Understanding DIfferent Types of Buddhism: An Introduction

Unlike any other religion in the world, Buddhism is well-known for transcending the traditional deity-worshipping. In fact, most of its followers treat Buddhism more as a philosophy or way of life. This is the reason why it holds so much appeal even to the irreligious (or those who are indifferent / completely rejected the existence of a divine god) since it barely involves worshipping of any kind, but does encourage people to lead a moral life.

Surprisingly, the practice of Buddhism is also famous in western countries. However, most people don’t know that there are actually different types of Buddhism and thus, various ways to achieve ‘awakening’ or ‘enlightenment’. Understanding the different types of Buddhism can be quite confusing for most beginners but it is necessary to find the right school of thought that would perfectly suit your own needs. Click here for more interesting information about different types of buddhism.

Types of Buddhism

According to scholars, Buddhism can be classified into three types: traditional (Theravāda), the contemplative (Mahāyāna), and the mystical (Vajrayāna). Of these three, the Mahāyāna is the most popular since it encourages the followers to do some mindful meditation in order to achieve dharma. All types of Buddhism follow their respective core teachings, although they still follow the same tenets that Buddha himself had once taught: the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

Basic Concept of Buddhism

Regardless of the discipline you chose to follow, Buddhism adheres to the same basic concept summed up as the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The First Noble Truth acknowledges that life is a string of events that cause human suffering (i.e. pain, sickness, death) that ultimately lead to feeling either angry, sad, disappointed, or frustrated.

The Second Noble Truth tells that all suffering is caused by greed, craving, and aversion (e.g. getting what you wanted will not always make you happy). In short, constantly wanting blocks a person’s path towards happiness.

The Third Noble Truth, on the other hand, states that suffering can be overcome and happiness can be achieved (also known as Nirvana). Lastly, the Fourth Noble Truth teaches its followers that the path to achieve Nirvana is through the Noble Eight fold Path, which incidentally lays out a guide towards living a mindful and fulfilling life.

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