The 10 Voice Hearers

“Voice-hearers” (Sanskrit, shravaka) refers to those monastic disciples who heard the voice of the Buddha in person. From the stand­point of Mahayana Buddhism, the voice-hearers are Hinayana disciples who listened and followed the teachings of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. … Traditionally ten major disciples are listed. They are representative of the different qualities that were valued by Hinayana Buddhism:

  • Shariputra, foremost in wisdom
  • Mahakashyapa, foremost in ascetic practices
  • Ananda, foremost in hearing the sutras
  • Subhuti, foremost in understanding emptiness
  • Purna, foremost in expounding the Dharma
  • Maudgalyayana, foremost in supernatural powers
  • Katyayana, foremost in explaining the Dharma
  • Aniruddha, foremost in clairvoyance (the divine eye)
  • Upali, foremost in observing the precepts
  • Rahula, foremost in inconspicuous practice
Lotus World: An Illustrated Guide to the Gohonzon