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October 13, 2012

Theravada Buddhism & Mahayana Buddhism

The differences between Theravada & Mahayana Buddhism

Below are some quick reviews about differences of Theravada Buddhism & Mahayana Buddhism.

Resource: Internet

Theravada Buddhism
(The Teaching Of The Elders)
(Southern School)

  • Supermacy is Gautama Buddha
  • Aim is to achieve Arahant Ideal. Believes that while attaining Buddhahood is ideal, it is extremely difficult and beyond most people’s capabilities.
  • *Although the Buddha was also called an Arhat, they are of different natures. In other words, an Arhat is a degree holder of Enlightenment and the Buddha is a Ph.D holder.
  • **Arahant carries the same meaning as Arhat.
  • Aspire to achieve Nirvana, or to have a better rebirth in the next life.
  • Sacred text is called Tripitaka.
  • Believes that the Buddha has 2 Bodies (as a human being and as consciousness).
  • Follows the Noble 8 Fold Path
          - right understanding
          - right thought
          - right speech
          - right action
          - right livelihood
          - right effort
          - right mindfulness
          - right concentration
  • Influential in Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar etc.

Mahayana Buddhism
(The Great Vehicle)
(Northern School)

  • Supermacy are Celestial Buddhas
  • Aim is to achieve Bodhisattva Ideal. Believes that restricting oneself to attaining Arahant Ideal is too limiting.
  • *A Bodhisattva is someone who compassionately delays his or her own Enlightenment in order to help other beings to attain Enlightenment.
  • **Arhats and Bodhisattvas are of the same rank, albeit with different goals.
  • Aspire to attain Enlightenment, or rebirth in the Pure Land (heaven).
  • Sacred texts are the Sanskrit Sutras.
  • Believes that the Buddha has 3 Bodies - Trikaya (as in the body of Gautama Buddha, as a holder of the Dharma and as a deity) 
  • Follows the 6 Paramitas
          - giving
          - morality 
          - patience
          - effort
          - concentration
          - wisdom
  • - Influential in China, Tibet, Korea, Japan etc.

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