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Term Definition

(skt.: shravaka; tib.: nyen tho) Shravaka literally means Hearer or Listener. It refers to those Hinayana practitioners who, with the motivation of renouncing the Samsara and to achieve permanent happines for themselves, strive to reach Nirvana. They focus on the Four Noble Truths and on understanding that there is no independent self. In this process they listen to the teachings of a Buddha, and achieve this goal by realizing the nonexistence of personal self.

In order to attain their goal, they go through what is called four results of spiritual practice:
1. by understanding that there is no personal self, they achieve the stage of Stream enterer at the path of seeing (Shravaka Arya)
2. this is followed by the stage of Once-Returner, who will be reborn only one more time in desire realm of Samsara
3. this is followed by the stage on Non-Returner, who will never be reborn in desire realm of Samsara again
4. and finally they reach Nirvana, so they are called Shravaka Arhats


Words of Wisdom

"The purpose of meditation is not to reach nirvana and then disappear. If that was the case, it would be better that you manifested as a flower!"
- Lama Yeshe

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