Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×

Buddhism the most fostered religion of the world is further divided into two major schools of thoughts: Hinayana or the lesser vehicle and Mahayana or the greater vehicle. The division originated in Prajnaparamita Sutras (the formulations on achieving the ultimate awareness). Both the sects have a profusion of differences between them.




Buddhika Sanjeewa, Beijing, China. Source: Wikimedia Commons Buddhika Sanjeewa, Beijing, China. Source: Wikimedia Commons


Hinayana
  • It is an ancient version of Buddhism, without any noticeable change in it. It contains preachings as Buddha himself had instructed.
  • Bodhisattvas are the compassionate human beings who aspire to attain Buddhahood for the benefit of sentient beings. No such concept exists in Hinayana.
  • Hinayana includes eighteen schools and the most important of them are Sarvastivada and Theravada. Sarvastivada were widespread in Northern India when the Tibetans started to travel over the region while Theravada was dominant in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia.

Related article : Spread of Buddhism

  • They don't believe in idol worship and believe in salvation through self-discipline and meditation.
  • In Hinayana, Buddha is portrayed in human form. Asoka was the patron of Hinayana and Pali was the language used by Hinayana scholars.
  • There are only symbols related to Buddha- circle, animals related to Buddha's life like lion- symbol of Mahabhinishkraman (Sanskrit term for “the great departure"), elephant- symbol of birth, et al. The stories of Hinayana tend to believe that when Buddha's mother was conceiving him, she dreamt of a white elephant entering her womb.
  • The aim of a Hinayana devotee is to get Nirvana which can be achieved with life. When the person becomes free of all sangyas and asangyas (all worldly attractions and distractions), the person is said to have achieved Nirvana.

Mahayana

  • It originated in first century A.D. after it split from Theravada. It is a modified version of Buddhism in which some liberties are awarded to the devotees.
  • Mahayana Buddhism is prevalent in India, China, Japan, Vietnam, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia.
  • Mahayana doctrine was based on the possibility of universal liberation from suffering for all being and hence named as the greater vehicle.
  • It affirms the existence of Bodhisattvas and their language is Sanskrit.


Peace Pagoda temple, Darjeeling, India. Source: Wikimedia Commons Peace Pagoda temple, Darjeeling, India. Source: Wikimedia Commons


  • Buddha is presumed in divine form, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and they started to profess idol worship. It allows salvation to be alternatively obtained through the grace of Buddha by having faith and devoting oneself to mindfulness of Buddha. They believe in mantras (chanting).
  • After getting Nirvana, the person has to help other people to attain nirvana.

Shruti Pandey is a third year engineering student at HBTI, Kanpur and aspires to bring a change through words. Twitter handle: srt_kaka


Popular

Pexels

25% of the students registered in the certified training program

By- Sunidhi Beeliya

Internshala Trainings, the e-learning arm of Internshala, recently brought out a report highlighting young graduates' interest to acquire stock market trading and investment skills. The platform has registered an 8X increase in enrolments in their beginner's trading certification training from 2016 to 2021.

Keep Reading Show less
Pixabay

People of different faiths come together on Diwali.

Diwali, the festival of light that signifies the victory of good over evil. It brings happiness, progress, prosperity and longevity of life to those who celebrate the festival. People of different faiths, religions, social statuses and other differences come together to light up the moonless night of Diwali with Diyas, lanterns and firecrackers. They share meals and sweets filled with love and joy.

The most widely known story of why Diwali is celebrated is that Hindus, that Diwali is celebrated to mark the return of Lord Rama's return to Ayodhya after rescuing Sita and after 14 years of exile. However, within Hinduism itself, there are variations as to why Diwali is celebrated. Diwali has different but equally significant meanings in different religions.

Keep Reading Show less
Unsplash

The Lotus flower is the symbol of purity, spontaneity and divine beauty

The Lotus flower is one of the most prominent flowers of India. It holds great importance in Hinduism and Buddhism. Hindu gods and goddesses are often depicted sitting on a bloomed lotus flower. Lord Vishnu, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Laxmi and numerous others are shown holding a lotus flower in one of their hands. What is so important about Lotus? The Lotus flower symbolizes the creation of the universe.

According to Indian philosophies first Lotus plant was born from the navel of Sri Maha Vishnu and upon blooming creator Lord Brahma was born from it, who in turn created the whole universe. This is why it is believed that Lotus is a mythological map of the entire universe.

Keep reading... Show less