The 9th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Use of the term
In the Theravada school
Possible latter use in commentaries
It has apparently been claimed by some that a small number of latter Theravadin commentaries may have used the term to differentiate between the normal path to Enlightenment - that based on receiving the Dhamma through The Sangha,
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.
While those in the Pratyekabuddha Vehicle (Skt. pratyekabuddhayānika) are portrayed as also utilizing the Śrāvaka Piṭaka, they are said to have medium faculties, to follow the Pratyekabuddha Dharma, and to be set on their own personal Enlightenment.
Finally, those in the Mahāyāna (Skt. mahāyānika) 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.