Well, just for that "presented" bit. The rest of the sentence is decidedly "flowery" language, best not imitated by learners anyway. Jul 24, 2023 at 13:47
  • "presented to" isn't a phrase here. It's the past participle "presented" followed by the preposition "to". The word "presented" is part of the passive structure "has ever been presented" and "to" is part of the prepositional phrase, "to this ego-centric world".
    – gotube
    Jul 25, 2023 at 22:32
  • IMO "presented" here only makes sense if the Bodhisatta deliberately acted a certain way to create an impression, rather than genuinely being wise, beautiful, and refined and naturally behaving in such a way. That is, the presentation is done by the Bodhisatta; although possibly the writer wants to argue some other world-force or deity presented the Bodhisatta by putting them there for that purpose (which isn't my understanding of Buddhism but I never wrote a book about it).
    – Stuart F
    Apr 21 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


This is a basic question of word meanings. I don't even believe it should be described as a "verbal phrase" which makes the situation sound complicated. It's the standard verb "presented" followed by a prepositional phrase. The meaning of "presented" is:

"To bring (someone) into the presence of (a person); to introduce formally. [from 14th c.] to present an envoy to the king"
"(transitive) To put (something) forward in order for it to be seen; to show, exhibit. [from 14th c.]"

Therefore it means "to introduce", "to show", "to exhibit", .

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .