Śrāvaka (Sanskrit) or Sāvaka (Pali) means "hearer" or, more generally, "disciple". This term is used in Buddhism and Jainism. In Jainism, a śrāvaka is any lay Jain so the term śrāvaka has been used for the Jain community itself (for example see Sarak and Sarawagi). Śrāvakācāras are the lay conduct outlined within the treaties by Śvetāmbara or Digambara mendicants. "In parallel to the prescriptive texts, Jain religious teachers have written a number of stories to illustrate vows in practice and produced a rich répertoire of characters.".[1]

In Buddhism, the term is sometimes reserved for distinguished disciples of the Buddha.

Translations of
(IPA: [θàwəka̰])
(rōmaji: shōmon)
Glossary of Buddhism


Early Buddhism

In early Buddhism, a śrāvaka or śrāvikā is a disciple who accepts:

  • the Buddha as their teacher
  • the Buddha's teaching (the Dhamma), including understanding the Four Noble Truths, ridding oneself of the unreality of the phenomenal, and pursuing nibbana. See, for instance, the Anguttara Nikaya's second Metta Sutta (AN 4.126)[2] when, taken in consideration of the first "Metta Sutta" (AN 4.125),[3] a disciple is described as one who "regards whatever phenomena there that are connected with form, feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness, as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self."
  • the community rules of conduct: the Five Precepts for laypersons, the prātimokṣa for monastics.[4]

In the Nikāya, depending on the context, a sāvaka can also refer to a disciple of a teacher other than the Buddha.[5]

Theravada Buddhism

It refer to those who followed in the tradition of the senior monks of the first Buddhist sangha and community. In the Pāli Canon, the term "disciple" transcends monastic-lay divisions and can refer to anyone from the following "four assemblies":[6]

Buddhist texts further mention four types of disciples based on spiritual accomplishment:[7][8][9]

  • "Chief Disciple" (Pāli: aggasāvaka; Sanskrit: agraśrāvaka): in the Pali canon, these are Sāriputta and (Mahā)moggallāna
  • "Foremost Disciple" (Pāli: etadaggasāvaka; Sanskrit: etadagraśrāvaka): referring to those disciples who are recognized as the best in their respective attribute
  • "Great Disciple" (Pāli: mahāsāvaka; Sanskrit: mahāśrāvaka): examples are Mahākassapa, Ānanda, Anuruddha and Mahākaccāna.[10]
  • "Ordinary Disciple" (Pāli: pakatisāvaka; Sanskrit: prakṛtiśrāvaka): constituting the majority of disciples, while devoted to the Buddha and his teaching and while having planted seeds for future liberation, they have not yet irreversibly entered the path to emancipation and are still subject to infinite rebirths.[11]


In the Pali commentaries, the term ariyasāvaka is explained as "the disciple of the Noble One (i.e. Buddha)".[12] Accordingly, Soma Thera and Thanissaro Bhikkhu translate this term as "The disciple of the Noble Ones"[13]

However Bhikkhu Bodhi interprets this term as "noble disciple", and according to him, in the Pali suttas, this term is used in two ways:[14]

  1. broadly: any lay disciple of the Buddha;
  2. narrowly: one who is at least on the path to enlightenment (Pāli: sotāpatti maggattha). In this sense, "ordinary people" (puthujjana) can be contrasted with this narrow definition of "noble disciple" (ariyasāvaka).[15] Nyanatiloka writes, "sāvaka [...] refers, in a restricted sense (then mostly ariya-sāvaka, 'noble disciple'), only to the eight kinds of noble disciples (ariya-puggala, q.v.)."[16]

The canon occasionally references the "four pairs" and "eight types" of disciples.[17] This refers to disciples who have achieved one of the four stages of enlightenment:

In regards to disciples achieving arahantship, Bhikkhu Bodhi writes:

In principle the entire practice of the Noble Eightfold Path is open to people from any mode of life, monastic or lay, and the Buddha confirms that many among his lay followers were accomplished in the Dhamma and had attained the first three of the four stages of awakening, up to nonreturning (anāgāmi; Theravāda commentators say that lay followers can also attain the fourth stage, arahantship, but they do so either on the verge of death or after attainment immediately seek the going forth [that is, homelessness, associated with becoming a monastic]).[18]

For each of these stages, there is a "pair" of possible disciples: one who is on the stage's path (Pāli: magga); the other who has achieved its fruit (Pāli: phala). Thus, each stage represents a "pair" of individuals: the path traveler (Pāli: maggattha) and the fruit achiever (Pāli: phalattha). Hence, the community of disciples is said to be composed of four pairs or eight types of individuals (Pāli: cattāri purisayugāni attha purisapuggalā).[19](Sivaraksa 1993)

Foremost disciples

In the "Etadaggavagga" ("These are the Foremost Chapter," AN 1.188-267), the Buddha identifies 80 different categories for his "foremost" (Pāli: etadagga) disciples: 47 categories for monks, 13 for nuns, ten for laymen and ten for laywomen.[20][21]

While the disciples identified with these categories are declared to be the Buddha's "foremost" or "chief" (Pāli: etadagga), this is different from his "Chief Disciples" (Pāli: aggasāvaka) who are consistently identified solely as Sāriputta and Mahāmoggallāna.

  The Buddha's Foremost Disciples
(Based on AN 1.14)
CATEGORY Bhikkhu Bhikkhuni Upāsaka Upāsikā
Eldest Kondañña Mahāpajāpatī Gotamī
Great Wisdom Sāriputta Khemā
Psychic Powers Mahāmoggallāna Uppalavaṇṇā
Asceticism Mahākassapa
Divine Eye Anuruddha Sakulā
High Clan Bhaddiya Kāḷigodhāyaputta
Sweet Voice Bhaddiya the Dwarf
Lion's Roar Piṇḍolabhāradvāja
Dhamma Speaker Puṇṇa Mantāṇiputta Sakulā Citta
Expounder Mahākaccāyana
Mind-made Body Cullapanthaka
Wholesome-Mind Development Cullapanthaka
Wholesome-Perception Development Mahāpanthaka
Free of Conflict Subhūti
Worthy of Offerings Subhūti
Forest-Dweller Revata
Meditator Kankhārevata Sundarinandā Uttarānandamātā
Energetic Soṇa Koḷivisa Soṇā
Beautiful Conversationalist Soṇa Kuṭikaṇṇa
Receiver of Gifts Sīvali
Inclined to Confidence Vakkali Singālamātā
Liking the Training Rāhula
Confidence in Going-Forth Raṭṭhapāla
First in Food Tickets Kuṇḍadhāna
Extemporiser Vaṅgīsa
Altogether Pleasing Vaṅgantaputta
Assigner of Living Quarters Dabba Mallaputta
Dear and Pleasing to Gods Pilindavaccha
Speed in Knowledge Bāhiya Dārucīriya Bhaddā Kuṇḍalakesā
Beautiful Speaker Kumārakassapa
Analytic Knowledge Mahākoṭṭhita
Great Deep Knowledge Bhaddakaccānā
Learned Ānanda Khujjuttarā
Mindful Ānanda
Good Behavior Ānanda
Courage Ānanda
Attendant Ānanda
Large Retinue Uruvelā Kassapa
Pleasing to Families Kāḷudāyī
Health Bakkula
Recalling Past Lives Sobhita Bhaddā Kapilānī
Discipline Upāli Paṭācārā
Instructor of Monks Mahākappina
Instructor of Nuns Nandaka
Sense-Door Restraint Nanda
Skilled in the Fire Element Sāgata
Extemporising Rādha
Wearing Coarse Robes Mogharāja Kisā Gotamī
First to Take Refuge Tapusa and Bhalika Sujātā
Supporter Anāthapiṇḍaka Visākhā
Four Bases of Sympathy Hattha Āḷavaka
Loving-Kindness Sāmāvatī
Excellent Alms Donor Mahānāma Suppavāsā
Attending with Medicinal Drink Suppiyā
Pleasant Supporter Ugga
Community Attendant Uggata
Unwavering Faith Sura Ambaṭṭha Katiyānī
Individual with Faith Jīvaka Komārabhacca
Confidence in the Traditions Kāḷī
Trustworthy Nakulapitu Nakulamātā

In addition, in SN 17.23,[22] SN 17.24[23] and AN 4.18.6,[24] the Buddha identifies four pairs of disciples "who have no compare" and who should thus be emulated. These four pairs are a subset of the 80 foremost disciples listed above, identified in the sub-section 14 of AN 1 (i.e. AN 1.188-267). These four pairs of disciples to be most emulated are:

The community of disciples

In Buddhism, there are two main communities (Pāli: sangha):

  • The "community of monks and nuns" (Pāli: bhikkhu-sangha; bhikkhuni-sangha) refers to a community of four or more monks or nuns who are living in a permanent or semi-permanent single-sex community (in the contemporary West monks and nuns may live within the same monastery but in separate living quarters). Within this community of monks and nuns there is a further sub-division containing practitioners (who are nonetheless still living among their fellow renunciates) possessed of some substantive level of realization (namely, those who have at least gained stream-entry). This core group is called the "noble sangha" (ariya-sangha).
  • The "community of disciples" (Pāli: sāvaka-sangha) refers to the broad community of monks, nuns, and male and female layfollowers.

For an example of a traditional stock reference to the sāvaka-sangha in the Pali canon, in "The Crest of the Standard" discourse (SN 11.3), the Buddha advises his monks that, if they experience fear, they can recollect the Buddha or the Dhamma or the Sangha; and, in recollecting the Sangha they should recall:

"The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples [sāvaka-sangha] is practising the good way, practising the straight way, practising the true way, practising the proper way; that is, the four pairs of persons, the eight types of individuals...."[27]

A similar phrase can also be found in the lay disciple's daily chant, "Sangha Vandanā" ("Salutation to the Sangha").[28]

Mahāyāna view

In Mahayana Buddhism, śrāvakas or arhats are sometimes contrasted negatively with bodhisattvas.[29] [30]

In the 4th century abhidharma work Abhidharmasamuccaya, Asaṅga describes those who follow the Śrāvakayāna. These people are described as having weak faculties, following the Śrāvaka Dharma, utilizing the Śrāvaka Piṭaka, being set on their own liberation, and cultivating detachment in order to attain liberation.[31] Those in the Pratyekabuddhayāna are portrayed as also utilizing the Śrāvaka Piṭaka, are said to have medium faculties, to follow the Pratyekabuddha Dharma, and to be set on their own personal enlightenment.[32] Finally, those in the Mahāyāna "Great Vehicle" are portrayed as utilizing the Bodhisattva Piṭaka, as having sharp faculties, following the Bodhisattva Dharma, and set on the perfection and liberation of all beings, and the attainment of complete enlightenment.[33]

According to Vasubandhu's Yogacara teachings, there are four types of śrāvakas:[34]

  1. The fixed
  2. The arrogant
  3. The transformed
  4. The converted (to "Bodhi" or Buddhism)

The transformed and the converted (Buddhist) are assured of eventual Nirvana in the Lotus Sutra.

According to Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism:

The Sutra on the Ten Levels (Daśabhūmika Sūtra) says that those who have cultivated these ten [virtuous practices, i.e. not killing, not stealing, not lying etc.] through fear of cyclic existence and without [great] compassion, but following the words of others, will achieve the fruit of a Śrāvaka.

— Lamrim Chenmo[35]


A śrāvaka in Jainism is a lay Jain. He is the hearer of discourses of monastics and scholars, Jain literature. In Jainism, the Jain community is made up of four sections: monks, nuns, śrāvakas (laymen) and śrāvikās (laywomen).

The term śrāvaka has also been used as a shorthand for the community itself. For example, the Sarawagi are a Jain community originating in Rajasthan, and sometimes śrāvaka is the origin of surnames for Jain families. The long-isolated Jain community in East India is known as the Sarak.

The conduct of a śrāvaka is governed by texts called śrāvakācāras,[36][37] the best known of which is the Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra of Samantabhadra.

A śrāvaka rises spiritually through the eleven pratimas. After the eleventh step, he becomes a monk.

Jains follow six obligatory duties known as avashyakas: samayika (practising serenity), chaturvimshati (praising the tirthankara), vandan (respecting teachers and monks), pratikramana (introspection), kayotsarga (stillness), and pratyakhyana (renunciation).[38]

See also


  1. ^ Balbir, Nalini. "Article: Vows". http://www.jainpedia.org. Retrieved 22 May 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ Hecker 2003.
  3. ^ Thanissaro 2006b.
  4. ^ Hecker 2003, p. xvi.
  5. ^ Hecker 2012, p. xvii.
  6. ^ Hecker 2012, p. xvi-xvii.
  7. ^ Acharya (2002), pp. 100-101. (On-line, see the "Glossary" entry for āriya.[1].)
  8. ^ Webu & Bischoff (1995)
  9. ^ Hecker 2012, pp. xxi-xxiii.
  10. ^ Hecker 2012, p. passim.
  11. ^ Hecker 2012, p. xviii-xix.
  12. ^ See the entry for "ariya" in Pali Text Society Pali-English dictionary, and Pali commentaries: Itivuttaka-Atthakatha 2.73, Ekanipata-Atthakatha 1.63, Patisambhidamagga-Atthakatha 1.167, Sammohavinodani-Atthakatha 119, Nettippakarana-Atthakatha Mya:112.
  13. ^ See the translation of Kalama sutta by Soma Thera [2] and Thanissaro Bhikkhu [3]. In the Bhikkhu Bodhi's translation of the Kalama sutta the term "noble disciple" is used instead.
  14. ^ Hecker 2012, p. 379.
  15. ^ Hecker 2003, pp. xviii-xix.
  16. ^ Nyanatiloka 2004, p. 187.
  17. ^ See, for instance, "The Crest of the Standard" discourse (SN 11.3) (Bodhi, 2000, p. 320) as well as Nyanatiloka (1952), entries for "ariya-puggala" ("noble ones") [4] and "sāvaka" [5].
  18. ^ Bodhi Bhikkhu 2005, p. 226.
  19. ^ Hecker 2012, pp. xix-xxi.
  20. ^ The number of foremost disciple categories is evident from scanning Uppalavanna (n.d.-b)
  21. ^ Hecker 2003, p. xxiii.
  22. ^ Bodhi (2000), p. 688.
  23. ^ Bodhi (2000), p. 689.
  24. ^ Uppalavanna (n.d.-a).
  25. ^ According to AN 1.251, Hatthaka of Āḷavī is foremost "to establish liberality, kind speech, leading an useful life and a state of equality among the others".
  26. ^ (Bodhi, 2000, p. 812, n. 329;).
  27. ^ Bodhi (2000), p. 320.
  28. ^ Indaratana (2002), pp. 7-8.
  29. ^ Hecker 2003, p. xvii.
  30. ^ Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton University Press), 2014, p. 850.
  31. ^ Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Asanga. Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching. 2001. p. 199
  32. ^ Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Asanga. Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching. 2001. pp. 199-200
  33. ^ Boin-Webb, Sara (tr). Rahula, Walpola (tr). Asanga. Abhidharma Samuccaya: The Compendium of Higher Teaching. 2001. p. 200
  34. ^ P. 396 Pruning the Bodhi Tree: The Storm Over Critical Buddhism edited by Jamie Hubbard, Paul Loren Swanson
  35. ^ From The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment (Lam-Rim Chenmo), Pg.239, Volume One. Snow Lion Publications. Ithaca, NY.
  36. ^ Shravakachar Sangrah, Five Volumes, Hiralal Jain Shastri, Jain Sanskruti Samrakshak Sangh Solapur, 1988
  37. ^ Jaina yoga: a survey of the mediaeval śrāvakācāras By R. Williams
  38. ^ Jaini 1998, pp. 190.


External links


The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.

The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.


Arhat is defined in Theravada Buddhism as one who has gained insight into the true nature of existence and has achieved nirvana. Other Buddhist traditions have used the term for people far advanced along the path of Enlightenment, but who may not have reached full Buddhahood.The understanding of the concept has changed over the centuries, and varies between different schools of Buddhism and different regions. A range of views on the attainment of arhats existed in the early Buddhist schools. The Sarvāstivāda, Kāśyapīya, Mahāsāṃghika, Ekavyāvahārika, Lokottaravāda, Bahuśrutīya, Prajñaptivāda, and Caitika schools all regarded arhats as imperfect in their attainments compared to buddhas.Mahayana Buddhist teachings urge followers to take up the path of a bodhisattva, and to not fall back to the level of arhats and śrāvakas. The arhats, or at least the senior arhats, came to be widely regarded as "moving beyond the state of personal freedom to join the Bodhisattva enterprise in their own way".Mahayana Buddhism regarded a group of Eighteen Arhats (with names and personalities) as awaiting the return of the Buddha as Maitreya, and other groupings of 6, 8, 16, 100, and 500 also appear in tradition and Buddhist art, especially in East Asia. They can be seen as the Buddhist equivalents of the Christian saints, apostles or early disciples and leaders of the faith.

Basic points unifying Theravāda and Mahāyāna

The Basic Points Unifying the Theravāda and the Mahāyāna is an important Buddhist ecumenical statement created in 1967 during the First Congress of the World Buddhist Sangha Council (WBSC), where its founder Secretary-General, the late Venerable Pandita Pimbure Sorata Thera, requested the Ven. Walpola Rahula to present a concise formula for the unification of all the different Buddhist traditions. This text was then unanimously approved by the Council.

Desire realm

The desire realm (Sanskrit: kāmadhātu) is one of the trailokya or three realms (Sanskrit: dhātu, Tibetan: khams) in Buddhist cosmology into which a being wandering in saṃsāra may be reborn. The other two are the form realm, (Sanskrit rūpadhātu) and the formless realm (S. ārūpadhātu).Within the desire realm are either five or six domains (Sanskrit: gati, also sometimes translated as "realm"). In Tibetan Buddhism, there are six domains (Wylie: rigs drug gi skye gnas) and in Theravada Buddhism there are only five, because the domain of the Asuras is not regarded as separate from that of the Nāgas.

The five realms are also found in Taoism and Jainism.The Śūraṅgama Sūtra in Mahayana Buddhism regarded the 10 kinds of Xian as separate immortal realms between the Deva and human realms.The six domains of the desire realm are also known as the "six paths of suffering", the "six planes", and the "six lower realms". In schools of thought that use the ten realms system, these six domains are often contrasted negatively with the "four higher realms" of Śrāvaka, Pratyekabuddha, Bodhisattva and full Buddha, which are considered to be the spiritual goals of the different Buddhist traditions.

A being's Karma (previous actions and thoughts) determines which of the six domains it will be reborn into. A sentient being may also ascend to one of the higher realms beyond the six domains of the desire realm by practicing various types of meditation, specifically the Eight Dhyānas.

The 8th century Buddhist monument Borobudur in Central Java incorporated the trailokya into the architectural design with the plan of mandala that took the form of a stepped stone pyramid crowned with stupas.

Ethics of Jainism

Jain ethical code prescribes two dharmas or rules of conduct. One for those who wish to become ascetic and another for the śrāvaka (householders). Five fundamental vows are prescribed for both votaries. These vows are observed by śrāvakas (householders) partially and are termed as anuvratas (small vows). Ascetics observe these fives vows more strictly and therefore observe complete abstinence. These five vows are:

Ahiṃsā (Non-violence)

Satya (Truth)

Asteya (Non-stealing)

Brahmacharya (Chastity)

Aparigraha (Non-possession)

According to Jain text, Puruşārthasiddhyupāya:All these subdivisions (injury, falsehood, stealing, unchastity, and attachment) are hiṃsā as indulgence in these sullies the pure nature of the soul. Falsehood etc. have been mentioned separately only to make the disciple understand through illustrations.

Apart from five main vows, a householder is expected to observe seven supplementary vows (śeelas) and last sallekhanā vow.


"Hīnayāna" () is a Sanskrit term literally meaning the "small/deficient vehicle". Classical Chinese and Tibetan teachers translate it as "smaller vehicle". The term was applied to the Śrāvakayāna, the Buddhist path followed by a śrāvaka who wished to become an arhat. This term appeared around the first or second century. Hīnayāna was often contrasted with Mahāyāna, which means the "great vehicle".

In 1950 the World Fellowship of Buddhists declared that the term Hīnayana should not be used when referring to any form of Buddhism existing today.

In the past, the term was widely used by Western scholars to cover "the earliest system of Buddhist doctrine", as the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary put it. Modern Buddhist scholarship has deprecated the pejorative term, and uses instead the term Nikaya Buddhism to refer to early Buddhist schools.

Hinayana has also been used as a synonym for Theravada, which is the main tradition of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia; this is considered inaccurate and derogatory. Robert Thurman writes, "'Nikaya Buddhism' is a coinage of Professor Masatoshi Nagatomi of Harvard University, who suggested it to me as a usage for the eighteen schools of Indian Buddhism to avoid the term 'Hinayana Buddhism,' which is found offensive by some members of the Theravada tradition."Within Mahayana Buddhism, there were a variety of interpretations as to whom or to what the term Hinayana referred. Kalu Rinpoche stated the "lesser" or "greater" designation "did not refer to economic or social status, but concerned the spiritual capacities of the practitioner".

The Small Vehicle is based on becoming aware of the fact that all we experience in samsara is marked by suffering. Being aware of this engenders the will to rid ourselves of this suffering, to liberate ourselves on an individual level, and to attain happiness. We are moved by our own interest. Renunciation and perseverance allow us to attain our goal.

The Chinese monk Yijing, who visited India in the 7th century, distinguished Mahāyāna from Hīnayāna as follows:

Both adopt one and the same Vinaya, and they have in common the prohibitions of the five offenses, and also the practice of the Four Noble Truths. Those who venerate (regard with great respect) the bodhisattvas and read the Mahāyāna sūtras are called the Mahāyānists, while those who do not perform these are called the Hīnayānists.

Jinendra Varni

Jinēndra Varṇī, one of the best-known Jain scholars of the 20th century, is known for his pioneering five-volume Jainendra Siddhanta Kosha and Saman Suttam compilation, the first text accepted by all Jain orders in 1800 years.

Jinēndra Varṇī was born in Panipat in 1922 to a prominent Agrawal Jain family. He struggled all his life with health problems. In 1938 he lost one lung due to tuberculosis. Still he studied electrical and wireless engineering.

Jinēndra Varṇī left home in 1957 and during his wanderings he joined the well-known Ganesh Varni, who ordained him a kṣullaka or junior monk. However, he was unable to follow the vratas of a kṣullaka due to his health problems and returned to being a Śrāvaka.

In 1983, approaching death, Jinēndra Varṇī began Sallekhana on 12 April 1983 and was ordained again a kṣullaka by Acharya Vidyasagar. He died in samādhi on 24 May 1983.

Katyayana (Buddhist)

Kātyāyana or Mahākātyāyana (Sanskrit; Pali: Kaccāna, Mahākaccāna, or Mahākaccāyana) was a disciple of Gautama Buddha.

He is listed among one of the ten principal disciples and was foremost in expounding the Dharma.

In Thai Buddhism, he is also known as Phra Sangkajai and often portrayed as extremely portly.

List of suttas

Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.

List of Digha Nikaya suttas

List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas

List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas

List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas

List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttas


Pratikramana (Sanskrit: प्रतिक्रमण; also spelled Pratikraman) (lit. "introspection"), is a ritual during which Jains repent (prayaschit) for their sins and non-meritorious activities committed knowingly or inadvertently during their daily life through thought, speech or action.

Pratikramana also refers to a combition of six avashyaks (essential rituals), being Samayik (state of total equanimity), Chauvisantho (honoring the 24 Tirthankars), Vandana – (offering salutations to sadhus (monks) and sadhvis (nuns)), Pratikramana (introspection and repentance), Kayotsarga (meditation of the soul) and Pratyakhyan (renunciation).

Although frequency of repenting varies, devout Jains often practice Pratikraman at least twice a day. It is one of the 28 primary attributes (mūla guņa) of both Śvētāmbara and Digambara monks.


A pratyekabuddha or paccekabuddha (Sanskrit and Pali, respectively), literally "a lone buddha", "a buddha on their own", "a private buddha", or "a silent buddha", is one of three types of enlightened beings according to some schools of Buddhism. The other two buddha types are the arhat and the sammāsambuddha (Sanskrit samyaksambuddha).


Pratyekabuddhayāna (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 緣覺乘; ; pinyin: Yuánjué Chéng) is a Buddhist term for the path, or vehicle, of a pratyekabuddha ("solitary awakened one", pra(tye)- of pra(na), eka-one, buddha-enlightened). This term was used in Indian Buddhism by early Buddhist schools, and is also used by the Mahāyāna tradition.

Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra

Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra is a Jain text composed by Aacharya Samantbhadra Swamy (second century CE), an acharya of the Digambara sect of Jainism. Aacharya Samantbhadra Swamy was originally from Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu. Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra is the earliest and one of the best-known śrāvakācāra.

A śrāvakācāra discusses the conduct of a Śrāvaka or Jain lay practitioner. Hiralal Shastri

mentions 29 such texts from 2nd century CE to modern times.

Sangha (Jainism)

In Jainism, Sangha (Community of the pious) is a term used to refer to the fourfold community of Muni (male ascetics), Aryika / Sadhvi (female ascetics), Śrāvaka (laymen), and Śrāvikā (laywomen).

The word is also used in various other ways.


The Saraks (Bengali: সরাক) (from Sanskrit Śrāvaka) is a community in Jharkhand, Bihar, Bengal, and Orissa . They have been followers of some aspects of Jainism, such as vegetarianism, since ancient times, however were isolated and separated from the main body of the Jain community in western, northern and southern India and have been Hindu Bengalis ever since. The governments of India and West Bengal both have classified some of the Saraks under Other Backward Classes since 1994 but many of them have been in the General category from the beginning itself.


Sāmāyika is the vow of periodic concentration observed by the Jains. It is one of the essential duties prescribed for both the Śrāvaka (householders) and ascetics. The preposition sam means one state of being. To become one is samaya. That, which has oneness as its object, is sāmāyikam. Sāmāyika is aimed at developing equanimity and to refrain from injury.

On the third pratimā (stage) the householder resolves to observe the sāmāyika vow three times a day.

According to the Jain text, Purushartha Siddhyupaya: After renouncing all attachments and aversions, and adopting a sense of equanimity in all objects, one should practise, many times, periodic concentration (sāmāyika), the principal means to realize the true nature of the Self.

Sāmāyika is also one of the five kinds of conduct (cāritra) other kinds being reinitiation, purity of non-injury, slight passion and perfect conduct. It is of two kinds — with and without time limit.


Upadhāna (Sanskrit: उपधान) are the religious practices performed by Śrāvakas in Jainism.

The Updhana Tap should be performed in Paushadh Vrata, which is mocking the lifestyle of an ideal Jain monk, which contain vows to not harm any organisms throughout the day. It is to be done under the guidance of Jain monks.

Upadhana can be performed in three parts for 47 days 35 days and 28 days separately. During these days one must fast on one day and the second day one must do Ekasan, that is eating one meal in one place. It is called Nivi.The first 47 day Updhan has three parts: 1st Adhaariyu, 2nd Adhaariyu, and Chakia-Chaukia. The first Adhaariyu and 2nd Adhaariyu are of 18 days each, and Chakia-Chaukia is of 11 days.

Next 35 days Tapa is known as Patrishyaa, and 28 days Tapa is known as Athavishyu.

Every day one must recite the Rosary for 20 times saying the Namokar Mantra; one must also perform 100 Khamasaman [Kneeling with head touching the ground]; must also perform Kayotsarga (meditating and chanting the Logassa Sutra for 100 times and must also perform the Paushadh vrat etc.

Along with these, one must study some Jain Agamas. This austerity is not only severe but prolonged.

A special austerity called Pratima must also be performed by a Śrāvaka to purify and perfect their life. In the Agama Shastras, 11 types of Pratima are mentioned.

(1) Samyaktva

(2) Vrat.

(3) Samayik

(4) Paushadh

(5) Niyam

(6) Brahmacharya,

(7) Sachitta Tyag

(8) Uddhisht

(9) Preshyarambha tyag

(10) Arambha tyag

(11) Shramanbhuth

This vow should be taken for one or a fixed number of days according to rules.

Śrāvaka (Jainism)

In Jainism, the word Śrāvaka or Sāvaga (from Jain Prakrit) is used to refer the Jain laity (householder). The word śrāvaka has its roots in the word śrāvana, i.e. the one who listens (the discourses of the saints).The tirthankara restores or organises the sangha, a fourfold order of muni (male monastics), aryika (female monastics), śrāvakas (male followers) and śrāvikās (female followers).In Jainism, two kinds of votaries are there:-

The householder (one with minor vows)

The homeless ascetic (one with major vows)

According to Jain text, Puruşārthasiddhyupāya:Ascetics who establish themselves in pure and absolute consciousness observe complete abstinence. Those who practice the path of partial abstinence are called Śrāvaka.

Ratnakaranda śrāvakācāra, a major Jain text discusses the conduct of a Śrāvaka in detail.


Śrāvakayāna (Sanskrit: श्रावकयान; Pali: सावकयान; traditional Chinese: 聲聞乘; ; pinyin: Shēngwén Chéng) is one of the three yānas known to Indian Buddhism. It translates literally as the "vehicle of listeners [i.e. disciples]". Historically it was the most common term used by Mahāyāna Buddhist texts to describe one hypothetical path to enlightenment. Śrāvakayāna is the path that meets the goals of an Arhat—an individual who achieves liberation as a result of listening to the teachings (or lineage) of a Samyaksaṃbuddha.

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