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(Skt., vehicle of the hearers). Name given by the Mahāyāna to the early disciples who ‘heard’ the teachings of the Buddha and by practising them sought to become Arhats. Like Hīnayāna.the term has a derogatory flavour (although in this case less pronounced) since the hearers are seen by the Mahāyāna as interested only in their personal salvation in contrast to the more altruistic path of the Bodhisattvayāna which aims at universal liberation. The term frequently occurs in the threefold classification of Śrāvakas, Pratyekabuddhas.and Bodhisattvas.which represent the three main types of religious aspirant.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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