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Different Schools of Buddhism

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on 15 December 2013

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Transcript of Different Schools of Buddhism

Different Schools of Buddhism
So what are the different schools of Buddhism, what are they, what do they believe in and how do they differ?

Because they vary does it make them different religions?
There are many different Buddhist schools within the Buddhist religion that each have evolved there different beliefs and customs in their school. The differences in the schools can be described as divisions and variations however despite these different sections in the religion they still have the same basic beliefs across the religion and still remain in the same religion even though some parts vary from one another.

What are the different Schools?
There are two main schools in the religion that are:
Theravada
and
Mahayana
which have there different variations but still all call themselves Buddhist and are still in the same religion. However there are many more that have branched off of these main three to create much smaller school; for example Zen.
What are there main beliefs?
Lets see what they believe in and what their beliefs are...
What are their Supernatural Beliefs?
In the Theravada they do not believe in the supernatural; which is mostly consistent in Buddhism as a whole as in Buddhism they do not use the supernatural to explain the unknown or unexplainable.
Why is the supernatural not part of Buddhism?
The supernatural is not part of Buddhism as the Buddha saw them as chains on the path and thought that they would hold those following the path back and stop them in there way along the path.
What are there beliefs on the Buddha?
They believe that Siddhartha Gautama was a man that became the Buddha and was not born the Buddha, which is also the same and the original Buddhism. It is not just similar to Buddhism but also Christianity as in Christianity Jesus is believed to have become Christ.
Basic Information and Facts on the Theravada:
The name means 'the doctrine of the elders'
This school of Buddhism believes that it has remained closest to the original teachings of the Buddha.
It is sometimes called 'Southern Buddhism'.
There are many other schools branching off the Theravada.
It is most focused and around in: Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia and Laos.
The Theravada
Firstly we will be looking into the Theravada in more detail discovering more about this School in Buddhism, after this section you will know bundles of information on the subject but also get to grips on different peoples opinions!
Theravada
What are their beliefs on the Noble Eightfold Path?
They believe that each person has to make their own way on the Noble Eightfold Path without help from Gods or others. They also believe that the Buddhist teaching should show them the way but it is still the own choice.
The Eightfold Path of Buddhism, also called the Middle Path or Middle Way, is the system of following these eight divisions of the path to achieve spiritual enlightenment and cease suffering:

Right understanding: Understanding that the Four Noble Truths are noble and true.

Right thought: Determining and resolving to practice Buddhist faith.

Right speech: Avoiding slander, gossip, lying, and all forms of untrue and abusive speech.

Right conduct: Adhering to the idea of nonviolence (ahimsa), as well as refraining from any form of stealing or sexual impropriety.

Right means of making a living: Not slaughtering animals or working at jobs that force you to violate others.

Right mental attitude or effort: Avoiding negative thoughts and emotions, such as anger and jealousy.

Right mindfulness: Having a clear sense of one’s mental state and bodily health and feelings.

Right concentration: Using meditation to reach the highest level of enlightenment.
But what is the Noble Eightfold Path?
What is life in the Buddhist Theravada?
We are now going to look into what life is like being part of the Theravada, such as life as a Buddhist monk...
What is life like being a Theravada Buddhist Monk?
In my opinion I think that it would be quite difficult to be a Theravada Monk as they have many strict rules to follow, there are 227 rules that they have to follow; meaning they have a very restricted life style. This life style would not suit me however Buddhist monks believe that it is important to follow these and also that it is a help to reaching enlightenment. The Buddha once said "To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind..." I think that the Buddha meant that to achieve enlightenment one must have a disciplined and controlled mind so that might be why the Theravada Monks may have implemented so many rules into the society so that it can help those in the community to help to become controlled.
The Mahayana
Second of all we are going to be looking into Mahayana and explore about it's differences to Theravada and some information on them.
Basic Information on the Mahayana:
Mahayana Buddhism is also known as the Great Vehicle
It is the form of Buddhism prominent in North Asia, including China, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea, and Japan.
The Great Vehicle considers itself a more authentic version of the Buddha's teachings.
The Mahayana excepts many of the Theravada concepts.
The Mahayana
The Theravada also thinks it is the most similar to the original Buddhist teachings.
These two schools both believe that they are the most similar to the original Buddhist teaching however they cannot both be right. But which is the most similar? There only one way to find out... COMPARE!
As I did my research I saw that Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism were very similar in there traditions and believe as they are both fundamentally based upon the original Buddhist such as there beliefs on the supernatural are very similar and their Noble Eightfold Path beliefs and views on it. However they do have many other differences.
So far we have seen that they have a few similarities but now lets look into a much more in depth comparison.
Thank You for Watching (not that you had a choice!)
Hope You enjoyed it!?!
Similarities
Differences-Theravada
They only have the one Buddha in the school.
Differences-Mahayana
In the Mahayana they do not just have the one Buddha but also believe in some contemporary ones.
They only have the one Bodhisattva.
Comparison
They accept multiple Bodhisattva.
Rituals are not emphasized in the school.
There is a lot of emphasis on the rituals in the school
Southern transmission: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Burma, Laos and Cambodia.
Northern transmission: Tibet, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Mongolia.
One meal a day is very common in the Theravada.
Bardo is ignored in the Theravada school.
All Mahayana schools teach this aspect after death.
The Buddhist temples in Theravada are very simple.
Temple in the Mahayana schools are very elaborate.
The one meal a day is very respect and is quite uncommon
N.A
What does this comparison show us about the variation in the too and also more about them as a whole?
Firstly you see that in the things I have presented there are little or no similarities between the Theravada and Mahayana in detailed aspects of the schools. However they still do have the same base for the religion it is just how they emphasize these characteristics. Such as what I have seen from this graph is that the Mahayana is a little more elaborate were the Theravada is more traditional and tends to lean towards more simplistic characteristics. Also I think that Mahayana tends to be more elaborate about prayer as well, such as they have very elaborate temples were they pray were as Theravada have more simple temples yet again showing they are more simplistic. In addition Mahayana is also tending to be more elaborate as their rituals are also more elaborate and involved in the school more than they are in Theravada as they are not at all emphasized. Also they differ as the Mahayana tend to follow more of the tradition as they follow rituals a lot and teach about Bardo.
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