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Which are the different sects of Buddhism?

Last updated date: 22nd Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint: Buddhism is a religion that originated in India and is based on a set of initial teachings referred to Gautama Buddha. It began as a Sramana tradition in ancient India and spread across Asia between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE.

Complete answer:
In the early fifth century B.C., the Buddha passed away. His teachings, known as the dharma, spread across Asia and formed three major schools: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana. They are referred to as "vehicles" by Buddhists, as they transport pilgrims from suffering to enlightenment.

Vajrayana: Vajrayana (Thunderbolt School) stresses the permanence of the Buddha's teachings as symbolised by the vajra (thunderbolt), a ceremonial instrument used for rituals, employs Tantra (quick enlightenment techniques), and focuses primarily on lay practitioners. Vajrayana (Thunderbolt School) emphasises the permanence of the Buddha's teachings as symbolised by the vajra .

Mahayana: Mahayana's primary language is Sanskrit, and its monastic and lay followers strive for the salvation of all living creatures, with love and knowledge (wisdom) as core teachings.

Theravada : Theravada is the only Early Buddhist school that has survived. Its central texts are written in Pali (Pli Canon), the Buddha's spoken language, and its devotees are all monks who seek enlightenment for their own salvation.

Note: Buddhism denies the existence of a supreme god or goddess. Instead, they concentrate on reaching enlightenment, which is described as a state of inner peace and wisdom. Followers are said to have reached nirvana as they hit this divine level. Buddha, the religion's creator, is regarded as a remarkable individual, but not a god.