The Sravakas

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There are two types of Sravakas. The first type are the people who practice the path of the smaller-vehicle and who never cultivate any bodhicitta. They learn and practise the Dharma from the Buddha for their own salvation. They cannot put up with a life that seems meaningless and without ending. Their only pressing problem is to be free from suffering. As long as they are at peace, they do not bother about anyone else. This is the attitude they have towards others. When they hear the worlds of the three realms, they shiver and scare.

Practitioners of this character are weary of not being able to be free from rebirth, and not being able to attain ultimate liberation. For these people, the Buddha condemned the suffering of rebirth, and praised Nirvana. He showed them the abode of the Enlightened Ones and guided them to understand the Four Noble Truths. The Buddha hoped that they could be free from suffering. Practitioners of this character believe that they have reached the ultimate path. They do not automatically progress to cultivate the path of the greater vehicle. The Buddha will have to wait for the moment when they are about to enter into Nirvana to show them the path of the greater-vehicle. They will then realize that they have not attained the ultimate practice and be encouraged to develop their bodhicitta.

The second type are those who have compassion but find it difficult to practice. They practise giving, the precepts, meditation, wisdom, and aim at freeing themselves from rebirth. They vigorously meditate and contemplate so that they may attain eternal Nirvana. However, they know that the attainment of arahantship is not the ultimate goal. Thus they automatically want to follow the path of the Bodhisattva. They learn from the teachings of the Buddha and develop themselves to seek the greater path. They cultivate their great loving kindness and compassion and the Six Perfections, progressing towards the state of non attachment and emptiness. They may even choose to be reborn in order to teach and save sentient beings.

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