84000 Glossary of Terms

Our trilingual glossary combining entries from all of our publications into one useful resource, giving translations and definitions of thousands of terms, people, places, and texts from the Buddhist canon.

ཉན་ཐོས། | Glossary of Terms

  • ཉན་ཐོས།

  • nyan thos
  • śrāvaka
  • śravaka
  • śrāvakā
  • Term
Publications: 126

The Sanskrit term śrāvaka, and the Tibetan nyan thos, both derived from the verb “to hear,” are usually defined as “those who hear the teaching from the Buddha and make it heard to others.” Primarily this refers to those disciples of the Buddha who aspire to attain the state of an arhat seeking their own liberation and nirvāṇa. They are the practitioners of the first turning of the wheel of the Dharma on the four noble truths, who realize the suffering inherent in saṃsāra and focus on understanding that there is no independent self. By conquering afflicted mental states (kleśa), they liberate themselves, attaining first the stage of stream enterers at the path of seeing, followed by the stage of once-returners who will be reborn only one more time, and then the stage of non-returners who will no longer be reborn into the desire realm. The final goal is to become an arhat. These four stages are also known as the “four results of spiritual practice.”