Shravaka, aka: Śrāvaka; 8 Definition(s)


Shravaka means something in Buddhism, Pali, Jainism, Prakrit, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

The Sanskrit term Śrāvaka can be transliterated into English as Sravaka or Shravaka, using the IAST transliteration scheme (?).

In Buddhism

Mahayana (major branch of Buddhism)

Śrāvaka (श्रावक).—In the śrāvaka system, the Buddha, by the power of his skillful means (upāya), pretends to assume human qualities: he undergoes birth (jāti), old age (jarā), sickness (vyādhi), cold and heat (śītoṣṇa), hunger and thirst (kṣutpipāsā), etc. As no human is born without passions, the Buddha must likewise conform to human qualities and [seem] to have passions. Under the king of trees, first outwardly, he crushed Māra’s armies (mārasenā); then inwardly, he destroyed his enemies that are the fetters (saṃyojana). Having destroyed his external and internal enemies, he realized supreme complete enlightenment (anuttarā samyaksaṃbodhi).

(Source): Wisdom Library: Maha Prajnaparamita Sastra

Śrāvakas have compassion but are not endowed with bodhicitta, neither relative nor absolute bodhicitta.

(Source): Kunpal: Shantideva's Bodhisattva-charyavatara
Mahayana book cover
context information

Mahayana (महायान, mahāyāna) is a major branch of Buddhism focusing on the path of a Bodhisattva (spiritual aspirants/ enlightened beings). Extant literature is vast and primarely composed in the Sanskrit language. There are many sūtras of which some of the earliest are the various Prajñāpāramitā sūtras.

General definition (in Buddhism)

The first or initial stage in Hinayana, the second being that of Praetyka Buddha. Sravaka, a Sanskrit word, means a hearer. It generally relates to Hinayana disciple who understands the Four Noble Truth in entering Nirvana.(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Śrāvaka (श्रावक, “layman”).—The śrāvaka is one who listens (śṛṇoti), or one who has recourse to faith (śraddhālutāṃ śrāti), or one whose sins flow away from him (śravanti yasya pāpāni). With the nāma, sthāpanā, dravya, bhāva category we find:

  1. nāma-śrāvaka,
  2. sthāpanā-śrāvaka,
  3. dravya-śrāvaka,
  4. bhāva-śrāvaka.

Amongst the Digambaras Cāmuṇḍarāya has taken over the Hindu concept of the four āśramas, which, following Jinasena, he terms brahmacārin, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, and bhikṣu.

Some Digambaras, Āśādhara, and Medhāvin, for example, have a threefold division of the śrāvaka and on this their expositions of the doctrine are based:

  1. pākṣika,
  2. naiṣṭhika,
  3. sādhaka.

Āśādhara, who repeats Cāmuṇḍarāya’s categories of brahmacārins and the list of the four āśramas, also gives a classification of the śrāvaka based on his progress through the pratimās:

  1. jaghanya (least satisfactory),
  2. madhyama (next best),
  3. uttama or utkṛṣṭa (best).
(Source): Jaina Yoga

Śrāvaka (श्रावक) refers to a “householder votary” according to the 2nd-century Tattvārthasūtra 7.21.—What are twelve vows of a householder votary (śrāvaka)? These are five minor vows (aṇuvrata), three enhancing vows (guṇavrata) and four teaching vows (śikṣāvrata).

(Source): Encyclopedia of Jainism: Tattvartha Sutra 7: The Five Vows
General definition book cover
context information

Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

śrāvaka (श्रावक).—m (S) A pupil or follower of a Jina; one of a sect or distinction amongst the Jyn-people.

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

srāvaka (स्रावक).—a That causes to ooze.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Sanskrit-English dictionary

Śrāvaka (श्रावक).—[śri-ṇvul]

1) A hearer.

2) A pupil, disciple; श्रावकावस्थायाम् (śrāvakāvasthāyām) Māl.1 'in their pupilage'.

3) A class of Buddhist saints or votaries.

4) A Buddhist votary in general.

5) A heretic.

6) A crow.

7) A sound audible from afar.

Derivable forms: śrāvakaḥ (श्रावकः).

--- OR ---

Srāvaka (स्रावक).—a. (-vikā f.) [स्रु-णिच्-ण्वुल् (sru-ṇic-ṇvul)] Causing to flow, pouring out, exuding.

-kam Black pepper.

(Source): DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

Relevant definitions

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Nāmaśrāvaka (नामश्रावक) refers to one of the four categories of a śrāvaka (layman), according t...
Bhāvaśrāvaka (भावश्रावक) refers to one of the four categories of a śrāvaka (layman), according ...
Sthāpanāśrāvaka (स्थापनाश्रावक) refers to one of the four categories of a śrāvaka (layman), acc...
Dravyaśrāvaka (द्रव्यश्रावक) refers to one of the four categories of a śrāvaka (layman), accord...
Śrāvakayāna (श्रावकयान) refers to the “vehicle of the Śrāvakas” or “vehicle of the hearers” and...
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Aticāra (अतिचार, “transgression”) refers to one of the four “subsidiary dispositions which caus...
Sādhaka (साधक) is a practitioner in the siddha tradition. ‘Siddha’ indicates a person who has a...
Uttama (उत्तम).—A King born in the dynasty of Svāyambhuva Manu who had two famous sons, of whom...
Madhyama (मध्यम) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. XIV.8.19, XIV.8) and represents o...
Pañcama (पञ्चम) is a name mentioned in the Mahābhārata (cf. I.48.7, I.53) and represents one o...
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