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Part of the List of Dharma Terms from the Buddhist Ayurveda Course (SKT220 ) on Sanskrit Terms of Ayurveda and Dharma


Shravaka / Sravaka

The Shravaka Sangha,

Both men and women,

Contemplate and practice the Four Noble Truths,

Concealing the real (Ultimate Truth) and displaying the provisional (Conventional Truth or Provisional Truth). (See Two Truths) (TD 33)

Shravaka is Sanskrit and literally means “one who hears or listens.” It is traditionally explained as referring to those who “hear the sound of the Buddha's teaching and awaken to the way.” Thus the word “Hearer” is sometime used as a translation of Shravaka.

“They become enlightened as soon as they hear the Buddha speak the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths. They are one of the Two Vehicles (see also Three Vehicles). They feel that everything in this world is suffering (Dukkha), Empty, without a self (No Self), and impermanent, and so are determined to end birth and death. They have the outlook that:

The three realms are like a prison. Birth and death are like hateful enemies.

To them the Desire Realm, the Form Realm, and the Formless Realm seem like a penitentiary, and they detest birth and death. Their attitude is, 'I absolutely must end birth and death, and until I do, I won't rest for even a day.' Therefore, they cultivate all kinds of ascetic practices to cast offf birth and death – which is the attachment of Sound Hearers (Shravaka). . . .

Sound Hearers are basically Arhats who have certified to the first, second, third, and fourth fruits. Yet they too fail to recognize the Thus Come One's Treasury, for they only know the emptiness of people, unlike commoners who are attached in every respect to views of self and what belongs to a self saying, 'This is mine; this belongs to me.' Those of the Two Vehicles are not attached to self, but they are attached to Dharmas. They don't understand that:

Even Dharmas must be renounced,

Much more non-Dharmas.

One has to put down all Dharmas, how much more what is not in accord with Dharma. But for them Dharmas are not yet empty, and so they still have attachments and are of the Small Vehicle (Lesser Vehicle).” (FAS PII(2) 57)

The first Shravakas were the five former companions of the Buddha who became enlightened after hearing the Buddha explain the Four Noble Truths (see entry) in the Deer Park at Varanasi.

Shravaka is often used synonymously with Arhat.

Four Kinds of Sound Hearers

1) Fixed Sound Hearers.

2) Sound Hearers of Overweening Pride.

3) Sound Hearers Who Have Retreated from the Bodhi Resolve (Bodhichitta).

4) Transformationally Responding Sound Hearers.

'Because the roots of those in the two categories of the fixed and those of overweening pride have not yet ripened,' they cannot become Buddhas. (just yet).

“Fixed Sound Hearers are simply withered sprouts and sterile seeds and are self-ending Arhats who only know about themselves and do not know about teaching and transforming living beings.

Sound Hearers of Overweening Pride always feel they are higher than anyone else. For example, the five thousand Bhikshus who withdrew when the Buddha spoke the Dharma Flower Sutra (Lotus Sutra) were all Sound Hearers of Overweening Pride. There are also Sound Hearers who once Resolved their minds on Bodhi (Bodhichitta) and practiced the Bodhisattva way (Dasha Paramita and Four Great Vows) – for awhile. But then they stopped and turned back, like Shariputra, who decided to walk the Bodhisattva Path (Marga) but met someone who wanted his eyes. He concluded it was too hard, and so he gave up his Resolve for Bodhi. He brought forth the Bodhi Resolve (Bodhichitta) 20,000 Buddhas ago, yet to this day he is still a Sound Hearer – one who has retreated from the Bodhi Resolve (Bodhichitta). . . . And so cultivation is not easy.

“There are several well-known examples of Transformationally Respondng Sound Hearers:

Inside concealing their Bodhisattva conduct,

Outside manifesting Sound Hearer bodies.

One such is Purnmaitrayaniputra, who, although a Sound Hearer on the outside, inside is walking the Bodhisattva way. Another is the Venerable Ananda, who has vowed to go and be the attendant of any of the countless Buddhas who appear in the world. The vow made by Rahula is that he will be the eldest son for anyone who becomes a Buddha throughout the ten directions and the three times. The roots of the first two categories – Fixed Sound Hearers and Those of Overweening Pride – are not yet mature.” (FAS-PII]] (2) 134-135)

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Fair Use Bibliographic Sources

Fair Use: Primary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ron Epstein, Ph.D, compiler, Buddhism A to Z, Burlingame, California, Buddhist Text Translation Society, 2003, p. ISBN 0881393533 Paperback: 284 pages. and many other sources (see Bibliography).

Primary Original Source: The Tripitaka of Sutra, Shastra and Vinaya Dharma teachings (as found in the scripture storehouse of the Indian Sanskrit- Siddham, Chinese, Tibetan and Japanese traditions of the Nalanda Tradition of ancient Nalanda University) of Shakyamuni Buddha, and his Arya Sagely Bodhisattva Bhikshu Monk and Upasaka disciples.

These Good and Wise Advisors (Kaliyanamitra) Dharma Master teachers include Arya Venerables Om Tare Tuttare Ture Om Ah Hum and Namo to Jivaka, Charaka, Lao Zi - Mahakashapa, Ashwagosha, Shantideva - Hui Neng - Shen Kai Sheng Ren Shr, Bodhidharma, the 16 Nalanda Acharyas 1. Nagarjuna-Manjushri, 2. Arydeva, 3. Buddhapalita, 4. Bhavaviveka, 5. Chandrakirti and Chandragomin, 6. Shantideva, 7. Shantarakshita, 8. Kamalashila, 9. Asanga-Maitreya, 10. Vasubhandu, 11. Dignaga, 12. Dharmakirti, 13. Vimuktisena, 14. Haribhadra, 15. Gunaprabha, 16. Shakyaprabha; Dharmarakshita, Atisha, Tsong Khapa, Thogme Zangpo, Nyingma Padmasambhava, Yeshe Tsogyel, Machig Lapdron, Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa, Sakya Pandita, Kumarajiva, Xuan Zang, Baozhi, Hui Yuan, Daosheng, Changzhi, Fazang, Han Shan, Shi De, Yunmen, Nichiren, Honen, Shinran, Kukai, Dogen, Hakuin, Jamgon Kongtrul, Nyingma Penor Rinpoche, Bakula Rinpoche, Dagri Rinpoche, Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche, Geshe Lama Kongchog, Longchen Rapjampa - Gosok Rinpoche, Phabongkha Rinpoche, Patrul Rinpoche, Tenzin Gyatso the Dalai Lama, Sakya Trizin, Hsu Yun, Hsuan Hua, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, Choden Rinpoche, Garchen Rinpoche, Karmapa, Mingyur Rinpoche, Geshe Ngwang Dakpa, Geshe Sopa Rinpoche, Seung Sahn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho, S. N. Goenka, Mama Ayur Punya Jyana Pushtim Kuriye Svaha, making offerings and b [[bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita. And Om Ah Hum thanks to other modern day masters. We consider them to be in accord with Tripitaka Master Hsuan Hua’s ”Seven Guidelines for Recognizing Genuine Teachers

Nalanda Online University's teachings are based especially on the following Buddhist Scriptures: Lama Tsong Khapa's Lam Rim, the Dharma Flower Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Shurangama Sutra, the Ksitigarbha Sutra, the Bhaisajya Guru Sutra, the Dharani Sutra, the Vajra Sutra, the Prajna Paramita Hridayam Heart Sutra, the Vimalakirti Sutra, the Sanghata Sutra, the Sutra of Golden Light, the Srimala Devi Sutra, the Sutra in 42 Sections, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Hui Neng Sutra, Vasubandhu's Shastra on the Door to Understanding the Hundred Dharmas, Maitreya's Ornament for Clear Realizations (Abhisamayalamkara), Chandrakirti's Supplement to Nagarjuna’s Treatise on the Middle Way (Madhyamakavatara), Vasubandhu's Treasury of Manifest Knowledge (Abhidharmakosha) and the Tantras and Mantras of the Vajrayana the 42 Hands and Eyes, Guhyasamaja, the Kalachakra, the Vajrayogini, the Heruka, the Chakrasamvara, the Chod, the Hayagriva, the Hevajra, the Yamantaka, the Kalarupa, the Manjushri Nama Samgiti, the Vajrakilaya, the Vajrapani, the Vajra Claws Dakini, the Mahakala, the Tara, the White Umbrella Goddess (She Dan Do Bo Da La), Kirti Losang Trinle's Grounds and Paths of Secret Mantra, and Aku Sherab Gyatso's The Two Stages of the Guhyasamaja Tantra and their commentaries (shastras) by the above Arya Tripitakacharya Dharma Masters. Making offerings and bowing at your feet I make requests. Please bestow on me the two attainments of Maha Punya and Maha Prajna Paramita.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, 2nd ed., San Francisco, California: Sutra Translation Committee of the United States and Canada, 1998:

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Muller, Charles, editor, Digital Dictionary of Buddhism [DDB], Toyo Gakuen University, Japan, 2007: Username is “guest”, with no password. - Based in large part on the Dictionary of Chinese Buddhist Terms with Sanskrit and English Equivalents (by Soothill and Hodous) Delhi, India: Motilal Banarsidass, 1997.

Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Ehrhard, Diener, Fischer, et al, The Shambhala Dictionary of Buddhism and Zen, Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1991. 296 pages. ISBN 978-0-87773-520-5,, Secondary Fair Use Compilation Source: Vaidya Vasant Lad, Textbook of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Press, 2002; Vasant Lad, BAMS, MAsc, Ayurvedic Institute Gurukula Notes, Ayurvedic Institute, 1994-2006;

NOTE: Numerous corrections and enhancements have been made under Shastra tradition and ”Fair Use“ by an Anonymous Buddhist Monk Redactor (Compiler) of this Online Buddhist Encyclopedia Compilation)

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shravaka.txt · Last modified: 2018/02/26 18:13 (external edit)