Theravada Vs Mahayana Buddhism – What Are The Differences?

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Information about Theravada Vs Mahayana Buddhism – What Are The Differences?

Published on November 2, 2018

Author: theravadavsmahayana


slide 1: Theravada Vs Mahayana Buddhism – What Are The Differences Buddhism is one of the oldest religions in the world. It began in the 6th century BCE in Nepal. Today it has an international following of over 500 million people. But Buddhism isn’t a single set of beliefs or practices. In fact Buddhism is split into two major branches: Theravada and Mahayana. What are the major differences between Theravada vs MahayanaBuddhism And why did they split in the first place These two branches of Buddhism each have their own unique identity. And you might be surprised by what each can offer the beginner practitioner learning how to practice Buddhism. Theravada Vs Mahayana – Why Did They Split Almost every major religion in the world is made up of smaller branches. And it makes sense — when you’ve got millions of followers not everyone is going to agree on everything. slide 2: This is the story of Buddhism as well. The core teachings of Buddhism have been reinterpreted many times over the years. And there are two schools of Buddhism that have created a distinct identity for themselves. Theravada Buddhism came first. It focuses on the teachings of The Buddha through strict meditation and the Buddha’s Eightfold Path to enlightenment. Theravada Buddhists seek to become an arhat or fully awakened beings. Becoming an arhat requires great dedication. In fact it’s usually only attempted by monks. On the other hand Mahayana tradition aimed to incorporate newer teachings into the practice. It also gave laypeople the chance to reach Enlightenment. With less emphasis on the original Pali canon and a focus on encouraging everyone toward Enlightenment the Mahayana branch of Buddhism was established. What Are The Major Differences Between Theravada Vs Mahayana Buddhism The two major branches of Buddhism have their own interpretations of the Buddha’s teachings. But it’s important to remember that while Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism are unique they still are based on the same beliefs. slide 3: At the end of the day Buddhists follow the teachings of the Buddha. They just have different ways of going about it. Here’s a quick breakdown of the major differences between Theravada vs Mahayana Buddhism. Major Features Of Theravada Buddhism:  Called “The School of the Elders”  Follows teachings in Pali  Mainly practiced in Sri Lanka Thailand Laos Cambodia and Myanmar  Focus on individual attainment of Enlightenment or becoming an arhat  Uses samatha and vipassana meditation Major Features Of Mahayana Buddhism:  Called “The Greater Vehicle”  Follows teachings in Sanskrit  Mainly practiced in Nepal Japan China Tibet and Korea  Focus on the Bodhisattva path of encouraging and teaching others  Uses chanting of mantras and sutras While Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism take different approaches to Buddhism both follow the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. These were the core teachings of the Buddha when he was alive and remain at the center of both branches of Buddhism today. Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism are unique in their approach to the teachings. Is one better than the other No. They’re simply different. In fact in many instances the two branches coexist quite harmoniously. Another common thread these Buddhist schools share Meditation. As Deborah King Author of Mindvalley’s Be A Modern Master Program says “Meditation is the firmest foundation on which to build your spiritual temple.”

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