28 Facts About Theravada Buddhism


In contrast to Mahayana and Vajrayana, Theravada Buddhism tends to be conservative in matters of doctrine and monastic discipline.

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Theravada Buddhism school descends from the Vibhajjavada, a division within the Sthavira nikaya, one of the two major orders that arose after the first schism in the Indian Buddhist community.

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Epigraphical evidence has established that Theravada Buddhism became a dominant religion in the Southeast Asian kingdoms of Sri Ksetra and Dvaravati from about the 5th century CE onwards.

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Under French Rule, French indologists of the Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient became involved in the reform of Theravada Buddhism, setting up institutions for the training of Cambodian and Lao monks, such as the Ecole de Pali which was founded in Phnom Penh in 1914.

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Theravada Buddhism is one of the first Buddhist schools to commit its Tipitaka to writing.

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For example, while the Theravada Vinaya contains a total of 227 monastic rules for bhikkhus, the Dharmaguptaka Vinaya has a total of 253 rules for bhikkhus.

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Theravada Buddhism school has traditionally held the doctrinal position that the canonical Abhidhamma Pitaka was actually taught by the Buddha himself.

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Theravada Buddhism is the author of a very important compendium of Theravada doctrine, the Visuddhimagga.

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Theravada Buddhism scholastics developed a systematic exposition of the Buddhist doctrine called the Abhidhamma.

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Theravada Buddhism traditionally promotes itself as the Vibhajjavada "teaching of analysis" and as the heirs to the Buddha's analytical method.

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Ronkin does note however that later Theravada Buddhism sub-commentaries do show a doctrinal shift towards ontological realism from the earlier epistemic and practical concerns.

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That Theravada Buddhism recognizes the extra-mental existence of matter and, the external world is clearly suggested by the texts.

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Theravada Buddhism Abhidhamma holds that there is a total of 82 possible types of dhammas, 81 of these are conditioned, while one is unconditioned, which is nibbana.

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Theravada Buddhism canon depicts Gautama Buddha as being the most recent Buddha in a line of previous Buddhas stretching back for aeons.

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Traditionally, the Theravada Buddhism school rejects the idea that there can be numerous Buddhas active in the world at the same time.

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However, unlike in Mahayana Buddhism, the Theravada holds that the Buddha path is not for everyone and that beings on the Buddha path are quite rare.

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Traditionally, the Theravada Buddhism maintains the following key doctrinal positions, though not all Theravadins agree with the traditional point of view:.

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The modern encounter with Christian missionaries led to new debates and doctrinal works written in defense of Theravada Buddhism or attacking Christian ideas, such as Gunapala Dharmasiri's A Buddhist critique of the Christian concept of God.

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Theravada Buddhism orthodoxy takes the seven stages of purification as outlined in the Visuddhimagga as the basic outline of the path to be followed.

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Strains of older, traditional Theravada Buddhism meditation known as "boran kammatthana" still exist, but this tradition has mostly been eclipsed by the Buddhist modernist meditation movements.

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Traditionally, Theravada Buddhism has observed a distinction between the practices suitable for a lay person and the practices undertaken by ordained monks.

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Some Western scholars have erroneously tried to claim that Mahayana is primarily a religion for laymen and Theravada Buddhism is a primarily monastic religion.

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Theravada Buddhism stresses that all three are firmly rooted in the Pali Canon.

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Theravada Buddhism sources dating back to medieval Sri Lanka such as the Mahavamsa show that monastic roles in the tradition were often seen as being in a polarity between urban monks on one end and rural forest monks on the other.

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Today there are forest based traditions in most Theravada Buddhism countries, including the Sri Lankan Forest Tradition, the Thai Forest Tradition as well as lesser known forest based traditions in Burma and Laos, such as the Burmese forest based monasteries of the Pa Auk Sayadaw.

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In most Theravada Buddhism countries, it is a common practice for young men to ordain as monks for a fixed period of time.

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In particular, the governing council of Burmese Theravada Buddhism has ruled that there can be no valid ordination of women in modern times, though some Burmese monks disagree.

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Theravada Buddhism is practiced in the following countries and by people worldwide:.

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