Theravada and Mahayana are both schools of Buddhism that arose out of the basic teachings of Buddha. Both of the teachings are complementary but they are made up of different expressions of Buddhist teachings. The primary differences that exist between the two came into existence after Buddha’s death.
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Theravada, which is sometimes referred to as the Teachings of the Elders, is known as the oldest school of Buddhism and its earliest manuscript was written in Pali writings. Southeast Asia’s Buddhist countries like Cambodia, Sri Lanka together with Thailand are closely linked with the teachings of Theravada.
Theravada is a school of thought that stresses the human aspect of Buddha. It is basically based on the inner understanding of man and integrating meditation as a means of renewing the mind and approach to situations. This school of thought bases its Buddhist teaching on avoiding evil as the core belief. This is achievable by applying inner wisdom, creating ethical conduct, and meditation.
Mahayana also referred to as the Great Vehicle, embodies a group of thoughts as it has many schools of thought. The Tantra School is influential in Mahayana and stresses that salvation can only be achieved by total believe in Amitabh as well as the teachings of yoga. The school of thought has two major lines of influences, the Yogacara and the Madhyamika. Practicing yoga and meditation is seen as the major important factors in the Yogacara School of seeking a higher truth. The other line, Madhyamika, calls for the application of the theory of relativity when faced with two equally opposing views, such as whether there will be an eternity or not.