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Dharmic Religions   >   Buddhism   >   Schools

   
 

Buddhism Schools



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Here is some information about the different schools of Buddhism:
  • There are two main schools of Buddhism:

    1. Theravada ("The School of the Elders")

    2. Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle")

    Additionally, there is Vajrayana Buddhism ("The Diamond Way" or "The Thunderbolt Way", sometimes known as "Tantric Buddhism" or "Esoteric Buddhism"). Some people classify Vajrayana Buddhism as part of the Mahayana school, whereas others consider it to a separate third schoo.

  • Although there are significant differences between the two main schools of Buddhism (and between various groups and adherents within each school), both major schools of Buddhism accept the following common elements:

    • Both schools accept Buddha as their teacher.

    • Both schools accept that both members of the laity and the sangha (monastic communities) can puruse the path towards enlightenment (bodhi).

    • Both schools consider buddhahood as the highest possible attainment.

    • Both schools accept the middle way (the term used by Siddhartha Gautama to describe the path which leads to liberation)

    • Both schools accept dependent orgination (that all things arise in dependence on multiple causes and conditions)

    • Both schools accept the four noble truths (the truth of suffering (dukkha), the truth of the origin of dukkha, the truth of the cessation of dukkha, and the truth of the path leading the cessation of dukkha).

    • Both schools accept the noble eightfold path (the eight elements of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha - sometimes represented by the eight-spoked dharma wheel (dharmachakra)).

    • Both schools accept the three marks of existence (the three marks of existence shared by all sentient beings - impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), and non-self (anatta).

Thanthirimale Samadhi Statue



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