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What is the difference between Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism?

There are two major schools of Buddhist thought: Mahayana and Theravada (or Hinayana). The Mahayana school rose to prominence in India around the 1st century A.D., after splitting from the Theravada.

Theravada Buddhism emphasizes strict personal meditation and the monastic path to Enlightenment. The Mahayana sect, in contrast, promises spiritual liberation to both monks and laity, while encouraging the Bodhisattva ideal of saving all sentient beings from life’s sufferings.

Although we at the International Buddhist Temple primarily practice Mahayana Buddhism, we very much respect the teachings of the Theravada school and other Buddhist sects.