You are on page 1of 4

Mikhaela Ocampo

Rhandel Teodoro


Is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the
global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety
of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed
to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient
India as a Sramanatradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE,
spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally
recognized by scholars: Theravada (Pali: "The School of the Elders")
and Mahayana (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

Historical roots

The Buddhist "Carpenter's Cave" at Ellora in Maharashtra, India

Historically, the roots of Buddhism lie in the religious thought of Iron Age India around
the middle of the first millennium BCE. This was a period of great intellectual ferment
and socio-cultural change known as the "Second urbanisation", marked by the
composition of the Upanishads and the historical emergence of the Sramanic traditions.
New ideas developed both in the Vedic tradition in the form of the Upanishads, and
outside of the Vedic tradition through the Śramaṇamovements. The term Śramaṇa
refers to several Indian religious movements parallel to but separate from the historical
Vedic religion, including Buddhism, Jainism and others such as Ājīvika.
Several Śramaṇa movements are known to have existed in India before the 6th century
BCE (pre-Buddha, pre-Mahavira), and these influenced both the āstika and
nāstika traditions of Indian philosophy. According to Martin Wilshire, the Śramaṇa
tradition evolved in India over two phases, namely Paccekabuddha and Savaka phases,
the former being the tradition of individual ascetic and the latter of disciples, and that
Buddhism and Jainism ultimately emerged from these. Brahmanical and non-
Brahmanical ascetic groups shared and used several similar ideas, but the Śramaṇa
traditions also drew upon already established Brahmanical concepts and philosophical
roots, states Wiltshire, to formulate their own doctrines. Brahmanical motifs can be
found in the oldest Buddhist texts, using them to introduce and explain Buddhist
ideas. For example, prior to Buddhist developments, the Brahmanical tradition
internalized and variously reinterpreted the three Vedic sacrificial fires as concepts such
as Truth, Rite, Tranquility or Restraint. Buddhist texts also refer to the three Vedic
sacrificial fires, reinterpreting and explaining them as ethical conduct.
The Śramaṇa religions challenged and broke with the Brahmanic tradition on core
assumptions such as Atman (soul, self), Brahman, the nature of afterlife, and they
rejected the authority of the Vedas and Upanishads. Buddhism was one among several
Indian religions that did so.

Schools and traditions/practices

Buddhists generally classify themselves as either Theravada or Mahayana.[470] This
classification is also used by some scholars[471] and is the one ordinarily used in the
English language.[web 10] An alternative scheme used by some scholars[note 49]divides
Buddhism into the following three traditions or geographical or cultural
areas: Theravada, East Asian Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism.

Young monks in Cambodia

Some scholars. use other schemes. Buddhists themselves have a variety of other
schemes. Hinayana (literally "lesser or inferior vehicle") is used by Mahayana followers
to name the family of early philosophical schools and traditions from which
contemporary Theravada emerged, but as the Hinayana term is considered derogatory,
a variety of other terms are used instead, including Śrāvakayāna, Nikaya Buddhism,
early Buddhist schools, sectarian Buddhism and conservative Buddhism.
Not all traditions of Buddhism share the same philosophical outlook, or treat the same
concepts as central. Each tradition, however, does have its own core concepts, and
some comparisons can be drawn between them.

 Both Theravada and Mahayana traditions accept the Buddha as the founder,
Theravada considers him unique, but Mahayana considers him one of many
 Both accept the Middle Way, dependent origination, the Four Noble Truths,
the Noble Eightfold Path and the three marks of existence
 Nirvana is attainable by the monks in Theravada tradition, while Mahayana
considers it broadly attainable; Arhat state is aimed for in the Theravada, while
Buddhahood is aimed for in the Mahayana
 Religious practice consists of meditation for monks and prayer for laypersons in
Theravada, while Mahayana includes prayer, chanting and meditation for both
 Theravada has been a more rationalist, historical form of Buddhism; while
Mahayana has included more rituals, mysticism and worldly flexibility in its scope.


In contrast to other religion like Christianity, Christianity is at its core monotheistic and
relies on a God as a Creator while Buddhism is generally non-theistic and rejects the
notion of a Creator God which provides divine values for the world.

1. Buddha Shakyamuni – the historical Buddha

2. Buddha Maitreya – the future Buddha
3. Avalokiteshvara – Bodhisattva of compassion
4. Manjushri – Boddhisattva of wisdom
5. Mahakala – the guardian
6. Tara – female deity
7. Padamsambhava – Guru Rinpoche
8. Palden Lhamo – female guardian
9. Tsongkhapa – founder of religion
10. Vajrapani – Bodhisattva of power

Sacred scriptures
The Tripiṭaka or Tipiṭaka , is the traditional term for the Buddhist scriptures. The version
canonical to Theravada Buddhism is generally referred to in English as the Pali
Canon. Mahayana Buddhism also holds the Tripitaka to be authoritative but, unlike
Theravadins, it also includes in its canon various derivative literature and commentaries
that were composed much later.
The Tripitaka was composed between about 500 BCE to about the start of the common
era, likely written down for the first time in the 1st century BCE. The Dipavamsa states
that during the reign of Valagamba of Anuradhapura (29–17 BCE) the monks who had
previously remembered the Tipitaka and its commentary orally now wrote them down in
books, because of the threat posed by famine and war. The Mahavamsa also refers
briefly to the writing down of the canon and the commentaries at this time. Each
Buddhist sub-tradition had its own Tripitaka for its monasteries, written by its sangha,
each set consisting of 32 books, in three parts or baskets of teachings: (1) the basket of
expected discipline from monks (Vinaya Piṭaka), (2) basket of discourse (Sūtra Piṭaka,
Nikayas), and (3) basket of special doctrine (Abhidharma Piṭaka). The structure, the
code of conduct and moral virtues in the Vinaya basket particularly, have similarities to
some of the surviving Dharmasutra texts of Hinduism. Much of the surviving Tripitaka
literature is in Pali, with some in Sanskrit as well as other local Asian languages.