Types Of Buddhism. . .
When Gautama passed away around 483 B.C., his followers began to organize a religious movement. Buddha’s teachings became the foundation for what would develop into Buddhism. In the 3rd century B.C., Ashoka the Great, the Mauryan Indian emperor, made Buddhism the state religion of India. Buddhist monasteries were built, and missionary work was encouraged.
Over the next few centuries, Buddhism began to spread beyond India. The thoughts and philosophies of Buddhists became diverse, with some followers interpreting ideas differently than others. In the sixth century, the Huns invaded India and destroyed hundreds of Buddhist monasteries, but the intruders were eventually driven out of the country. Islam began to spread quickly in the region during the Middle Ages, forcing Buddhism into the background.
Types of Buddhism
Today, many forms of Buddhism exist around the world. The three main types that represent specific geographical areas include:
- Theravada Buddhism: Prevalent in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos and Burma
- Mahayana Buddhism: Prevalent in China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore and Vietnam
- Tibetan Buddhism: Prevalent in Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan, and parts of Russia and northern India
Each of these types reveres certain texts and has slightly different interpretations of Buddha’s teachings. There are also several sub-sects of Buddhism, including Zen Buddhism and Nirvana Buddhism. Some forms of Buddhism incorporate ideas of other religions and philosophies, such as Taoism and Bon.
Regardless of the schools of teaching the basic principles taught by The Buddha remain unchanged. We are to look inward for our answers. To quote The Buddha – “Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things which renew humanity.”
Peace and Love, Jim