Internal Differences In Buddhism Religion Studies Essay

458 words - 2 pages

The Buddha did not appoint a successor, and after his final extinction, Buddhism never again had a central authority. As time went on and the tradition expanded globally, different paths of Buddhism had been developed.
In the Pali Nikayas, it is said that before his final extinction, the Buddha urged his followers to make themselves and the Dharma their only “island” and sole refuge. Obediently, after his death, the members of the Sangha gathered in Rajaghira to recite the Buddha’s discourses. This event is referred to as the First Council. As the Sangha spread and Buddhist thought developed, more disputes that arose. By the time that the Second Council was held at Vesali, there were many factions in the Sagha pulling in different directions.
The more conservative form of Buddhism is the Theravada. The word “Theravada” means “The way of the elders.” This part of Buddhism began at the third Buddhist Council after it split up around 250 BCE. It is found mainly in southern Asia in places like, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The school is based on the original beliefs and practices of Buddha and early monastic elders. It claims to preserve his authentic teaching. This teaching is canonized as the “Three Baskets,” a group of texts dating probably from the 1st century BCE and written in Pali. Classical Theravada recognizes that there are different goals for different followe...


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