Theravada Buddhism (상좌부불교)
Pages InformationWriter Jogye Date17 Aug 2015 Read10,192 Comment0
Theravada (the Teaching of the Elders) is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It is relatively conservative, and generally closest to early Buddhism. Theravada is the dominant form of Buddhism in Southeast Asia, and for this reason, it is sometimes called the "Southern School." It claims about 100 million adherents worldwide. Its doctrines are based on the Pali Tipitaka. There is little or no worship in Theravada, and emphasis is on mental development through meditation.
Theravada emphasizes insight gained through critical analysis and personal experience. Theravada values individual enlightenment; the ideal is to become an arhat. An arhat is a person who has realized enlightenment and freed himself from the cycle of birth and death. Theravada's doctrine of anatman (non-self) differs from that of Mahayana: For Theravada, it means that an individual's ego is a fetter and a delusion. Once freed of this delusion, the individual may enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.
- Adapted from the website (http://buddhism.about.com)
- excerpt from Buddhist English (Elementary 1) published in 2014 by the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism