School of Buddhism


Buddhism was originated in India around 500 BC. Since then several schools of Buddhism shot up. Three schools are the major ones described below:

The three Schools of Buddhism:

Theravada or Hinayana School:

Theravada or Hinayana Schools of Buddhism is also known as the school of Elders. The founder of Theravada was the Historical Buddha the school is based on its founder’s teachings. The followers of Mahayana believe that unlike Mahayana Hinayana gives more stress on personal salvation and not on collective liberation. Theravada is also called as ‘Lesser Vehicle’ Theravada preserves the original and old teachings of Buddhism. Modern version of Theravada is based on Four Nobel Truths (‘Shitai’ in Japanese) and the ‘Eight Fold Path’ (Hassodo). The four Noble Truths on which Theravada is basically based are,

  • Life is suffering
  • The suffering has cause
  • There is no suffering if there is no cause
  • Follow the proper path to eliminate suffering.

The Eight Fold Paths are:

  • Right View
  • Right Resolve
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Occupation
  • Right Effort
  • Right Thoughts
  • Right Concentration

In modern days the teachings of Theravada Schools of Buddhism is mainly practiced in Burma, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand and Laos

Mahayana School:

The Mahayana Schools of Buddhism was introduced in the first century AD. Contrary to Theravada this school promises liberation to all who honestly practices it. The Mahayana followers believe In India in Bodhisattvas the Compassionate Ones. These Bodhisattvas are the saviors of common people from sufferings. The Mahayana Buddhism rests on two different notions theMadhyamika and the Yogacara.In Mahayana Buddhism, one who becomes Bosatsu certainly achieves Buddhahood, for a short span of time they leave the happy state of Nirvana (freedom from suffering), to remain on earth in different reincarnations just to show all living beings the path of achieving salvation.

Today Mahayana Buddhism is basically practiced in Tibet, Mongolia, China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan.

Vajrayana School:

The followers of the teachings of Vajrayana School are basically in Tibet. The Vajrayana chief aim is that it helps a person to follow the path of Nirvana in one life without living numerous lives to achieve salvation.

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