Schools of Buddhism

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Three main historical traditions of Buddhism

This article lists the main Schools of Buddhism with the major Buddhist traditions.

Early schools

Map of the major geographical centers of Sectarian Buddhist schools in India. Sarvāstivāda (red), Theravāda (orange), Mahāsāṃghika (yellow), Pudgalavāda (green), and Dharmaguptaka (gray).
An image of Gautama Buddha with a swastika, a traditional Buddhist symbol of infinity, on his chest. Ananda, the Buddha's disciple, appears in the background. This statue is from Hsi Lai Temple.

Twenty sects

Sthaviravāda split into 11 sects:

Mahāsāṃghika split into 9 sects:

Influences on East Asian schools

Monastic/vinaya influence:

East Asian Buddhist traditions generally follow the monastic tradition of the vinaya of the Dharmaguptaka lineage. However, there are exceptions. For example, some sects within Japan do not follow the traditional vinaya vows; these sects permit non-celibate "monks" or "preists".[1]

Philosophical influence:

Theravada subschools

The different schools in Theravada often emphasize different aspects (or parts) of the Pāli canon and the later commentaries, or differ in the focus on and recommended way of practice. There are also significant differences in strictness or interpretation of the vinaya.

Indian Mahayana schools

East Asian schools

Tibetan cultural schools

Other traditions

Tantric traditions

See also


  1. Why Are Buddhist Monks in Japan Allowed to Get Married?
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2013-07-29. .

Further reading

External links