December 1, 2013

Mahayana and Hinayana - Summary of Main features

Write about split in the Buddhist Church - Mahayana and Hinayana?
It was during the-Fourth Buddhist Council convened by the great Kushan king, Kanishka that Buddhism split into two sects known as Mahayana (the Greater Vehicle) and Hinayana (the Lesser Vehicle).
Hinayana - its main features
Hinayana was the earlier form of Buddhism in which the only object of worship was the stupa. It regarded Buddha as a great teacher and guide. It did not build temples or idols. It laid emphasis on the salvation of the individual by directly observing the Eightfold Path. It used Pali for its scriptures. The Hinayana is confined to India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Siam, Cambodia and Laos.

Mahayana - its important features

The newer Buddhists came to be known as the Mahayana Buddhists to distinguish from the older creed. They regarded the Buddha as God. They introduced elaborate rituals and adopted Sanskrit as a language of its scriptures. The Mahayana sect appealed to the masses and became more popular than the Hinayana Buddhism. Today, it has a greater number of followers in the world. It has spread to central Asia, China and many other countries of Asia.


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