Types of Buddhism

Buddhism is one of those religions which spread very rapidly across the globe and people started following this religion. Most of the people know Buddhism and its origin but very few of them are aware that Buddhism is divided in three types. Those who are the followers and believer of Buddha know the three sections into which Buddhism is divided:

Theravada Buddhism (Southern Buddhism)

Quick Facts  
Formed 100 CE
Origin India / Sri Lanka
Followers 124,000,000 
Deity None (n/a) / pantheon of deities
Sacred Texts Pali Tipitaka, Jataka
Headquarters None

This one is known to be the oldest surviving types of Buddhism. This word came from Pali Language which means The Doctrines of Elders or The Teachings of Elders. People who follow Theravada usually try to train their mind through meditation and to encourage freedom of the mind from suffering. According to them, this freedom of suffering allows the individual to achieve the highest spiritual goal – i.e. NIRVANA.

Mahayana Buddhism (Eastern Buddhism)

Quick Facts  
Formed 100 CE
Origin India
Followers 185,000,000 
Deity None / pantheon of deities
Sacred Texts Pali, Mahayana Canon
Headquarters None

This section of Buddhism is known for teaching Pali Conon which is the religious text of Southern Buddhism – Theravada, with some additional beliefs. Mahayana is also known as the “Great Vehicle” and is prominent in North Asia, China, Mangolia, Korea and Japan. This section of Buddhism believes in practice of universal compassion, which is the altruistic quest for attaining Buddha Hood  which is a state of Awakened Mind.

Tibetan Buddhism

Quick Facts  
Formed 650 CE
Adherents 6,000,000
Deity Buddhist Pantheon
Sacred Texts Tantras, Tibetan Book of the Dead, Life of Milarepa
Origin Tibet

This is the third type of Buddhism that was located in the Northern. This type of Buddhism is also considered to be a type of Mahayana Buddhism, but this was also embraces other teachings, texts, and practices that some are not seen in the eastern type. This is also sometimes called Tantric Buddhism or Vajrayana and this was uses both Mahayana and Theraveda scriptures.