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Schools of Thought in Buddhism

24 Mar

Theravada

  • Oldest Buddhism tradition
  • Name literally means “the Teaching of the Elders” or “the Ancient Teaching”
  • Today numbers over 100 million
  • Generally conservative, closest to early Buddhism

Mahāyāna

  • More widespread than Theravada
  • Originated in India
  • Refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment, also known as the “Bodhisattva Vehicle”
  • Spread throughout China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore,Taiwan, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and Mongolia
  • Major traditions today include Zen/Chán, Pure Land, Tiantai, and Nichiren, as well as the Esoteric Buddhist traditions of Shingon and Tibetan Buddhism
  • Generally more contemporary, with cooperating doctrines and ideals to seek overall enlightenment

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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Schools of Thought

 

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